PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 

Spring Newsletter - 2007
 from President Dwight "Clint" Moore

 

Dear Cousins,

Mt. Airy lived up to its name! As the winds, on the heels of a front that drenched the mountains on Friday, blew the moisture away over night, our Reunion "troop" was treated to yet another blessed day of stunningly sunny azure-blue sky, spectacularly painted mountains of fall oranges, reds and yellows, and of course, the wondrous rolling hills and babbling creeks that made this every bit of Heaven on Earth for our ancestors. Every time I drive amongst these mountains, through the rivers, by the trees, and across the valleys, I myself reconnect to the deep spirit that bound our ancestors to this land, as it did in Hawkins County, Tennessee, and Dade & Bolivar Counties, Missouri. Clearly, once you've lived in these mountains, it would be hard to ever leave to go live on the flat coastal plain again.

As we awoke and gathered at the Mt. Airy Quality Inn Saturday morning, you could see the mountain range to the west glistening in the cleansing moisture of a long hard rain, and the Sun's warming rays "polishing up" the scenery for our day. After enjoying the continental breakfast, amongst many hugs and "howdy doos", we loaded up our car caravan to head north to our beloved Rodey Cemetery. At the church road turn, we met up with our dear Puckett cousins, Shelby & Raleigh, who have lovingly preserved and moved several wonderful historic Puckett cabins to their property in "The Hollow", very near our Rodey Cemetery. More on that in a moment! Joining us there too, was special guest Tom Perry, who has "led the charge" at preserving and restoring the "Laurel Hill" property of CSA Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, a renowned military hero to many. Tom grew up in the area, and has made it part of his life's work to recognize and celebrate the life and accomplishments of Gen. Stuart.

Off we went down the church road for our first stop at the bridge across the Ararat River, where looking north across the field of William Moore's "White House Bottom" fame, we could see our dear Rodey Cemetery on the hill, glistening in the morning moisture. The babbling Ararat was running nicely, carrying away the "liquid sunshine" of the night before. Here we stopped for one of several group photos taken during the day, and then on to the Puckett's Hollow Museum. What a wonderful enclave of local Virginia history, lovingly preserved by Shelby and Raleigh as their tribute to their great ancestors' noted efforts in building America. Their local history library and its collections of books and maps was a special treat for us all, and a great source of local lore and accomplishment.

Onward we drove up Puckett Lane to the homes of our "Guardian Angels" for the Rodey Cemetery, Linda and mother Georgia Puckett. Although we did not visit with "Miz Georgia" this year, Linda led us down the sloping hill through the woods to our precious family cemetery, where all was as it should be, having been lovingly prepared by our Puckett protectors. Louise Murphy's wreaths were lovingly laid upon the stones, and we all listened intently while Joyce Browning gave her first of two delightful history lessons for the day, first describing Merle Moore's historic discovery of the cemetery, and then William & Jane Dalton Moore's tragic family story of early parental passing, and how the children lived on without them.

After our trek back up the hill, we regained our breath and sought immediate sustenance in Ararat where the beloved "Ruritan's" were having their annual fundraising BBQ. This pork BBQ with vinegar-based sauce was a bit strong for this sweet-toothed Texan, but it was a much appreciated replenishment of our "fuel" for the active hours ahead.

As we drove off back down Rte. 103, we were treated by Tom Perry to a history lesson from the lookout pavilion at JEB Stuart's home site "Laurel Hill". The house itself is gone, but the beautiful park, pavilion, picnic area, and exhibit trail are just the beginning of a construction plan that will advance this fitting tribute to one of the great CSA Generals.

Onward we drove to the southeast on our "Rodey Road Trip", after Joyce Browning presented all of us with a wonderful map booklet showing the map positions of 17 nearby tracts of land that Rodeham and/or his son William owned at one time in the area, but alas, we could only drive through a few of them, since most are not accessible without landowner permission today. Each was defined in the famous settlement of William Moore's estate, by both Virginia & North Carolina state legislatures in 1823, one of the few ever settled this way.

Then, we went a little further east in pursuit of the location of the important site of "Rodey's Grist Mill", historically documented as the north-south demarcation line for the creation of Stokes County out of Surry in 1788. Local historians brought this citation to our attention earlier this year, and so we have begun pursuit of a specific location of the mill ruins along the county line where Archie Creek crosses this county line, since the mill was on the creek AND on the then-new line. Unfortunately, Archie's Creek runs due north along the line for about a mile, just below the Virginia line, so in the days ahead, our wonderful Puckett helpers will be approaching the landowners for permission to walk the distance of the creek line to look for mill ruins.. Oh, if only Merle were here to lead us along that creek bed. There may not be anything left along the banks, and the creek course may have slightly shifted the last two centuries, but all of us are anxious to check it out, once permission has been granted to access the creek lands. Stay tuned, we may have some mill ruins to see on our next visit there in a few years.

After turning southwest along Rte. 104 for Mt. Airy, we stopped off again at the spectacular overlook above the National Granite Corporation Flatrock Granite Quarry, with a marvelous overview of this tremendous operation. The bright blue sky, and dazzling afternoon sunlight, gave the granite outcrops, slabs, and blocks a rich luster and bonus to our fulfilling day driving the beautiful hills of "Rodey's World".

