Dion and Linda Bradford
Bruce Dion Bradford is the tenth or eleventh generation of his lineage to live in the Southeastern United States. From the mid-1600’s until about 1850, Bruce’s ancestors migrated slowly from Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee before settling on Lookout Mountain. After his marriage in 1887, Bruce’s great-grandfather Lett Edward Bradford moved from the New Salem area into Johnson’s Crook and in 1904 built his home which still stands near a bend in Cave Springs Road. Grandfather Clarence Dewey Bradford was born in that house as were five of his thirteen siblings. Lott and the five generations which preceded him had fathered at least 69 children, 61 percent of whom were male. Most of Dade County’s Bradfords and many of the Moore and Gray families descended from Lett’s grandfather.
While each of Lott’s fourteen children were born in Dade County, four of the older siblings moved their families to the Birmingham area during the 1920’s and early ’30’s, so after his parents passed away, Dewey eventually joined them. Before returning to Rising Fawn in 1946, his two sons, Dewey Wayne and Robert Dion were born in 1940 and 1942. The two sons were educated at Rising Fawn Elementary and graduated together from Dade County High in 1958. Dion left for Jacksonville State and then Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated cum laude in Mechanical Engineering.
Upon graduation, Robert Dion Bradford was commissioned and after a few weeks at E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co in Chattanooga, Lieutenant Bradford trained at Ft. Belvoir, then served with the 814th Engineer Company (Float Bridge) in Hanau, Germany for twenty months. In 1965, he returned to DuPont and soon married Linda Sue Hawkins After Bruce was born, the family lived in Ridgeway, Virginia, returning to Dade in 1968. Linda began her college work at NE Alabama. In 1982, she completed Erlanger School of Nursing’s three-year program, was licensed as a Registered Nurse, and studied for a BS at UT Chattanooga. Linda worked in three critical care areas at Erlanger before joining the Walker County Health Department where she became Principal Nurse with responsibility for all county health department activities. Linda was successful in taking the department to new heights and was warmly recognized by her district management and county employees. On February 1, 1996, Linda transferred to the Dade County Health Department. Meanwhile, Dion had left DuPont for Farmers Chemical Association, Inc. where he was engineer for the maintenance department. In 1972, he joined Combustion Engineering where he worked as a Principal Engineer in Nuclear Systems.
Bruce is a 1984 graduate of Northwest Georgia High where he was a member of a state champion Boys Quartet. He continued his education at the University of Georgia, a Masters degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics. Bruce was an active member of the Redcoat Band and a participant in the Georgia Governor’s Honor Program. He married Debbie Lucek of Athens, Tennessee in January of 1994. Brace is presently Minister of Music at Woodlawn Baptist Church and is a branch manager in the Farm Credit System.
Dion considers the 1950’s and Rising Fawn as the best time and place to have been a young boy. The mountains for climbing, camping and hunting; swimming holes like the Red Bridge, the Black Bridge (or the Trussel), Cureton’s Mill and the Tourist Camp; lieing exhibitions at the barber shop and at grave diggings; pinochle at Dean’s garage; Sunday baseball in the late ’40’s and early ’50’s; camaraderie among school and community friends; Vacation Bible Schools with cookies; good church services and singings; fistfights, scuffling, baseball, softball, football and marbles during recess and lots of spankings at school; displaying a guy’s clothing on the grammar school flagpole because he bragged about his Christmas gift – two new cap pistols with belt and scabbards; generic shyness which caused any boy who could relate to the girls to be called a sissy.
To be accepted in Rising Fawn in those days, one had to have a nickname like Babe, Sonny, Smokey, Contractor, Cad, Lefty, California, Rooster, Bode, Jug, Skeeter or Slue. Some still laugh about the story of the expression of disbelief on his fiancee’s face when John telephoned Cat Doctor in the 1980’s to borrow Doc’s pickup for Coon because Possum’s truck was tied up. John is a brother to Goat and Wild Man.