A couple years ago we had a ‘mini-reunion’ (on my Mom’s side of the family, the Garrisons), here in Ohio. Mom was born in Lebanon, Ohio and raised on a few farms in the area. Her father, Dudley, lost his farm during the Great Depression.
In the late 1940’s my grandparents moved from Lebanon, OH to Lebanon, OR. I always thought it was because Dudley could only spell the name of one town, and it would have been too hard for him to move anywhere else. Okay, moving on…
All of my cousins, who had grown up in Oregon, had never seen the farms their parents grew up on. I had been to Lebanon on numerous occasions, and was familiar with the area. I also knew where one of the farms was. So, I offered to host a mini-reunion 2011, and take them to see the area Mom and their parents grew up in.
My Mom came from a family of 9 kids. She was the youngest. In 2011 there were only two surviving siblings; Uncle Kenny and Aunt Jan. Aunt Jan, in her 90’s now, was in Washington state, and didn’t make the trip; but Uncle Kenny showed up.
We all met on a Saturday evening for dinner in Maumee, OH, then I hosted a dinner on Sunday. That following Monday we all went to Lebanon, staying at the Golden Lamb.
Kenny had come up from Florida a couple days earlier, and he and I went to Lebanon to ‘scout out’ the place. His memory was remarkable, and we found 3 of the 5 farms they lived on. Two fo the families residing on the properties today gave us permission to visit; the people at the 3rd place weren’t home.
On that Tuesday, we all visited the farms, and were shown a great time. Very nice folks there now – at both places. That afternoon a group of us headed over to Blanchester, OH to visit an old family cemetery – the Garrison Cemetery. There are Garrisons buried there who fought in the Revolutionary War.
It’s a well-kept cemetery, and as we walked around, I had an idea. I went up to Uncle Kenny and explained my idea. He thought it was a good one, so we found a nice spot, and he laid down – you know, for the ‘fitting!’
He is in his late 80’s after all…