Refreshment and nourishment awaited us all at the William Alfred Moore House, where we unveiled our impressive new Journal issue, to all the family and several local historians. Joyce and I handled the unveiling, with Joyce presenting her context and relentless pursuit of the work, as well as an important and accurate summary of the history of the WAM House. Joyce and I had just recently provided a corrected history of WAM's lineage to the WAM House Historical Society, which they will hopefully be incorporating into their website and documents. Unfortunately, we also discovered that their handout brochure misstates Rodey's 4th son Gallahue as WAM's brother, which we will also need to correct, before they next go to press. This work is never done, it would appear.

In addition, Cora Ann Ferrara brought her rich family photo albums to us, which contained critical captions from her ancestors as to the identities of the 4 portraits hanging in WAM House. Positively identified in the front parlor were Matthew Dalton Moore, son of WAM, and his wife, Matilda, and then to our excitement, her captioned photos seemed to match the portraits in the back bedroom as WAM and his wife Eliza. Cora Ann will be scanning these old photos with their captions, and forwarding them to me, for forwarding to the WAM House Historical Society. We're even going to have little nameplates made for them, in order to hopefully, set this record straight, once and for all. When the brochure has been corrected, and the photos properly identified, we and our ancestors can sleep more easily at night knowing that our family's history in that house is now complete, thanks to Joyce, Cora Ann, and my efforts.

Finally, a delightful dinner was had by all, in the private dining room at the Mayflower Seafood Restaurant. As I just love to do at these Reunion dinners, I presented 2 President's Awards, and 3 Distinguished Service Awards, to our dedicated members. First, I presented President's Awards to J. R. Moore, for his beautiful and expert publishing of our precious Journal, as well as to Treasurer Jay Moore, for his careful and diligent handling of our complicated financial transactions.

Next, Distinguished Service Awards went to Joyce Browning, for her incredible dedication and effort in researching and producing much of our monumental journal issue, and a similar DSA to our beloved, generous, wonderful Publisher Charles Moore, whose love and dedication to our Family knows no bounds. Both continue to make incredibly significant contributions to our Family, and they are well deserving of this recognition.

The third Distinguished Service Award this year is bittersweet to bestow. One of our dear founding "Gleaners," Richard Kesler, is not-far from passing with terminal cancer, in a nursing home in Sarasota, Florida. Richard's lifelong dedication to our family genealogical research is a testament to his "All-Star" status, amongst our family historians. Our hearts and prayers go out to him and his family at this difficult time. Although his body is wracked by the cancer that inflicts him, his daughters encouraged me to call him and tell him of the Board's decision to award him our DSA. Even though he could not speak more than single words in our brief conversation, he said "Thank you" nearly half a dozen times, before our conversation ended. On behalf of the entire family, I thanked him for his service, but most of all for his friendship, fellowship and generosity these past many years. His pain and suffering are near an end, and we should all pray for his deliverance from the pain, and his just reward with our ancestors. As of this Spring in 2007, he is still with us. May God bless Richard Kesler, and we thank him for his lifelong friendship and commitment to all our Moore Family.

The after dinner festivities concluded with the much-anticipated unveiling of our Association's spectacular merchandise lines.  After several years of discussion and design, we're now pleased and excited to unveil our handsome denim button-down short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts with our distinctive rosette logo embroidery in gold or navy, as well as comfortable navy blue baseball caps with rosette logo in gold or light blue, and of course, our durable stadium-style white drinking cup with distinguished navy rosette logo, as well. All are reasonably priced with a small profit for the Association, so fill out the order form in this newsletter, and deplete our inventory!  You can see photos of all these items with handsome model Herb Moore, on our website at www.RodehamMoore.com. Click on the "Merchandise" tab on the left side of the Home page.

After an extra hour of sleep, with the return to standard time overnight, your Board met Sunday morning to plan future reunion locations and format, pay the graveyard maintenance bills, and strategize and plan our future direction. Toward that end, I am pleased to announce that we have tentatively decided to hold our next reunion in the area of Waco, Texas, not far from where Cleon Moore's most famous son, CSA Gen. John Creed Moore is buried. Plans are still just taking shape, but on Saturday October 27, 2007, plan to be in Waco for another new chapter in the epic reunion journey of our Moore Family. If you'd like to help plan this Texas event, please contact Priscilla Rogers on her cellphone at 423-923-0466. Pris travels to Dallas a lot these days, and Waco is beautiful college town (Baylor) on the scenic Brazos River, just 90 miles down I-35 to the southwest.

Your Board also has commissioned the start of a project to be called the "Moore Oral & Video History" project. Our mission is to energize each family member to sit down with their Moore elders and "debrief" them on their memories of family history. We want them to tell us about their Moore parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and all their Moore elders, so we can preserve this important history for generations to come. Ideally, the recordings will be made on CD/DVD's, or transferred from tape recordings to this optimally preservable media, after their capture. Please think about your Moore elders, and set up a time to sit down with them and record your family line's Moore history. Your generations to come will be eternally grateful to you for your efforts today!

Lastly, our Moore DNA project is in full swing now, with our unique DNA "signature" posted on the worldwide web Moore DNA project website, just waiting like a "beacon" for that magic moment of a historic match from another corner of our world.. It may be years from now, but like a lighthouse beacon for other descendants of our ancestors, we are "shining our light" around the world guiding our unknowing Moore kinfolk to their cousins of this great American Family.

If you read nothing else in my column above, please hear my plea for your prompt attention to your renewal of your annual dues, and my urging cry for you to attend our new, first ever, Texas Reunion, this fall. It will be a wonderful Reunion of  Fun & Family, and another Moore journey of historic discovery and fellowship!

May God continue to bless you in the year ahead, and all of Our Great American Family!

Warmest Regards,

Clint