Mrs. Jewel returns to Brady after being gone many years

Life can be tricky nowadays. If you take the road less traveled, you never know where you’ll end up. For Bernice (Harrison) Jewell, traveling that same bumpy road over the years has led her back to her roots’roots which began in Brady 95 years ago. Bernice was born in Brady on Dec. 8, 1905, to Esau and Doshie Harrison. Growing up in an era of horse-drawn buggies and “cotton-pickin'” sore hands, Bernice has a different perspective of life in the early 1900s. While at 95 she has difficulty understanding the times, she often reminisces of how life was growing up. Her father was a horse trader for many years in Brady and did his share of farming in both the Lohn and Rochelle communities. He even once operated Brady’s wagon yard in 1912. An eerie coincidence brought Bernice back to Brady eight years ago’a coincidence unforeseen and more importantly, unknown to her family. After her parents moved her and her six siblings to LaPara, a small community located between Beeville and George West, Bernice rode away from Brady never expecting to return. Leaving in a horse-drawn buggy, the trip, which would seem a piece-of-cake today, took more than two months to complete. Leaving Brady in December 1914, the Harrisons didn’t arrive in LaPara until February 1915. At the age of 25, Bernice met her soon-to-be husband, E.C. (Red) Jewell, in Beeville. They soon married in 1930 in the nearby community of Refugio and reared four children along their journey together. Red passed on in 1988. It wasn’t until her daughter, Grace Dabbs, and her husband, Austin had been living in Brady for several years that Bernice’s birth place was revealed to her family. “When my mother came to visit us in 1992, out of the blue, she said ‘You know, I was born here,'” Mrs. Dabbs explained. Never knowing the birthplace of her mother until having chosen Brady as a place to call home, the news came as a surprise to Mrs. Dabbs and her husband. That visit in 1992 was a turning point for Bernice. She learned of additional family members residing in Brady and has been here ever since. “It’s really strange how she ended up back in Brady where she was born,” said Mrs. Dabbs. “It wasn’t planned, that’s for sure.” Bernice has seen many changes over the years, yet still she calls upon trades she mastered many years ago. While once an avid turkey and goat herder herself, she now has moved on to tossing out grain and seed to birds. At 95, Bernice is in good health and very active. In between feeding the birds and family dog, she manages to rake leaves in her yard. Jokingly her daughter adds, “she even likes to throw the leaves to our cows expecting them to eat them, of course, they don’t.” Bernice’s eyes have seen more trying times and have acquired more wisdom than many of us will ever know. It takes getting to know the history of a person to make us appreciate the beauty within ourselves and each other.

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