So, in honor of Papa, I've taken it upon myself to be the organizer of a huge gathering that will take place on July 4th, 2009, in Matney, NC, a little spot in the road below Banner Elk and Pigeon Roost, NC. The mountains will be a-crawlin' with many folks who still remain in the area and those who come from places as far away as Japan (hopefully),
Here's a tidbit...Papa's mom and her sister (Ruth & Ada) married two brothers (Hoyle & Tom). Both the girls and guys had one other sibling, so there's a bunch of folks to bring together. In all the information gathering I've done, I've also discovered that Papa's grandmother was married once before she married my great-grandfather. That means there's a side of the family I never knew (most of whom have to be ancient by now) to contact. Additionally, my grandmother's father had 7 siblings who lived to adulthood, so there's the possibility some of them might attend. Something tells me this reunion would make a great PBS documentary since the family is huge and all rooted in the Appalachian Mountains and traditions.
Daddy was the oldest of 10 children. I think this photo is the only one in existence of all ten of
them together with their parents. My mother probably took the picture around 1944. Of the ten children, eight still are living, as is Grandma Ruth (age 106). (Grandma's key to longevity: tell the truth and don't trust doctors! )
The other photos are of my great-grandparents, Green & Etta Beard Michael. Grandma was a good 6 inches taller than Grandpa and a sister to Granny Clampett. :0) :0)