Monthly Archives: October 2014

Fanta Grape 15 Cents

1956. I was six, Jerry Gravley was nine. We lived at the upper end of Furman Hall Rd. and our long sandy driveway ran parallel the full length of Foister St. My Gravley grandparents and Aunt Minnie lived at the end of Foister St. Jo Posey Singleton was our neighbor and Jerry and I would play badmitton with her across the fence. Sharron Davis Hawkins was another neighbor. She had a pony and later was the teen with a super cool Mustang to drive. David Lister’s aunts lived next to us on another angle and it was always a pleasure to talk to the famous Hovie Lister (The Statesmen). We had many other super nice and unique and unusual neighbors. (See my story re: Bluegene Cross.) One great pastime was walking down Furman Hall Road a couple of miles to the Greenville Humane Society. Duke, the first seeing eye dog in Greenville was buried there with a special marker. Mother would let Jerry and me walk to get us a pet. It only cost about $2 back then for the adoption fee. We would stop by Dan Hunts Gas Station and buy a Fanta Grape for fifteen cents and a Zero Bar for a dime. The 291 By Pass was developed in the early 1960’s creating fun sitting on the red dirt cliff waving at the truck drivers and gesturing for the drivers to blow their air horns. A little later the 291 Cafe opened and we could get 4 hot dogs for a dollar.I might find neighbors like Jeri Stafford walking along the way.  As we crossed 291, we would stop and play at the pond behind Stone Manufacturing. Later on Barbara Holcombe Gregory and I would play softball in the field behind their house and her brother Dickie would be with my good friend Nick Howard and we would walk to a baseball game at the textile league games on the Stone field.

Brother Jerry and I were good friends. Time separated us and later illness built  bigger barriers.

Jerry died in the ER of Greenville Memorial two years ago while I was in the 17 day coma here in Greenwood. What a horrible time for my mom and my family. God took Jerry and left me behind with other tasks to complete. Right now, it is to take care of Joy Gravley in the hospital bed here next to me…..and to help home school the grand sons. We all will not have thrones here on Earth . I will see my Christian friends at the feet of Jesus on the throne of God.

Be there!

It will be more refreshing than a Fanta Grape….and the price is already paid.

I chose to add this hymn to my story. God works in mysterious ways for sure as I chose which drink I would include in the story and for the title…Then I noticed the name of the person who wrote the score for this hymn…

This portion copyright from

Jesus Paid it All – The Lyrics
The words to the song “Jesus Paid It All” was written by Elvina Hall in 1865. Being prompted by his wife, John T. Grape wrote the score. However it was Grape’s Pastor, Rev. George W. Schrek who believed the score and Hall’s words should be paired together. The song appeared in a hymnal for the first time in 1868.

Excerpts from Jesus Paid It All
I hear the Savior say
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness….watch and pray
Find in me….thine all in all

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin hath left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb

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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


Hope and Faith = Hanging On

This Bible verse from KJV greeted me every day for seven years in very large print as it was painted on the wall across the entrance to our lunchroom at Sans Souci Elementary when I attended from 1956-1963.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Psalm 19:1
Many will say that we can’t be so brazenly bold today in schools, but that is not the case. Christian teachers have every right to tell school children what they believe and many take steps to do so. With that freedom comes the chance that an atheist or teacher of other faiths may share opposing views. My wife Joy taught mostly grades 3-6 over her many years in education and allowed her students to “return thanks” each day before lunch. (Christian, Jew, and a few others over the years) That time was spiritual, educational, and special. I kept my study Bible on my desk every day in the high schools, middle schools, and college classrooms where I taught. Students saw me read it in the mornings, and heard me read from it as a reference in literature classes. I had a Muslim student one year and took every chance to witness to her in very appropriate ways. One day she wore a Christmas shirt that she had bought at a local store. It showed baby Jesus in the manger and said “Silent Night.” I complimented her shirt and asked her if she knew what those English words on her shirt meant. She said that she did not know. The door was opened as I interpreted to her the special message that the hope of baby Jesus brought our world that Silent Night.  I hope today that she still remembers that message. And I hope that others have found open doors to witness to her and to many others like her. Two Christmases ago as I lay in ICU asleep in a coma for over 2 weeks, our three grandsons Jarron, Tabor, and Hewson  sang “O Holy Night” and prayed over me . The nurses and doctors could not wait to tell me what a special family I had with  our son Anthony praying over me daily. Jennifer prayed over me and her dad who was also in ICU at the very same time – likewise with cancer related struggles. And to top it off, Joy was in the hospital as well. Our family was facing one of its biggest sorrows ever. Hewson looked  up to his dad and asked him, “How do people without faith handle a time like this? What do they lean on or trust in?”…. Good question Hewson. Even today as a 14 year old along with your teen brothers, I hear of how you witness to your home school friends in classes, and how you witness to neighbors, and even to near strangers on Facebook…Well I see hope in you guys…I feel the Hope in your futures and I know that as Billy Graham is in his last days, you are in your youthful days of doing what he did for decades…You are leading others to that faith….That faith of hope. That faith that awakened me through the prayers and eyes of your dad that day….and that faith that wiped out the largest tumor in my spine. That faith that brought Nana home – and your other granddad home for two years when the doctors gave him two weeks…God Can…..and you guys Will…..Amen today and into the Heaven we call our real home.
Revelation 21:4 – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Uncategorized