More than 100 people attended the July 11 reunion held at the Blackwater Baptist Church. The event takes place every two years the first Saturday after July 4. Friends and relatives of Black Water, Shady Grove, and surrounding communities gathered for a time of feasting, fellowship, and fun.
Rev. William Piercy welcomed the guests to this 17th reunion and gave the invocation before the meal.
It is always a pleasure to see the guests look at the pictures of long ago. Pictures of Black Water and Shady Grove, dating from 1932-2007, adorned the walls of the fellowship hall.
We are always thankful for parents, teachers, and preachers who guided us during the early years. We were reminded that a person's character and his garden reflect the weeding that was done during the growing season.
Many have gone to their eternal resting place since last we met in 2007. We remembered all of the following by recalling their favorite songs, their special plays, their places on the basketball and baseball teams, and their contributions to church, schools, and community: Junie Robirds, Bud Miller, Carl Castleman, Lanette Castleman Milligan, Rev. Wayne Ralph, Leon King, Bertha Waddell's husband, L.E. Mobley, Kenneth Caery's wife, Margaret, Armon Gentry, Troy Doshier, Lottie Simpson Reed, Gean Scott's wife, Sue, Yvonne Lasater's husband, Jerry, Jerry Palmer, John Simpson, Atlee Tucker, Ruby Carey's husband, Pete Gibson, Inez and Bill Lewis's daughter, Jeanne, Donald Rogers, Barbara Davenport, Alta Files Loveless, Ancil Rice, Frankie Ware, Pauline Ware's grandson, Danny Gilvin, Clell Castleman, Kenneth Caery, Henry Donner, Ell Castleman, Flora Spurlock, Jan Burgett's husband, Will Vriend, Wiley Bill Barks, Nina Lou Franks's son, Steve Malloy, Cotton Morris's daughter, Allene, Charles Caery, Russell "Pete" Files, Ortha Crouse Scott, Lisa Eldrige's mother, Alice Ingram, Chalmers Lorance, Jerry Flagg and Betty Flagg Story.
During recognition time among those attending for the first time were Elvina Bollinger, Bessie Jewel Stutts, Mary Malloy, Juanita Pierce and her husband David Foster. Carroll Waddell of the Class of 1941 was the only high school graduate. The Eddie and Annie Carey family had the most family members present. Jan Burgett Vriend and Ora Lee Caery Castleman from San Jose, Calif., traveled the farthest.
Vance Waddell was the featured speaker for the afternoon. His recollection of the good times and his humorous jokes sparked the interest of all who attended.
Singing in the afternoon included the songs Mrs. Esther Lorance taught us; her former pupil Violet Waddell Alexander accompanied us on the piano.
Rev. Piercy and Jeannie Myers Wagoner led the following: "Good Evening to You, Sable H20," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Polly-Wolly-Doodle," "Reuben and Rachel," and "Billy Boy."
There is a tie that binds us over the many years and the scattered miles. The reunion ended with the singing of "Blest Be the Tie."