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Rich and Betty Lou Montgomery of Columbia were here last week to attend the funeral of Betty Lou’s aunt, Zelda Henderson, of Springfield. Zelda was a sister of Betty’s father, the late Homer Rennaker and was 95 years old when she passed away. Accompanying the Montgomerys to the funeral was Virginia Prock of Ava, another of the Rennaker siblings. Their parents were the late Thomas Perry and Alta Mae Rennaker of Girdner.
Just a couple of weeks earlier, Rich and Betty Lou had taken Virginia and husband Rondo to visit Zelda and had taken photos of the sisters together, something that was especially meaningful to all of them.
Mark and Delores Ray recently purchased a fifth-wheel camper and have taken it out for a couple of short jaunts to nearby campsites, in preparation for trips farther afield. Last weekend, their whole family, including sons Darin and wife Monica, with daughters, Amanda and Lori, and Dwain and wife Chrystal with children, Bailey, Darci and A.J., went to Pontiac, where they enjoyed boating down to the dam on Saturday and playing horseshoes and volleyball in the campground. Mark says he thinks they’re about ready to venture down into Arkansas and see what the campgrounds are like down there.
Best wishes to our cousin, Dale Thomas, who has experienced some serious health issues this year. The good news is that Dale is feeling better and stronger, and he and wife Betty are happily anticipating the Pioneer Descendants’ Gathering which they will host the first weekend in October. Betty said they had over 4000 visitors last year and are expecting another good crowd this time. All kinds of old-time crafts and demonstrations are planned, with music and good food served up, too.
The Thomases live on property adjoining the Yates Cemetery where Dale and Stan’s common ancestor, Thomas Brown, is buried. Thomas was a Civil War veteran who came to the Ozarks from Indiana in 1845 with twin baby daughters, after the death of his wife. Once here, Thomas remarried, and he and his second wife had nine more children and have descendants scattered all over the place. When Dale and Betty hosted the first Gathering, about three dozen cousins showed up. Ten years later, the event has grown to include anyone with an interest in how our pioneer ancestors lived.
Happy birthday wishes this week are extended to Ed Hawkins, who celebrates today, Sept. l4, and to Alvis Thomas, whose birthday is tomorrow, Sept. 15. Alvis won’t be the only one blowing out candles on Thursday — a special little girl named Addie Alms, our youngest grandchild, will be 3 years old tomorrow. Addie is hoping for a “pink” birthday.
Be sure and stop by the Historium during Hootin an Hollarin this weekend, to see the progress that has been made inside the home of the Ozark County Genealogical and Historical Society in the last year. It was just one year ago that our doors were open for the first time, and we’ve come a long way since then. The 2011 Historium Friendship Quilt now proudly hangs on the wall so that everyone can enjoy reading the names on all 110 blocks. Some are of current Ozark Countians, while others are from days gone by. The quilt was beautifully hand-quilted by the very talented ladies who ply their needles at the Senior Center. The fabrics used in the blocks are reminiscent of the Civil War era, and their deep colors are vibrant against the textured walls of the Historium. This quilt is a lovely addition to our facility, and we’re eager to show it off.
Our genealogy library has been completely reorganized and has been enriched by a gift from the Raymond Williamson family. The late Flo Williamson was an avid genealogist and had amassed a large collection of research materials that has been integrated into our library. The whole collection is now catalogued and is easily accessible, and we have volunteers who can help you get started putting together your own family history.
Also, we will have for sale our newest project, Apron Strings: Recipes and Recollections. This is no ordinary cookbook; in fact, every page is filled with pictures and anecdotes about Ozark County cooks and cooking and meals, along with old-time recipes. The cost of this keepsake book is $15 and would make a very thoughtful gift.
The Historium will be open from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. Come and see us and be sure to sign our guest book!