Monday, August 2, 2010

Family reunion 2010 – The Everlys … the greatest

I know this post is not really education related as most of my posts are, but we just had a family reunion and it was the greatest!

I’ve heard that either you LOVE your family or you HATE your family. Usually there is not a lot of in-between.

I am so lucky.

I LOVE my family.

I have many families despite being an orphan of sorts.

This family reunion started on my husband’s mother’s side of the family, so I am not a biological member of the family, but they make everyone feel like a true family member.

The first Everly Family Reunion I was involved in was back in 1979. Everyone traveled to French Lick, Indiana to the major resort/hotel there. Most family members lived close by in Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana.

At that time the matriarch of the family Georgiana Cullen Everly was the eldest family member. Her husband Cecil Everly had passed away in 1959 – twenty years earlier.

The next family reunion was in 1985 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Recently while on vacation in Nantucket, MA, my family had a spelling contest on how to spell MA [the long full way!]. Without looking, see if you can spell it correctly the first time!

At the Cape Cod Reunion Grandma Georgiana was not present. She had passed away not long after the reunion at French Lick, IN. It was quite a feat to get the whole family to go so far from home for a reunion.  We also were very lucky to have a cousin (of my husband’s) with us at that reunion as shortly thereafter he passed away.  Stowers Everly – The big C took him from us at a young age.

Then, after the death of the first of the children of Georgiana and Cecil Everly passed away in 1993 (Celeste Everly Valbert).  One of Celeste’s daughters, Annie, decided it was VERY important that we continue these reunions and continue them often enough that we could still remember each other. She started a tradition of every other year planning a reunion. This. the first in a long line, was at Annie’s house in Illinois south of Chicago in the metropolis of Irwin (population 100 when the reunion was not in session!) just southeast of Kankakee, IL. Most of the activity at that reunion was centered around the swimming pool and lots of family talking and games.

1995 was in Kentucky Lake, KY. 1997 was at the Pocono Mountains in PA. 1999 was in Maggie Valley, NC. In 2001 we went back to French Lick, IN. 2003 we  missed/postponed a year due to a spring wedding in St. Augustine, FL. 2004 we caught back up in the swing of things back in Kentucky – Barren State Park, I think. Then 2006 was in the Wisconsin Dells, WI before the big dam broke and thoroughly flooded that beautiful area soon thereafter. Then in 2008 we went back to Kentucky Lake, KY.

I guess you can see a theme here with Kentucky since that was the original home most of the lives of Georgiana & Cecil Everly and their 5 children: Celeste, Bill, Ruth, Garnet, and Wayne.

This year we went close to a previous reunion in Maggie Valley, NC to Western North Carolina in Brevard and Mills River, NC. Brevard is in Transylvania County and the land of the waterfalls. Mills River is the home of The V’Berts who were planning the event.

At times there were 28 Everlys attending this reunion, but not every Everly in the family was able to attend.  We enjoyed those who made it, but missed those who were absent.

We had lots of fun and shared lots of history and reminiscing, catching up with events since the last reunion or the last time we saw these particular relatives. We participated in visits to the Biltmore Estate in nearby Asheville, NC, drove the Blue Ridge Parkway in the RV and saw lots of scenic spots including a hot brakes stop in the RV on the Blue Ridge Parkway coming down from the high elevations a little too fast, Picnicking on the Parkway, tubing, and sliding down Sliding Rock on their bums, looking at waterfalls, and visiting the Cradle of Forestry. We had dinner in downtown Asheville at the Mellow Mushroom with a party of 28 that got seated without a reservation in about 20 minutes even though the restaurant was packed. We had to break into smaller groups, but that made conversation a little more intimate. We had an elegant dinner at the Pisgah Inn at the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway (dinner at 5000 feet they say) with a scenic drive that was covered in dense fog on the way back down! One of the family groups took an extra 27 mile detour away and 27 miles back to the Pisgah Inn and got to see even more of the Parkway that they had intended! They certainly were hungry when they arrived! (And we were glad they made it safely there!)

Other times were spent playing Family Trivia and True Colors as a huge family group. We had so many Family Trivia questions submitted we didn’t have time to answer them all! We’ll save some for next time. There was a Family Time Line to fill in births, weddings, and deaths of family members. It made me realize how many of us there are/were and how close in age and birth dates some were.

The theme for the Reunion was Camp Club Valbert Everly Family Reunion 2010 so “campers” were encouraged with a blow of the whistle to listen up for the directions to the next event and had a checklist of activities to complete.  These activities had to be verified by a different family member – no cheating! Unfortunately we all did not complete all activities, so we’ll have to have a repeat Camp Club Valbert Everly Reunion another year down the road.

We were honored to have Aunt Garnet and Aunt Ruth as the leading generation represented while Ethan and Everly Squires were the counterbalance as the latest following generation. Everly could truly say she was THE EVERLY at the Everly Reunion!

There’s lots more events, fun, and conversations that could be reported. Like the story about the canine representative Malie Love, the drive through the campgrounds by Jason and Lacey looking for Cherie & Jon’s camper, the lost camera in the Davidson River tubing expedition, the rained-out too-busy horseback riding expedition, the very local waterfalls, the deer sightings, the lack of golf outings and tennis games, and many more items. Write your stories and submit them to be added to the Everly Family Reunion Guide. I’m sure there are many more events I missed reporting. 

I must end with a heartfelt thanks from Paul and I. We are so glad you all took the time, effort, and expense to be here. We understand those who couldn’t make it, but want you to know you were missed and we hope we see you next time. Remember to start making up those Everly Family Trivia Questions… RIGHT NOW!

We love you all!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I need to ask. The Stowers Everly that passed too young....was he the son of George E. Everly?

He was my "best friend" when I lived in Fairfax. I know he is buried in RI. I will be visiting his grave my next visit to the NE.

Thanks in advance