This is a true story written in March of 2003 about my great-great grandfather, David Crockett Lockhart (1842-1929), who was quite some man. I heard this story at our family reunion back in 2003 and wanted to expand on it. His wife was Amanda Tennessee (my mamaw, Tennessee Jo’s grandmother) and she was about thirty years younger than him. I’m sure she was an amazing lady.
She remembered the last time he left. It was months ago, when things weren’t so bad. He said he’d be back soon enough, like he always did, but this time with more money and in time for Christmas. She had been raising his three kids from the wife before, and seven more for the past ten years, and somehow, someway, he always made it home just when things were starting to run out, just when she needed his arms, his touch the most. This time, things had been run out for weeks, she was worn down, and so worried she couldn’t sleep. She wondered if she’d ever see him again.
Her daddy, King, warned her about his kind, but when they were married he had owned half the land in Dickenson County, and most people thought of David Crockett Lockhart as some sort of god. Since then he had traded off most of the land, once for a hunting rifle and a dog, and she loved him for his ways. He had fathered babies all through their parts over the years and would try to take care of them the best he could, dropping money here and there whenever he was around. Some people thought he really was some sort of Davy Crockett, on his way to rescue them all from that little town, or whatever they needed to be rescued from. He always had mysterious ways, and at that particular moment, with her eyes somewhere far off, she remembered the last thing he said to her.
“If things ever get tough, so tough that you don’t think you’ll be able to make it another second, just turn to God.”
And so, that night she moved from her peeling white chair and got her bible from the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet. She gathered up the kids around her skirt, and read the verses she had read as a child. Just as she was about to break down and cry—for her babies, her hunger, her sadness, her life—she turned the page and saw a hundred dollar bill fall to the ground.