Emily Russell (Walter Brown Russell Branch) makes a unique discovery in downtown Detroit: the corner of Winder and Russell.
May 11, 2013
Table of Contents Introduction 1 Prayer for the Reunion 2 Schedule of Events
Goodbye, Lasagna Supper; Hello, Low Country Boil
In Memory of Ala Jo Russell
Stories of Tradition Family News from the Branches
Samuel Gordon Green Family James Harris Bowden, Sr. Family Robert Lee Russell, Sr. Family Hugh Peterson, Sr. Family Walter Brown Russell, Sr. Family Fielding Dillard Russell, Sr. Family Henry Edward (Jeb) Russell Family Alexander Brevard Russell, Sr. Family Raymond Nelson, Sr. Family
19 20 21 26 35 36 42 48 49 57
Recipes 64 2012-2013 Year in Pictures
With Gratitude 73
Monty Nelson wrote a prayer for the year’s Reunion....
Gracious Father, we gather our thoughts and feelings of family together, as weassemble again. We enter a blessed tradition fashioned from a lineage recovered only in your memory, yet we enter with gratitude, and with our memories we anticipate: laughter, hugs, heartfelt kinship, and food. We enter with awe, for you are beyond our highest dreams, yet we are embraced within each cell of our being by you. We enter old traditions and embrace new acts with confidence in your grace. Your grace evokes faith that leads us to love...
...Since Ina Dillard and Richard Russell entered covenant, your blessings abound. Traditions formed with those now dead, build new generations, new promise. Rebirth in us a nobility of spirit nourished by the Spirit of the One who joined a celebrating couple in Cana of Galiliee. Celebrate with us. We thank you for the beauty of the place we gather, the hospitality, and creative witness to life. Open our eyes to see your hand in our travel and lodging, our sharing of pain and pleasure, gifts, and labor, “kith and kin”. We acknowledge and praise you in the green grass covering the relics of your children, our parents and ancestors. Be in our rituals and remembering; our words and skits, in all our hopeful imaginings of those who will gather over our mortal remains. In Christ Name,Amen.
Introduction In the treasured Russell Herald of 2012, the 100-year celebration of the family homeplace, Sally Russell Warrington had you all sifting through the deep corners of your memories and putting into words the best of those which were surrounded by the walls of the Big House. Contributions spanned generations. My father is an entire generation closer than I am to the origin of the traditions many of us have held dear every Summer of our lives, and my grandmother remembered the day when it all began. I doubt I made it past the age of twelve before I began daydreaming of the day I would bring my own children to reunions each summer. I would envision myself eventually, surrounded by my cousins, sitting in the chairs up front on the hill, donning a visor and giant sunglasses, gently fanning myself as my children’s children scramble on the gravestones of their ancestors. I didn’t know then (you know, at the age of twelve), what it meant to bring someone new into the family, to have him or her gobbled up with love from the people to whom I’m related, yet I can now wittness the joy of watching my significant other- an outsider brought in- fall in love with those traditions, and of watching my children- finding themselves in it by default- follow in earnest, the same traditions I grew up cherishing. It’s not until we “grow up” that we recognize the dedication to preserving tradition required to continue something we, in our youth, assumed would effortlessly perpetuate. I have recently looked ahead to an understanding that the memories and the reasons for these traditions are mine to continue and mine to hand down. And therefore, upon that realization, let’s continue to recieve our tasks of perpetuating tradition as it is handed down to us from our grandparents and our greats, aunts and uncles, cousins, and parents. It isn’t necessary that we replicate these customs year to year, exactly. We will watch them evolve and grow into something different from when it began. The value is in the stories and the remembering of what was, and in handing it down in bits and pieces to the next who await to connect the dots of their unique heritage.What a blessing this Herald has been in helping us to do so! I recieve this task with open arms and enjoy playing a role in its ability to connect us to our many Reunion and family traditions.
Catherine Campbell, Thomas Campbell, and Alexi Russell Jump for a series of creative photos of cousins on the hill Reunion 2012
Schedule of Events Thursday June 20, 2013 Low Country Boil at the Big House
led by Van denHeuvels and company
Friday June 21, 2013 Cookout at the Big House
Prepared by Ina Jones and crew
Saturday June 22, 2013 Family Photograph on the Hill
Barbeque in the pecan orchard
Led By Walter Brown Russell Family
and Annual Meeting
Sunday June 23, 2013 Pancake Breakfast at the big house
prepared and served by Fielding Dillard Russell Family
Giving of Bells as family departs
Goodbye to Lasagna Supper... From Betty Ann Russell...
From Sally R. Warrington...
I don’t remember the year the lasagna supper started. I do remember being sorry the “reunion time” was over. So, Betty and I called whoever was still at the “Big House” and asked them to bring their left-overs to my house and we would get ours out and eat together and still visit.
As I consider the fun and food we are going to have at the new tradition of the Low Country Boil on Thursday evening, I am aware again and again of our beautiful Lasagne Suppers. I figure we had about forty years of these spectacular gatherings, all as guests of Betty Ann and Betty, with help from all the Robert Lee Russells and Jane Bowden Moore through the years. Forty years of partying and visiting and eating! What a gift they gave to us and I want to say thank you, thank you, again and again. I should write a poem, or maybe somebody else will feel so inspired. What grand examples of family love and hospitality they have furnished. God bless them and may we never forget their goodness to us in this way.
The next year, we wanted to do that but it bothered me that the local families had not been included. That brought about our planning the next year to host an early getting together. We loved family and getting to be with them. We considered this, as it got to be, the lasagna supper, our gift to whomever could come. Our fun!--and sadness about me getting to the age and stage to call it quits. Thanks each and everyone of you who got here through the years.
Heart of Love, Sally
photos of Betty Vandiver and Betty Ann Russell at the last Lasagna Supper, 2012, courtesy of Beth Vandiver via the RBR Facebook Page
From Betty R. Vandiver...
From Karey Russell...
Isn’t it funny that no one remembers when it started but no one can remember when we didn’t do it? I know that I feel this Spring has been misspent.....I haven’t made a single lasagna. Heretofore, I would try to make one or two a week, and I know Betty Ann was baking cakes. We did not have to discuss it because we each knew what had to be done. But, we did discuss it, that was part of the fun. One of the most fun was on Friday morning we had the big count. Each year it got bigger and bigger. Jane and Ina and always Dick B. checked the list. I think the record stands at 112. We really are missing our time with all the happenings but we are looking forward to this year’s get-together. Yea, another generation! See you there.
I remember my first reunion, 29 years ago! Jim and I were to be married in July. I came to the lasagna supper and my standout memory is Uncle Fielding. Uncle Fielding very kindly spent much time on the breezeway talking with me and making me feel very comfortable. Through the years there was much activity the day before and day of the lasagna supper, of course. The banana pudding tradition was started with Jane Moore teaching Kate Russell (my daughter) how to make it. Kate helped with it many years, then Ina Ingram helped and she taught her granddaughters, Brooke and Skylar Ingram (Russell & Christy’s girls). Kate, Brooke, and Skylar all took the tradition and responsibility very seriously. (Kate has now become the official banana pudding provider for family events in my family!) The morning after the lasagna supper, Betty Ann, Betty, Jane, and anyone else at Betty Ann’s would list and count all the attendees. Between them, I bet they didn’t miss a single person because I know they talked with everyone! Betty Ann thinks the largest count was 112!
Love to all, Betty Vandiver FROM Gordon Green...
We will see if it survives as a “new tradition”. ……….Isn’t that an oxymoron? Low country boil originated in the south, South Carolina Low Country or Louisiana. I got introduced to it by a fraternity brother who got a job in New Orleans. We adopted it as a meal for my college fraternity brothers (& families) “reunion” we have every year at the Green Farm on Labor Day weekend. BBQ is of course another meal! We feed about 60 people. This year will be the 33rd annual event. Traditions abound in this family, it’s in the genes! Katie grew up with this tradition and suggested it as an alternative to trying duplicate the incomparable Betty Ann’s Lasagna Supper. Since our kitchen facilities are limited, it sounded like a good solution. Low country boil is an easy way to feed a lot of people good food and the one pot clean up is pretty easy. We normally pour the contents on newspapers outside and everybody grabs what they want. We will upgrade a little this time.
to Low Country Boil
In Loving Memory of
Ala Jo Russell
by Harriette R. Coleman: The last of the old guard, Ala Joanna Brewton Russell died at age 96, at home in Memphis, Tennessee, in her own bed and in her sleep on October 23, 2012. To her children she was a legend in her own time. To her husband, Jeb, she was Ms. Honey, whom he married in Vidalia, Georgia in June, 1939. His last words to her, on his death bed in March 1979 were, “You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” The day she died, she was still the ever beautiful Ala Jo, beloved by family and a slew of friends.
Below is the obituary that appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal... la Joanna Brewton Russell, affectionately known as “Ala Jo” or “Ms. Honey”, passed away at home in Memphis on October 23, 2012. She was the widow of the late Reverend Doctor Henry Edward Russell, who served for many years as the Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church of Memphis. Mrs. Russell was born on September 5, 1916 in Ailey, Georgia, the second of five daughters of the late John Broadus Brewton and Ala Peterson Brewton. A brother, Broadus, died in early childhood. Three sisters predeceased her. She had deep roots in the State of Georgia which she maintained all of her life. Her early years were spent in Vidalia, Georgia. She was a graduate of Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville, Georgia, now Georgia College and State University. On June 15, 1938, she married Henry Edward Russell of Winder, Georgia, the 13th of 15 children of the late Richard Brevard Russell, Sr. and Ina Dillard Russell. During their marriage, Dr. Russell, a minister in the Presbyterian Church, U.S., served Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, Georgia; First Presbyterian Church, LaGrange, Georgia; and Trinity Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, Alabama. In 1958, Dr. and Mrs. Russell moved to Memphis, where he served Second Presbyterian Church until his retirement in 1975. Mrs. Russell was active in the civic affairs in each of the cities in which she and her husband lived and in
each of the churches served by her husband. She and her husband were avid travelers in the United States and abroad. Mrs. Russell enjoyed entertaining family and friends, reading, following politics, and in her later years playing bridge. Following Dr. Russell’s death in 1979, Mrs. Russell chose to remain
in Memphis, where she enjoyed a wide circle of friends and remained civically and socially active until her death. Her greatest love was family. Mrs. Russell is survived by her son, Henry Edward Russell, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Belinda Brooks Russell of Grand Junction, CO; four daughters: Ala Joanna RussellHogan and son-in-law Frank Hogan of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Harriette BrumbyRussell Coleman and son-in-law George Coleman, Jr. of Counce, TN, Catherine Calhoun Russell Davis and son-in-law Peter Davis of Wilmington, NC, and Dorothy Patience “Missy” Russell Branham of Memphis; 12 grandchildren: James RussellRobinson and his wife Jennie Hart Forbes Robinson of Perry, GA, Thomas Mere-
dith Robinson and his wife Donna Mueller Robinson of Honolulu, HI, Joanna Flinn Goodin and her husband Mark Goodin of McLean, VA, George Shea Flinn III and his wife Amy Raiford Flinn of Memphis, Courtney Elizabeth Coleman of New York, NY, George Edward Coleman III and his wife Jennifer King Coleman of Wilmington, NC, Sarah Lyle Coleman Dampoux and her husband Emmanuel Dampoux of Versailles, France, Richard Russell Davis and his wife Schorr Johnson Davis of Wilmington, NC, Matthew Brewton Davis and his wife Sally Strauss Davis of Wilmington, NC, Daniel Brooks Russell of Grand Junction, CO, Evan James Russell of Grand Junction, CO, and Joanna Louise Branham of Denver, CO; a sister: Jessie Marie Brewton Bishop of Ailey, GA; and numerous beloved great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be 1:00 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012 in the Chapel of Second Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends in the Louise Salmon Room following the service. The family requests that any memorials be made to the Henry Edward RussellScholarship Fund at Columbia Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 520, Decatur, GA 30031-0520 or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Photos courtesy of Peter Davis via the Richard B. Russell Family Facebook Page. Left Page- Ala Jo at a reunion. Date unknown (to me) Above- Ala Jo and her grandson, Matthew Brewton Davis.
(married to Ina Nelson Jones of Carolyn Russell Nelson Branch) canoes as his children and their cousins swim out at Betty Ann’s Pond
A Reunion Tradition; circa 1993
Stories of Tradition This idea of handing down tradition keeps bringing me back to an image of passing the torch- something that must remain lit as it is immortalized. There’s no doubt that Richard and Ina gave us everything we needed to pass the torch on when they began the traditions we continue year after year. They gave us a reason and a place to gather; they gave us delicious outdoor meal ideas and a pecan orchard for enjoying them. They inspired a willingness to stay connected and encouraged children to play. They gave us a love for one another and for deep rooted traditions. I asked for your stories of remembering the ways in which these gifts have been passed along over time. It is clear that in this family there is a passion for traditions- creating them, allowing them to evolve, and telling their stories. For those of us who are not the grandchildren of Richard and Ina, but the greats, great-greats, and greater, we will continue this heritage and tell its stories to our children. It will not be out of obligation that we do so, but because of the spirit of unity passed from one generation to the next; an excitement in remembering what once was, and a joy in celebrating what will be, passed along as the lighted torch of Russell Family traditions.
