11/14/05 — 71 years of wedded bliss

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71 years of wedded bliss

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on November 14, 2005 1:49 PM

George and Alice Davis never dated, and he never even asked her to marry him, yet they have spent the past 71 years happily as husband and wife.

The two met while Alice and her brother were hauling wood on their land in what was Mar Mac. George lived across the street. He began helping her family chop cotton and farm tobacco.

Alice and George Davis

Alice and George Davis have been married 71 years.

George, 91, said he knew he loved Alice, 87, the first day he saw her. But the two never dated, they went on outings to the lake with her family.

"One day I told her I was going back to Virginia (where he had lived with his father)," George said. "She said she was going with me. I told her 'you know what that means, don't you?'"

"I said it meant that we're getting married," said Alice. "He couldn't stay away from me, so I decided to marry him."

"We got into that old Model T Ford of my brother's one night about 11 and went to my sister's in Bordens, Va.," George said.

They went to get a marriage license but were refused because they were both under 21. The justice of the peace suggested they go to South Boston, about 35 miles away and try to get a license there.

"The justice of the peace in South Boston asked me how old we were, and I said we were both 21," George said. They got the marriage license, went around the corner and were married at a Catholic church. That was Oct. 12, 1934.

A couple of weeks later, they moved back to Wayne County.

The Davises built their first house themselves and lived there 37 years before moving into their present home in Camden Park.

George worked for the government hauling cows to be slaughtered and canned for meat for the poor. He also worked for the city of Goldsboro's sanitation department, retiring in 1980 after 44 years of service.

Alice was a housewife and did odd jobs through the years to supplement their income.

She thought she had lost him back in January when a tractor trailer truck hit them. "It slit his head open in the back and cut a big chunk out of one of his arms," she said. "It cut off the whole back end of our car."

George had already had two heart attacks and his lungs were damaged before the accident.

"They weren't going to let him come home from the hospital," Alice said. "They were going to keep him for rehabilitation. I said no. I said I'm going to carry him home."

She and her daughters and son rehabilitated him.

Alice said the secret to a happy marriage is "give and take -- you give a lot of bull and you take a lot of bull. I don't push him too far and I don't let him push me too far. If he says something I don't like, I just crawl over there away from him and I don't talk to him for two or three hours, sometimes a half a day."

That keeps them from arguing, she said.

"You can't fight, but you don't have to agree. Me and him agree on very little. But we live together, and we don't fight about it."

She said George is always holding her hand and kissing her.

Alice said everything they have done, they have done it together, always together.

The Davises have five children, Eunice Rhodes of South Carolina, Bert Leroy Davis an Susie Woodward of Goldsboro, Carolyn Jean Walter of Abilene, Texas, and the late Alice Fay Davis, who died in 1952 at the age of 10.

They have 10 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, with one on the way.