Bob and I loaded the car and headed out for a weekend of family reunions. First stop, Micah's college to pick him up followed by a stop in Cape Giraudeau for another college student, Micah's girlfriend, Chelcy. Ryans Steakhouse was picked for dinner and then we were back on the road. Saturday was our first big day. It was The Mary Lee Simmons Reunion and my mom's 70th birthday. So I got up, had breakfast and started getting my food ready. Mary Lee Beard Simmons is the oldest daughter of Eugene and Ollie Beard. There would be 14 kids born to Eugene and Ollie with 11 of them living past childhood. Mary Lee Simmons had five children. Paul Duncan, James Morris, Martha Sue Morris Wiseman, Betty Morris Cartwright and Charles Morris. We started having this reunion a few years back and since then, we have lost all of my mom's siblings. So it is important to have this reunion. We continue to have this reunion, every other year, to keep our families close and not forgotten. Below are photos of the families that attended the Mary Lee Simmons Reunion.
Of course the above photo is Me and Bob, with my youngest son Micah, his girlfriend Chelcy, my oldest son Eric and his wife Dee. Two of my sons could not make the trip due to work. (and neither could my grandkids make it) Below are photos of my sister Diana, her husband Marty and grandson Taye. And in the below right photo is my sister Cindy with her husband Rick, daughter Danielle, son Dusty, step daughter Callie, Callie's son Jackson and her boyfriend Ryan. (Diana's two children also could not make it due to work but Cindy's entire family were able to make it).
Next in the left photo below is my sister Joyce with her husband Scott. She has three children but her two sons could not make it. Her daughter Kady did make it to the reunion but did not make it in their family picture. In the photo on the right is my mom, Betty Cartwright with her friend of years, Ray Lynn.
Also attending the reunion was my dad, Dan Cartwright Jr. with his wife Jeanette. Also in the photo is Jeanette's granddaughter Sara and her baby. In the photo on the right is my dad Dan Cartwright Jr and his brother Richard Cartwright. They were grandsons of Oscar Simmons, who later was married to Mary Lee Simmons. (their step grandmother)
In the photo below, you can see our excitement at not only seeing our Uncle after 40 years, but also seeing our father and his brother together. On the left is all four of us sisters with our Dad and Uncle Richard. In the right photo is all of us sisters with our MOM.
Representing the Duncan family was Paula Moss Duncan (middle back) with her daughter Torrey, her husband Jay and their kids Conner and Krysten. Paula has seven siblings but they were all unable to attend this year.
Our grandmother, Mary Lee Simmons is buried at a different cemetery but there are quite a few of the siblings that are buried at the same cemetery or will be buried there. Below Mattie Beard DeHart, J. W. Beard, Don Beard, Waymon Howard Beard and headstones are already there for Fanny Jo and Geneva.
After the reunion it was back to TN to my moms for some relaxing. The next day would be the long drive back home. We got up early and headed out. Breakfast at McDonald's and then a stop at Wickliffe to tour the Indian Mounds. Below are photos from the Wickliffe Mounds historical site.
Also there was a 200 yard trail you could take so we did it.
As I said in the beginning, this was a trip about family. A walk down history's lanes. So I know many of you will just scan through and go on but that is ok. For those of you that are family - hope you enjoyed it. Remember that both reunions are set on the "odd" years and both are Labor Day weekend. So plan ahead for the 2011.