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Beauty for Ashes

Beauty for Ashes

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Beauty for Ashes

268 Seiten
4 Stunden
Sep 27, 2012


Beauty For Ashes

Born in 1923, in a small coal mining town in east Tennessee, Georgia Tate Dishroon quickly learned through lifes exacting lessons that depending on God is the only way to find true peace and happiness. The Great Depression and WWII dramatically changed her life and the lives of those she deeply loved, but strong family ties and a determined faith in Gods grace became the foundation that helped her overcome adversity and enjoy a victorious life. In this captivating account of her life, Georgia shares many poignant moments and moving stories that confirm her belief that the Lord gave her beauty for ashes...that He might be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

Sep 27, 2012

Über den Autor

Born in 1923, in a small coal mining town in east Tennessee, Georgia Tate Dishroon quickly learned through life’s exacting lessons that depending on God is the only way to find true peace and happiness. The Great Depression and WWII dramatically changed her life and the lives of those she deeply loved, but strong family ties and a determined faith in God’s grace became the foundation that helped her overcome adversity and enjoy a victorious life. In this captivating account of her life, Georgia shares many poignant moments and moving stories that confirm her belief that the Lord gave her beauty for ashes...that He might be glorified.

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Beauty for Ashes - Georgia Tate Dishroon


Copyright © 2012 by Georgia Tate Dishroon.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

iUniverse books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting:


1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677)

ISBN: 978-1-4759-4478-5 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4759-4479-2 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-4759-4480-8 (ebk)

iUniverse rev. date: 09/22/2012

All bible verses contained in this book are from the King James Version of: The Holy Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publisher, 1981. Print.



Chapter 1. The Early Years

Chapter 2. Years Of Great Uncertainty

Chapter 3. The Mystery Of The John Andy Place

Chapter 4. Teenage Years Of Happiness And Change

Chapter 5. A New Family Life With Alvin

Chapter 6. World War II Impacts Our Family

Chapter 7. Peace, Rejoicing And Mourning

Chapter 8. Years Pass, We Become Grandparents

Chapter 9. Growing In God’s Grace

Chapter 10. Disappointment In Retirement

Chapter 11. Alzheimer’s Takes Its Toll

Chapter 12. A Summer To Remember

Chapter 13. Tragedy Strikes

Chapter 14. Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

Chapter 15. A New Beginning


I want to thank all of my friends and relatives who encouraged me to write my autobiography when I shared with them that I felt led to do so.

There are some family members who I’d like to recognize though for their personal work in helping me publish this book. It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that I dedicate this book to four of my granddaughters, my niece, and my sister. I thank them for their countless hours of selfless devotion and hard work on my project.

I am very grateful to my granddaughter, Christy Killman, BS, MA, DA, professor at Tennessee Technological University. Christy typed, researched and edited my manuscript extensively even though she had a very busy schedule with her career and family. She is a special blessing and has been very encouraging.

My granddaughter, Susan Crosby, was instrumental in helping to get the project started as she typed many of my handwritten pages.

My granddaughters, Deborah Olson and Donna Sieber, made provisions for the book to be published. I am thankful for their devotion to seeing the project to completion.

My niece, Lee Neely, read my manuscript and spent a lot of time editing the material and giving me advice telling me where I needed to make certain changes early in the process.

My sister, Elizabeth Howell, was among the most encouraging. She helped me tremendously as we conversed about our youth recalling the wonderful memories that I share in this book.

Thanks be to God for giving me the memory to write this book. I truly hope that those who read it will receive as much of a blessing as I did in writing it.


The Early Years

During a year of the Roaring Twenties, 1923, I was born, Georgia Novella Tate, in Freemont, Tennessee, on the 25th of November. Weighing just over seven pounds, with hazel eyes and blond hair, I was a true resemblance of my father, George W. Tate. My mother, Margrett Katherine Dyer Tate, the daughter of a small town gentleman, Thomas Jefferson Dyer, who owned a grocery store, had hoped for another son to bear the name George Junior. Since I was indeed a girl, they named me Georgia, and Novella was chosen as my middle name at the suggestion of a family friend.

