Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Revisiting, Renewing and Relishing

For the past six days we've been renewing relationships and reminiscing with Jerry's Begley clan, his maternal cousins who came to Indianapolis from California, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Texas. Four of the five aunts and the one uncle's families are represented by these jovial and attractive people pictured here. It's been a blast listening, laughing and just being there! After the first few minutes of handshakes, reintroductions and hugs, the stories started flowing. Do you wonder what tales are being told by these three guys? They seem to have onlookers from the painting listening and questioning their full truthfulness, don't they?

Due to the generosity of Cousin Jeff we had a very nice place where the fifteen cousins and spouses could gather to share memories, tell favorite jokes and have fabulously-hosted meals. I got Jeff to stop hosting for just a second to pose with cousin Jacque, who also was a great organizer and shared many of the cherished old photos of Begley grandparents, etc.

For example, here's William F. Begley, everyone's grandfather,
who with Emma Lillian Hollingsworth Begley, is responsible for this group of very interesting cousins.

Some of the remembrances made us all laugh out loud and others brought a slight bit of silence to the group. Whether it was about how Aunt Mildred's wonderful "hunky peppers" made her brother and sisters cry as they begged for more; Aunt Mary Eleanor's deathbed comment to her son Bob, "Don't you think you're old enough now not to be so rotten;" Aunt Dorothy's helping hand to her nieces and nephews, or each person's contrasting recall of their grandparents' personalities; this memory-sharing escapade surely had to be thought-provoking in some way for each relative present. Some of us assembled a family history book for the group and others searched their photo archives for snapshots of the past that jogged more memories.

And then to top it all off we created the "Begley Caravan" as we followed each other in our cars visiting the former Indianapolis homes of grandparents and cousins, the high schools of parents and cousins,
and the firehouse that ties together a cousin and two uncles' histories. It seems to me that, through their open minds and hearts, this group that gathered from near and far to the former home of all in Indiana created another festive memory to add to the annals of their family scrapbooks.

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