We were met with some alarming news, in that Cousin Eleanor, who had planned to lead our workshop on our genealogy, had taken a spill on Wednesday and broken her shoulder. She and her near Cousin, Nancy, from Texas, had arranged for a tour of the old Robert Veazey home in Yell County, home of their Great Uncle. Unfortunately Eleanor fell on her way to the house, but Nancy and Ralph took lots of pictures so that she could feel almost as if she had been there.
Cousin Ann and I were going to lead the workshop, but when we arrived at the appointed time on Friday morning, we were met with several "new cousins" from the Sheridan, Arkansas, family. We had so much fun looking at their pictures and telling "can you top this" stories, that I am not sure whether we actually had a workshop or not. We are all excited about getting lots of new information on this branch of the family and adding that to my database.
When cousins, new and old, arrived for registration on Friday afternoon, it was like "old home week." Each one greeting cousins from years past and welcoming new cousins to their first reunion. We had over 50 new cousins this year, who were attending their very first Veazey Reunion. Many had just learned about this event and wished they had been to all of the others. We wish so, too!
Our banquet in the Ballroom on the top floor of the Clarion was delightful. The view of Lake Hamilton is breathtaking from this vantage point. We took turns entertaining each other with music and tall tales. Some cousins requested that I trace the "rolling pattern of migration" of the Veazey Clan. This was a feature of our booklet for this year, focusing on the various Arkansas groups of the Veazey family.
An especially welcome "guest" on Friday evening was Delia Ann Easterly Veazey (1885-1905), who told of the ordeal experienced by her young family in 1905, when they returned from a year of living in the Oklahoma Territory, as they expected the birth of their second child. As they reached Hot Springs, the baby was born and Delia died. Her husband, Woodford Hilton Veazey, walked all the way to Sheridan carrying little two year old, Guy Moses Veazey. Guy's grandson's wife, Shauna, depicted Delia in this presentation. The fact that Shauna is expecting the newest Veazey heir made this skit even more poignant. Ashton Grace Veazey arrived September 2, 1999.
Our unusual mode of transportation for the tour of Hot Springs on Saturday was a World War II era "Duck!" Many of our brave cousins rode the Ducks on Lake Hamilton and thence into downtown Hot Springs. Our more timid cousins went directly to downtown forgoing a foray into the water. We touring one of the Historic Bath Houses of Hot Springs that is operated by the National Park Service. Arkansas Cousins were our guides on this tour. We then had the opportunity to cruise the main street of Hot Springs, shopping, getting a bite of lunch and arriving at the "Bath House Show" in time for the afternoon performance especially for our family. We discovered that we had a very talented in-law among our own ranks!
Wayne tried his own floor show at the restaurant where we had lunch. He missed about three steps on his way out and went down with a bang. Cousin Tommy Hill tried to catch him and wound up entangled with him. The proprietor thought there was a fight going on and was ready to break it up, before he realized that Wayne and Tommy were really NOT fighting. Nothing broken, but aches and pains will remain for awhile!
The "Ducks" returned us to the Clarion in time for a swim before our Saturday night banquet. Again we were entertained each other with music and a special guest, Eustace DeVesci, replete with medieval armor, portrayed by Cousin Tommy Hill. We heard about his confrontations with King John and the signing of the Magna Carter, and his residence, Alnwick Castle. We also handed our awards to our oldest, youngest and cousin who traveled the furthest. Nolan Veazey, age 89, was our most elderly cousin present, while Johnna Kocourek was our youngest. Darrell and Alice Siria from Pacific Grove, California, had traveled the furthest.
Darrell's family had a mini Siria reunion within a reunion. He had four nieces and nephews, who were attending their first reunion from at least three different states! We are glad they could join us and hope they will be with us again next year.
We also honored Jo Veazey as our most talented Veazey dancer, due to her performance at the "Bath House Show." Anne V. Bickel has the best "southern drawl." Her brother Joe, had the baldest head. To name a few of the "prizes" that were awarded on Saturday night, some serious and some fun.
In addition to our official "events" on the agenda, we enjoyed visiting in the Hospitality suite each morning over a continental breakfast. I think we could stay a week and never get caught up. Let's hope that will bring them back next year! See you in Tunica, Mississippi in June 16-18, 2000!
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