Summer 2017 Newsletter
As I write this newsletter to you on the night of August 29th, tens of thousands of my fellow Texans are suffering the loss of family members, their homes, their businesses, and their cars & trucks, due to the torrential rains and flooding of Hurricane Harvey. The sky has just cleared here at sunset, but the cresting floodwaters will claim many more lives and property in the next week or two, because the two dams upstream west of Houston have to release water or be breached. Harvey is moving eastward and devasting more Americans in Texas and Louisiana. It is horrifying to watch 24/7 on the local TV channels, but we do, as each of us does what we can to help.
On the positive side, I’ve watched every single Houstonian literally arm-in-arm help each other get through the terrific threats and disaster, as well as incredible evacuation assistance from Louisiana Cajun Navy of small fishing boats, and shelter volunteers from across Texas and America. In the face of this historic disaster, one I’ve not seen here in my 40 years of residency, this is the finest hour of the community uniting as one giant hand of God, to lift up and save and help our neighbors. I would never wish this nightmare on anyone, but I do wish the uplifting and fantastic community spirit on the entire world.
Fortunately, although we are surrounded on three sides by two massive flooding west-to-east flowing creeks a mile to the north and south of us, we are topographically high and thus saved from the pain and suffering of the flooding around us. I’m glad I knew to look at a topographic map, before I bought a house in this neighborhood. Last night, two small neighborhood levees on those creeks nearby were nearly topped, but both held and saved the neighborhoods from inundation. Across town on the west of Houston, those two long flood control dams also are doing their job near overtop capacity, with downtown Houston protected by them just 20 miles east. I’ve lived here 40 years and been through three other severe huge rain storms, but this one is even bigger than those, so a new record to remember the rest of my life.
If you’d like to directly contribute to the recovery effort, I suggest you do so at www.assisttheofficer.com, which is direct aid to the Houston Police officers that put their lives on the line every day. One lost their life last night, when he mistakenly drove his patrol car in the dark into a water-filled tollway underpass, and could not escape the vehicle before drowning. Dive teams found him still in his squad car this morning. A 34-year veteran, Officer Steve Perez became a victim of the storm himself, and paid the ultimate price. He is a great American Hero, for sure! We will miss Officer Perez, and salute his family and all that serve everyday with him and ALL the first responders that put their lives on the line every minute of every day like officer Perez. This fund is critically necessary, because while serving to protect and evacuate many citizens, 200+ officers learned that their own homes had flooded, so the need to assist these officers is a top priority for me. We gave $ 500, which is the most we can give to any relief group right now. I thank you for your support, if you can do so. Of course, the American Red Cross is also deserving, since they are now doing tremendous work after the storm manning all the shelters here, and across southeast Texas and Louisiana.
The Last Two Years
As you have noticed, it’s been an extra year since our last newsletter in September 2015, which was a planned hiatus. When the Board met in Springfield, Missouri in October 2015, we all agreed that annual reunions might be more meaningful and better attended if we met every two years instead of annually. So, it is now almost September 2017, and we are planning our next Reunion this fall for Friday October 27th & Saturday 28th, 2017, at Pris Roger’s delightful B&B “The Home Place” in Mooresburg, Tennessee. Pris has also blocked 8 double-double bed rooms for us at the Quality Inn in Rogersville, for $ 79/night/room plus tax for both nights, but if you call now, there may even be more available.
Reunion 2017 – Mooresburg, Tennessee
Can you believe it? This is our 20th reunion year, since Merle called us together in Mooresburg in October 1997. Little did we all know what a tremendous journey we were about to embark upon, with the “Pied Piper Merle” himself leading the way. Sadly, God took him home a few years thereafter, but we’ve managed to continue the traditions and spirit that Merle and the original founders ignited and energized with us back then. As many of you know, I made the “mistake” of driving north to Kentucky that Friday, to see the battlefield where my father’s namesake ancestor, Col. Alfred Cleon Moore, led the 29th Va. Infantry regiment in the battle of Middle Creek, against Union Col. James Garfield (yes, the future 20th US President). Upon my return, Merle could hardly contain himself. Being the youngest in the room, and missing the conspiratorial meeting of the elders, I was pronounced President of the newborn Association, having to utter only one word upon the invitation. My answer was “Yes”, and I’ve lived and loved building this family team ever since. As the board and reunions have grown over the years, I can’t help believe Merle is looking down on all of us with the wry smile and jolly chuckle, every time we get together. To have found Rodey’s grist mill, after he apparently even found it before us, had to be a great bit of fun for him to watch us follow his clues, as he looked on from on high. Much like Rodey & Liz, Merle really was our modern patriarch, who brought us all together for eternity, to celebrate and remember our great (and fun) Moore ancestors. So, since it’s our 20th anniversary, we have special plans for this Mooresburg visit!
