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This work has reached the exceptional level
Charlie leaves what he loves
Dobyns Chronicals
A Way of Life is Over by Shirley McLain
 Category:  Family Fiction
  Posted: October 6, 2011      Views: 929
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I changed my name from Texasgal to Okiegal since I'm no longer living in Texas.

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Charlie Dobyns, raised his siblings, David and Viola after the death of his parent's from yellow fever. He overcame obstacles and tragedies. He married Mila Selby and moved to the McAlester Oklahoma

It's funny, in a terribly sad sort of way, how we managed to go on with our lives after such a travesty of a trial. Somehow we did it. The entire family had a sadness about them that couldn't be overcome, but each one of us kept putting one foot in front of the other, making life go on.

Doc served his two years in the penitentiary in McAlester, continuing to keep in touch with Opal. When he was released, she went with him to California. No one could figure out why, but heard it was because Doc had threatened to kill the rest of her family if she didn't stay with him. No one has seen or heard from them since they left, at least in our family.

Margaret recovered fully, but continued to carry the bullet in the top of her head as a constant reminder of that terrible day when her mother died. She ended up marryin' Clarence Cravins younger brother, James. She became Jerry's guardian, and the three of them moved to California and began a new life. Margaret and J.W. got jobs at the Benicia Arsenal, and are doing well. I think Cleve followed them a month after they left here.

Charles began workin' at JJ McAlester's Mercantile as a salesperson. He's a hard workin' young man and helps me and his grandma as much as he can.

Homer is sticking close to his Ma and me. He is such a comfort to his ma, just being close. Melvin and Mert still live south of Stuart, but his kids have moved and started their own lives.

Now here I am havin' to give up the life and land that has held us together. Tomorrow will be a sad, sad day in Mila's life and mine. I know it's for the best, but that doesn't make it easier.

I've had a good life and have been blessed so much over the years. I can't say that, when the tragedies came into my life, I didn't ask God why, because I did. Even knowin' I'd not get an answer I wanted to hear or not at all.

This life with its ups and downs is preparation for the goodness that is to come. I don't think we would be able to appreciate what the Lord will give us on the other side unless we've lived this life with all of its trials and tribulations. I know, since I've survived, I'm a stronger man. My body may be weaker, but my spirit isn't.


On a hot humid July 4, 1955, the family gathered at Homer's house for a holiday celebration. Charlie's grandson, Charles, brought Charlie and Mila to Homer's house for the family gathering. Charlie became increasingly short of breath and needed to leave. Charles started off the mountain, but Charlie became so ill he had to turn around and go back to Homer's house. Charlie Dobyns left this world on that day, leaving a very large hole in his family's life.

Mila moved in with her youngest son, Melvin. On April 7, 1956, Mila went into a diabetic coma and died in the hospital in McAlester. She was buried beside Charlie in the Blue Cemetery west of McAlester.


My mother, Margaret, and my dad built a house on Uncle Marion's home site. She told me so many stories over the years about her grandparents and her love of the land. There is a pine tree at the corner of the driveway to the house. I can still hear her tell me, "When I was a small girl, that was a tiny tree, look at it now!" When mom was dying from pancreatic cancer, her favorite thing was to look out the window at that old pine tree. It was a tie that bound her to her family. I may have been born in California, and live in Texas now, but "the mountain" will always be home.

I am proud to be part of this family. Charlie left us a legacy of love for family and for the land. His grandson, Charles Blevins lives on the old home place at the present time. The old house burned down back in the 60's but it was rebuilt. Kettle Creek has been such a special part of many people's lives. As long as one of us remain on the mountain, then Charlie will always be around.


Author Notes
This is the end of my story. I wish to thank all of you who have stuck with me to the end. I hope each of you have enjoyed reading the story as much as I loved writing it. If you have suggestions of changes please let me know.
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