Headline News
Go Back

DAVE BURELL “A Strong Caring Man”

By Raymond V. Carter, Jr. BCHC Research Historian ©2017

For those who do not believe this story is not for you. But, some things are left to be understood only by those who do believe and this is one of those stories.
On Friday, May 26, 2017, Rebecca Norton and I paid a visit to Heather Burell. During our visit Heather told us the events that lead up to Dave's injury and eventually his passing. You can call this a spiritual story, a love story, a passionate story, a ghost story or just plan coincidence. Me, I'm going to call it a spiritual, love, passionate, ghost story. I am a believer of these signs or what you call coincidences and I will explain why.
In October of 1986 I had major neck surgery and six months later I got my divorce. Well, needless to say I had my ups and downs like everyone else. I am no one special, but during one of my depressed days, I made a comment to God and asked him for help. Then talking to my deceased Uncle Lee Roy, I said (yes I talk to myself, etc.), "I wish you weren't gone and we could go hunt arrowheads like we did when we were boys?" My Uncle Lee Roy came late in life for my grandparents and living with my grandparents we grew up like brothers, he being only six months older than me.
Telling myself I had to do something and get out of this depressed state, I decided to go outside. I had just walked out of my cabin and made those statements to God and my deceased uncle and while looking down at the ground, I noticed pieces of Indian pottery. Talk about a complete surprise. Looking closer I noticed chips of flint. Well, I took my tractor and diced the area up and found that it had been an Indian camp–site. This sort of spooked me, cause I felt like my comments had been heard and answered. It was real and strange, but was not the first time this had happened to me.
On the day Dave got injured he was working on the water pump that feed the water–fall, which is in their backyard and ran down from the top of a little hill. It its a beautiful water fall, about 40 feet long, with a small rock stairway that lead up to the top of the falls. It is made up of native rock and plants, ending in a small pool at patio level. Just like a little creek, making a relaxing sound, you know, creating the right ambiance (for you mushy romantic type out there; a little wine and a few candles).
The pump had stopped working and Dave went out to work on it. At about 2 pm Heather had noticed him bent over the pump working on it. At 3 pm she noticed that he was lying over the pump and not seeing him move went outside and asked him, "are you alright?" Dave could speak, but could not move. Dave replied, "no, call 911."
After a while and all that could be done at the hospital, Dave was brought home. It was really nothing that could be done, as Dave was paralyzed from the chest down and it seemed that Dave would not let go for Heather's sake. Heather was told by Hospice that, "he will not let go until you tell him that you will be okay and that he can rest." So, Heather went into his room and put her hand on Dave's left upper chest and placed her hand behind the back of his head (the only place he had feeling) and told Dave she was alright and that it was okay for him to let go. Fifteen minutes later Dave had passed.
Evidently, Dave was working on the electric wiring and was coming down the rock steps when he lost his footing or tripped. He was found by Heather lying over the pool and pump. His right hand had knocked over one of the garden gnomes. There are two around the water–fall.
After Dave's funeral and some time had passed, one of the grandsons came to visit Heather and noticed that one of the gnomes had been knocked over, so he set it back up. The next weekend he came out again and noticed that it had fallen over again, so he puts it upright again. The following weekend he came out again and again the gnome was down. Well, this time he stacked rocks around the base of the gnome to help hold it up and make it more secure.
Needless to say when he came out to visit grandma again, the gnome was lying down on its side. This time, Heather told her grandson, "to leave it alone and not to bother it again." So, as the picture shows, it is lying down where Dave had knocked it over.
There is one thing that is for sure. Dave affected us all and left his mark on Bandera. Dave your body may be gone, but your spirit lives on and you are not forgotten.