Many changes came to the United States during the 1920s. Some were subtle, yet many were drastic. Republican Warren G. Harding was elected President. Under his administration, A.B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior, took bribes from private oil companies. The sale of pardons and liquor permits involved Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty whose alleged knowledge of bootleggers’ kickback scams forced him out of office. The head of the Veterans Bureau took large sums of money allocated to federal hospitals and other services.

In spite of all the difficulties and scandals in government, the nation prospered. With riotous spending came a real estate boom. Americans set off on a joyride denouncing Puritanism with jazz bands and a craze for sports and dances. Flappers shocked their elders with short skirts, bobbed hair and cigarettes. People were lighthearted and living carelessly. In 1921 the government established the first Bureau of the Budget, hoping to get America out of debt. It helped some.

During the prosperous years of the twenties, we Tate’s were a middle class family living on our farm on Cumberland Mountain near Freemont, Tennessee, north of Tracy City and Coalmont.

The mining town of Freemont, Tennessee had a population of three hundred and fifty people. It had a commissary that sold hardware, groceries and clothing, and it also housed a pharmacy and post office. There were thirty-two homes, a hotel, barbershop and two restaurants in Freemont. A schoolhouse served as a church house and also as a business meeting place when school was not in session. The train came in twice daily bringing passengers and supplies, and left twice daily taking carloads of coal. Much of the coal was taken to Coalmont and burned to make fuel coke that was shipped to glass companies in other states. Some of the coal was used in Tennessee.

Our family had a very happy home. George Tate (Daddy) was somewhat carefree, and he was a proud vibrant person. Margrett Dyer Tate (Mama) was an advocate of unity in home, community and church. Charity and high moral standards were her philosophy. She showed kindness and forbearance with her children and neighbors. Mama and Daddy had ten children, six of whom were born before 1930. These included Mary Elizabeth born in 1917, Wilford Lynnclyde in 1919, Mildred Octava in 1921, myself in 1923, Clifford Windfield in 1926, and Virginia Dorotharea in 1928. My other four siblings are Francis Claudene born in 1931, May Jocylene in 1934, Jeanetta Phyllis in 1936, and Carolyn Marie in 1941.

During those years, before the stock market collapsed in 1929, Daddy was involved in many social activities. He really enjoyed socializing, was a faithful member of the Lodge, and had many friends. Some of his friends would drop by for a visit and drink a mixed drink of alcohol, eggnog, or home brew. This drinking was always social. Daddy never overindulged in alcohol and never drank alone.

Daddy and Mama loved their farm animals and owned a racehorse named Molly. Molly was a thoroughbred that they were proud of, and they often talked of her swiftness and dependability. Molly proved it when Elizabeth was very ill. One evening Elizabeth was convulsing from a fever. Daddy related the incident to me, as I was but a child when it happened. He said, I was really scared and knew I must get a doctor quickly. I mounted Molly and rode her two miles in less than four minutes. She rested only while I summoned Doc from his bed and helped him saddle his horse. I returned home several minutes before the doctor, as his mount was much slower than Molly.

Doc checked Elizabeth’s breathing and determined she had double pneumonia. He gave her medication and used cold compresses to lower her temperature. Doc stayed through the night until the fever broke. When Elizabeth opened her eyes, we were all so thankful that Molly had proven her worth. Molly definitely helped save Elizabeth’s life.

Weeks later, Daddy and Mama were awakened at two in the morning by a strange noise coming from the barn. They dressed quickly and ran out to investigate. Molly was found lying down and breathing laboriously. Her body was quivering and she was wet from sweating. They wrapped Molly in blankets and did what they knew to save her life, staying in the barn until she was breathing better. After the ordeal, Molly could not run without labored breathing.

Sometime later Daddy talked about Molly with a friend. After relating her condition and the time of her illness to his friend, he learned of two hooligans who had taken Molly without permission and ridden her double to Payne’s Cove to buy bootleg whiskey. It had been a very cold night and the two did not take the time, or were too drunk to properly care for Molly.

When a gentleman came by wanting to buy Molly, Daddy told him about Molly’s health. The stranger, who loved pretty horses, wanted only to breed her a couple of times. Otherwise, Molly would be allowed to freely roam the pastures.

Daddy took the gentleman’s money and bought the family’s first car, a Whippet. He also bought another thoroughbred that he named Bob. Bob was a beautiful horse with a sleek reddish coat, an oval white spot on his forehead that extended down his nose, and white on his feet. Bob was a good runner, but he never ran as fast as Molly. Daddy spent more time playing with Bob than he did riding him.

