When Janice Davis and her siblings, Ron Davis and Carole Morrow, met in Perry to prepare their father’s home for resale, they expected to find a lot of family photos and other memorabilia. What they found was a Styrofoam canoe in the rafters of their father’s garage.
Their father, Gail Davis, long-time Perry resident, passed away in October 2012. Their stepmother, Margaret Davis, now lives in the Perry Health Care Center. Janice and Ron traveled from Minneapolis, Minn., in mid-September and joined their sister Carole who lives in Des Moines to begin the process of sorting through their parents’ belongings.
Ron didn’t know much about the canoe except that their dad had gotten it from a friend who liked to fish.
“Dad never turned down anything,” Ron says. “He never used the boat, he just took the boat to have. The grandkids looked at it, but that’s all they did. They didn’t want to be in it at all. Neither did his own kids.”
The siblings organized a two-day estate sale, and, as luck would have it, an unidentified garage saler bought the canoe and paddles and made arrangements to return later to retrieve them.
Janice says the clean up of the house also uncovered several collectible glass bottles and beautician supplies from her stepmother’s hairdressing business. In the basement, they discovered rows of canned goods and two freezers that needed to be cleaned out.
“(My parents) were a product of the Depression,” Janice says. “You stockpile. You save stuff.”
Janice says during her father’s lifetime he worked for the Davidson Chemical Plant and later for Wiese Industries. When asked if during the sort-out she learned anything new about her dad, Janice shakes her head.
“He was an open book,” Janice says.
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