Count Your Many Blessings or
Giving ‘em A Bell By
Temple Russell Christiansen
The story of the origins of “giving a bell” have been chronicled in one of my Aunt Sally’s books and/or one of our past Russell Heralds, and I have experienced the “giving a bell” at the Big House during the Reunion many times.
My father and mother raised my sister Patience and I with the tradition, and now we have adopted the “giving a bell” to family and friends leaving our home to go on trips or to return to their homes from ours. Here at New Bedlam Ridge in Palmer, Alaska, my husband Rod and I have mounted a large bell on our front porch for the express purpose of “giving a bell” as well as calling the boys in from the woods for dinner. It has served both purposes many times already in the nine years we have lived here.
Several years ago, Kenny and I donated a weekend at our home on the Georgia coast for one of
Judy Russell Dodd
Russell Reunion auctions. The proceeds benefited the Russell Cemetery Fund. Sweet Frank and Joanna Hogan purchased the weekend. It took several years before we could work out all the calendars. I was a little apprehensive about having “strangers” and wanted to make sure we showed them a “good” time. It turned out to be so much fun for us. The Hogans were such good sports with our “rough” arrangements. We brought in the “A” team for help with the entertaining. (Betty Ann, Betty and Ina!) Kenny and I felt like we made friends with our second cousins, our family! We ate; we sang; we shopped; and we all told great, funny stories. It was grand hearing Joanna’s side of the same stories I had heard with the Robert Russell slant over the years. What is not to LOVE about Frank Hogan? Frank noticed that my husband put Tabasco on everything and mentioned he had worked with Tabasco for years. A couple of years later, (this year, March 2013) Frank arranged a VIP tour to Avery Island, home of Tabasco. We were happy to tag along with Frank and Joanna in Louisiana, where the McIlheeny family (owners of Tabasco) rolled out the red carpet for the best distributor of their product to the military market, Frank and his company OSC (Overseas Service Corporation). OSC has been representing Tabasco since 1947 and supplying commissaries worldwide. The McIlheeny family was so happy to have Frank and Joanna on their home turf. We were happy to be included on the trip.
Rod and Temple’s Bell outside of their home “New Bedlam Ridge” Palmer, Alaska
We also had a sobering visit to the WWII museum in New Orleans. A “must-see”, if you are ever in New Orleans. There is more to tell, ask us at this reunion!
on the Grounds
The moral of this story is to invite a cousin over, get to know them better and share stories. After all, you have a huge family tree in common.
R. Bruce Russell
Thank you Frank and Joanna!!
You asked for stories about some of the old traditions. For many years the barbecue was cooked on the “Big House” property. The pit was dug in the area just south of where we now cook and gather. You can see some sign of them if you look real hard. In 1975, 76 and 77, Debbie and I were living in Winder and took on the responsibility for the Reunion. I’m not real sure why we did that, but I remember Debbie was thrilled! Anyway, as part of the festivities Bob Russell (Robert Lee Russell, III) and I decided to cook the pig on the grounds in the old fashion way. We talked A. J. Willoughby into bringing his equipment and know how. Mr. Willoughby cooked the barbecue back then anyway, so there wasn’t much risk the food would not be as good as before. Bob and I redug the pits and built out the cookers as A.J. instructed. We started the fires about the time everyone else was enjoying the hamburgers and hot dogs. We cooked the whole pig through the night and well into the next morning. Mr. Willoughby cooked a dozen chickens to add to that famous stew he made. It was a great time, but a lot of work.
Frank and Joanna in front of the barrels that store the tabasco pepper mash for 3 years before it goes to production for the end product.
We did the barbecue on the grounds for two years, maybe three. Afterwards, it seems Gordon or someone else did once more. I don’t think the pig has been cooked on the property since. After those years being up close and personal with the reunion Debbie and I moved north as far as possible and still remain in Georgia. Bruce came with us, he was only 4. Debbie, Bruce Jr. and I hope everyone has a wonderful reunion. No, we are not volunteering to cook the pig on the grounds next year, at least I’m not.
All of us, Judy and Kenny Dodd and Frank and Joanna Hogan with hair nets on for the VIP tour of the factory. Kenny was having a “HOT” time!!
That Good Ol’
place, chiefly Alex and Bill Russell, got any “’shine”, there was apt to be a drinking spree in the backyard down near the wagonshed. If Uncle Rob was at home, it might even be over at Aunt Sybil’s, next to the coal shute. Bobby Russell, Jr. liked to be in on these parties, as did Ernie Vandiver when he and Betty lived in Winder. Uncle Rob, who was a Federal judge, brought his own bottle of perfectly legal Wild Turkey to the party. He would never drink mountain dew because he said it just wouldn’t be right because he put people in jail for making that stuff. The Senator would surely participate if he happened to be at home.
Mountain Dew By
Sally Russell Warrington This year, 2013, we saw the passing of our last Old Guard when Ala Jo Brewton Russell crossed the Great Divide. I think that means that those of us who have been called the Rear Guard, i.e., the grandchildren of Ina and Richard, are now the Old Guard, and the great-grandchildren move into the Rear Guard slot. (Everybody else Les and I called the Rank and File except newborns who are Advance Guard.) So now wearing my Old Guard badge, I feel it is my place to educate the younger crowds about Russells and that “good ol’ mountain dew.” After all, some of you may think Mountain Dew is only a soft drink put out by the Pepsi Cola Company.
Such drinking was almost never done in the house. If it had to be done inside—inclement weather, I suppose—it was done in the bathroom. Women were never included in the drinking parties. Whether they had a glass on the sly, I do not know, but I doubt it. We knew that mountain dew was potent stuff because sometimes the drinking parties meant the men unwillingly spent the night in the barn or wagonshed, having got too drunk to make it back to the house.
When I was a child, living in Russell, next door to the Big House, we knew that mountain dew was perhaps the hardest drink, something our daddy and our uncles partook of whenever they could get it. Although this was in the 40s and 50s and Prohibition had been repealed since 1933, the mindset of the Bible Belt South was still one of prohibiting consumption of alcoholic beverages if at all possible. Therefore, many counties (and perhaps even states?) remained dry and the bootleggers remained in business. Prohibition had encouraged the development of home brews and some brewers gained high reputation for their skill in producing excellent “moonshine”, “white lightning”, or “mountain dew.” I think the “mountain” came into the term because many clandestine stills were to be found in remote regions of the Georgia mountains and foothills.
Thus, when we got to sing a well-known song called “That Good Ol’ Mountain Dew,” we did so with gusto. This might be in the summer when other “children” were home and the drinking parties larger: Hugh Peterson, Jim Bowden, Walter Russell, Ralph Sharpton were other connoisseurs of mountain dew. Their being here meant, of course, that there were more cousins to play Capture the Flag, to sing, to tell ghost stories: Dick Bowden, Hugh Peterson, Jr., Mary Ina, my brother Alex, Fielding and Bill of the FDR clan, Joanna and Harriette of the Jeb Russell Clan, and this only gives the list of those closest in ages. Fielding Jr. and Hugh Jr. were both good on the guitar and if either or both were here, we had a high ol’ time singing. “That Good Ol’ Mountain Dew” was a favorite. It had many verses. The chorus, which always started the song, went like this: “They call it that good ol’ mountain dew (lord, lord), and them that refuse it are few (mighty few), I’ll hush up my mug if you’ll fill up my jug with that good ol’ mountain dew.”
I can recall my daddy coming home proudly with a half gallon Mason jar of white lightning, wrapped in newspaper and/or in a brown paper bag. I think sometimes he got it from the local sheriff who had confiscated a still of particular good quality brew and was not averse to letting a town doctor know about it. Whenever any of the Russell men living on the home-
Here are two verses I remember: 1. “Now my Uncle Bill has a still on the hill, where he runs off a gallon or two (or two). The buzzards in the sky git so drunk they can’t fly from smelling that good ol’ mountain
dew!” 2. “There’s a place if you can find her, on the east side of Winder, where you lay down a dollar or two (or two). You go ‘round the bend and you come back again to find a jug of that good ol’ mountain dew.”
doc’s eye and called out for mountain dew.” Now that has a positively Gargantuan ring to it! I don’t think any of us made up a verse about Susan. Maybe someone did, but hers were so clever, we likely didn’t feel up to the mark.
Often the guitarist would sing the verse and the rest of us would join in a rousing chorus, always eager to hear the next verse. I believe it was Dick Bowden who came up with this one: “My cousin Ina she had dinner in a diner, ordered from a fancy menu (menu). But she thought they had some nerve when they said they didn’t serve that good ol’ mountain dew.”
So I wrote all that to write this: In 1997, when I was searching through the Big House looking for Ina’s letters while working on her book, I made a surprising discovery in one of the closets downstairs. On a top shelf, ‘way at the back, was a Mason jar of white lightning, wrapped in newspaper from 1949. I figured maybe Uncle Bill had left it there after he and Aunt Ethelene moved out about 1949 or 1950. I said as much to Hugh Peterson Jr., and he said, “You know, Sally, I think too much of Uncle Bill to believe he’d ever forget a jug of good ol’ mountain dew.”
Dick Bowden made up a verse about Hugh Peterson Jr., too, but I can’t remember all of it: “My cousin Hugh Peterson shot some dove out of season, had to take a fast choo-choo. . .” Here my memory fails me, but I think it was something like “he didn’t feel too bad until he found he had left behind his mountain dew!”
I told Richard III about it, too, and thought perhaps he would have disposed of the liquid. I was telling this story to Sally Nelson Poole at the Reunion in 2011, and we decided to look to see if the ‘shine was still there. And it was! There it sat on the shelf just as I had returned it in 1997, still wrapped in the 1949 Atlanta Journal.
Here’s one Hugh made up about his wife Mary Jane: ‘Now my Mary Jane she is nice sweet and plain, as gentle as a baby’s coo. But she’s wild as a bull if you’ll just get her full of that good ol’ mountain dew.” I can still remember the way Mary Jane said, “Hugh!” sternly when he sang that at our house one night. My sister Susan made up some dillies about her siblings:
I don’t know what got into Sally Poole and me, but we decided that mountain dew ought to become a libation, and so whether we had the right to do it or not, we took that Mason jar up to the cemetery, and we poured some of that sixty-year-old mountain dew on the graves of those we thought would appreciate it: my daddy’s, Uncle Walter’s, Uncle Bill’s, Uncle Dick’s, Uncle Jim’s, Bobby Jr.’s, Tom Campbell’s. I even gave Uncle Rob a little. I didn’t figure that business about putting people in jail would count fifty years later.
“My brother Alec he is sort of a relic, not what you’d call real new (not new). But he thinks he’s brand spankin’ when he has been drankin’ that good ol’ mountain dew.” “My sister Sally with a pen she would rally, wrote off a story or two (or two), but she won the Nobel prize when she wrote for everyone’s eyes, the recipe for mountain dew!”
As far as I know, the grass on those graves didn’t die. I don’t remember what we did with the old Mason jar.
“My brother John that election he won, the hot summer of ’72 (’72). He went round the polls and he said good folks you knows I’ll legalize that mountain dew.” I can’t recall Nancy’s but maybe she can. Ask her. Bruce’s went like this: “My brother Bruce was the family caboose, the last babe Ma had to call new (call new). Before we heard him cry, he’d done spit in that
I hope some of us can get together and sing the old song and others this year. I know we have some good guitarists in the crowd and Hugh Peterson plays the mandolin.
This is not all the stories I know about Russells and mountain dew, but I’ll save some for another time.
when the other guests don’t understand why you’re crouched beside their car as they pull out.
Being in the Big House connects us to the past. It connects us to who we are, to where we came from. Some modern conveniences are good (indoor plumbing, for instance, and updated electrical wiring). But I think it’s wonderful that there’s no central air conditioning. How else will our children know the sound of a screen door slamming as they run from front porch to back? The sound of cicadas outside the open windows? The feel of a cool evening breeze after a sweltering north Georgia day?
Betsy Russell DuBard One of the most important traditions that we as Russells have handed down to our children is the reunion itself. Most people don’t do this, you know. Most extended families don’t even get together annually for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, much less annually for a three-to-four-day stretch. A lot of people would never even want to spend that much time with their extended families. We, however strange it may be, enjoy each other’s company. And that’s an incredible gift.
I’ve heard this story many times: My great-grandparents, Richard Russell and Ina Dillard Russell, had 15 children, 13 of whom survived to adulthood. At one point, Richard said to Ina something to the effect that they had so many children who were so far apart in years, it was possible that many of their grandchildren might not even know each other.
Last year, as we were driving home from the reunion, Ben said that while playing Capture the Flag, one of his cousins told him that she’d figured out that their generation, as fifth or sixth cousins, couldn’t really even be considered blood relatives. I opened my mouth to object, but legally, she was right. So I just nodded. However, even though she was technically correct, I feel an enormous and very close connection to all of my cousins – no matter how diluted our blood connection is at this point.