One afternoon I climbed onto the fence to watch Daddy and Bob. Daddy took a red bandana from his pocket, waved it in the air, and yelled, Bob, come here. Bob was some distance away grazing at the time, but he looked up and saw Daddy waving the bandana. He started trotting toward him, and when Daddy yelled again, waving the bandana all the while, Bob ran in high gear straight toward his friend. I was horrified that Bob was going to run Daddy down. As Bob got closer, I covered my eyes, in fear of Daddy being killed. Bob’s determination stopped him within an arm’s length of his owner. He grabbed the bandana between his teeth, made a quick ninety-degree turn and was off again in a fast run. Daddy and Bob spent some time that day playing with the bandana until Bob surrendered the red garment in exchange for a couple of sugar cubes.

Daddy would sell any prized possession if someone offered enough money. Bob was sold and the family’s next car was purchased, a Chevy. Later a small horse named Blackie was purchased. He was as gentle as he was a good runner. His coat was so black it shined.

As a young girl, I loved to ride Blackie. Mama would occasionally let me ride Blackie to the store, which was about two miles away from home. Mama would always caution me to hold tightly to the bridle. A loose grip would signal the horse that he could run faster, and that would be dangerous for a young rider. I lived a childhood dream as I rode fast and free on Blackie. The wind swiftly blowing through my hair gave me a thrill as I envisioned myself being a cowgirl like the ones I had read about and had seen in the movies.

I loved western movies. I saw many of them with Lynnclyde, Clifford, and Mildred. Every Saturday night westerns were shown at the theater. All four of us thought of Gene Autry and Tom Mix as our heroes. Dale Evans was my role model and Roy Rogers was a favorite as well.

As a girl, my favorite games included playing with my brothers, climbing trees, and performing tricks on the exercise bar. Any tree with a six or eight inch base was going to be climbed. We would climb as near to the top as we could, sometimes more than twenty-five feet high, and sway our bodies back and forth until the tree’s swaying gave us a sensation of riding on the wind. That was until the day Mama happened to see us from the pasture. A lecture about the dangers of our actions as well as punishment followed. That marked the end of our swaying in the treetops.

Mama often called me a tomboy because I liked to do many things that boys liked to do, including playing baseball. I was allowed to play with the boys as long as I would pitch, since I could pitch better than any of the others. I was forced to quit the game one day as my brother, Lynnclyde, fired a hard fast ball at me and yelled, Runt, catch this one! I did catch the ball, but without a glove the impact nearly broke my hand, forcing me out of the game.

My brother, Clifford, had a rifle and would target practice when he could get the shells. I always wanted to be a marksman and would beg Clifford to teach me how to handle a gun and how to shoot. He finally gave in to my begging. I remember that my first two shots were eight to ten inches off target. Runt, I’m not going to let you shoot if you can’t hit the target. You’re not going to waste my shells, Clifford said. He finally agreed to let me shoot once more. To both our amazements, I hit the target! My persistence and Clifford’s patience helped me to become a good marksman, but my brothers never allowed me to go hunting with them.

The Fletchers were neighbors and good friends of our family. Charles Marion Fletcher and Elmina (Mina) Fletcher had four boys: Marvin Hershel, Alvin Leslie, Glenn and Layden. Layden was a bit younger than me and we were playmates. Mrs. Fletcher would bring Layden to play while she visited Mama a couple of afternoons each week.

One beautiful day in late summer, Layden and I decided to climb one of Mama’s prize apple trees. It had low limbs that made it easy to climb. We were about ten feet above the ground when Layden reached out to take hold of a limb and began screaming wildly. The two visiting mothers came running and found us in the tree. The elders coaxed us down and found out that an old fuzzy worm with horns had touched Layden’s arm and it had bitten him. Right here, he said, and pointed to a red place on his right arm.

The caterpillar had three or four stingers that stuck up like antennas. When touched, the stingers made little pin like marks and the skin turned red. Along with the discoloration of skin, the wound burned excruciatingly.

