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Wakeup with Patsy's News

Adventures, Reunions, Poems

I plan to change topics whenever the mood stricks me or I have time to sit and put my thoughts on paper. I have two reunions a year that I coordinate, an annual Easter egg hunt for the grandchildren and friends, a Christmas Ladies Luncheon, the Vinson Christmas party, Finley Christmas and my Christmas with the children. We also love to go camping and fishing with the family.



Calling all Smiths & Walravens

78 years & going strong in 2017.

Smith/Walraven Family Reunion willl be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. til ???

at the home of Patsy Vinson in the Prairieville Community in Van Zandt County, Texas.

Notices by email and regular mail will be sent out in August.

Lunch will be at 12:00

Auction - 1:30 p.m.


Playground and swimming pool for whoever wants to use them.

There will be horseshoes, basketball, and games like Sequence, Dominoes,

corn toss or cards.


Each family brings a vegetable, dessert and auction item.

You can email me at: for more information.

Note: If you would like to attend, email me:

See everyone in September, 2017!

Smith Walraven ReunionFacts


The best estimate of the original reunion of both families was in September, 1939 and held at the Laird Hill, Texas residence of Charley and Della. Della's brothers, William Alfred "W.A." and Robert "Edgar" Walraven were usually present with their families for this reunion. Della's sister Mary "Etta" Walraven Mitchell's family attended, too. After the death of Charley in 1954, the children of Della began holding the reunions at their homes or in community centers. The locations were Laird Hill, Overton, Liberty City, Kilgore and other places.

In 1999, we had the reunion in Liberty City with Richard and Janie Smith acting as host. There were only about 20 people present on that Sunday. We discussed changing the day to Saturday for the families that had to travel long distances and moving the location. It was decided and voted on to have the 2000 reunion halfway between Kilgore and Ft.Worth which would be Canton, Texas area. I volunteered to let them have the reunion at our home in the Prairieville community as I had plenty of space and large trees in a country setting.

We have had the reunion at Prairiville since 2000 which makes this the 17th year. In the past 17 years, we have had at least 52 family and friends present. We also began having an auction to raise money for the supplies and some of the food. Everyone loves the excitement of the auction (even the children). We eat at 12:30, then at 1:30 we have the auction with door prizes for adults and children.

September, 2001 - 47 present

September, 2002 - 52 present

September, 2003 - 61 present

September, 2004 - 50 present

September, 2005 - 55 present

September, 2006 - 50 present

The Smith-Walraven family reunion was held on Saturday, September 8, 2007 at Prairieville Community, Mabank, Texas. This reunion is a celebration of the birthdays of Charley Stewart (Sept. 24) and Ida Idella "Della" Walraven Smith (Sept. 29) who were my great grandparents.

Families present in 2007 were: (50 present) Hosts-Vinsons-Patsy, Bob, Suzie, Eddie,Joe, Nathan, Jason, Matthew, Heather & Ruth Finley from Prairieville; James Cagle from Duncanville; Geneva Lois Smith from DeSoto; Edith Leffingwell & Henry Petty from Lake Livingston; Charlotte, Tanya & Sheila Keeland from Ferris; Mary Jewell Smith (90 yrs) with daughter Glenda Aaron and graanddaughter, Felicia Zuniga from Kilgore & daughter, Jan Baird from Gladewater; Lois Yocum from Gilmer; Wynell Choate, sister Kathy Adkinson & Kathy's grandson, Jake Register from Ashdown, Arkansas; Dessie Goretska and sister, Helen Colburn from Ft. Worth along with Helen's daughter, Terry Faglie & 2 Faglie grandchildren from Canton; Iva Nell, mother of Lou & Joan Turano from McKinney along with another son, Jim and wife Patty Turano from Frisco; Nikki Harris and father, Bill Finley from Eustace; Cathy Thompson from Payne Springs; Bud and Mellye Darden from White Oak; Joann Conway, Joyce Simms, Jerry Lockaby and wife, Melissa Yang with sons, Josh & Zack, Teresa and Billy Simmons all from Ft. Worth and Oneta Johnson from Saginaw.

The September, 2008 reunion was small due to a hurricane coming into the coast near Galveston. We only had 20 people present, but enjoyed visiting with family members. Present were the Vinsons, Finleys, Keelands and 2 Smith members.

September, 2009 brought a lot of the family together again even with the light rain that was falling off and on during the day. The grandkids and others enjoyed swimming in the pool. Also, the auction raised enough to provide for supplies and meats for next year. The auction is always a lot of fun especially with Lois Darden Yocum wanting to know who is bidding against her. We had 42 present.