Ina burst into tears, and Richard started the tradition of the reunion that year. I don’t know how much of this is true, and how much legend. But the reunion has made sure that we know each other – not only first cousins, but second, third, fourth and fifth. And yes, legally, that connection is null and void. Tenuous at best. But tradition, and the reunion, connects us. I hope that Ina is happy when she looks down and sees us together every June. I hope that Richard is happy that he succeeded in doing what he set out to do – which was to keep us connected.
So as I drove, I thought about why that might be. I didn’t reach a conclusion that day. In fact, I’ve thought about this question more than once over the past year. And after seeing MC’s call for essays on family traditions, I began thinking about the tradition of the reunion. We are fortunate that we enjoy each other’s company. We are fortunate that our parents brought us and their parents brought them, so that missing the reunion leaves a hole in our lives. We are also incredibly fortunate to have the Big House. Think about it – if we didn’t have this wonderful old home, with the perfect porches for Capture the Flag, and empty bedrooms for young people who can’t afford a hotel room, a kitchen that was big enough to handle a family with 15 children, so it can handle us now … would we really do this? Would you want to meet at some sterile conference center aimed at businessmen? There wouldn’t be enough room, not everyone could afford it, and Capture the Flag just doesn’t work as well in a parking lot, especially
So thank you to everyone who makes our reunion possible. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to remember that it’s more than blood that binds us. Thank you for this tradition.
How we pay for
because I have a note that “Late comers missed hamburgers. We need 4 boxes for ‘75.”
Nowadays we all support this party. The fee is $15.00 and here is a sketch of last year’s expenses: 2012--we paid in $2480.00. Ina Jones shopped (and served) the picnic and the weekend’s drinks for $560. The barbeque from Fresh Air was $1320.65. I bought paper stuff for $88.00 and paid $150 for the Jiffy Jons and trash bin each. The photographer gets $100 for a chaos fee. Jim Russell paid for the ice. That leaves about $100.
Susan Reynolds Until Uncle Dick’s death in 1971 he paid for the reunion. and the set events were the hamburger/ hotdog supper on Friday night and the barbeque on Saturday at noon. Mostly then the out-of-towners who came farther than Atlanta stayed at the Big House or with other family members. There were fewer of us and only the Travelers’ Motel with velour bedspreads.
Aunt Billie always closed out the checking account in July and put the money left in a savings account. I followed that precedent for years so we always have a little to get started with each year. This account does not include all that is spent on the weekend by a long shot. There are travel-lodging expenses and many of you hostess other parties during the reunion. This is how we can continue this tradition.
Aunt Billie took over after that. For ten years or so she was Big Boss Bill (at 90 lbs). Sometime in the early 80’s I got the checkbook. For those 10 years several people had a hand in this work of ordering groceries, delivering them, and cooking and serving the food. There are Aunt Carolyn’s handwriting, my brother, Bruce’s, (1977) and mine. The fee for many years was $5.00. The entries show that in 1972 we used 100lbs of ice at the cost of $3.10. The barbeque costs $197.67 (From John Austin’s) and there is always the list of “drinks.”In 1972 the drinks came from Gene Tyner’s, a local grocery, -19 cases- at a costs of $45.65. And Aunt Billie has a note that some were returned. In this notebook are Aunt Billie’s notes on the fashion show she organized in 1973. How many of you remember that? Tandy and Nannette should. Susan Hiscutt was fashion #9 and Mary Jane Peterson wore a dress from Grandmother’s wedding day. Others in the list are Sallie Jackson, Missy Russell, Kelly Campbell, me (Aunt Billie), and Virginia Hutchins. Notice she wasn’t too particular about spelling.
the notebook with Aunt Billie’s records in it.
From the record of 1974 (shown right) which is in my handwriting, I see that this is the year that Aunt Ina paid for the party to celebrate her 80th birthday. That year the barbeque costs $268.63 and we had lamb that Mrs. Austin bought and cooked. I don’t remember who ate the lamb. We ran out of sauce that year. And also hamburgers and hotdogs, I guess
Entry from 1974 Reunion
Rob Lee Russell(Fielding Dillard Russell Branch) Proposes to Mary Cathrine Shrack...I believe She said yes! October 2012
Briefings from the Branches [the new news section]
Samuel Gordon Green Family p. 20 Samuel Gordon Green, III Branch
Russell Green Branch Dillard Green Branch James Harris Bowden, Sr. Family p. 21 Peggy Bowden Branch Jane Bowden Moore Branch Jim Bowden, Jr. Branch Dick Bowden Branch
Jeb Russell, Jr. Branch Dorothy Patience Russell Branham Branch
Alexander Brevard Russell, Sr. Family P. 49 Alex Russell, Jr. Branch Sally Russell Warrington Branch Susan Russel Reynolds Branch John Russell Branch Nancy Russell Black Branch Robert Bruce Russell, Sr. Branch Raymond Nelson, Sr. Family P. 57 Raymond Nelson, Jr. Branch Lewis Russell Nelson Sally Nelson Poole Richard Montgomery (Monty) Nelson Branch Ina Nelson Jones Branch
Robert Lee Russell, Sr. Family P. 26 Betty Ann Russell Branch Betty Russell Vandiver Branch Pat and Richard Russell III Branch Mary Ina Ingram Branch Hugh Peterson, Sr. Family P. 35 Hugh Peterson, Jr. Branch Walter Brown Russell, Sr. Family P. 36 Emily Russell and Thomas Campbell Branch Nancy and Walter B. Russell, jr. Branch Cecil Russell and Joe Clemons, Jr. Branch Ina Dillard Russell, III Branch Kim and Pierre MacFarland Campbell Branch Fielding Dillard Russell, Sr. Family P. 42 Beth (Fielding, Jr.) Russell Branch Barbara and William Don Russell Branch Richard Brevard Russell IV Branch Virgina Russell Branch Henry Edward (Jeb) Russell Family P. 48 Joanna Russell Hogan Branch Harriette Russell Coleman Branch Cay Russell Davis Branch
Samuel Gordon Green Family
descendants of Mary Willie Russell and Samuel Gordon Green
Ben (Nancy Green) Carmichael Branch - No News
Kathy Green(Samuel Gordon Green, Jr.) Branch
-from Kathryn Van den Heuvel
-from Gordon and Barb Green Kristi (30!) got horse chores added to her plate when daughter McKenzie (10) received horses from Bebe and Papa for Christmas. Stepdaddy Ricky and Papa fenced part of the pecan grove for the new farm residents. Kenzie is doing excellent in her weekly horse riding and care class as well as her dance classes. Sam (29!) continues to work on improving the planes of the Air Force with golf and a 1988 Supra car project providing distractions. Dave (28) Husbands married Ashley Marie Hill Benton on November 9, 2012 at the Green Family farm house. Ashley brings Bebe and Papa 2 more grandchildren, Anslee (9) and Cade (7) Benton. Kaidyn (6) welcomes her new sister and brother. The kids keep the parents on the road with Kaidyn in dance, Anslee in fast pitch softball and Cade pursuing baseball and football. Katie (26) and Cam report on their enjoyable experience of Big House living elsewhere in this journal. Kevin (22) is working this summer as a Co-op at Medshape, a specialty medical products development and manufacturing company in Atlanta. He will finish at The North Avenue Trade School for Boys with a degree in Mechanical Engineering next May. Gordon & Barb (aka Papa & Bebe) are glad to survive another year, but are still living large in the mostly (!) quiet family farm house when they make it home from work!
Another year in the Big House and Cameron and I are working hard to keep things running smoothly. We’ve fixed up the old cemetery fence and are working on more improvements to the electrical work in the house. In our spare time, Cameron finished his Master’s degree in German and is working as an electrician while he finds something in his field. I’ve decided to go back into the sciences and am working on another undergraduate degree in Genetics at UGA. If all goes well, I’ll tell y’all about my graduation next year and what grad school I’ll be heading to. Everything’s looking up for us lately, and we’re excited about the next few years! -reported by Russell Green On the subject of family traditions, my son Richard Russell Green married his fiancée Margaret Marie Adkins on November 16, 2012, the anniversary of the day they first met. The couple resides in Addison in the great state of Texas. -reported by Dillard Green Zach just completed the 11th grade at a new school this year and he is already looking forward to being a senior. (It’s funny how he’s been calling his dad a ‘senior’ for a few years now...). He continues to play in the band (baritone), and is a member of the Na-
tional Honor Society. His name has also been added to the family auto insurance policy and he enjoys exercising his new found freedom whenever a vehicle is available. This summer he can be found working in the home repair/construction business when he’s not watching the Braves (or sports in general) on TV.
he was not hurt worse. Based on his current height, it obviously did not stunt his growth. We have been blessed with 18 years of marriage and spend much of our time just keeping up with our boys. In addition to teaching home school and running our household, Regina is involved in women’s ministry at church and has recently begun teaching a high school girls’ Sunday school class. Dillard is still developing wiring solutions for elevators around the world and helps with our church’s middle school youth group. Overall, we’re enjoying growing up with our children!
Nick just completed his third year at Freedom Christian Academy (a.k.a. home school) and is a rising 8th grader. We plan to homeschool 1 more year before he ‘out learns’ his parents. So far, he’s done some real good learnin’ and continues to be first in his class. Musically, he has taken to his dad’s drums and is doing quite well teaching himself. He continues his interest in military weapons designs (like his great grandfather) and watching ‘Myth Busters’ or anything on the Military Channel. Be sure to ask him his views on gun control... The day after the reunion last year, Nick had a bad accident on a 4-wheeler. He spent several days in the hospital and several months off his feet. Throughout the ordeal, our family was strengthened by the prayers of friends and family throughout the country and world. He has recovered well and is looking forward to having a better summer this year. We are thankful
James Harris Bowden Family
descendants of Frances Marguerite Russell and Jim Bowden, Sr.
Peggy Bowden Branch -reported by Erika Gahan
I am Erika Hazelwood. Michael Hazelwood is my father, Matthew Hazelwood is my dear brother. Both are living and working in Round Rock, TX. My family and I live in Wimberley, TX...the beautiful hill country. My husband, Michael and I have two beautiful daughters. Emorie just turned three on April 23rd, and Haleigh will be 1 on May 8th. I am juggling being a “Home Engineer”, doing massage therapy when I can. Michael is still flying, and gone for 8 days, home for 6.
Jane Mayo Bowden Moore Branch
Jane Bowden Moore’s News reported by Jane Moore Green
Last July, I had the opportunity and the privilege to go once more to Savannah. This wasn’t an ordinary visit, but one that held not only wonderful memories for me but one that allowed me to share these memories through my personal donations to one of the Savannah museums. In 1936, I was asked by our Uncle Dick to christen the newly built USS Savannah. This ship was built at a Naval base in Camden, New Jersey by the New York Ship Building Corporation. As an aside, my sister Peggy was actually the eldest grandchild and could have had the honor, but she had been asked to unveil the portraits of Grandfather and Grandmother Russell at the college in Milledgeville, Georgia. (Grandfather Russell had introduced the Bill to found that college.) Since I was from Georgia and also from Savannah, I received the invitation to christen the ship at its launching. On May 8, 1936, at the age of 14, with my family in attendance, I stood on the platform, grabbed the copper-covered neck of a champagne bottle and swung with all my might (I had perfected my swing by playing softball before the event) in order to break the bottle on the first try! Since that time, I have had in my possession the broken bottle in its original thick macramé covering housed in a mahogany box with glass top, many photographs of the event, the brass card tray made from the plate of the invitation to the launching, and other items. The best place for all these things was not put away in the house, but at the Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah, and that is exactly where they went. The museum already housed a replica of the USS Savannah and its original bell, etc, and I feel my items are now home. Brother Richard and Ba drove my treasures and me to Savannah, and we were thrilled to have Virginia Russell, Margo and Jason McCoy join us at the museum. It was such fun to tour the museum and then have the opportunity to have lunch with family too. Happily on this Savannah trip was another visit to the house where I grew up … 510 East 41st Street. Oh the memories! We also drove out to Tybee Beach, which to me is the best and most beautiful beach in the world. The trip was definitely
In August, I was visited by Sally Nelson Poole and Ina Nelson Jones. Ba came up from Durham to join the fun. The girls and I attended Barter Theater one evening, and another evening enjoyed a lovely supper with Jimmy and Jimmie Lou Bowden. It so happened that Mary Carol and Brian Phillips and their two precious children were in the area, and they joined us for a visit one afternoon as well. We had a wonderful weekend. The biggest event of the year was my 90th birthday party hosted by my children and siblings. My birthday is December 22nd, which isn’t the easiest time to celebrate with all the Christmas activities going on. However, this past December, my birthday fell on a Saturday. Perfect! The party was a lovely event at the country club with well over 100 friends and local family members in attendance. I was overcome by the well wishes and attention. It was a most special day. Prior to the 22nd, my retired teacher friends gave me another birthday party. I was able to rest one day before brother Richard and I headed to Durham to spend the Christmas holidays with Ba and Gerry. David was home from his travels; Rachel and Mike joined us from Raleigh; and Gerry’s brother Todd drove up from South Carolina. We had such a fun time, and it was so nice for us all to be together. I have been playing Bridge until recently, but my club has disbanded, so I am down one activity. However, I do go to all the plays at Barter Theater with Jimmy and Jimmie Lou, or Dick when he is in Abingdon. A friend drives me to DAR meetings or retired teachers meetings, and occasionally I eat out with friends. Additionally, a friend reads to me weekly. I am so fortunate to have wonderful people who help me personally and also help with “chores.” Life is filled with so many blessings! I look forward to the family reunion and hope to see as many of you as possible!
