PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 

Spring Newsletter - 2009
 from President Dwight "Clint" Moore

 

Dear Moore Cousins,

Whooooaa!  The Moore Reunion "wagon" pulled up in Missouri for our 2008 Moore Family Reunion, just as our Moore ancestors had done in the late 1830's. Wagoning west from Tennessee, they made southwest Missouri home for at least four of our Moore descendant lines, and for the second time in recent Reunion history, the Missouri Moores hosted a wonderfully memorable reunion, and made the weekend so special for us all.

A beautiful Saturday morning greeted us all that morning, as we all gathered in the Relax Inn lobby for coffee and continental breakfast. After passing around topographic maps of the days journey, we corralled our cars caravan style, and headed north through the majestic hills and valleys of God's country north of Mt. Vernon. The autumn colors, like brush strokes on a canvas, got more brilliant and majestic the farther north we went.  As we stopped on the bluff hill overlooking Stockton Lake, the majestic beauty of Gallahue Moore's land lay before us. 

 Although the lake was a river upon which Gallahue and wife Rhoda Lawrence settled in 1841, one can understand why they chose these magnificent rolling hills and valley to spend their final years. In fact, we believe they are resting peacefully on the land beneath the lake, since no other gravesite has ever been found for them.

After enjoying the wonderful tree colors, auburn hills, and intoxicating crispness of the morning air, we turned east to Bolivar for our now-traditional luncheon in the backroom of Smith's Family Restaurant. As we'd similarly enjoyed in 2004, Smith's provided us with a delicious selection of home cooking favorites and their famous Missouri pies.

As we fought off the post-lunch need for bellyful naps, we drove due north up the country roads past Bolivar toward our Moore Family Cemetery. Just a few miles short, we came upon the famous 1914 Canton Bridge Company iron trestle bridge, across the Pomme de Terre River. At this location, Moore and Williams land presents itself around us, as the old maps call it "Moore Field", and a Williams Family Cemetery lies covered by trees and brush just north on the banks of the river. Although this year, we did not make the hike to that primitive Williams Cemetery, those of us who went there before remarked on what a beautiful place the land and the river still presented some 168 years later. Stopping at the old bridge is a highlight of any trip to Bolivar, as you can almost hear the wagons and horses crossing its wooden boards nearly a hundred years before the day.

Onward we drove the /span> Moore Family Cemetery, where so much important family history is now preserved for generations to come. With so much of Ewell's family represented there in the stones that fill the cemetery, we laid wreaths on his memorial stones, as well as of his brother Gallahue, both of which we placed there in 2004. Since so many of his Moore descendants are buried there, including son Alexander from which so many are descended, we laid wreaths on their stones and paused to remember them, and the progeny of their family. Although she could not join us this year, many thanks and gratitude should forever be given to Board Member Pauline Malos, whose devotion, care, and dedication to preserve this cemetery for years before we found her line, will forever be an inspiration to us all.

After a peaceful and heartwarming time there, we all headed back south to the motel to get ready for our dinner at Estelle's restaurant, right on the town square in Mt. Vernon.

As we gathered for our traditional evening of fun, frolic, and recognition, the sun set over the clock tower, and whispers of stories of gunfights and complicated entanglements came from the Missouri Moore storybook, as told by our host, Larry Moore./span>

As we dined on chicken, trout, and flavor-soaked vegetables and potatoes, Larry and his 98-year old father Herb prepared to live up to their longstanding reputation as great Moore storytellers.

But first, it was time to recognize family members for their outstanding service to this special and precious organization. For the last 10 years as your Association President, I've always enjoyed the awards presentations most of all, because we recognize the selfless service to the family of so many wonderful cousins. This year was no different, as the Board chose to recognize the tremendous dedication of our Missouri Moores. Since first attending our Reunions at the start of the century, Herb Moore, Bessie Rutherford, Edith Seward, and Janice Sims have not missed a single reunion in all these years. For their untiring dedication to the Association, and as co-hosts for the 2004 and 2008 reunions, we awarded each, the President's Award. However, without their fearless leader, Larry Moore to organize and coordinate everyone's annual efforts, they wouldn't have near as much fun serving us all. For Larry's undying service and dedication, we presented the 2008 distinguished Service Award to Larry Moore. Congratulations and a big Moore "Thank You" to you all!

Now this is where the script kinda' ended for the evening. Unbeknownst to me, Priscilla Rogers and Louise Murphy were plotting a little "awarding" of their own. Much to my surprise, amazement, and appreciation, Vice-President Priscilla took over the meeting and made an overly generous speech about my Association activities for the past 10 years. As deeply touched as I was by her remarks, I was similarly honored by the plaque that they had prepared for me, in recognition of my tenth year in service as your President. Words cannot adequately express my appreciation for the kindness they all bestowed on me that night, but it is true to say that the real pleasure has been all mine!  Thank you to everyone for the plaque, and most of all, for the honor of serving as your President for the last 10 years.

At the end of this magical evening, I asked our great cousin Herb Moore to say a few words, about his recollections of his participation in the D-Day invasion, some 65 years earlier. As Herb began his story, I quickly realized that we were in for an incredible story, of heroism, valor, carnage, and ultimate victory. I will always be grateful for remembering to videotape our evenings together at these reunions, because Herb's memory was as sharp as a tack, and his clear and cutting descriptions will be for indelibly blazed in the minds of those that hear his story. America can thank God almighty for courageous soldiers like Herb, to whom we owe our lives, our liberty, and our future. Thank you Herb Moore for your compelling and poignant story of D-Day.

Lastly, as we all swayed to the door, we soon found ourselves on the street in front of the county courthouse, staring at the lighted clock at the crest of the roof.  It was at this moment that Larry Moore furthered his reputation as a classic Moore storyteller, as he told the two versions of the great shootout between George Moore and J.A. Tenis. Which ever story is closer to the truth, one could see the gunfight on the town square there as Larry told it, just as it likely happened over eons ago. Larry has obviously inherited his storytelling genes from father Herb, and together, they can paint pictures with words that are as vivid as the stars in the clear crisp sky that night.

As with his father's D-Day story, both were captured on videotape as permanent "Oral History" of the family. If you'd like a VHS copy of the day's activities, including these precious stories, just let me know at clint@clintmoore.com. Thanks again to Larry & Herb for enriching our lives with their oral history.

Which brings me to the second of my last two points, as I begin to close this Spring newsletter President's column. For your own sake, let alone that of your family, your children, and the generations to come after you, please sit down with your elders NOW, and record the family history in audio or video, so the treasure of their voice and the stories they can tell today, will be a priceless inheritance for us all, and all that come after us. A technical note: please use a digital recorder, so you can better preserve the file than on cassettes, which age and break.

Lastly, it is annual dues time again, and your $25 is so much needed to do so much for the family. This year, we're working on purchasing a new granite headstone for Hugh Moore in the Moore-Dickson Cemetery, to place in front of the old one, just as we did for matriarch Elizabeth Gallahue Moore years ago. Our intent is to unveil it at the fall reunion this year in Mooresburg, so mark your calendars now for our next Reunion on Saturday October 24th, 2009 at Priscilla's B&B in Mooresburg, Tennessee. The stone with installation will cost the usual $600, so please recognize how important your annual dues are, in addition to paying for cemetery upkeep, this newsletter, our website, and our special projects, all of which benefit you and your family by preserving, protecting, and carrying on this Moore Family association for generations to come.  Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your President, and may God bless you all during these challenging times in our great Country!

 

Warmest Regards,

Clint