Monday, May 18, 2009

Five Score Years Ago . . .

My cousins' grandpa Morris died last week; he was 99.5 years old! Because I spent a lot of my childhood at my cousins' house, and because Morris was always there, he felt a bit like my grandpa, too, when I was growing up. I attended Morris' funeral this afternoon in Tioga (Susan and the girls stayed behind; they all still have school). One of the things that Morris was known for was his ability to recite selections that he had memorized long ago, including the Gettysburg Address, which he would often deliver with great expression at patriotic gatherings such as programs for Memorial Day or the 4th of July (he's even been featured on the news doing so). In honor of that, the minister recited the Gettysburg Address today in much the same way that Morris often did. It was a nice touch that everyone who knew Morris understood as soon as the minister began with "Four score and seven years ago . . ."

The ladies from Morris' church served a delicious lunch after the funeral, and in the room where Dad, Beverly, and I ate (Dad sang a song for the funeral), we watched a slideshow, set to music, that featured photos from throughout the years including family as well as farming: from the implements that Morris used when he started farming in the '20s (which required horses to pull them) to the huge tractors and other machinery that Morris and his family were using when he retired from farming a couple decades ago.

Morris had two sons--both deceased now--the younger of whom was my uncle Jerol, married to my dad's sister Penny. For supper Penny invited the extended family to the Jungle, a restaurant in Tioga, and I snapped a buncha pics. Here are some highlights for those of you tuning in to see photos of the family:

my aunt Penny, Morris' daughter-in-law

Dad and Beverly

my cousins Brenda and Jerry, two of Morris' three grandchildren (Penny and Jerol's children)

Darren (Morris' other grandchild; Penny and Jerol's other son), Brenda, my cousin Myrna (Dad and Penny's brother Shine's daughter), Dad and Penny's cousin LeeAnn (their dad's sister's daughter), Penny's hair to LeeAnn's right, Morris' niece in front of Penny, and Brenda's son Nick in front of Darren

my step-aunt Janet (Shine's wife), Wanda (Jeff's wife), my cousin Jeff (Shine's son), and Myrna

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