Sunday, October 04, 2009


Wow what a week! We arrived in Celina, Ohio a week ago yesterday and settled in for six days, three of which included dozens of seminars, lively entertainment and dancing by the talented singing duo, "One More Time", hundreds of door prizes, great food and Rving community camaraderie. I never heard the official count but I believe there were about 125 rigs from every corner of the USA that attended. Just the best of times with family the only thing missing. That was remedied when we drove south nearly 400 miles (whew … a very long day) through the awe inspiring autumnal colors of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee on October 2nd and attended the Denney/(Criswell)-Alger-Larsen-Cox Family Reunion on October 3rd at the palatial yet warm and comfortable lakeside home of my cousins.

Doris and Dick (elders of the Cox, Criswell/Denney branch—I am an elder of the Cox/Alger limb) built an impressive three level home a few years ago on a sizeable lake (800 miles of Shoreline) complete with a large boathouse where they moor a beautiful big pontoon boat and a shiny, sassy speedboat. Dick took a more than willing group out for a ride and Phil LOVED it. He has been coveting pontoon boats since we camped on the shore of Roosevelt Lake in AZ in 2006 with our friends, Don and Ardella where he went fishing with Don every day. Cousin Dick’s boat is a beauty.

Our friends and fellow “Escapees” and also brand new fulltime Rvers, Margie and Roger pulled in later Saturday night and then our friends Diane and Bill arrived early the next day. Long time fulltimers, also Escapees, Bill and Diane generously volunteer their time at these rallies doing whatever needs to be done to make the rally run smoothly so we didn’t get to spend much time with them although we managed to join them for some pretty good meals in a couple local eateries in between seminars and our well-attended evening get-togethers for announcements, entertainment and door prize drawings. We won two coupons for $5.00 at Taco Bell (we had a pretty good lunch there later) and a $10 gift certificate for a local diner/ice cream shop called The Fountain that was just okay. It was a neat old place right on the town square across the street from the courthouse so the atmosphere (almost) made up for the food. The last night, Phil’s ticket was drawn and he won a wonderful handmade multicolored paisley tote bag that he promptly decided I should have. I was pleased to take possession. Overall, we had a great time!

The road trip south was going perfectly until we stopped for lunch at a rest stop. We heard a loud bang and when Phil went outside to investigate, he found the drain plug in our hot water tank had failed, cracked in half and hot water was spraying out inside the compartment because our pump was on. He turned off the pump and so we have not had any water (cold or hot) since then except for the gallon jugs we were using at the rally as there was no water or sewer hookups at our sites; only electric. Anyway, we have been really roughing it (tent campers will laugh at that statement) but Phil ran to Lowe’s for parts this morning and has repaired the problem so we are now back in business.

My family reunion was wonderful. We were invited back for brunch this morning but I was just too pooped and knew the blog was waiting for me to write my Sunday entry so we begged off. I think there was about a total of 37 attendees. Doris and Dick along with the assistance of their very capable grown up children prepared and presented a delicious beef brisket buffet which included several salads, baked beans, fruit compote, cheeses, olives, etc. along with rolls at 1 PM then after the official pictures (and hundreds of amateur photos) were taken, we went back inside for the spectacular array of deserts from razzleberry pie to chocolate bundt cake and ice cream. The beverage bar included a wide array of self-service teas, ice water and coffee. There was one table full of family history photo albums for our perusal and I was happy to see I had copies of most of the pictures and even helped identify a few. Dick has written a book he calls, “Molding Memories 1” about his early years and is working on “Molding Memories II” that I have requested copies of but for the most part, I discovered nothing new which was very encouraging and gratifying in regard to my 40 plus years of genealogy work.

It was wonderful to at long last be able to hug people I have been corresponding with for so many years but never met and reconnecting with the ones I have known for years. This reunion was the culmination of the past five years, traveling all over the USA in our dependable Penny the Pace stopping to get together with so many family members—both mine and Phil’s. For me, the fabulous sightseeing, visits to so many state capitals, experiencing our National Parks, and rubbing elbows with the locals all over our great country has been fantastic but meeting and greeting with so many widespread family members in one place has been the high point of this genealogists dream! Thank you Dick and Doris for putting the icing on my cake and making this reunion possible!

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time ...


  1. Glad you had such a good time! Always fun to get together with family. Roughing it makes you really appreciate the luxury of a hot shower!

    Drive safely!

  2. We assume this was the Gypsy Journal Gathering? Sounds like the same stuff Nick does twice a year. Nick and Terry are good friends of ours, and we always go to the western rally, next year in Yuma.

    Glad you mostly enjoyed yourselves there, but sorry about your hot water system!

  3. Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through your adventures. Keep having fun!

  4. Sounds like you guys really had a great time at the rally... and the family reunion must have been a fun time... How nice that your family gets together and celebrates... Have Fun & Travel Safe!