Monday, September 24, 2007

the "First" unofficial Cardwell Reunion

I had just packed the car with coolers of bottled water, deli meat, cheese, potoato chips, bread, tablecloth, and condiments when Mindy, Rei and Dale drove up shortly before 9:00. They stopped to pick me up a little more ice to keep everything really cold. I filled the coolers and we headed out for Tuscumbia.

At 9:35 we were the first to arrive and just as we were climbing out of the car, the Museum curator arrived. She greeted us as others were pulling in one after another. I was making name tags as fast as I could write. 19 total came to exchange stories, dates, pictures and just visit. I was going from group to group just to listen, so many questions being thrown out. Mindy, Bonnie Sue Alberts, JR Uber and Alice Dugan all came loaded with pictures, albums, even big boxes of "stuff". It was fun to visit with Clifford Cardwell and his sisters Sue and Bonnie, who all grew up in Jefferson City where I did. After an hour and a half, the curator told us we could use the tables downstairs and spread our stuff out. The museum looked wonderful as I very quickly passed through it. Too much to see and so little time. So we all went downstairs.

Shortly after going down stairs, Mindy and I thought we should pull out the food. Rei helped us set up the table and get the drinks out. Slowly as conversation died down one group at a time would make their way forward for ham, smoked turkey and cheese sandwiches. The official Miller County Historical photographer arrived and asked if we would pose for a group Cardwell picture. It will later be posted on the web site at MillerCountyMuseau We all walked to the front of the building for the picture. It took several takes as there were numerous cameras flashing.

After picture taking we got into a procession and head for two cemeteries. It did look like a funeral possession and after all isn't that where we were headed? The first one is all nicely mowed and I photographed several stones. The second one was past Brumley and down a long dusted, bumpy gravel road. When we pull up to the gate which was tied shut with a rope, the weeds were taller then the gate. (Missouri Blue stem was the grass growing there) In fact they were taller then most of us. There we found our great grandfather's stone which had been hiding from all of us. We still didn't find his wife, Barbara Kitts Cardwell stone, but we know she is there. You have to understand most of these stone were rocks with a little scratching on them, very hard to read, almost illegible.

It was close to 3:00 when we decided to head home, well some of them. My car load and 4 siblings from Belton headed to McDonald's for a cool drink. Cousin Barbara and her daughter Kitts, and 2 granddaughters came also, only to discover the ice cream machine was broke and therefore no cones, sundaes, or shakes. All of us except Barbara's clan found something else. They headed to Eldon for ice cream for the little girls.

A few years ago I would have said this day would never happen, my part of the Cardwell family was never very family oriented. This was so awesome to visit with all the 2nd cousins exchange stories, pictures and written information. It was great to put names with the faces of those who have been communicating via the computer. Some will never do the computer and therefore we will reply on xerox machines. Never less, it will all get passed from one to another.

Thanks Cousins, I truly enjoyed the day.

We arrived back at my house with BT arriving behind us. Mindy, Rei and Dale gathered their things and took off for the hotel with plans to meet us in the lobby at 6:30 for a shuttle to Dinner.

I pulled up at the Best Western 5 minutes ahead of time, so I walked into the beautiful new hotel and called them on the courtesy phone. In no time we were headed for Madison's Cafe. It was Wine for the women, water for Dale and Diet Coke for BT. The place was very quiet and as we sat in a corner Mindy told BT more events of the day. Our food arrived and we all realized you get way too much for one meal here. BT had eaten just about a 1/3 of his when the waitress brought him a refill on his diet Coke, as she started to sit it down, it fell over, broke the glass and spilled on BT's lap. Pieces of glass were everywhere, including on BT's jeans. They brought him a new order of Baked Mosticolli, offered to pay for the dry cleaning bill, and the poor little waitress apologized at least 6 times. Oh, and the the payer of the bill got a deduction for BT's meal.

We made plans to tour Burger Ham's tomorrow at California and see the Missouri State Capitol Building. Dale will head home for Texas so it will be just us women. I dropped them off at Best Western and we said our good byes to Dale. WE are so glad he made the trip.

At home, I threw a load of jean into the washer, ummm wonder why?

The evening news came on and the lead story was The History Channel films at Burger Smoke house. The show Modern Marvel's filmed an episode today which will air Nov 27. (Mark your calendar Dale) on the process of curing hams. If only we had made it there today.

11:26 76.8 degrees

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