Friday, October 27th, 2017
As has become the new tradition, we are planning a unique and exciting Field Trip Day on Friday October 27th, which will maximize the excitement of the area with visits to really special places.
That morning, we will gather at the Home Place at 8:15am and caravan up northeast for about an hour and a half to Piney Flatts, TN, just north of Johnson City, and just south of Bristol, VA, in northeastern Tennessee. Our first stop will be the Tennessee Historic Site known as the RockyMount Museum. This Museum has special significance for our Moore-Williams families. Mammy Williams is the daughter of Mary Barsheba Cobb Moore and James Madison Moore. Mammy was the granddaughter of Hugh Moore and Hugh Williams, the grandson of Sally Moore Williams. The Cobbs owned Rocky Mount, so we’ve wanted to go up there for years, and this year we will finally get there. From the website, here is what we will do there:
Rocky Mount Museum and Living History Site sits at the foot of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. A visit to the site will include several components starting with a visit to the Massengill Overmountain Museum. Museum highlights include regional historical artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries. After a stroll through the museum, it will be time to view an orientation video.
We will then head to the historic site and back to the year 1791. Costumed interpreters take visitors through the log home of Rocky Mount and out-buildings and give you a personal look at living in the Southwest Territory. These interpreters portray Cobb family members, neighbors, and servants. They invite visitors to join them as their guest in the Cobb house. In the house visitors will view such treasures as the 1720s Richard Midgley clock and hear stories about the Cobb family, Governor Blount, life on the frontier, and the latest gossip of the territory.
A visit to the historic kitchen is next. Interpreters demonstrate eighteenth century cooking techniques and tools. The last building to visit is the weaving cabin. In this cabin visitors learn about flax and wool processing by watching interpreters demonstrate these techniques.
In the end, we will be there for up to 2 hours, before we head to the famous Original Ridgewood BBQ in Bluff City, TN, where their BBQ sandwich is world-renowned. After a scrumptious lunch, we will then drive north another half hour to Bristol, Virginia, where we will tour the famous NASCAR Bristol Speedway, home of the smallest and toughest track on the NASCAR circuit. Bristol is famous for some of the most famous, contentious, competitive NASCAR races in the sport, and we will get to see all the behind the scenes areas that make the racetrack so famous, with our own personal guided tour in a van. This includes even a ride in their tour van on the actual track. Wow! What a spectacular moment to share American NASCAR history with all the great racers that have raced there for decades. There is a pre-drive briefing with exciting history, and upon our return, a big gift shop where you can purchase nearly anything NASCAR. What an opportunity to touch history and the magic of NASCAR, at perhaps the most exciting track on the circuit. Don’t miss out! Plan your flights into Knoxville or Bristol today.
At the end of this long, exciting day, we will dine either up there or back in Mooresburg, depending on the time it takes to complete the tour at the track, since their van holds 12 at a time and goes once an hour on the hour. All in all, it should be a spectacular field trip day, leading up to our longstanding Traditional Reunion Day of Family Celebration and Remembrance on Saturday.
Saturday October 28th, 2017
The day will start with our paying our respects to our Moore ancestors at the graves of our matriarch Elizabeth Gallahue Moore, Rodey’s beloved wife of all their children, as well as 2nd born son Hugh, and 3rd born son, John, at the Moore-Dickson Cemetery within rock throwing distance of Pris’s B&B. Then, it’s off to the Killian’s beautiful lake bluff overlook property, passing the hidden quarry in the woods, where 5th born son Cleon and his wife are buried, and finally to the hilltop William’s Cemetery where 8th born child Sallie Moore Williams and her husband are buried. Whether you’ve experienced this trek before or not, it is always a delight to get out in the fields and woods of eastern Tennessee, and marvel at the fall colors and the beauty of this final resting places of our precious ancestors. Then, back to Pris’s B&B for our traditional storytelling and family sharing time, so bring your old family photos and memorabilia, and share it with the family. Afterwards, Pris will provide us with another great meal, and then awards and more sharing of family stories and whatever you want to bring to share with everyone. Let me know a few weeks in advance of anything large that you want to present, please. It will be a wonderful night of family, tradition, laughter, and enjoyment.
Reunion 2015 – was in Mt. Vernon & Springfield, Missouri
2015 was a spectacular two-day extravaganza of family fun! For those of you that could not make it, here’s a snapshot of what fun we all had.
