Years ago, I had seen Skeeter Davis in a television interview where she told of first going into her doctors office and seeing a photo of Bill Monroe on the wall. She said 'I knew when I saw Bill Monroe on the wall that this doctor was alright!' I knew when she said those words that I would also like Skeeter Davis.
When we first met it was 1997 and Davis was going through her second battle with cancer. The first battle was against breast cancer. The second was bone cancer, which would eventually take her from us. Even while going through chemotherapy treatments, she would still recount how she was wondering how I was. Something I couldn't fathom when she was going through what had to be one of the toughest battles anyone could face. When I recounted that story to her friend and fellow Opry member, Jan Howard, she responded "And I'm sure she was…because that was Skeeter."
The estate sale for Skeeter Davis offered fans an inside look at the home and collectibles of a person that we knew and loved. As you walked in the front door, a table contained thousands of Davis' collection of angels. Many of them given to her as gifts from fans and some she had purchased on her own. By the afternoon, many of the angels had been purchased. Gone were the large lit angels she had displayed in her front yard at Christmas.
When Davis was a young child, she was unable to have the dolls she wanted. Now along her walls, were thousands of dolls from all over the world, as she made up for what she was once unable to have. Sitting on a chair in a back room was a quilt presented to her following the tapings of the Ralph Emery Homecoming Series which included many of the Opry legends sitting in a Nashville studio recounting stories and songs. The quilt was autographed by the artists appearing in the series and was carefully zipped in plastic. Various music instruments lay on a table as did jewelry pieces and photographs taken throughout her life.
Many books were in a large pile on a table just off the kitchen. One of those books, "Pieces of a Puzzled Mind" was a gift from fellow Opry member and author, Jeannie Seely. Neither she nor Jan Howard would be going to the sale because of the emotion behind it. Seely did understand the necessity of the sale "I guess it had to be done. You know that's something we all have to face. I couldn't go. There's no way."
Seely may have summed it up best when she said "I'm glad there were so many wonderful things and the thing we have to remember is she's got a whole bunch of treasures with her now and she's not worried about these anymore." But the truth to it is that out of all of the treasures in her home, Skeeter herself was the real treasure to us all.
A special thank you to the Country Music Hall of Fame for allowing access, and use of their facilities, to interview Jan Howard and Jeannie Seely prior to their appearance on Thursday morning in the Museum Store.
Article Written & Submitted by Michelle Durham