In 1954 the average price for a new car was $1,700.00. The average cost of a new home was $10,250.00. The President was Dwight D. Eisenhower and the most popular TV show was ‘Father Knows Best’
As great as these things were, nothing could surpass the miracle that happened on October 17, 1954. It was a cold somewhat cloudy Sunday morning when George Wesley Van Cleave and Bonnie Katherine Cheatham-Van Cleave welcomed into this world their brand new baby son James Harvey Van Cleave. Harvey James, the name he was affectionally know by, weighed in at 7pds 5oz. He was the fourth child and 2nd son born into this family. Proceeding him in birth were two sisters Myra Delynn (Jeannie), Berdina Rachell (Dina), and one brother, Irish Melvin (Chuckie).
Harvey James attended IPS elementary schools 72 and 64, then on to Harry E. Wood High School. He was sometime bad but popular at every school, not because he was an athlete but because he was a natural comedian and made people laugh. He had a way of making people feel good about themselves, especially the ladies. Even at the age of 66 he was still a very handsome man. When he would dress, he’d be ‘Cleaner than the board of Health’ Harvey James still called himself the ‘MAC DADDY’
Besides the special bond he had with his mother and father, Harvey James had a special bond with all of his Aunts, Uncles and cousins he grew up with. Religiously he would call or visit them just to say Hi and ‘I Love You’ but it did not end there. Even if he had to catch a bus to reach someone’s home, he would ensure that if any chore needed to be completed, he would complete it while there.
Harvey James was joined in Holy matrimony to Linda Boyd and from this union was born one son, Harvey James.
In his latter years Harvey James realized what had been true all his life, and that was that God had been with him all his life, protecting him and keeping him in spite of life's ups and downs and choices made. As he would say, ‘God is giving me another chance to get my life right’. In his daily comings and goings, no matter to whom he was speaking, he would give God the praise for allowing him to see another day and testifying about how God brought him out of a bad time in his life with complete victory.
James Harvey Van Cleave will be forever cherished in the lives of his only son: Harvey James Boyd, Grandson: Elijah Boyd, Sister: Berdina Van Cleave-Gamble, a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, family and friends. Father, Mother, and 2 siblings preceded him in death). Berdina
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