On Friday morning, we started off from the Springfield Courtyard by Marriott motel, and caravanned to the exciting “Fantastic Caverns”. With a slight drizzle, we “went inside” in America’s only ride thru cave, where you ride through the caverns of stalagmites and stalactites in a comfortable long tram trailer pulled by a jeep. The jeep-drawn tram wound its way through many turns, tunnels, and giant cathedral rooms. We had a lot of laughs and fun in the cave system and on the cave wagon itself, and then it was back into Springfield for a tour and shopping in the biggest ever – Bass Pro Shop! This was it, the one that all others are modeled on, and is the 2nd largest of them all with over 500,000 sq. ft. of shopping and dining. With the average store being just 125,000 sq. ft., you can imagine why we spent the rest of the afternoon there, starting first with lunch in our own private dining room at the famous Hemingway’s Blue Water Cafe, as well. If you can imagine anything to be used in the great outdoors, Bass Pro Shops had it for sale there. In addition, they had some incredible aquarium tanks with turtles, catfish, pike, and other pretty and very ugly fish. In addition, a nice rocking chair area with fireplace was enjoyed by many of us. From Bass Pro Shops, we realized a dream for many by driving south to Branson Missouri, where country music has created a spectacular town of restaurants and shows. The Grand Country Buffet Restaurant was our feast for the night, with so much food, we could have fed an army. Then, on top of it all, we watched a great county music and comedy show there at Grand Country in their theatre, which made us laugh and sing until we couldn’t stand much more. After all the fun of the day, we rolled into our cars and headed back north to Springfield for a well-deserved night’s sleep. So it ended in Branson Missouri, for just the first day of our two-day reunion. Next time we come to Missouri, I think we might spend a whole day down here, just to soak in the country music and feast the food of a great American entertainment town.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Saturday, we arose at the Springfield Courtyard by Marriott again, and headed west first to the Zion Cemetery where Cousin Herb is buried. This was the first reunion without Herb, since he had passed between reunions, and we missed him terribly. Several of us remarked how he was probably trying to speak to us about Heaven, and we were certain it involved something that would make us all laugh. After paying our respects and memorializing Herb over his grave, we then went on to the Williams Cemetery where dear Cousin Bessie Rutherford is buried. Bessie was such a character, and always had a wit-ful comment that would also make us all just crack up, especially when she and Herb would start talking together. Anytime you got Herb & Bessie together, it was great fun, and we miss them both dearly. At both cemeteries, we shared Herb and Bessie stories, and memorialized them further in all of our words and thoughts. What a God-given gift to all of us, and we are all so blessed and better for having known them. Without our reunions and this Association, most of us would never have known either of them, and we would have been so much poorer for it. That my fellow family members, is another reason to come to the Reunion every two years, as we plan to continue scheduling it. It is the richness of the character of so many of us, that when combined in one place for one short period of time on a weekend every two years in October, creates a magnificent moment of joy and enthusiasm for who were are today, and who our ancestors were in the past.
After much laughter and respectful prayers for Herb, Bessie, and the many other ancestors resting in those two cemeteries, we then moved onto our exciting luncheon spot, the “Hangar Café”, north of Mt. Vernon. Now this place is really special, because it’s a glider plane airport, with a 50’s themed restaurant in a huge half-oval shaped large Quonset hut. They had a glider festival going on that day, so there were many planes taking off and landing, as well as exciting near silent loop de loops aerobatics by some of the glider pilots. As to the food, it was delicious, and a broad menu of all sorts of burgers, chicken, sandwiches, and desserts, along with some old soda fountain drinks to capture the moment. Who’d have ever thought that out in the middle of a Missouri corn field, surrounded by more corn fields and nearly 100 miles from the “big” city of Springfield, that there’d be this great restaurant and glider port. Yet, that’s what it was, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.
From there, we headed north and then east to Stockton Lake, and the overlook on a hill where we can oversee the vast countryside, and the Sac River watershed below. Gallahue Moore is buried somewhere below that overlook, on riverbank land long flooded by the Army Corp of Engineers. Each time we visit the overlook, I think of Gallahue standing there with us, since it is the highpoint of the region, and you know he hiked up there from his river side farm below, to see the vast world around him.
Back in our cars we piled, and further snaked across the Missouri countryside to just north of Bolivar, where we came to the spectacular Moore Cemetery, lovingly preserved by board member Pauline Malos. Pauline’s new grave identification sign is spectacular, and she has done an outstanding job of reclaiming this old cemetery and further preserving it. Pauline had put up a brand new fence to protect against the marauding gravestone-toppling cows pushing in there, and we marveled at the granite stones that we erected for Rodey son’s Gallahue and Ewell Moore. Although we are pretty sure Gallahue is actually buried on his Sac River land under Stockton Lake, Ewell is most likely buried there in this Moore Cemetery. If you go to our website, you can view all of the stones that we’ve erected now for all 8 of Rodey & Liz’s children. What an accomplishment of timeless value to our great American Moore family, and one that you financed with your annual dues. These projects are why your dues are critical to our little Association. More on that a little later.
