- Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 18:47
- Published on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 18:47
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Home at last.
Miss Ada Keys moves into her new home from which she was displaced by fire five months ago.
Some people know her as Ada Keys, some know her as Ada Posey but everyone in town knows her as the woman who rides her lawn mower all over town.
On Friday January 23rd 2009 as students were just getting into school at approximately 7:40 a.m., Rescue Station One (Colonial Beach) and Engine Company One (Colonial Beach) were dispatched to Miss Key’s house at the end of Lincoln Ave. for a house fire.
On that fateful day Ada Keys’ life was changed dramatically when her house caught on fire. She not only lost her home but many worldly possessions that she had accumulated throughout her lifetime, a lifetime which she continues to maintain has only been 96 years. When this reporter revealed that someone reported seeing her birthday listed on her Medicaid card as June 16th 1906 making her 103 next month she said, “My Lord! I’m not that old!”
“God gave me the house and the Devil took it away,” said Miss Ada in her room at Day’s Inn shortly after the fire. Miss Ada remained steadfast and loyal to God saying, “If you make one step God will make two for you.”
Last week God made those two steps complete after bringing many good folks together to help rebuild her new house. Last week God provided a sunny day for Miss Ada to cut the ribbon and celebrate with friends in her new home.
Volunteer firefighter Chris Saulnier (aka Pork Chop) and his wife Amanda are just two of the many people who have helped Miss Keys. The Saulniers’ immediately started helping Miss Keys after the fire by checking on her almost daily, taking her to the doctors when needed and shopping, helping with demolition, making sure her riding mower was kept safe and getting the ball rolling to enlist the help of many people and local businesses to help her regain her independence.
After working with Zedda Viets at Miss Keys’ bank and looking into her insurance, Chris Saulnier discovered that her insurance fell short of what was needed to replace her house. Not wanting to give up he got in touch with Danna and Cathy Reed who own D & C Holdings, a Company that specializes in Cardinal Modular Homes.
Chris and Amanda credit the Reeds for getting her house built. But the Reeds credit Chris with keeping them focused and not losing hope.
Once the Reeds knew how much money would be available from insurance, they contacted a network of local contractors and started negotiations to get reduced rates to help get the new house under way. Several companies who either knew of Miss Ada or heard her story all offered work at or below cost.
C. F. Smith performed the demolition of the old home, Richard Rose and Sons dug the footers, Sonny Camp hooked up the water connection, P.B. Lovell handled the heating and Air. Trivetts Family Furniture provided furnishings for the home and of course the Reeds’ company, T & C Holdings provided the Cardinal modular home.
Cathy Reed would like to extend a warm thank you to all the citizens in the Community who have helped and continue to help Miss Ada. "Many people have helped Miss Ada in small ways but never get the credit.” said Cathy
Miss Keys has a strong will.
Westmoreland County Social Worker Toni Carroll has been very helpful making sure that Miss Keys' interests have been protected since Miss Keys’ adoptive daughter Ms. Grey lives out of state and could not convince her to move in with her. Likewise Ms. Carroll could not convince Miss Keys to leave the Beach to move into a temporary apartment in Montross while her house was being built.
Miss Ada regained her independence quickly after the fire, within weeks she could be seen walking all over town to handle her finances and run errands. It wasn’t long after the weather turned warm that she was back on her mower riding to Food Lion and the bank.
Cathy Reed reported that after Miss Ada was in her new home last Friday, Cathy went to the supermarket to buy some food to stock her refrigerator. When Cathy returned Miss Ada had rearranged her living room furniture. When Cathy tried to help, Miss Ada exclaimed, “Don’t hurt yourself!” Cathy describes Miss Ada as “small but mighty”.
Now that Miss Ada is back on her property and in her new home, she is still in need of the little necessities that we take for granted; from toiletries to dishes, from gardening tools to stationary and everything in between. Any one wishing to donate can make a check payable to “Ada Keys-Posey and drop it by BB&T bank in Colonial Beach.