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Editorial — Davie loses two of its finest residents

Two of the people who have made Davie County great have left us over the past couple of weeks. Both held special places in my heart.

Vena Harris was a woman before her time. A country girl who was thrust into a homemaker and more role at an early age, she learned how to work. It was out of necessity, but that ethic served her well over her life. She learned the value of work. She learned the rewards of work. And she reaped those rewards, most evident nowadays in her children and grandchildren, great-grandchildren and others who just happened to cross her path.

Vena Harris was tough, yet kind and gentle. Vena Harris was opinionated, but valued the opinions of others, whether they agreed with her or not.

A businesswoman? One of the first women, and one of the best. She and husband Roy built Davie Auto Parts into a successful business. Remember that work ethic? She practiced it there, and expected others to do the same. Actually, others wanted to follow her lead, that’s part of what made the business so successful. She also invested well.

And those were the days when most women were either at home, teaching, nursing or working in a sewing factory. Not many business office jobs for women back then.

I remember her as chair of the planning board. She always treated everyone before the board with respect. She welcomed everyone’s comments, made them feel welcomed and wanted, whether their comments were off the wall or not. There weren’t a lot of women on appointed or elected boards back then, either.

Her family was always her priority. You didn’t have to be around her long to realize that. She relished in bragging about their accomplishments. She loved those family get-togethers. It wasn’t long before she fell ill that she was worried one holiday. It was a family tradition to have rabbit, and she didn’t have any and didn’t know where to find it. They found some rabbit. I hope they continue with that tradition.

Yes, Vena Harris was a business woman before her time. And she was a woman who appreciated the old-fashioned idea that folks should be treated with respect. We need more people like her.

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Edwin Boger was a farmer. That being said, anyone who has ever run a farm knows that also made him a mechanic, a conservationist, a businessman, a weather man, a veterinarian and more. The hours were long and hard, but he loved it.

Boger was a dairy farmer back in the days when Davie was filled with dairy farms. If he were still alive, I’m sure he could report the exact number of dairy farms in Davie County at its peak. And he could tell you the exact time when those dairies began to fail.

He kept his farm running when many went by the wayside. It couldn’t have been easy. In addition to all of the other worries farmers had, the government got involved.

His was a family farm, and it grew under his guidance.

I’m sure he had his moments, but I’ve never heard Edwin Boger get really mad at someone. He was once upset with something we had put in the newspaper, and let me know. Not by cussing me out like many do, but by pleading to my conscience with a tear in his eye. And he was right. We no longer — newspapers nationwide no longer — print what he was upset about.

I loved talking to Mr. Boger, especially about farming. I had often thought about being a farmer, but my lack of skills in the above-mentioned job description quickly nixed that idea.

Yes, we need more people like Edwin Boger, too.

Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise-Record.