Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pre-Memorial Day

I waited a little too long to snag this picture, but better late than never. Last week my commute was dressed up by field after field of yellow coreopsis. Truly gorgeous and I kept forgetting my camera. The color is beginning to fade, but I managed to get a shot from the highpoint in Fairview Cemetery of this field.

At the top of the hill were several clumps of the same bright yellow, so I also snagged a close up.

The main focus of my day was the annual picnic at Oak Hill Cemetery, close to McDade. It was the 100th anniversary of the formation of the cemetery association and they were celebrating with the publication of a history of the families who founded the now vanished community of Oak Hill. The community fell victim to the formation of Camp Swift during the second World War.

Some of the founders of Oak Hill were relatives of mine in the Mobley and Dunkin lines. I've visited this outstanding example of a "scraped grave" cemetery many times, but I had never before attended the picnic. This year, with the need to add a book to my Bastrop County history collection, and with the possibility of getting a rare visit with my cousin Maxine Alcorn, I headed for the cemetery.

Sure enough Maxine and her sister Mary were there and so were some other cousins I had known of but never had the opportunity to meet. Dorothy Edwards and Dan Louis and his wife Joyce were all very enjoyable to talk to and welcomed me like they had known me all my life. Maxine, Joyce and I talked genealogy shop and Dan was interviewed by the local news folks by virtue of his participation in the history book project. A representative of the Texas Senate presented a proclamation in honor of the Cemetery Association's anniversary. And there were about four tables of food to choose from. In addition to the history book, a small community cookbook was for sale. A couple on guitar and autoharp played softly in the background. The turn out was a good one, despite the earlier rain, and we all had a great time visiting and eating.

These folks may not have known me to begin with, but many of them knew my grandparents and that was all the introduction I needed. I was accepted as a member of their group without question. I could not help but compare it to the chilly reception I received a couple of years back when I went to the Ridgeway Cemetery picnic. Today was an example of how these associations should behave in order to attract folks to support their cause. This was a good experience and I will probably be back.

On my way back home, I stopped at Fairview Cemetery and took the flower photos. The flags for Memorial Day had already been put on the veteran graves and several workers were trimming hedges and preparing for Monday. It always makes me feel good to see people taking time and making the effort to show respect for those who have gone on.


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