The above picture is my grandfather’s family. My grandpa, George Randolph Wells, was the youngest child.
Here is another picture of him when he was really little.
I’m back from my family reunion this weekend. It was held in small town, southern Illinois (which is really more like mid-Illinois, but all northern Illinoisians know that anything below Chicago is probably southern Illinois). I live in what is commonly called a small town, but it’s all relative because of our closeness to Chicago. Compared to the small towns we visited this weekend, DeKalb is huge bustling metropolis.
While on our trip my immediate family went out for breakfast one morning, the final tab for 7 people eating a full breakfast…$25. How is that even possible? Matt and I go out for breakfast up here and it would probably cost that much alone.
We had a great time and I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few of our family’s stories.
My dad’s uncle was a farmer and supplied farm animals to farms all over the country. On this particular occasion that this story takes place, an order of live chickens was being sent to California. After the shipment arrived, my dads uncle received a letter from California thanking them for the chickens, but also for the beagle as well. Apparently, when they were filling the orders of chickens to go out, a youngster on the farm was playing around and thought it would be funny to toss a beagle puppy into the box as well. The chicken crate, along with the beagle was sent to chicago where a person heard the puppy yelping. An employee of the post opened up the crate to find this poor puppy being pecked to death by the chickens, removed the puppy and put it in a crate of it’s own and sent the two packages along their way, wondering why on earth a person would ever package a dog and chickens together. Once in California the new owners picked up their packages and were surprised to see the puppy and imagined it was just a gift. They kept the puppy and after that decided to start breeding beagles as well.
Another story that I remembered hearing at another reunion years ago had to do with flying. My dads family has a lot of pilots and everyone loved flying so much that they didn’t need much of an excuse to get up in a plane. I think this was a story that my dad’s cousin’s children shared. When they were kids over at a friend’s house they would call home and ask if it was okay if they slept over and instead of driving over their sleepover bundles, their parents would fly over the neighbors house and drop their sleeping bags and overnight clothes in their yard from the plane above.
I had such a great time at the reunion, reconnecting with family and sharing new memories. We spent some time searching cemeteries for past relatives. My dad’s cousin Ruth (pictured above, taken by my cousin Sharon Kay Swing) cooked something like 25 pies, and 60 dozen cookies! We met at a campground, and saw a group of people playing music. Ruth said she thought she knew who the musicians were and walked Matt, my sister, my sister in law and I over to check it out. When we got there everyone seemed to know her, she’s like a rock star, and everyone loves her. The music was amazing real bluegrass and the whole weekend I felt like I stepped back into time to a more peaceful and friendly time.