Jane and Gerald Green,
reported by Jane Moore Green, aka “Ba”
July 2012 brought a trip to Savannah with Uncle Richard Bowden and Mama (Jane Mayo Bowden Moore). Mama made a wonderful donation / presentation of pictures and memorabilia from the time she christened the USS Savannah in 1936 to the Ships of the Sea Museum. Cousin Virginia Russell, with Margo and Jason McCoy, drove over from Statesboro for the occasion, which made this event even more special. Mama made frontpage news the next day in the Savannah Morning News!
In addition to these previous events, Gerry and I do keep busy. Since my retirement last year, we’ve had several opportunities to bike ride and hike with friends, and we continue having fun times at the condo in Southport, NC as much as possible. During the year, we’ve enjoyed attending DPAC, the Durham Performing Arts Center, where we have seen multiple Broadway shows. “Warhorse” was the first play of the 2012-13 season, its first stop after Lincoln Center. It sure brought back memIn August, Sally Nelson Poole and Ina Nelson Jones ories of seeing that enormous puppet through a side drove from Georgia to Abingdon to visit Mama (Jane stage door of Lincoln Center when Gerry and I were in Bowden Moore). Being retired and having time, I was NYC last May. able to join the girls’ weekend. Sally, Ina and I took some time to tour the town by walking / running (literally…), In February, Gerry and I went to Asheville, stayed at shopping, and taking Mama to Barter Theater one of the a terrific B&B, and returned to Biltmore Estates for a nights. One afternoon, Mary Carol and Brian Phillips non-Christmas tour. We had a fantastic trip, saw new came by for a quick visit along with their adorable chil- places, ate some fabulous food, and met super nice peodren Julia Harper and Samuel Montgomery. What fun ple. Also staying at the B&B was a couple from Georgia. to have Mama’s home filled with family. It was a delight It turned out that the woman grew up in Commerce, to spend quality time with these wonderful cousins! Georgia and not only knew the Nelson family, but attended their church where Uncle Raymond Nelson In November, I flew to Barcelona to meet son David. preached! Very small world. We walked all over that city! After three days in Barcelona, we drove north to the small community of Pratts, In my spare time, I am playing some Bridge and also where we stayed in a farmhouse for 6 nights. Days were belong to a knitting group. On June 14th, I will go to filled with hiking all over the Cerdanyan countryside, my first Durham Bulls Stitch N Pitch. SNP is a program including a mountain trail on the French side of Pyr- where needle- crafters attend both major and minor enees. We spent one night in Cadaques on the eastern league games throughout the US. What a fun way to go coast before driving back to Barcelona for three more to a game and still work on a knitting project! Gerry wonderful days packed with new adventures. What and a friend will also be at the game, but won’t be caught a fabulous opportunity to travel with our son and see anywhere near the 200 folks doing needlework! gorgeous places! By the time of the reunion, our son David will be preDecember brought wonderful memories. David was paring for his return trip to Spain where he will be guidhome from Europe. Mama had her 90th birthday, and ing more Backroads bicycle trips through the Pyrenees Mama and her brother Richard joined our little family this summer. He has had several trips through Napa for Christmas. Mama’s birthday was wonderful! Gerry Valley so far this year, as well as hiring and training new and I, along with Jimmy and Jimmie Lou Bowden, Dick guides in Salt Lake City. Bowden, and Jim and Judy Moore hosted a big party at the country club in Abingdon. Well over 100 invi- Rachel and Mike (Baranski) are fine, and I hope she is tees attended! Jimmie Lou and I counted heads, and I sending her news! want to say it was over 120 people in attendance. Mama was so excited and was definitely a queen bee, as everyone swarmed around her! It was a beautiful event for a
Jimmy Bowden, Jr. Branch -reported by Jim Bowden
First, I’m disappointed/saddened to relate that none of the Jim Bowdens will be able to attend the Reunion this year. Helen and Mark’s family will be helping Mark’s nephew, Jesse Alley, to get married that weekend, and Joe’s family will not be able to leave Utah at that time. Susan’s family and Jimmie Lou and I will be joining Jim 111’s family to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of Tamara’s parents, David and Mary Alice Lewis, in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the same weekend as the Reunion. We hope that we will have many more Reunions to enjoy, but I’m sure there will be no more 60th anniversaries for the Lewises.
We attended Peter’s high school graduation (cum laude) two days ago (5/25/13). He also will be attending U of T in Knoxville this fall. He has already been accepted into the U of T band (trumpet). Susan, Steve, and Aaron recently enjoyed a trip to Can Cun which was provided in recognition of Steve’s outstanding work for the Marriot corporation. Aaron is, remarkably, finishing his first year of high school. He (along with his parents) has been active in a program provided by East Tennessee State University entitled “POP Arts” (Power of Performing Arts), a program for special needs children. Interestingly, this program was started by and is directed by a graduate (? PhD?) of GNIC/GSCW/Georgia College/Georgia College and State University. Small world. Who would ever guess that Richard and Ina would be in an important way responsible for providing help for this little boy at this time.
Jim and Tamara’s daughter, Zella, and her husband,Keith, are both teaching at the Covenant School in Charlottesville. Emily has completed all course work and is presently working on her thesis and will be granted the Master’s degree in an aspect of library science from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill this summer. She also has been working two jobs and taking care of 3 or 4 cats. Do you know of someone in need of a beautiful, energetic, talented, knowledgeable, conscientious, personable, recently trained librarian especially skilled in digital library management who also is an animal lover???
Sheri graduated this month (May) with a Master’s degree in Psychiatric Counseling (she already had an MBA). Alexandra has finished her first year in high school and especially enjoys participating in the theater program. Earlier this spring she traveled to New York City with a group of her fellow students to, primarily, “take in” a number of plays. John and Joe have been quite active in the local Boy Scout program. Both seem to enjoy it, but winter camping in Utah sounds a bit harsh to me.
Madeline has recently completed the illustration of a children’s book and is looking for additional opportunities in the art world.
Jimmie Lou and I look forward, eagerly, to visiting with all of you next year and send love to all now.
Jed has established Alternative Computer Solutions, a business specializing in identifying computer problems and providing appropriate solutions and/or repairs.
-reported byHelen Bowden Alley
Noah has completed his junior year at Western Albemarle High School where he has been quite active in the theater program. Recently Jimmie Lou and I enjoyed their production of “The Little Shop of Horrors.” Noah was the voice of the voracious plant. And he’s looking forward to next year and more plays. Helen and Mark’s Drew has completed his 3rd year at the University of Tennessee and is working this summer in the field of insurance and financial planning.
It’s been a busy year for the Alleys (as I’m sure it has been for everybody!) . . . Can’t believe another year has gone by! Peter has just graduated with honors from Dobyns-Bennett High School and made the most of his senior year. He was very involved with D-B’s football marching band and competitive marching band with lots of rehearsals and competitions, and a longer than usual football season as the football team made it to the state quarterfinals. Then just before Christmas we learned that Dobyns-Bennett had been selected to march in the Inaugural Parade in January. So off to D.C. they went!
Joe continues working as an IT Project Manager for Sorenson Communications, a telecommunications company that serves the deaf and hard-of-hearing. This year, Joe helped develop a better process for managing IT projects; it is called SPEED-IT. Joe enjoyed some great skiing this year, especially at Snowbird with cousin French Moore III from VA. Joe stays active in the Knights of Columbus running a substance abuse awareness poster contest and an essay contest at the middle school, as well as other volunteer opportunities. Joe enjoys helping with Boy Scouts and camping with his favorite Boy Scout, John. Joe looks forward to playing more tennis with an up-and-coming tennis star, Alexandra.
He also played in the Wind Symphony during concert season and they traveled some as well. He was on the school’s “First Robotics” team and put in many long hours designing, building and troubleshooting the team’s robot for competition. He will be working this summer doing repair work for an electronics company. He has decided to follow his big brother Drew to the University of Tennessee next fall and will be studying electrical engineering there. He also will be playing in the trumpet section with UT’s “Pride of the Southland” Marching Band. Maybe they can help cheer UT’s football team on to a better season this year!! Drew has finished his junior year at UT and is majoring in accounting. He is treasurer of his ATO fraternity, and also involved with academic fraternities in accounting, business and prelaw. He is working at Northwestern Mutual this summer as well as taking a few extra classes with the hopes of possibly graduating early. He would very much like to get an internship position . . possibly in Atlanta with a “Big 4” accounting firm, then get his master’s in accounting, his CPA license and possibly law school after that. He has a long road of school ahead but he is very determined!
Sheri completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and graduated in May 2013. She spent the past year finishing two internships, one in a psychiatic hospital and the other in a free mental health clinic. Sheri is currently looking for a job and juggling Alexandra’s and John’s summer activities. She looks forward to more time for leisure reading. Alexandra Elizabeth, now 15, completed her sophomore year at Juan Diego Catholic High School. Late this spring she was selected to become a student ambassador for Juan Diego. Alexandra loves the performing arts and was on the Tech Crew for both of the drama productions, The Drowsy Chaperone and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She spent spring break in NYC with the drama department. She saw six plays in five days and was able to meet up with Uncle Dick Bowden after several of the shows. Alexandra also went to Anaheim, CA in February with her church youth group to attend the National Catholic Youth Day Conference and spend a day in Disneyland. This summer she is in charge of the music portion for Vacation Bible School. Alexandra is again looking forward to seeing several performances at Barter Theatre this summer in Abingdon, Virginia.
It will be nice to have both boys together (and less than a couple of hours away from home!) and we are planning lots of short trips to Knoxville next year! It will be very, very different to only have the 3 of us at home . . . counting our sweet puppydog!! Mark and I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed and that our little boys are so grown up! WIsh we could be at the Reunion this year, but we will be celebrating the wedding of Mark’s nephew that day (They are all growing up!!). We will be thinking about you and the festivities there, and missing you all! Lots of love, Helen Alley -reported byJoe Bowden Greetings from Sandy, Utah! We are unable to attend the reunion this year, but look forward to reading about your family in the Russell Herald. Hopefully, Dick Bowden will take some pictures for us!
John Joseph is 12 and just finished 6th grade. He will transition to middle school in late August. John decided to attend a middle school that offers the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. John loves to read, especially books about historical events or interesting facts. John continues to enjoy Boy Scouts and earned his first rank advancement this spring. He is working on his next rank and the Personal Finess Badge. John loves scout campouts with his dad and
Richard (Dick) Bowden Branch
hopes to spend a few weekends this summer enjoying the great outdoors in Utah’s mountains or deserts. John is also looking forward to travelling and spending time with his extended family in Virginia and Texas.
-reported by Dick Bowden Once again I look forward to seeing everyone at the Reunion. My past year was pretty much the same as it has been for the past few years. I split up my year spending 3 months at a time in NYC and in VA with Jane. No Big news either place.
If you are in Utah, please let us know. We would love to have you drop by for a visit. Love to all, Joe, Sheri, Alexandra, John The Joe Bowden Family [email protected]
Again in May like last year, I hope to make a short trip to Dublin, The Isle of Man, and London to see friends and Theatre. I wish you all safe journeys - no broken bones as that is Not Fun! Stay Well, and enjoy the Reunion. Cheers, RB
Robert Lee Russell, Sr. Family descendants of Sybil Millsaps and R.L. Russell, Sr.
Betty Ann Russell (Robert Lee, Jr.) Branch Betty Ann’s News reported by Judy Dodd
was given to her by Eula Eley from Winder.
Betty Ann will celebrate her 89th birthday in August. She is active in the Sunbury Chapter D.A.R., The First Presbyterian Church and continues to play bridge each week. She invites you to visit the First Presbyterian Church and see the new addition reunion weekend or anytime you are in Winder.
Eula’s husband Paul Eley was related to Sybil Millsap Russell. The icing is from a lady from the Commerce area. YUM!
She continues to do beautiful needlework. She is happy to have completed her 13th Christmas stocking for her first Great grandchild, Annabelle Parker. I (Judy) wanted her to share her Carmel Cake recipe for any of you bakers.* It is the best!! The cake recipe
*Caramel Cake Recipe in the recipe section, see p. 69
-reported by Worth Parker
continental United States. Late 2013 should see me return to Afghanistan for duty at the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. I’ve never deployed as a father before and expect that will be a whole new level of miserable. On the bright side, it should be an interesting time to be there as we hand duties over to the Afghan National Army and transition more to an advise and assist role.
Ann, Worth, Katy, and Annabelle Parker News The past year has been an interesting one for Katy, Annabelle, Worth and Ann Parker. Katy, Annabelle and I moved from our old home near Raleigh, NC to Wilmington, NC. If Headquarters Marine Corps smiles upon us, we’ll be here for a long time which will be a blessing as we’ve had even more fun hanging out with our Davis cousins and getting ready to meet the new Davis.