September, 2010 - Light rain or a mist was present, but we still had a great time. There were 42 family and friends present. The children still went swimming and used the playground.

September, 2011 - Present 58 with beautiful weather in the 90s and a light breeze. Of course, my house has a lot of strong wind all year around. Sometimes the umbrellas around the pool turn inside out when the wind is about 20 mph. In the past two years we have raised enough money to furnish all the meats, supplies, drinks, mailings & door prizes.

September 8, 2012 - 31 Present

September 14, 2013 - 43 Present

September 13, 2014 - 51 Present (75 years and counting)

September 12, 2015 - 48Present -

September 10, 2016 - 32 Present

September 9, 2017 -


Finley Reunion

2015 - We had to discontinue the reunions with the passing of the older generations and the young not being interested in coming to visit with other relatives.

2011 -- 14th Annual Finley Reunion was held at Lake Hugo, Hugo, Oklahoma. The Vinsons rented two spots and family members came to visit during the 4th of July week-end. This was the last reunion we had on the Finley side due to all the older generation being gone except for my Mom, Ruth Conway Finley. She is 89 and will turn 90 in June 2016.


The Finley Reunion was held on June 12 & 13, 2009 at Forest Park West on Lake Pat Mayse in "C" section. We rented two spaces that were very large.

On Friday night, we had hamburgers and hot dogs with trimmings. Since our campsites were on the water there was swimming, tubing, fishing and just general fun.

On Saturday, we had lunch at 12:00 with Briskets, ham and sausage. Every one brought a veggie and dessert. The only complaint was that it was just two hot to eat. We had the raffle and raised money for next years reunion. Everyone agreed that we should have the reunion again in June. We are going to shoot for the 2nd week-end which will be June 11 & 12.

However, we will be scheduling our Saturday meal for 6:30 p.m. instead of noon. That way it will be cooler for the older members of the family and small children.

We had 45 adults and children present this year which was a very good turn out due to the change. Next year will be our 14th year to hold our present reunion.

Present were: Patsy, Suzie, Eddie, Shannon, Joe, Shyanne, Heather, Jason, and Matthew Vinson along with Grandma Ruth Finley (only surviving spouce/sister-in-law/aunt of the children of Martha J. and George W. "Dick" Finley, also present were: Lynda & Wayne Finley & mother-in-law (Mrs. Gray), Linda Britt Jett, Johnnie Faye and Lloyd Horton, Kathy and Danny Perry, Tonya Horton with children, Michaela and Ashley Copeland & 2 step-children; Amy Finley, Teresa Finley, Shane Horton, David Horton, wife and child; Donna & Henry Fowler, Justin Fowler with wife and baby girl; Johnnie Lee McLemore; two friends of Linda Jett; friends-Brandi, Scott, Haley & Casey Hudson; and four others.

2008 --13th Annual Reunion was cancelled to a later date due to death of Robert "Bob" Vinson.

2007 --12th Annual -Descendants of Norris and Margaret A. Peggy Hall Finley Reunion will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2007 at Lake Pat Mayse, Powderly, Texas. Children of Norris and Peggy Finley were: Melinda A. Finley Jernigan Graybill(oldest) from Fannin and Grayson Counties; William Thomas Finley (the oldest son-2nd child)from Fannin County, Texas; George Washington Finley, Sr. (2nd son - 3rd child)from Fannin County, Texas, Manda E. and Mary E. (last two children)lived in Fannin until 1862 when father died-what happened to them is unknown at this time. There was one story about their guardian taking them back to family in Arkansas where there was a fire and both girls died in the fire.

Melinda Jernigan Graybill is buried at Porter's Chapel Cemetery near Whitewright in Fannin County, Texas. She only had one son by James Jernigan. Some of her descendants lived in Grayson, Fannin and Lubbock counties in Texas.

William Thomas and Margaret Bellew Finley are buried at Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery at Ravenna, Fannin County, Texas. Their 13 children lived in Texas and Oklahoma.

George Washington "Cowboy" and Virginia E. "Jenny" Spence Finley were residents of Ravenna, Fannin County, Texas most of their lives. George was a farmer and sometimes they went to West Texas to pick cotton to earn more money. They were the parents of 9 children, two of whom were twins and died in infancy.

