Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last Weekend in June

Reunion de Familia

The last weekend in June is celebrated by my family as the Graham Family Reunion, my father's name. It is one of the four times, over the course of each summer, in which family members all get together for a reunion. Each one is of a different name, for example, there is the Graham, the Calloway, the Hayes, and the Carr, and each is held in a different location in Texas. It's been awhile since I was able to make it to the Graham reunion; But, with the development of digital recording devices, cameras, video cams, computer software and so on, I thought it a good time to try and document the stories of youth from the last of a generation that was my Grandfathers; Only now, I wish I had begun fifteen years ago.
Since most of them are already gone there are only a few left to get diamonds of information from such as my Great Aunt Neoma, pictured here, who spoke to me, on the record, about where her parents (my grandfathers parents)and their grandparents came from. As it turns out, my great great grandfather was in the Indian Wars of the late 1800's when men were settling the prairie. In a battle he was wounded and lost is horse but found refuge in a hollowed tree log. Later, a young Cherokee Indian woman found him, took pity on him, and nursed him back to health. They were later married.
Moreover, she told me storie from the 1930's, 40's, and 50's about how her and her husband developed a cement foundry, and were responsible for the establishment of many water wells, cement grain elevators, many Wal-Mart foundations, and later the foundations for the wind energy windmills. Who could have known that documenting the elders was so enlightening? I recomend it. Their stories are made of determination and will, and the knowledge is powerful.

In the end, the panhandle trip to visit family bore great fruit, not to mention the rain that region has received. It has really boosted my father's garden into overdrive, and I was able to reap some of the fresh reward. Thanks, dad. In the meantime, it's back out to Redford, and the pursuit of The Great Commission.

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