This year I finally (on my third try) completed a 100 mile ultra-marathon run on the NC Outer Banks in 27:07:05. The last thirty miles was rough but worth it as we raised $6000 for the MARSOC Foundation, which helps wounded or killed Special Ops Marines, Sailors and families through the generosity of many people (including many of y’all). Thanks for the support!
Katy accepted a partnership at the civil rights law firm of Tin Fulton Walker and Owen (attention English majors: the lack of commas is by design) and opened their Wilmington office. In seven short months she’s attracted the attention of both the local media and our regional police forces who are likely reconsidering their previous lack of focus on the 4th Amendment right about now. Additionally she organized the Wilmington Chapter of the NC Association of Women Attorney’s and continued to serve on the board of NC Advocates for Justice. More importantly, she continues to be an amazing mother to Annabelle and wife to a guy who takes off for extended periods.
-reported by Judy Dodd Bob and Cap Russell Cap is home for the summer and is selling advertising for The Darien News. He enjoyed being a runner for the Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley law firm in Athens during the past school year. He is a rising junior at UGA where he plans to major in journalism and then attend law school. He has moved out of the SAE fraternity house and will be in a house around the corner this fall.
Annabelle, or AB as she’s come to be known, enjoyed the last year at Milestones Pre-School. She moved from the “toddler” to “young twos” classroom based on her virtuoso tambourine skills and an encyclopedic knowledge of Rev. W.H Auden’s “Thomas the Tank Engine” universe. She enjoys dogs, quesadillas, blowing bubbles, show tunes and the beach. She scrambles a mean egg and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of “Aunt” Sally and “Uncle” Matthew Davis’s baby.
-reported by Karey Russell Jim is still a merchant for Cargill. He gets out of the office sometimes to travel around the southeast visiting farmers. Kate is still handling the finances for the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. She’s the constant in her office—her 4th boss in 3 years was appointed in April. She has moved to Decatur, making her commute into downtown Atlanta much, much better! Rob transferred to the University of Georgia this spring and has completed his first semester there. Pretty easy transition! He is still writing and performing in his band at Atlanta venues. Jim and Rob have been working hard
Ann/Mama continued the Sisyphean task of helping critically injured women get some measure of legal justice, traveling weeks at a time to Italy, France, Belgium, and…Ohio. And Oklahoma. And lesser lights. On the upside, she’s kindly missed more than a few of her rare weekends at home to come be Nanna to Annabelle. AB loves her Nanna, who introduced her to Haagen Dasz Vanilla, French couture and sweet tea. I (Worth) am still a Marine Lieutenant Colonel working at the Marine Special Operations Command. This year I’ve traveled a fair bit for work, but all within the
readying Rob’s new abode for occupancy in June (hopefully!). They are also hard at work readying the grounds at the Estate for the reunion.
We all stay busy..and that is good. Jane and David have moved into their new home. I hope they will tell you all about it. I have visited for several week-ends and they have a lovely grandmothers suite, just right for me.
I’ve enjoyed a year of full retirement, although I do some contract work for the Barrow County CTAE Director. Retirement has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my parents, play with my camera, do some of those neglected projects at home, and do a little traveling.
I hope Elizabeth will tell you all about them, especially my great grands. and hopefully Leigh and Russell will let you hear what they are doing. Both of them are having busy busy lives right now. Leigh in moving and Russell in music. Alex is working in the golf field and that is just up his alley. He will tell you all about it at the reunion. I am getting excited about seeing you all. Hurry on but be careful
Jim and I go to Jekyll Island each year for a few days of fun in the sun and sit on the beach and listen to the second Georgia football game. It has become a fun tradition for us. Rob and I enjoyed a trip to Charleston in October. We take a “road trip” each year and Charleston was his pick this year. We had a great time walking the city, visiting the Charleston Museum, Ft. Sumter, the Battery, the Hunley, and Magnolia Cemetery, and of course taking pictures! I also took a quick trip to Myrtle Beach with my friend Cathy to see her brother perform in his Journey cover band at the House of Blues. Jim and I enjoyed another trip to Charleston in February, especially the food! (We highly recommend Pearlz if you are fans of oysters as we are!) Jim had meetings to attend, but we still had plenty of time to enjoy the city.
You are all precious to me. Much love, Betty R. Vandiver -reported by Leigh Vandiver It’s been another great year for the Vandiver III family! Chip and Michelle continue to hold down the fort in Lavonia. Chip is still practicing law and Michelle is taking care of her rescue dogs and playing bridge. They took trips to California, New York, the beach, and the mountains last year and hope to go further and longer this year.
The most fun this year was our family trip to Washington DC in May! Jim, Kate, Rob, and I spent 3 wonderful days in museums and another half a day at Arlington National Cemetery where we visited Aunt Ina Stacy’s grave site among others.
Betty Russell Vandiver Branch
Russell completed his sophomore year at UGA and is proud to report that he maintained the Hope Scholarship for which his parents are grateful and also really proud. He and his band “Big Milk” are playing the Athens music scene and he continues to progress as a guitarist and lead vocalist.
-reported by Betty Vandiver
I had hoped that maybe something big would happen by now...so I’d have something new to report.. BUT... This year has been a happy but very uneventful year for me. Happy because it has included so many good get-togethers with children, grandchildren and TWO great-grandchildren. Since I am in town with Chip, Michelle and Beth, and they are so sweet to me, I see them often enough to let us stay in pretty close contact. Enough to let us all go our way without interference,
Leigh has seen a busy year since the last reunion. She launched a lifestyle blog with a high school friend this past March to great success and has even had some Russell cousins guest blog on the site! She encourages everyone to visit: funthingstodowhileyourewaiting. com and “favorite it” on their computer! In other big news, after spending an amazing eight years in Chicago she is ditching her winter gear and moving to Los Angeles. She is really excited for the move though she
Pat and Richard Russell III Branch
regrets that she will be spending the reunion weekend on the West coast this year and sends her love to all. -reported by Beth Vandiver I was trying to think of something exciting that happened to me since the last Reunion. No luck, but I’m continuing to enjoy my quiet life out in the country-with occasional get-togethers with family and friends
-reported by Vickie Smith All’s well with 2 legged and four legged members of our clan. Mike is still self- employed and working thank goodness! Vickie is still retired, volunteering at the library, gardening, reading, enjoying grandchildren and training new mules.
-reported by Jane Vandiver Kidd
We both spend as much time as we can behind our team of mules, in the wagon enjoying moving along at 2 miles an hour. Mike just drove 100 miles thru the Greetings all Russells! Shortly after the Reunion last year, mountains of N.C. and Georgia, spending the night our new home was completed and David and I slept our and day in the wagon. It was an 8 day adventure with first night in the new house on July 4th. We are living on a 10 other mules; I meant men, and wagons. 250 acre farm in Oglethorpe County, 7 miles from Lexington, GA and about a 30 minute drive from Athens. Please Justin is still happily employed with Akins Ford in come see us if you are in the area. We have plenty of room Winder and Brigit is moving up with Community Bank and Trust. They both stay on the go keeping up to house family and friends! with their busy schedules and the boys. David continues (25 years!) to work for BURTON & bur- Aaron starred as Aladdin for his 5th grade play. He ton, an Athens company and on August 1st, I began a job loves singing, dancing and acting. Watch out Dickwith Piedmont College, a private, liberal arts college with ie! The bug has bitten. He will be heading to Russell campuses in Demorest and Athens, GA. I’m special as- Middle School next year. sistant to the President, James Mellichamp, and help him Ayden is headed to 1st grade at Bramlett Elementary. promote the college. My office is on the Athens campus He made good grades and loves to read signs. He is a (Prince Avenue, where Prince Avenue Baptist Church used great baseball player! He hits, catches and runs fast so to be) and I am enjoying working at a fine institution with he is real asset to his team. an outstanding faculty and around 2400 undergraduate Caren is holding down her dad’s rental property and and graduate students. cleaning houses. Canyon is 16 and DRIVING!!! You We have enjoyed seeing our grandchildren grow and de- can’t miss him in his bright red Ford truck! He is velop. Sam will celebrate his FIRST birthday a few weeks headed to 11th grade and will have split classes at Labefore the Reunion and Allie will turn FOUR in late May! nier Tech to receive his welding certification when he graduates. Last but not least is Alexis Victoria. She is Our son Alex (30 years old) moved from his job at Har- 6, headed to 1st grade and is reading everything she ry’s Pig Shop in Athens to working for Reynolds Plantation can get her hands on. Tumbling, karate and dance are Golf Club near Greensboro, GA. He is working toward just some of her interests. PGA Golf certification and loves to play in his rare spare time. -reported by Tandy Green We love it when Mama can come stay and visit with us, but as you know, she is very busy and squeezes in a visit whenever she can. Look forward to seeing everyone at the Reunion!
Craig is still working with JGA Corp/Beacon to pay the bills and Tandy gets to do what each day brings and loving it. From welcoming two new grandchildren to conky tonkying down the Keys and keeping up with family and friends, we are having fun!
Jennifer and Craig Curell brought Luke Lewis Curell into the world on August 2nd, 2012. He joins sister Amelia who will be 3 this August. Robert and Rebecca Green’s son, Thomas Brevard joined our family on April 24th. Such joy and amazement!
Outer Banks of NC, to Winder, GA(last November) while “commuting” as required to the Outer Banks in order to complete our work and weddings.” We are selling The Proper Setting, our wedding planning business, this July 2013, to our associate. We have enjoyed spending more time with Mom and Dad, Vickie and Richard Jr, and their families, as well as Tandy and her family, when they visit in Winder.
Robert and Rebecca just celebrated their third wedding anniversary. They have spent the last year preparing for and bringing in a new addition to our family - Thomas Brevard Green, welcomed into the world on April 25. Thomas is happy, healthy, and appears eager to be on the move! After spending a couple weeks at home with the family, Robert went back to work as a commercial real estate appraiser. Becca plans to return to her job in staffing/recruiting later this summer. They enjoy living at the beach and already love spending time outdoors with Thomas.
Eric and I and are looking forward to “re-inventing” ourselves in Winder or the surrounding areas once we have closed out our business in NC. After having lived in NC for the past 28 years, I am adapting to the deeper south way of things, once again. Vickie reminded me that daffodils are called jonquils in Ga. And I remember now that there is only one kind of iced tea (SWEET) !!!
-reported by Jennifer Green Curell
Emily Jernigan is living in Raleigh NC and works for US Fish and Wildlife. She is ENGAGED to be married to Mark Wells, and we couldn’t be happier for them both. The wedding is set for October of 2014!! Mark and Emily are the proud owners of farm land with a cabin in Oxford NC, where they will enjoy getting away from the big city of Raleigh with friends,family and their two dogs for relaxing, hunting and fishing.
Jennifer Tandy (Green) and Craig Curell are living in Jacksonville, Fl with their 2 children, Amelia (3 yrs in August) and Luke (1 in August). Craig continues to be the outreach and missions director at River City Church where he leads teams to partnering churches in Cuba as well as oversees the local community outreach.
Ric (Cedric) will have begun his internship and rotations for NC State School of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh with the printing of this Herald. ONE MORE YEAR and he will complete his studies, at which point we can proudly call him Dr. Jernigan. :) We are so proud of his commitment and know he will make a wonderful Veternarian. In his free time, he and girlfriend, Amy, walk and run the trails of Raleigh with their dog, Nelly.
Jennifer is enjoying staying at home with Amelia and Luke with days spent at parks, on the trampoline, at the library, and getting to know some of the other families in the neighborhood. Amelia began ballet this fall and comes alive (well she is always really alive in whatever she does... but) on the stage!! Luke is an easy-going, joyful toddler who may just be walking by reunion time.
Our loyal Doberman, Tucker, passed away last fall and there is still a void in our daily lives without her. Our rescue doggie, Gabbie, is learning all about the woods of Georgia and is quite the deer chaser and chipmuck finder, we have recently discovered.
-reported by Nannette Russell Kalested
Nannette Russell Kallestad -Married to Eric Richard Kallestad
We look forward to seeing many of you at the reunion!! Stay in touch! Nannette [email protected]
Nannette, Eric, Emily, and Ric have news on top of news this year! Says Nannette, “Eric and I have moved from the
-reported by Richard Russell, jr.
Beast in SC in November with Baxter. All is great with each of us and looking forward to seeing everyone this year!
Richard reports that he continues to practice a little law, dabble in some antiques, rehab the house and live out at Lokey’s Lake in Bethlehem with geese and owls, deer and fox, lots of turtles, fish and beaver and beautiful lakes to start and finish my days with. Several travels the past year include The Keys on a Dad adventure, the Outer Banks on a Nan adventure, to St Simons Island thanks to an Aunt Betty adventure with the kids and a lot of fun family times and friends things in between. Life is very good.
Mary Ina Russell and Jim Ingram Branch
-reported by Ina Ingram
There are few “Mysteries of Life” that still hold my interest for very long as I manage to live so long. However, I still find myself intrigued as to how time passes so quickly as my Grandson Bo McGee graduates from the United States Military Academy and my Granddaughter Brooke Ingram graduates from Sandy Creek High School. How in the world could that happen in what seems like the blink of an eye? If time really flies when you are having fun then I certainly must be having more fun than I bargained for. My life has been filled with new opportunities and experiences.
