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Daily Archives: May 27, 2011

O’Neal Belford, 52, of Jacksonville

O’Neal Belford, 52, of Jacksonville

O’Neal Belford, 52, of Jacksonville died May 20, 2011. He was born in Glen St. Mary to the late Charlie Belford and Thelma B. Walker.

The funeral service will be May 28 at 11:00 am at New Jerusalem COGIC, with the viewing from 5:00 - 7:00 pm on May 27 at the church. Combs Funeral Home of Lake City is in charge of arrangements.

Richie Bailey Jr. of Glen St. Mary

‘Richie’ Bailey Jr., 42, of Glen

Richard “Richie” A. Bailey Jr., 42, of Glen Saint Mary died Saturday, May 21, 2011. He was born in Jacksonville and was a lifelong resident of Baker County. He was a self-employed auto mechanic. He enjoyed fishing and spending time with family and friends.

Survivors include his mother Frances Womack of Ponce De Leon, Florida; father Richard A. Bailey Sr.; brother John Lindsey (Jessica) of Ponce De Leon; sister Wanda Ortez of Jacksonville; numerous other relatives and friends.

A graveside service was held at 11:00 am on May 26 at South Prong Cemetery in Sanderson with Rev. Gerald Thompson officiating. Forbes Funeral Home of Macclenny was in charge of arrangements.

Recalling the terror of a twister

When I was in the sixth grade, a small tornado crossed over our home in the country.

There were no weather advisories in those days, nothing that warned you of approaching danger except a corner of the sky that might suddenly deepen into a demonic shade of bluish-black.

It was mid-summer. I don’t remember much about the hours before the storm except that things seemed perfectly normal. The sun was shining. Chickens scratched and pecked in the sandy soil under the four peach trees inside their fenced yard next to the barn. Our three horses lazily grazed in the pasture while our dogs, Shortie and Archie, were simply hanging out, sniffing about, doing whatever dogs do.

Mom called us in for lunch about noon and when the sky began to grow dark, didn’t let us go back out.

As the wind picked up, she went to the windows several times, watching the clouds. Although she said nothing, she looked  worried. The sky grew even blacker and the wind blew harder, gusting crazily around the house. When Archie and Shortie began barking and whining outside, Mom opened the door and they shot in like bullets.

At that moment the wind began to roar in a strange way and the entire house shifted on its foundation. Alarmed, she stepped outside, just for a moment, struggling to hold onto the door knob. The world beyond the open door now glowed with a weird greenish hue. A sudden volley of hail swept the yard, then a wall of rain blew across horizontally. Mom bolted back in, shouting as she slammed the door.

“It’s a twister! Get away from the windows!”

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