After Layden received first aid for the sting, we got a strong lecture about the dangers of climbing trees and were sent out to play. We sat on the front steps and talked about the fuzzy worm. We decided to get even with it by cutting down the tree. The wood could be burned and the worm would be killed. Moments later we were on either end of a crosscut saw, working toward our goal of dropping the prize apple tree. Our logging skills did not serve the purpose before our mothers came running and hollering again. They took the saw from us, laid it on the ground, broke a switch from the tree, and added incentive to the lecture this time. According to Layden, each lick of the switch on our legs stung worse than the sting of that fuzzy, horny caterpillar that started the trouble in the first place.

Mama said, This is to help you remember to never get your daddy’s tools out without permission. We were grounded for what seemed to be two very long weeks. When the time passed, we were happy to be able to play together once again.

After being neighbors and friends for a year, the Fletchers moved away to another neighborhood and I soon forgot my playmate. Several years later, that family would become a part of my life again.

Until 1927 there had not been any catastrophic illness in the Tate family. In general, life was smooth and happy. However, that year marked the beginning of great trials for our family. Betty Weaver Dyer, Mama’s mother, began to experience poor health. She had a persistent cough and began to lose weight. Mama would visit her often, taking her meals and helping all she could. Grandmother Dyer grew weaker and weaker and she had a fever most of the time. The doctor told the family that she had an infectious disease called tuberculosis (TB). The days dragged on during Grandmother Dyer’s illness and she passed away on June 11, 1929.

Mama tried to hide her sorrow from the family. One afternoon I discovered her weeping as she clutched a stylish straw hat that had belonged to Grandmother Dyer. Mama wiped the tears from her face as I approached her and began asking questions. Grandmother Dyer had always said that people have to be born again to go to Heaven. I wondered, How do we get born again?

Mama sat me down and explained that all people who repent of their sins and ask God to come into their heart in the form of the Holy Spirit, and believe that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, into this world, would be born again. She explained that Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary as the Savior of the world.

Mama, what’s a virgin? I asked.

Well, a virgin is a girl or woman who has not had sex: a lady that has not been touched by a man. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was engaged to Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant and did not want to marry her. But, in a dream, God spoke to Joseph and told him that the Holy Spirit had placed the baby she was carrying. So, you must believe God can speak a thing He wants to happen and it will be done.

Mama, is that all I have to do is believe to be saved?

Well, yes and no. You believe that Jesus grew up, just as you will. After Jesus grew up, He spent His time teaching people about the Word of God, giving them instructions as to how they should live, and performing miracles. Some people hated Him because they chose not to believe that He was the Son of God. They crucified him on a cross. He was taken down after He died and put into a tomb. On the third day He arose from the grave and His physical body was changed into a spiritual body. He visited His prophets to let them see Him so they would believe, and then He went to Heaven where He sits with God the Father. There He talks to God about us. When we pray, He hears our prayers. God will answer us through the Holy Spirit. If we believe this and ask Him to come into our hearts to live, we are born again and a child of God.

Mama, will I know when I am going to die?

No, my dear, no one really knows the exact time. Only God knows.

Will we rise up from the grave like Jesus did?

Yes, but not until the resurrection of all saints. One day Jesus will come back and all Christians will come forth from the grave with a spiritual body.

Does that mean Grandma is still in the grave?

Her physical body will stay in the grave, but her soul is in Heaven and will come back and be joined with a spiritual body like Jesus.

Mama, if we believe, then what should we do?

We should pray every day. The Holy Spirit will teach us to be kind, compassionate, and to love one another as Christ loved us. We should tell others about Jesus so they will know and believe too.

Mama, what caused that TB germ to get into Grandma and kill her?

"Child, I don’t know, but some of the family think it was lung cancer caused by a blow to the chest, not TB. Your Grandmother Dyer was very jealous of your Grandfather Dyer. That often caused uncomfortable moments between her and other women, and it was very embarrassing to my daddy. One day, a young widow came into the store to buy groceries for her family. Daddy gave her an extra can of food. Mama said some very unkind words to Daddy for doing that. The widow overheard just as she started out the door. Turning, she walked a few steps toward the counter, reached into the grocery bag and took out the extra can of food. She threw it at your Grandmother Dyer and the can hit her hard in the chest. The blow stunned her for a few minutes, causing it to be difficult for her to breathe for quite a while. Mama refused to be checked by

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