Baxter is still a resident of Greenville SC working as a runner/clerk for The Wyche firm, traveling an awful lot between Greenville and Spartanburg and anywhere else they need things accomplished and waiting tables at the Augusta Grille some evenings for the big money. Emory has given him the Spartan Race bug and he completed his first event in March of this year. As this is written he is waiting on decisions to be made about Richmond Law, Georgia State law, or UGA Law to start in the fall. Enjoying life in Greenville with a great group of friends scattered here and there.
Since last reunion, I have enjoyed a wonderful trip to the Greek Islands. I enjoyed several weeks in southern California with Jim and Geri during January. I travelled to Napa and Sonoma to see some friends and to give Jim and Geri a break. The weather was cooler than it has been in previous years but it is always fun to visit them.
Mollie successfully finished her freshman year at Georgia College in Milledgeville and is proud to be an ADPI sister with her Mama Pat, aunts and loads of cousins <>! She is residing in Milledgeville this summer working at a great new restaurant downtown called Local Yokal, go visit!, with her sisters and taking classes and enjoying the college life and her independence. Road trips to Milledgeville have been fun! Emory just completed his Junior year at Hebron Christian Academy and my baby is going to be a high school Senior next year! He is so active not only socially and educationally but is the girls volleyball manager for the 3rd year coming up, helping them on their successful journeys to State playoffs and continues his outstanding team play with the boys soccer program having just finished as Class A State runner ups after a great game which came down to PK’s against Paidea! The last 2 years have progressed from Elite Eight finishes to this year’s runner up. They’re taking State next year! Emory also continues his Spartan race challenges having gone to Virginia, SC and Mississippi as well as locally with Baxter and friends. Next up is a Spartan Beast in Stowe VT in September and another Spartan
It was wonderful to have Russell and Christy and the girls in Danville for Christmas when they were on their way to Culpeper to be with Christy’s family. Carol and Matt and the boys joined us for the day and as always it is wonderful to have as many of us as is possible as often as is possible. I followed Carol and Matt to Richmond to visit in their new townhouse. As I travel to Georgia for “Bridge Camp” with Betty Vandiver and Betty Ann Russell and almost anything else that is going on, I am very careful to maintain my residency requirements in Virginia. There really is no place like home! It is fun to work in a visit with Judy and Kenny Dodd and Bob Russell when we have the Camp in St. Simons We appreciated Mi-
chelle and Leigh Vandiver filling in as the fourth for bridge on the last two trips.
and their families will all be at the beach together. All in all it has been a wonderful year for us.
The fall was filled with football at UVA. Carol and Matt so graciously give me a ride from Richmond to Charlottesville. What a tailgate they put on! I definitely have a favorite player--#83 Jake McGee! Not only is he the only tight end that I have ever followed so closely , He is definitely the best!
-reported by Jim Ingram, jr. Another year already! We’ve been fortunate to have both visitors come to see us as well as to have our own travel this year. We were lucky to have Nannette Russell and Eric Kallestad visit us in August, so glad we could have dinner together and get the scoop on their upcoming (at that time) move to Winder!
Not only do I get a wonderful visit with Bill and Carol Ingram and with all the McGees, It is also very exciting! I am even going to attend the UVA Football Camp in May! First time I have ever felt Peer Pressure after hearing about it all of my life! Can’t wait to be with this same cute crowd at Bo’s graduation at West Point!
In September, Geri and I went to Telluride, CO. (Geri had a conference, I acted the ski bum...) If you ever get a chance to go to Telluride, I highly recommend it. The Telluride Airport is the highest elevation Airport in the Continental US, and is quite the show to fly into.
Skylar Ingram has been a real star in the Pageants that she has chosen to enter. Brooke played on the State Champion volley-ball team for Sandy Creek High School for the second year. Russell and Christy stay so busy and I am thrilled with all they accomplish. Hope you saw the 25 of us on Face book at the GA. Tech-UVA game in Atlanta in our orange #83 shirts provided by Russell Ingram.
In January, Ina came to San Diego for what has become her annual visit. So we had a great visit with her, and some of the Danville crowd that joins her in San Diego each year. And to finish the year, Geri and I went to Europe for our 14th Anniversary, including a week in Avignon, France as well as a lovely week in Paris.
-reported by Carol Ingram McGee
In other news, Geri’s son Dorian accepted his dream job at ESPN, and has been there now nearly a full year. Check out the advertising on the ESPN.com site to see his work.
As always, it’s been a busy year with us. Matt and I moved to a smaller home with low maintenance in November. All four of us had a wonderful spring break with a quick trip to Las Vegas. We covered a lot in just a few days. Bo graduates from West Point in May and will be stationed in Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division. We had several fun weekends at West Point this year but Ring Weekend was definitely the highlight. Jake had a great season of UVA football. He was named All ACC Honorable Mention at tight end. We went to all the games but the most memorable was seeing all the folks in Georgia who came to cheer at the UVA/Ga.Tech game. My brother Russell made us all orange 83 shirts so we were not missed by anyone. Looking forward to July when Mom and my brothers
Hugh Peterson, Sr. Family
descendants of Patience Elizabeth Russell and Hugh Peterson
Hugh and Mary Jane Peterson Branch
-reported by Hugh Peterson, Jr.
a month with friends in Atlanta to read from James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. Highlights of our year are always our two big reunions, the Russell in June and the almost as big Peterson in Ailey in July. Both were wonderful last year. Our family had the program at the Russell Reunion, and I hope family members enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it on.
We have had a good year, filled with the little things that make for a rich, full life. We continue to bounce back and forth between our home in Atlanta and Sandridge Manor in Ailey. There is plenty to do at both places, and we enjoy and appreciate each for its own unique qualities. Three of our four children now live in Atlanta. Hugh, Elizabeth, Sarah Jane, and Katherine Patience moved up about a year ago. Richard and Patience have been in Atlanta all along. We see a lot of all of them. Bill continues to live in New York. He gets down several times a year, and we go up there several times a year. All of our children are well and lead interesting lives. Perhaps each of them will send in a report. Suffice it to say that Hugh continues to practice law in both Vidalia and Atlanta. That keeps him busy. Bill is an active architect in New York. Richard is pursuing his acting and real estate careers. Patience is still working at Lexis-Nexis and is very active in her church.
We are looking forward to both reunions again this year. -reported by Hugh Peterson, III Elizabeth, Hugh, Sarah Jane and Katherine all had a great year. We finally sold our house in Vidalia and purchased a house in Atlanta. We moved in April 28th and are very excited. Our house is about 2 blocks from “the Pink House” the name our girls gave to grandparents Mary Jane and Hugh, Jr.’s home. We love being so close to them!
Hugh III, Jay Robinson, and I made our annual duck hunting and fishing trip to Alaska over the Labor Day weekend and were again marvelously hosted by Alex and Judy Russell. Last Fall Mary Jane and I joined my college roommates for a long weekend in Redlands, California. We had several wonderful trips to New York, including one in April to attend our granddaughter Sarah Jane’s school chorus performance at Carnegie Hall. Mary Jane’s Agnes Scott class had its fiftieth reunion this Spring. I saw once again that those gals are mighty good at having a rousing good time when they get together. Aside from business activities I continue to play the mandola (the viola equivalent of a mandolin) in the Atlanta Mandolin Orchestra, play a little bluegrass once in a while, and gather once
Hugh III continues to practice law dividing his time between offices in Atlanta and Vidalia. Elizabeth holds down the fort in Atlanta and manages the girls’ busy schedules. Sarah Jane finished the fifth grade this year at Trinity School in Atlanta where she participated in the Trinity School Chorus. The Trinity chorus performed at the Atlanta Braves game in September and Carnegie Hall in April. The Carnegie Hall performance was an amazing experience for Sarah Jane and the whole family including Mary Jane, Hugh, Jr. and Bill. Sarah Jane was also involved in soccer and Peachtree Allstars, a competitive Cheerleading team.
Katherine finished second grade at Westminster
-reported by Richard Peterson
School in Atlanta. She continues to amaze us with her constant enthusiasm for whatever she decides to do. This year she excelled in piano. She performed “Ode to Joy” for almost anyone who would listen. At her recital she performed “The Rose” in a duet with her piano teacher. She was also involved in soccer and a Hip Hop dance team.
Richard Peterson has been as busy as a bee. Real Estate and Acting.... Both are mutually exclusive, of course. Richard has been cast as a lead in the following recent independent films: “Atlanta Heat”, The Interrogation”, and “Absent.”
In addition to and on the opposite end of the spectrum from the New York trip, our whole family spent two nights camping on Cumberland Island in March. It was an amazing experience on the Georgia coast!
In addition, he had a leading role in an episode of the upcoming new TV series “Swamp Murders” - it airs July 2nd at 10pm on the ID channel. He recently sang a duet musical piece from “The Last Five Years” in a recital. Also, with the slight turnaround of the real estate market in Atlanta, he has been able to work with a wonderful new crop of home buyers.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion!
Walter Brown Russell, Sr Family descendants of Dorothea Bealer and Walter B. Russell
Emily Russell and Thomas Campbell Branch -reported by Teresa Campbell
-reported by Phillip Campbell
Our big news is with our two children (now three with my daughter-in-law): Phillip got married and will send their news separately.
Phillip & Tori’s excting news since last year was that they got married on 9/8/12 at Lake Lanier Islands Resort! It was a beautiful ceremony by the water and everyone had a lot of fun at the festive reception that followed. The newlyweds went to Aruba for an amazing honeymoon and look forward to getting back there for more sailing and adventures. The happy couple lives in Grant Park, loves attending Braves games, and walking Cooper and Chloe, their longhaired dachshunds, around the neighborhood.
Anne-Marie is now a Doctor of Chiropractic! She completed her four year journey of grad school in September 2012. Her job offers spanned the globe - Singapore to California, and we are excited that she joined a practice in Charleston, SC. She specializes in pregnancy and pediatrics, and is dedicated and committed to helping families live happier, healthier, more productive, and higher quality lives. Anne-Marie and her rescue puppy, Luna, are loving the culture and change of pace in Charleston. They truly love long walks on the beach, and they welcome any visitors!
-reported by Mark Coryell Hi Russell Family,
My family has moved to Warner Robins, GA. We actually live off of Richard Russell Parkway; the boys think that’s very cool.
It’s been an otherwise uneventful year around here. Teresa will be celebrating her 40th anniversary with Delta Airlines this August!
Oldest son Randall Mark Coryell III “Trey” just finished a great freshman year at Houston County High School. Trey’s love is football and his hard work is paying off with getting listed on Rivals.com (a pre-
mier recruiting website). He has a busy summer ahead of workouts, camps and collage visits. Don’t worry Campbell cousins UGA is on the short list.
Ryan, Keturah, and Cameron Coryell
Thomas Chance Coryell, our baby no more, has just finished his 8th grade year at Fagin Mill Middle School with awesome grades and ready to attend Houston County High. Chance was excited this year in Georgia history to share all his knowledge of the Russell family. Although a history buff Chance is truly a car fanatic and eager to share his knowledge with all.
-from Catherine Emily Campbell Big Hartford sends his love to all and asks everyone this year to count our blessings not our troubles. Let us be thankful for all things. Taking the good with the bad and being equally thankful for both. I am in Atlanta renting houses for the most part but would consider a job change anywhere - anytime in this world as I feel change is in the air. I am open to ideas and offers.
Nee-Cee has been a stay at home mom since the move, but will be taking a Pre K job at Foundations Academy for the new school year. She is eager to get back in the classroom and feels blessed to still be able to be at all the boy’s activities.
Catherine Emily became a full-time nanny and spent her year endlessly adventuring in the Tetons with two little boys under the age of four. When she wasn’t teaching the youngins how to row a boat down the Snake River, ski powder, or catch waves in Mexico, she was lucky to have a few adventures of her own. She took a spontaneous solo trip to Asia for three weeks where she visited natural Japanese baths outside of Tokyo, swam at the Southernmost point of Continental Asia in Singapore, and scuba dived in Koh Tao, Thailand. She swam with mama and baby whale in Hawaii, discovered the joys of developing her own black and white film in the darkroom, and learned to fly paraglider in Santa Barbara, California. She had another beautiful year in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Catherine has found herself at another crossroads, is open to the Universe, and is excited for the unknown path of her future that hopefully involves more adventuring, creativity, and positively impacting the world. Her dog, Boo is alive and well and continues to inspire healthy, happy living.
