Spring Newsletter - 2007
from President Dwight "Clint" Moore
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.
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
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!