That evening, overlooking the Williams Cemetery from nearby bluffs, Cousin April Mieswinkel, hosted the whole family at her home, to a scrumptious and delightful dinner of brisket, ham, and chicken. It was a feast to remember with lots to eat and more stories to tell from everyone. Thank you so much to April and her family, for opening their home and preparing such a tremendous feast. You could have rolled me out the door, if I’d eaten a bite more!
As tradition has been from the beginning, we recognize dedicated service of family members to the Association every reunion, with two types of awards: the Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service to the family, and President’s Awards, where I recognize special efforts on specific projects of our family members. 2017 at April’s house was no different with well-deserved recognition and great appreciation to special family members for their dedication and commitment to the family.
Larry Moore and Sarah Hitesman both received our Distinguished Service Award, for their great efforts in not just helping organize the 2015 Reunion, but in tackling the laborious task of further establishing our Association in legal and government filings. This is one of the unsung duties that Larry as Legal Counsel, and Sarah as Secretary continue to work on, focusing on the regulatory compliance aspect of our existence and functions. It’s not any fun, but a duty that must be served. Thank you Larry & Sarah! We appreciate your ongoing efforts soooooo much!
For President’s Awards, I awarded one each to Asst. Secretaries Jerry Hill and Louise Murphy, who’s “behind the scenes” work is critical to our ongoing Association and Reunion Newsletter operations. Both are extremely capable and accomplished in their duties, and having them perform their tasks so well, makes it much easier for me to focus on things like thinking up and implementing plans for the future.
So, as you can see, we had an action packed weekend in 2015, and 2017 is shaping up to be a similarly action-packed weekend too. Do not miss out on our 20th Anniversary celebration! Make your travel plans before this weekend, and fill out the registration form and return it in the envelope with your dues payment before this weekend. Don’t wait until the last minute, since motel rooms and low air fares may be gone.
Did I say “Dues”?
Please Remember To Send Us Your Updated Membership Form & Dues!
As I wrap this column, I want to emphasize the importance of remembering to contribute your annual dues, which directly funds the preservation of the cemeteries, the publication of this newsletter, reunions, and maintenance of the website, which are all critical to the ongoing operations which fulfill the mission of the Association. Even if you cannot afford to send your dues, please send us the Membership information sheet in the attached envelope, so we can keep in contact with you, and especially the email address. We hope to build a better email address contact list in the coming year, in order to stay in touch more frequently and less expensively than printing and mailing newsletters.
This year, since we have shifted into this every two year mode, where we do not spend funds on a newsletter or reunion in even-numbered years, I do need to ask you to send us two years of dues – one for 2016 and one for 2017, at $ 25 per year, or a total of $ 50. Even if you can’t afford the full $25 per year, please send us whatever you feel you can afford, to help pay for this newsletter and all of the vital family programs, i.e. cemetery maintenance, newsletter, website, reunions, etc. Our goal this year is 100% participation of every newsletter recipient, even if it’s just $5. Please help out as best you can. We’re providing you with this handy return address envelope, so all you have to do is write the check and stick a stamp on it, and you’ve helped support your great Moore Family Association. Better yet, fill out the registration form, include a small check of $ 20 per person for your Saturday lunch and dinner, and then make your air, motel, and rental car reservations, to join us at our 20th Reunion.
Thank you again for your prayers, dues, and support. We can't do all these wonderful Moore family deeds without your financial support and assistance too.
Moore 2017 Mooresburg Tennessee Reunion Details
I truly hope to see you at The Home Place on Friday morning October 27th! Low airfares into both Knoxville and Bristol, VA are available, so make your plans to attend today! If you wait to the last minutes, go to priceline.com, if the fares seem to high from the airlines. They sometimes have lower last minute fares.
Priscilla has two rooms available at the B&B, but they will likely book quickly (423-921-8424). Call her to find out, and she can also advise you on the motel option too. That option is the Rogersville Quality Inn (rates start as low as $79/night per room). You can make your room reservation directly with them at 423-272-1842. Tell them that you are with the Rodeham Moore Reunion and that you want to use one of the rooms in the Priscilla Rogers room block. Pris got an 8-room room block, so call today before they sell out. If we fill up early, we can get probably, get more, BUT YOU MUST ACT SOON!
Next, fill out our registration form and let us know who will be coming with you. It will be fun for the whole family, especially the NASCAR tour, so don’t leave anyone home. You’ll have a fun-filled trip, and memories to last a lifetime, just like we do every time we reunion. Remember too, this is our 20th anniversary of the start of the Association, so don’t miss out celebrating this milestone with us.
So, please fill out: 1) fill out your Membership form, 2) your dues check, & 3) your registration form, and put it all in our pre-addressed envelope.
May the Lord bless you too, and keep you and your family healthy and safe, and especially as you travel to join us in Mooresburg.