After a year as a touring musician I am back with L.E. Schwartz and Sons Inc. I travel all over the south east as a field supervisor for Schwartz’s shingle division. I will be joining Trey on all his camps/visits and just as excited as Trey to meet so many great coaches. I look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion. Mark Coryell
-from Ryan and Keturah Coryell We have had a great year! Cameron, 4, finished his first year of preschool. It’s amazing how much he learned in such a short amount of time. He is not quite old enough for organized sports but he loves running, playing basketball, and he says he wants to play football when he gets older. Keturah and Ryan have spent the last year working, working, working. Keturah is still coaching gymnastics for the city of Roswell. Ryan is the general manager for the LA Fitness on Holcomb bridge road. In our free time we like to watch movies and just hang out as a family. We are also excited to announce that we are expecting our second child at the end of
Hartford Jr graduates this August from acupuncture school in North Carolina. Let us repeat that. Hartford Jr. finally has reached the summit of his educational experience pertaining to formal study of Chinese medicine. After August he plans to sit for the national boards and start practicing acupuncture. Due to strict post graduate clinical regulations in our great state of Georgia, he may head south, west, or northeast to find immediate work. However, Atlanta is home,
largest gathering of people in the history of the world. Lots of work and lots of fun. You can check out his projects or get in touch with him at ChrisLawes.com!
and he is looking for a good legal team that might expedite the Georgia medical boards unprecedented additional one year requirement of supervised practice. Please see Hartford for additional questions, comments, complaints, or criticisms.
Skyler is living up in Asheville, North Carolina going to school at UNCA to pursue his Psychology degree and going on adventures with his dog Buddy. He and Buddy are also planning another expedition out west to visit Seve in New Mexico now that he has some downtime between semesters.
This Spring, Thomas Bruce graduated from Clemson University’s School of Architecture. During his final year, he was selected as a member of a team of architecture and landscape architecture graduate students that went on to design, construct, and install a new, sustainable overlook at Sassafras Mountain in northern Pickens County (the highest point in South Carolina). Thomas recently returned to his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia where he is busy preparing his portfolio and charting his course as the family’s newest architect! Ben Russell graduated from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business! He continues to reside in Atlanta, and we are all looking forward to seeing our baby Ben soar with an education and unlimited possibilities. -from Emily Costley Just a quick update from our crew—
Emily just finished her junior year at Gettysburg College. She spent the first semester in Santiago, Chile studying the Chilean education system. Next year she’ll be spending much of her time at school dedicated to the Eisenhower Institute as an undergraduate fellow. But for now, she’s enjoying the summer at home in Atlanta. Can’t wait to catch up with y’all!
Nancy and Walter B. Russell, jr. Branch -from Walter Brown Jr. and Nancy Hinton Russell Nancy and I are well into our 10th year at Park Springs, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Stone Mountain. Our house literally backs right into the woods with a cheery sounding creek down below. We love the atmosphere.
Kate and George opened a sister-store to Kudzu Antiques called Kudzu & Company. Between opening a new store and running both, they’ve had a busy busy year. If you’re ever in the Decatur or Sandy Springs areas in Atlanta, stop on by! Seve is still out in New Mexico, working on movie and television sets (including Breaking Bad!) and enjoying the beautiful scenery that the west has to offer.
Our five children, their spouses, and seven Grands are still all over the country, spread from California to New york City. Anne, Rick, and three of the grandchildren are the only ones here in the Atlanta area.
This year Chris finished work on his last project at Fischer Productions, a television production company specializing in documentary series. It was a wild job; he worked as a cameraman and in postproduction 60-70 hours a week to help produce two TV shows for History and Discovery channel, “Shark Wranglers” and “Kings of Crash.” Then in February, traveled to India again to help shoot a film about the “Kumbh Mela,” a spiritual pilgrimage event and the
It has been a pretty quiet year. A good deal of time has been devoted to doctor visits. A benefit of the Golden Years! A most traumatic event occurred a year ago when Walt’s super wonderful Caregiver, Vickie Lucas, was suddenly sent to Grady Hospital for three weeks. We were all so worried. Vickie was then on sick leave for seven months. Thank the Good Lord she was able to come back to us last December. A wonderful Christmas present!
knowledge, etc. Brown is working as CEO/President and Sally as Chief Customer Officer. The company is primarily focused on helping organizations become more “sustainable.”
The entire Walt Russell, Jr. clan, including Vickie, will joyfully attend the 2013 Reunion. -from Emily Russell
In their spare time, Brown and Sally are also doing “CrossFit,” and operate a small CrossFit “box.” They compete in CrossFit competitions, and in the most recent CrossFit global open competition, Brown finished #1 in his age division in Arizona and #7 in the Southwest.
Emily Russell and John Thomas Emily and John are thriving in New York, and doing their best to keep their eyes on the fundamentals -life is weather, life is meals (as one writer boiled it down)-amid busy schedules.
John just graduated from Pomona College in California with a degree in mathematical economics. He is working as a wilderness guide this summer in New Mexico and then most likely will start working for “Clef ” (getclef.com) a tech startup in San Francisco in the fall. Clef is a startup founded by three other Pomona students. John was President of the Pomona Mock Trial Team, and led the team to its most successful season this last year. He is a squash player.
They are kept occupied by an embarrassment of riches: interesting work; family, friends, and (other people’s) children; books and music (John’s garage band; Emily’s forays into playing the bass!); a ramshackle Colonial-era house in Connecticut; rose bushes; biking at every opportunity (including four-season commuting to work and now, finally, New York’s brand-new bike share system!); cartons of wine; the intention to travel more. . . . the list goes on and on.
Andrew just finished his freshman year at Pomona College. He is majoring in computer science and cognitive science (artificial intelligence). This summer he is working as an intern with Clef (he is officially Employee #1). One of the Clef founders was his computer science lab partner. Andrew’s sports of choice are Ultimate Frisbee (he was a co-captain of the Pomona B team as a freshman) and CrossFit.
Sailing, once a beloved hobby, has taken a back seat for a while, though, after they decided to sell their sailboat. As the new sailing season arrives they oscillate between being broken-hearted (no idyllic sailing cruises!) and delighted (no boat work to do, no boatyard bills to pay!). Emily continues to manage the curatorial department at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and John continues in his art law practice (representing the Whitney, among other museum clients). A trip to Colombia or Turkey is (hopefully) in the works.
Sara just finished her “junior year” of high school, although she is has never attended high school, opting instead like her brothers to attend community college since the age of 13. Her “major” at community college is “psychology.” She is a member of the cross-country and track teams of the local high school and does CrossFit in the off season. Her goal is to attend Barrett Honors College at ASU after her “senior” year next year.
-reported by Brown Russell Brown, Sally, John, Andrew, Sara
Also part of the family are Sam, Tasha, and Rose, three Australian cattle dogs (aka “heelers”).
Brown and Sally are currently working on a tech startup: GreenNurture.com. GreenNurture is developing web-based social technology designed to help organizations incorporate specific organizational values (sustainability, safety) into every aspect of organizational culture and operations from compliance to benchmarking to modifying behavior, attitudes and
-from Kate Russell
School next year. Lexi has been in the Gifted Program since the 2nd grade. Again this year, she made straight A’s in school (the same as every other year before) and she “Exceeded” in all of her CRCT tests.
Stuart & Kate Russell Family News The past year, we purchased a home in Silicon Valley that provides us with a huge backyard, complete with 9 fruit trees, over 50 rose bushes, and more varieties of plants than we have yet to determine plus an herbs and vegetables As a result, gardening takes up a good portion of Kate’s free time, when she’s not busy working on her next writing project. The biggest news in that department is that Kate and her sister, Jo, have published their first novel, Family Letters.
She has been selected as one of the few students to take not only all advanced courses, but she will take accelerated math. There are three levels for math, on level, advanced and accelerated. She has yet to ever study…I think she might have to crack a book this year! We are VERY proud of her academically. She played travel soccer and has been taking some extra lessons and has had a great year. She played the entire time in her end of year tournament. It got rained out so we will never know if they would make the championship.
Kate had hand surgery in March, but it seems to be healing well. Also, her children, Sarah and Joshua, walked 1,100 miles from Paris to the coast of Spain on the Camino de Santiago. They promise to bring many stories and photographs to this year’s reunion!
She is still taking piano lessons. For the third year in a row she was chosen by her teacher to compete and she did great! She has received a “Superior” rating each year. She was given a special award for the three year mark.
Stuart continues to enjoy working at Intuit on an exciting new project and has learned that he actually enjoys mowing the lawn! Yay!
Next is the middle monkey, Ike (7), who has proven to me that this whole “middle child syndrome” is a bunch of malarkey:
-reported by Anne Eiswirth
Ike is going into the 2nd grade at John’s Creek Elementary next year and so far he made perfect scores on all of his report cards. In addition, Ike was selected (even at this early age) to be tested to be in the Gifted Program and he made it!! We are very proud of him. He is already reading at a 4th grade level!! Ike also played travel soccer this year. Out of 30+ kids, he was chosen to play on a special team that played in a tournament at the end of the season. They won the first two games and were guaranteed a spot in the championship game, but all games got rained out on Sunday. Bummer! Ike also takes piano lessons and this year he was the youngest student selected to compete (the same competition as Lexi)
Hi everyone, I can’t remember exactly when the last time was that we sent in an update on news at the Eiswirth household so this is long overdue. This is Anne Eiswirth, youngest daughter of Walt and Nancy Russell……… and wife of Rick Eiswirth. I will start with me: I am still a CPA and working at SavaSeniorCare as Director of Financial Reporting. I am still chef, chauffeur and housekeeper for my three kids and Rick (discussed below). And I still do lots of volunteer work in the kid’s classrooms. We still live in Duluth, Ga. I am trying to get my own business started…..investment properties. So that is it for me…. NOTHING exciting. Next is my oldest daughter, Lexi Jones (12): Lexi is going into 7th grade at Riverwatch Middle
Rick (forever young): Rick has been traveling tons to Europe this year as his company has a product that just got approved in Europe and they have sold the first shipments. He works out almost every day (lookin’ good babe!) He was soccer coach for a very very special team…. see below. AND – he is my primary investor for my
is back in Seattle (where it seems he likes best to call home). The rest of us haven’t done anything quite as interesting, though we like to think we haven’t been dull. Rafe continues teaching at the University of Baltimore, and Robin remains a chef in Seattle. I’m mostly retired, though an occasional editing job still comes my way. Want to mention that Facebook has become an enrichment in terms of allowing me to get to know cousins better. And I loved having lunch at our neighborhood diner with Bill and Barbara Russell and their daughter-in-law Susan, when Bill and Barbara came to town. All’s well.
And the best for last --- Jackson (5) Jackson, who has Down’s syndrome, was almost non-verbal as of September 2011. I switched Speech Therapists and increased the hours per week and now he is talking up a storm. And darn it if you don’t regret what you ask for. He is just as stubborn as his Daddy. He is also taking swim lessons He was in Pre-k and will be starting kindergarten next year on time in a typical classroom. He started playing soccer this year too just like Ike and sis. At first he wouldn’t even go on the field. By the end he was playing the whole game!! Talk about being proud. Dad was the best coach ever. He loves to give kisses and hugs so make sure to give him a bunch.
Kim and Pierre MacFarland Campbell Branch
-reported by Kim Russell Nothing much to report. We’re still in Decatur and the boys just finished 7th grade. They seem to like school and are doing well academically. Our lives are a bit mundane compared to prior years. Kim is still working as a PA in Dermatology at Kaiser Permanente. Pierre seems to be continually busy with house projects and making sure the boys get to their activities on time. We’re planning a two week road trip in early July and will visit our NY relatives and join them in a canoe-camping trip in Upstate NY.
I guess that’s it. What I love is that I got to brag about my kids. You can’t brag to your friends because that is rude, but you can brag to your family. We are very proud of our kids, so it was fun to share all of this with you! Love, Rick, Anne, Lexi, Ike and Jackson
Cecil Bealer Russell and Joe Clemons, jr. Branch - No News
Ina Dillard Russell, III Branch -reported by Ina Russell News from Ina Russell out in Colorado Our biggest news is that in Seattle on May 8, 2013, younger daughter Honor and her husband Art Marquez welcomed a wonderful baby girl, Tabitha Harper Posey-Marquez, into our family. This new person is adorable. Our next-to-biggest news is that son Gus returned from living and teaching in Ecuador, and
Fielding D. Russell, Sr. Family
descendants of Virginia Boyce Wilson and Fielding Dillard Russell, Sr.
Beth (fielding, Jr.) Russell Branch
-reported by Beth Russell
I recently had a garage sale which was an interesting experience. I had helped with garage sales at the church and a garage sale and a couple of book sales at the library, but this was a first for me. It was not as much hard work as I expected. Two friends helped me and it was actually pretty fun. I’m not sure I will do another one though. There is not enough profit for the time expended.
I don’t have much news to report this year. I am still working in the library at Georgia Southern. Just part time now, which is very nice. I do enjoy my job. There have been a lot of changes in the department this year. We have had people retire and move away, and a new position open, so by July we will have six new people in the department. This is quite a change since everyone who left had been there for at least five or six years and one for thirty-five years.
I plan to go to Charleston to visit a friend next weekend and attend some of the Spoleto events. That should be fun and I look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion in June.
All children and grandchildren were here in Statesboro for Christmas which was a lot of fun. It is really great to have them all together. I had some work done on the house this year which has turned out very well, all of the children approve and I am enjoying it. There were some drawbacks though. It was supposed to be done well before Christmas but of course wasn’t. When everyone was here there were still no kitchen countertops, therefore, no kitchen sink, although the stove was hooked up 2 days before. I have come to the conclusion that the sink is the most important thing in the kitchen! Virginia and Margo hosted us all for a wonderful Christmas dinner and we had cereal, cheese toast, boiled eggs and sandwiches otherwise. Since then I have been unpacking things, reorganizing and trying to get things in order. It may happen one of these days.
