|Our second ENGLISH family memorial
and reunion was a great success and was enjoyed immensely.
The weather could not have been better and there were a fairly
good number of folks gathered at the family cemetery by 11 o'clock
for the memorial. James Gaston presided, Hill Bentley and Grady
English brought greetings to everyone, and Richard Collins had
the invocation. The service went well and the location for the
memorial was quite inspiring.
This year we honored those
kin who had passed away since our first reunion. James Gaston
read four obituaries and his wife Nancy told him that he almost
got a little long-winded reading them all, but it seems everyone
enjoyed hearing them. Obituaries read included those for Harry
Richburg, Catherine English Theus, William "Bill"
English, Jr., and Jack Morris. In addition, Linda Becham read
the obituary for her Mother, retired Macon County Probate
Judge Mrs. Myrna English Cheek. Also, Mrs. June Byrd included
the news of the passing of cousin Dud English of Coffee County,
Alabama. Another of our Coffee County cousins that passed
away this year is Ned Young. We will keep these folks and
their loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.
The memorial at the family cemetery provided an opportunity for people to talk about the ancestors
and the lives they led. It was a time to reflect on the world
and the society in which our ancestors lived and we honor
them. Daniel English led the group in singing 'Amazing Grace'
and 'God Bless America', and thoughtfully brought along copies
of the lyrics for those who needed them and we're fairly sure
everyone was pleased to have the chance to lend their voices
to this impromptu choir.
When the memorial adjourned everyone was invited to regroup at the Ellaville location
for the family reunion and BBQ. Wilbur Justice and his family
placed Gardenia blooms and Magnolia blooms on the tables and
made it all very special. Thomas Harrell outdid himself with
the feast he provided this year. The meal was very tasty with
"a sizable amount of BBQ Chicken with the pork and all
the trimmings." James notes, and he added that the Ice
Tea was nice & sweet and just the way he likes it. Sam
Joe says it was the best barbecue he's eaten in a long time!
And Wilbur & Vickie "... were thrilled to fellowship
with kindred during the meal"
Kenneth English came up from Florida and brought one of the brothers' Bibles to share with
entries that go back to 1832. He couldn't let anyone handle
it because of it being so fragile and he's considering having
this Bible preserved or restored. Richard Collins had a computer
and screen set up to show pictures and what all was in the
Thomas English Bible that his mother has. Huey Theus gave
away autographed prints of various pictures that he has drawn
and these were real nice. It seemed everyone enjoyed visiting.
Jack Lester's son (Bill
lives in Arizona) was able to come with Jack and his daughter
Kathy from Alabama this year. John Fradella and his mother,
Elizabeth, made the trip from South Carolina and we were very
happy to see them. Elizabeth's brother had hoped to come up
from Florida but at the last minute had a change of plans
although we know he was with us in spirit. Mrs. June Byrd
and her son Tim mentioned that they were happy to learn about
the reunion, and to get to attend. Millard English let us
know that his three brothers were unable to attend but he
was pleased to meet a new "cousin"...Robby Pickney.
They knew each other years ago but had lost track and here
he finds that Robby had married into the English family! We
had two families that had 4 generations present, and a couple
of the little children must be great great great great great
grand children of our Sampson & Fanny!
We had a good meeting in Ellaville,
and Dean Fowler explained about a Family Association. James
wrote down a list of volunteers, and Dean said he would be
glad to organize the effort if the group wants it.
John Fradella and Judy Bentley both
took pictures that can be sent over the Internet, and
we hope to have these to share very soon. John recently had
a computer crash and is having a difficult time reinstalling
the software needed to view the pictures from his digital
camera. Right about now we expect that he's ready to throw
the computer out of the window. (Let's send him some positive
energy as he struggles with this contraption!)
James estimates that we had
somewhere between 55 and 60 who attended the BBQ, not easy
to estimate since he doesn't know if everyone signed the register
book or not. Others have estimated more than 70 people were
present. Sam Joe English summed it up best "
really had a warm and wonderful time."