Several of the lines from John (1724-1803)and Anne Norris(1738-1785) have worked with me on these lines and through process of elimination, we believe that William "Bill" (1788-1790) and Elizabeth Law (1790) were the parents of Norris (1821-1862)Finley. On the 1850 Izard Co. Arkansas census, Norris is living next door to several of the John and Anne Finley descendants on of whom was Uziah "Uz" who was the father of William "Bill" Finley. Descendants of John and Anne have join us for this reunion and we invite any Finleys to come join us for fun and fellowship.

The Finleys have had reunions off and on since the 1950s, but we have now had 12 yearly reunions since 1995. The Pavillion is located on top a rise near the lake. You can see the dam and a large area of the lake from there. Email me for more details. All Finley lines are welcome to join us. We are descended from John and Annie "Linney" Norris Finley from Greene Co. Georgia.

We have everyone bring an item to raffle to raise money for the next year. This year we have lost two of the older generation, Uncle Frank Finley and Aunt Glennie Maree Hyatt Finley.

Family members present were: David Horton & friend, Adam Jones from Commerce, Texas; John Horton, Dezmon, Austin, Jessica, Tim & Jero from Paris; Linda Jett, Lynda & Wayne Finley & Ima Gray, Paris; John Finley, Ft. Worth; Terry and Diane, Lancaster; Tonya & Greg Pilkington with children, Ashley & Michaela Copeland, Paris; Kathy and Danny Perry, Paris; Shane Horton, Aubrey, Texas; Lloyd and Johnnie Horton & Taylor(grandson),Powderly, Texas; Janet Horton Dunigan and Johnnie Lee McLemore, Paris; Terri & Dakota Hudson & Nick Weist, Spencerville, OK; Sandy, Shanda, &Joseph Person, Grant, OK; Mary Finley, Grant, OK; and Patsy & Robert Vinson, Mabank, Texas; Suzie Vinson & Dorothy Max, Tool, Texas; and Jason, Heather & Matthew Vinson, Mabank.

2015 - This is to advise that we lost one of our older generation members....

Alice Maurine Barber Jensen in August, 2015. She lived to be 98 years old. Also, we lost my first cousin, Johnnie Faye Finley Horton in June 2015. She helped with a lot of the Finley research.


If anyone else would like to post their reunion on this page,

please email me.

Send me your reunion details and I will be glad to post them on this page.

Happenings of the Vinson Clan

Robert "Bob" and Patsy Finley Vinson Family 2016

June 2016 -- Mamie Ruth Finley's 90th birthday

The Vinson Family is growing with 2 new babies in 2014. We still gather at Thanksgiving and Christmas at various locations.

2015 - We spent Thanksgiving in Garland and Christmas in the country at Prairieville. We added about 4 more great-great nieces and one more is on the way.

I now have about 12 great-great nieces and nephews and counting on more, but I don't have any great grandchildren yet. It will probably be a few years before that happens.


These are my "tree grandchildren". Every few months I take a picture of them in this tree that stands next to the front porch. The three older ones had to learn to grab a lower limb and walk up the tree by themselves. This is their special tree. So in a few years 'lil Julie" will have to learn to walk the tree. This tree was planted in 1989 when Nathan was 3.

1st Pic: Top: Joe, Nathan; bottom: Shyanne and Matthew. {2005}

2nd Pic: 2014 - Boy has that tree grown and the kids,too

LtoR: Matt, Shyanne, Joe, Julie ...Bottom: Nate and Nanny



This next shot is from Thanksgiving 2011 in front of my sister-in-laws tree in Garland.

The Bob & Patsy Vinson Clan

In 2016, Nathan has a finance - Monica with son Andy Reid, Joe graduated from the Fire Academy in Kilgore, Shyanne is graduating from MISD and attending college in the fall, Matthew is now a 5th grader and is on the Archery Team who are headed to Kentucky for Nationals in May, and my youngest granddaughter, Julianne is in kindergarten. Boy the years pass fast.





This note about how to preserve a husband was given to me by my cousin, Kathy Horton Perry of Paris, Texas.

How to Preserve a Husband

Be careful in your selection. Do not choose too young, and only such as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere. Once decided upon and selected, give your entire thought of domestice use. Some wives keep them in a pickle; others constantly get them in hot water. This makes them sour; hard and bitter. Even poor varieties may be made sweet, tender, and good by covering them with patience, well sweetened with love and seasoned with kisses. Wrap in charity; keep warm with fire of devotion and serve with peaches and cream. This way a husband will keep for years.

Authur Unknown




There is no remedy for love, but to love more.


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This page was last updated on 21 June 2017.



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