Footprints in the Sands of Time

“. . . and departing leave behind us, footprints in the sands of time.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from “Psalm of Life”

As my husband and I departed for our home in the chilly north from Panama City Beach, Florida, in March of 1998 a sign on the beach called out to me. The sign read, “Don’t leave anything on the beach but your footprints.” I thought about the thousands of footprints left on the beach each day . . . only to be washed away by the tide. . . . Such is life. Dolores Riggs Davis

Below are my parents whose footprints in life are precious to me. This picture was taken at the Dehue Fountain, by photographer, Louis Grinko who captured so many of our loved ones with his camera.

Emmett and Gladys Riggs – 1936


The big hill we rode our sleds down on cold wintery nights seems much smaller than I remember. Waiting for the Christmas season used to take forever, and now it seems to come twice a year.

Lucille Ellis, Carol Trammell, and Dolores Riggs

In the summer our days were filled with childish games we made up. We played hopscotch with a favorite rock or piece of smooth glass, and used discarded electric cords to jump rope. A favorite pastime was stomping evaporated milk cans on our feet, so we could clomp around on the paved street. “Red Rover . . . Red Rover, ” echoed though the night as we called out “Please send Billy over.” We played hide-and-seek and go-sheepie-go under bright street lights. . . . But when I heard the slap of the screen door, I knew it was time for a bath in our old round number-nine bathtub.

They tore down our homes where we once lived. Now our children have children of their own. How could time have gone so fast?

By: Ronald H. Scaggs

It’s a warm summer evening.
The just-finished shower has cleared the air.
The young boys in the coal camp play baseball . . . all are happy . . . none with a care.
Some young girls, usually in two’s, walk slowly down the tracks.
The red evening sun glints off the hard shiny rails . . . rails that are resting from a hard week’s work.
Two Blue ticks are barking about three houses apart.
They tug at their chains . . . eager for a hunt.
An old couple sits swaying in their squeaking glider . . . a slow easy rhythm . . . he smoking his pipe and she, stringing beans.
Two boys race on their bikes.
One wrecks and skins up a knee, then is helped by his buddy.
Crying in a squall, he walks up the porch, steps into the arms of his sympathizing mom.
Another mom steps out on the porch and yells “Johnny, come on home now . . . It’s time for supper.”
Of course, Johnny won’t hear her the first time.
He, nor most of the rest of us kids, hear our moms on the first call.
Of course, our moms know that and they always allow time for our lack of attention, knowing we are probably about to end our “gun fights” at the O.K. Corral.
“Bang, I got ya!”
To which is replied, “No, you didn’t; I jumped back and you just snibbed me.”
“No, uh uh, I got you right in the heart. You’re dead.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“Johnny, come and eat.”
“Okay, see you tomorrow, Billy.”
“Okay, but I still got ya.”
The yellow light bulbs are switched on, hung under their pie-pan shaped reflectors.
Most of us start home; tired and dirty and dreading our baths.
Summer is almost over.
School starts in a few days.
Better enjoy it while it lasts, because IT WILL NEVER BE JUST LIKE THIS AGAIN.


Ronald Scaggs grew up in Amherstdale and Lundale on Buffalo Creek. He graduated from Man High School, and is a mine safety inspector. He and his wife Nancy live in Beckley. They have one daughter, Margaret Ann.

ANOTHER COWBOY . . . SAME PONY . . .Emmett B. Riggs, Jr. – my brother
Age six – August 10, 1950
Taken in front of Margaret Wagner’s flower box.

THE COWGIRL WORE CURLSFannie Kae Riggs -my cousin
Dehue – 1939

The picture of Fannie was taken on the pony Beauty. Beauty was owned by traveling photographers, J. Edgar Munro and Virgil Nyde Smith who traveled throughout Logan County in the 1930’s and early 1940’s.

EARLY 1930’S

George Early, Jr.




Patsy Vankovich, Carol Ragland, Linda Bayless, Joyce Bodner (hiding), and Jean Vankovich. The picture is courtesy of Ed and Sue Hunley Ward.

THE FLEMING FAMILYWilliam and Luraney Fry Fleming
They are fondly remembered as Uncle Bill and Aunt Raney

by: Laurel Kay Fleming Jackson

Yesterday when we were young
and sat on Daddy’s knee
He’d brush our hair and tell us tales
of how things used to be
Of growing up in “them thar hills”
of West Virginia fame
Of uncles, aunts, and cousins
who all share the family name.

There were Workmans, Fryes, Farleys
and the Flemings to name a few.
They hailed from Dehue, Dingess, Logan
Mingo County, Rum Creek too!

From over this hill, and up that holler
down the creek and around the bend
The good old stories just kept coming
and we never wanted them to end.

Now we’re grown, and not as often
do we hear our Daddy’s tales
But we have a lot of memories
because he told the stories well.

This “Special History Book” on Dehue
your daughters give with loving pride
In hope that many precious memories
will be hidden inside.

The Dehue History Book was presented to Fred Fleming by his daughters, Laurel Kay Jackson, Mavis LuRaney Sharp, and Agnes Susan “Susie” Morrill on Father’s Day 1998. It fired Fred up, so he and his daughter Susie flew from California to attend the Dehue Reunion that year. Daughter Jean died in 1992.


Fred Fleming is the son of John Preston and Mary “Susan” Workman and the grandson of William and Luraney Fleming

WAGNER WEDDING PICTUREAndrew and Margret Gyongyosi Wagner – June 27, 1925


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2 Responses to Footprints in the Sands of Time

  1. Janice Wooten says:

    Our Dear Dolores, So glad that you continue writing such interesting & inspirational clips. Class of ’55 is proud of you !!

    • Dolores Riggs Davis says:

      Janice, So happy to hear from to hear from you, and what a sweet comment. I think about you often. I hope you are happy and healthy. Neither of us are very well, but we take care of each other. Would you believe we have one granddaughter, 5 grandsons, a great-grandson, and another grandchild on the way. Do you still live in the Portsmouth area. Rosie and I still keep in touch.