Born in a place called Big Ivy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Wilkes County, my mother had a brother named Sheridan Miller, a World War I veteran. Sheridan had a son he named Kevin.
Every summer I would spend a week with Kevin Miller and his family, which included his three brothers and two sisters, in the Elk Creek community in Wilkes. We would always go swimming and play in a deep hole in Elk Creek.
One day, we decided to find a new place to swim where the water was even deeper. I jumped in and kept going down and down. I could not swim too well and when I hit the sand, I jumped back up to the top but could not stay up. Kevin saw I was in trouble, so he jumped in the water and pulled me out, preventing me from drowning. I will never forget that.
Kevin and his family later moved to Woodstock, Va. Kevin and I both enlisted in the Army. Kevin married a lovely girl, Frances Thompson, and they had many happy years together. We would visit regularly through the years.
Kevin and his family did well. He served two terms as a Virginia state senator and members of his family became judges, lawyers and school teachers. Kevin Miller died on Nov. 8, 2019, and this is written in his memory. He was a cousin I will never forget.
Kevin liked to play cards. I would always get up a game when he came to visit and Kevin always had “an ace in the hole.”
RAY HARTLEY BESHEARS
Millers Creek, N.C.