Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dora Hunter Spiva Turned 103!

(reminder - click on each picture to read or see the people better)

Speaking of Hunters – there is a big Hunter patch in Union County, Georgia. Blairsville is the county seat.

Our ancestor John Hunter settled in the Union County area, near where Vogle State Park is now. Many of his descendants still live in the area.

One is a lady by the name of Dora Hunter Spiva. Dora is my 2nd cousin, twice removed. Dora had her 103rd birthday this past February the 10th.

Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris proclaimed that day as “Dora Hunter Allison Spiva Day.”

Every time I have talked to her I thought she was charming, graceful, witty, and clever like a fox.

She was a school teacher and attends all the high school reunions and appears to know everyone there. I was telling her niece that my then-neighbor was impressed because she remembered him and called him by name. Her niece said more or less, she was clever – she would spend the couple of days before a reunion studying pictures with the names.

Still though – she has to add years and sagging skin to those pictures of young people.

Which brings me to mind she always had called me by name at Hunter Reunions and seemed to have known me. Did she? She can probably read body language like a book, and everybody, including me, had on a nametag.

The last Hunter Reunion in Blairsville we attended was the first Sunday in June, 2006. Dora was there with her niece and as usual she was very cheerful and witty. And at her age, then 101, she knew she could say what she damn well pleased.

For instance, one lady showed Dora her grandchildren. Dora did a double-take, and came out with: “Why Lord, those are the (you expected her to say cutest) ugliest babies I ever saw!” And let out a hearty laugh. It cracked me up too.

That year she didn’t look 101, and according to the article in the paper, she doesn’t look 103 now. I think I do, I must have taken her place in the “old looks” category.

Dora is on the right. In the middle is her niece and to the left is Tommy Ingram, also a Hunter descendant who owns Track Rock camping Grounds. He has been supplying the place for the Hunter Reunion in Union County for many years. See the gray hair lady behind Tommy's shoulder? She is/was Austine Wallis. She is the family researcher who got in touch with me to tell me of our relationship. She died of a brain tumor about ten days after I took this picture.

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