The Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn, whose lobby was the former train station made famous by the song the same name, was our reunion headquarters. The Veazey Hospitality Suite was where the cousins could register, visit with family members, and pickup their reunion materials. Cousin "Cookie Monster" Gene had made up goody bags of cookies and tourist information for his family members. Newfound Cousin Gerald Veazey, who lives in Chattanooga, was on hand most of the time to welcome his new family to his hometown. Gerald was joined by his wife, Laurel, both his sons, two grandchildren, and sister and brother-in-law from Florida.
In addition to our traditional scrap books of prior reunions, also on display were two maps, one was the Markham map of old Orange County, NC, which has been marked with all early deeds and land grants, including one member of the Veazey family. Allied families who located in Orange County are also shown on this map. Most of the early Veazey family members located across Flat River in Granville County, and Eddie Wheeler of Florida, was kind enough to plot all of the early Veazey land on the southwestern part of Granville for us. Eddie's wife, Frances, is the editor of Granville Queries.
Early arrivals, referred to as the "hard core," met on Friday morning at the library in downtown Chattanooga for a discussion of family genealogy. This was the second year for this type of workshop. We hope it can be a continuing tradition.
On Friday night the Veazeys filled up the main deck of the Southern Belle River Boat for a dinner cruise on the beautiful Tennessee River. This was a great time for fellowship between the cousins. On Saturday, the cousins could visit Tennessee's famous Acquarium and I-Max Theater or another area tourist attraction of their choice. Some cousins sat around the Hospitality Suite and visited during this time.
The weekend festivities culminated on Saturday night with a banquet and musical program in the ballroom of the Centiennal Center, adjacent to the hotel. Tim Veazey, our very talented cousin of White Bluff, Tennessee, favored his cousins with several original compositions and several old favorites. During Tim's career, he has performed with Sonny Turner, Billy Joe Royal, Doug Stone, and Crystal Gayle. Jimmy Rhodes, a longtime family friend of Gene and Jon Terry, played both his piano and organ during the dinner hour. Jimmy and his wife, Pam Rhodes, entertained the Veazey cousins with song and by playing multiple instruments. Veazey cousins sharing their talents included Cindy Veazey Cochran, Jack Veazey, Mindy Veazey Peel, and Bobbi Veazey. My two youngest granddaughters, Elisabeth and Mary Kate Powell sang a blessing for the banquet. A string quartet closed the evenings festivities with a rendition of the "Tennessee Waltz."
Several special cousins were recognized with Veazey Coat of Arms Plaques at the Banquet: Christine Pena, of Charlotte, NC, who at 10 months of age, was the youngest Veazey cousin present; Jewel Veazey Adams of Conyers, GA, who held the honor of more birthdays; Raymond Veazey of Houston, TX, who was the oldest Veazey to drive his personal auto the farthest (all the way from Houston to Chattanooga) to attend the Veazey reunion; and Richard Veazey, of Fairbanks, AK, who traveled the farthest to attend the Veazey reunion. Richard is Raymond's son, and this was his first reunion. Christine Pena is the daughter of Julie Andrews and Reynolds Pena of Charlotte. Her proud grandparents are Brenda Veazey and Paul Andrews, also of Charlotte. Tim Veazey also received a Veazey Coat of Arms plaque in appreciation for his entertaining his many cousins at this reunion.
Margaret Veazey Sykes, currently of Deland, FL, was recognized as the genealogist of the Henry County, Tennessee, family. Kenneth Claud, who was attending his first reunion, had also made significant contributions on his Tennessee Veazey family for the Descendants of John Veazey. Their ancestor, Fielding L. Veazey, left Granville County, NC, about 1820 and migrated to Henry County, TN, when this frontier was first being settled.
The 1999 Veazey-Veasey Reunion will be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in June. Details will be forthcoming in a newsletter soon.
|Tennessee Reunion Photo Gallery|
|Back to Reunion Main Page||Arkansas Reunion|
Click here to return to the:
This site is a designed and maintained site.