-reported by Betsy DuBard 2012 was a year of changes for our small family unit. I switched from the NICU to the mom/baby floor, where I take care of postpartum mothers and their newborns. I now am responsible for six to eight patients instead of three to four. I do a LOT of walking. The pace is really fast, and I love it. The hospital changed software systems a month ago, and we are all still adjusting. But I have absolutely incredible coworkers, and so far, most people have been able to hold onto their senses of humor.
I won’t put in any news of the children as they will be reporting theirs and there would probably be some overlap. I have enjoyed birthday parties with Ella and Noah and phone calls and seeing pictures of Fiona and the others.
Adam, age 20, finished his sophomore year at USC in May, and is living and working in Columbia this summer. He is sharing a house near campus with a friend, and working at a restaurant in Five Points. He joined a fraternity last fall, and plans to spend the spring semester of his junior year in Germany. He has a double major of political science and German.
I have been elected for another term as an elder and was installed in January. It is both interesting and rewarding to serve as an elder but I think that I will not do it again after this term.
Mary, age 17, is taking exams that complete her junior year as I write this. She has maintained her all-A average at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Sci-
ence and Math, and is pondering her university choices. She wants to major in computer science. All you engineers, give her some advice, because her English major mom has no clue.
gotten everything out of the college experience that you can, except for good time management skills. So I’ve decided to make my last months as a college student count and finally learn to act like a responsible adult (at least until graduation). By the time the 2014 Reunion comes around, I plan to be debt free and employed full-time in a foreign country (the difficulty of the first one makes the second seem surprisingly easy). But this year you’ll have to put up with just the usual Fielding, and the many strange customs I’ve picked up from my new home south of the equator.
Mary will not be at the reunion this year as she will be in South Korea doing a research project as part of her enrollment in GSSM. She leaves June 18 and returns in late July. Ben, age 15, completed his freshman year of high school in the IB program at Wilson High School in Florence. He was one of three freshmen to make Wilson’s varsity soccer team. He not only made the varsity soccer team, but he was a starter. He applied to Rotary International to go overseas this fall, and was accepted. He will be spending the next school year in Brazil. Part of his excitement stems from the fact that the World Cup will be held in Brazil while he’s there. He will do his best to see a game or two if at all possible. Anyone seeing a theme here?
-reported by Jamie Russell News from Jamie, Molly, and Fiona Russell Another year has sped by. Fiona is now five and will be attending kindergarten next year--- the BIG school. In addition to her pre-school, Fiona has been busy with extra-curricular activities including; violin, dance, swimming, soccer, and a wee bit of free time ;-)
Ben won’t be at the reunion as he has a Rotary meeting in Charleston to prepare him for his trip.
Molly and Jamie are still living a regular life in Boone, NC. Molly is looking forward to part-time work next year with Fiona in a regular school time. Jamie is still working at Appalachian State University. He received a positive tenure vote and is now an associate professor of building science. He is also leading a joint US-French team in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 (check out their website at reciprocity2014.com). He and his team will compete in Versailles in late June through early July of 2014--- perhaps we could hold next year’s reunion in Paris and find some of those Chaffin roots?!?
They are growing up fast, and I am proud of each of them. I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the reunion! -reported by Fielding D. Russell IV
(aka Fiudi) So I studied in Brazil all last fall, shearing my long locks and gradually adapting to Brazilian culture and climate. Some of you might have followed it on facebook, but for those of you who didn’t, let me assure you that it was my most difficult, most enjoyable traveling experience so far. Then I came back for my final year of college and suffered through a beautifully white but bitterly cold Boone winter. Not my coldest by far, but after Brazil even Statesboro at Christmas was too much to handle. I’m writing this mere hours after my last final of this semester. I have two summer classes and one semester left before the Big Finale, and it’s about time. I’ve
-reported by Patience Russell -Gordon
News from Patience, Scott, Ella, and Noah Gordon While South Carolina politics didn’t change for us, several other things did. Patience took a position in a new school, Ella moved to the new school too, Scott had a change in bosses, and Noah learned to use the toilet! I began work at a new school, which serves grades
-reported by Will Russell
K-8. Up to this point, Patience had been the school counselor for a school that served PK-4. While she has had to acclimate to the wide range of developmental needs (ie,teaching a classroom guidance lesson in kindergarten on social skills, such as sharing and taking turns, then walking down to an 8th grade classroom to discuss sexual harassment) it has been a very positive change.
Mallory and I are still in Western North Carolina, tucked away in the mountains. We’ve had a really fun, but busy year. While I’ve maintained my position at Earthcare Organics as second in command, Mallory has moved up to Credit Administrator at Nantahala Bank and Trust.
Ella (8) changed schools to be at the same school as Patience. Despite apprehensions about leaving her old school, she quickly made new friends and decided that the change was a good one. She also took up gymnastics and will doubtlessly be displaying her newly learned skills of cartwheeling and back bending at the Big House.
To add onto this, I’ve just received an email (it came in May 28th) that has told me that I’ve been accepted into a training program for the National Park Service that fully certifies me to become a commissioned Law Enforcement Park Ranger. While enforcement is not my passion, working with the National Park Service would definitely be rewarding to me, and this serves as a stepping stone into the NPS itself. This specific training is only held at 11 different places around the US, and one of them happens to be right where we currently live! The class only runs twice per year and only holds 20-30 recruits max, so I’m definitely VERY excited for the opportunity to be a part of the program.
Scott had a change in principal at the school where he teaches art. He held several student art shows and wrote a grant for a professional display system for the newly completed fine arts building at his school. He continues to work on his pursuit of growing gills by spending time surfing, fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Noah (3) continues to make us laugh. He is becoming quite the big boy and has decided that he is a fireman. Don’t be surprised if he introduces himself to you as Sam the Fireman and refuses to answer to Noah. He and his trusty sidekick Fire Kitty will be working hard to protect us all from fires at the reunion.
Mallory and myself also added another furry member to our family, we adopted Jake in January, he’s a husky/ corgi mix, and currently only 5 months old. He won’t be making it to this reunion because of his age, but I’m sure he’ll be looking forward to meeting (and licking) the entire family next year. We’re well, and we hope that everyone else has had as great a year as we have!
We will have our niece MaSu Chiriboga (19) with us this summer and are looking forward to introducing her to those of you who did not get to meet her when she lived with us before. MaSu is short for Maria Susana. She is from Riobamba, Ecuador and has been a wonderful addition to our family. She first came to live with us in July of 2011 to attend Beaufort High School and improve her English. This year, she completed her freshman year in college at the Universidad San Fransisco de Quito. She was first introduced to the Russell tradition of spite and malice on a summer visit to the U.S. in 2010 and would be glad to play a game with you!
Barbara and William Don Russell Branch -reported by Will iam Don Russell
News from William Don and Barbara Bolin Russell *Warning, readers please be advised, adult content contained in these writings.*
When we last saw many of you, we had the Birlingmair girls with us at the 2012 reunion. That is Alexanderia (Lexi) Catherine Birlingmair and Shannon Eliz-
Lee Russell’s MBA graduation at the University of Maryland.
abeth Birlingmair. The highlight for our family was the marriage of Margo Hutchins and Jason McCoy on the Hill that Sunday morning before the pancake breakfast.
In July Bill, Jr., Tracy and perhaps others will come to see us from Altamont, New York. We eagerly look forward to this visit.
After the wedding we headed to Pensacola, Florida to meet Aimee Russell and C. Scott Birlingmair for a week at the beach. Barbara’s brother Michael Bolin kindly lent us their beach condo.
As this letter is being written, Bill has already had his 78th birthday, and in November Barbara will turn 76. That is a lot of adult content. We are thankful that we are both still around. We faithfully go to the YMCA three or four times a week, and read the obituaries every morning to see if we are still alive.
In August Shannon, Susan, Lorien, Alaina and Ian Russell of Boulder, Colorado came to spend a week with us in Chesterfield. It was great to be with this part of our family. Susan and Shannon have done DNA tests to find out more about their ancestors. Because son Shannon shows a certain percentage of Mediterranean in his heritage (mama’s baby/daddy’s maybe) we have submitted our DNA and are awaiting the results about our heritages.
Bill continues to do some consultation work, and with the advent of the new year he began to do supply preaching again for the first time in five years. Plans for the rest of the year are to celebrate our 55th year of marriage on August 16. Bill wishes his mother were still around so he could ask her if 55 years counted from the many times she said, “You are going to have a hard time accomplishing anything as an adult if you don’t learn how to finish things.” Yeah! We are looking forward to November when we travel to Williamsburg, Virginia to attend Robert’s wedding to a woman named Mary Cathrine whom he met at William and Mary while they were students.
Bill’s professional meeting took place in Omaha, Nebraska in October. We drove and spent a night each way with the Birlingmairs in Gladstone, Missouri. We returned to the Birlingmairs for Christmas. We attended a Christmas Eve service at their church where Aimee, Lexi and Shannon had a part in that service. We are happy to report that we survived a Christmas Eve service where the scripture readings began in the book of Genesis and worked its way up to the birth of Jesus in the Gospels. To our amazement we learned that the church was doing this program of Scripture and Hymns again at ll p.m. Those people probably got home for breakfast on Christmas Day. We had a great time with the Birlingmairs. The New Year took us down to Memphis to celebrate the life of Aunt Ala Jo. We saw many of you at the funeral and reception.
A ROMANTIC TALE OF 55 YEARS OF MARRIAGE. It’s Bill’s time to be driving on I 24 as we go south to Kennesaw. In his peripheral vision he sees Barbara looking at him. “She is remembering our time alone at Savannah Beach in 1961. Or perhaps our walks in the moonlight on the beach at Hilton Head. Or even our times in D. C. when we were dating, our first movie An Affair to Remember.” Then says Barbara, “You know you have more age spots on your face now.” Hopefully, 2014 will be a year we will be able to attend the reunion. We will miss you this year.
In early April Bill had a professional meeting in Denver. After that meeting we spent five wonderful days with the Shannon Russells. The highlight of that visit was Alaina Calan’s 15th birthday. Shannon and Susan no longer have children but emerging adults. We also got to visit with our cousin Ina Russell -- a treat. Also, in April we drove to Kennesaw, Georgia to spend a few days with Barbara’s sister Sybil. While there Barbara and Bill attended the 50th Seminary reunion of Bill’s class of 1963. On May 19 we fly to Baltimore to attended Robert
-reported by Robert Lee Russell
It has certainly been an eventful and joyous year! I completed a summer internship with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. over the summer before beginning my final year of the MBA program at the Robert H Smith School of Business at the University of Mary-
land. In the fall, I began the full-time career search process and ultimately accepted a position at Unilever as an Associate Finance Manager in the Greater New York City Area; I am so excited to get started!
attend a soccer camp and two camps at Heartland Presbyterian summer camps. Scott continues to work for L3 Communications as a contractor providing computer supporting states east of the Mississippi River for the Federal Aviation Administration. Scott still hunts, fishing, and enjoys the outdoors as much as he can but now he has two girls that want to go with him. This year he has been working on his small fishing boat and taking the girls fishing with him. Scott and Lexi are off to the range as much as our raining spring has permitted. Scott still making beer and enjoys experimenting with all the different methods and types of beer he can make.
I began the Rite of Christian Initiation process within the Catholic Church last August and have successfully completed the program and joined the Church as of this past Easter. I also successfully proposed to my fiancé, Mary Cathrine Schrack, at William and Mary’s Homecoming weekend last October! Finally, in mid-May I am all set to graduate from the MBA program with a cohort of unbelievable friends and colleagues. As I look towards this next year of my life, I am so grateful for the many blessings of the last.
I continue to work for Bellamy Management Services as a Program Analyst contracted out to the Federal Aviation Administration Facility Disposition Program. This year I lead the children’s Wednesday night program, taught Sunday School, and continue to serve on the Education team at our church. I do lots more but you all know what parents do.
-reported by Aimeé Birlingmair
Hello Everyone! Here we are again, and once again we will miss seeing everyone at the reunion. Alexanderia, AKA Lexi, is 12 years old and finished the sixth grade. This was her first year of middle school and she loved it. She read over 400 books over the school year, amazing all her teachers. Lexi played fall soccer but decided to focus on her archery skills in the spring. She saved up for three years to buy a good quality bow and really enjoys the sport. Lexi continued with her cello and we enjoyed attending her cello concerts. Lexi went through confirmation and was confirmed last April. Seven teen girls from our church, including Lexi, and I traveled to Des Moines, IA to attend the Revolve tour. This summer Lexi will again attend two Heartland Presbyterian summer camps and is excited to finally be old enough to attend horse camp.
The girls and I took a weekend trip with my stepmother-in-law and sister-in-law to the Mall of America in February. We had a great time but picked one of the busiest weekends of the year to visit. One of the sales clerks said it was busier that weekend than on Black Thursday. Let’s just say it was really crowded. The ice sculptures they had growing in the parking lot were amazing. We spent a wonderful week in Perdido Keys, Flordia with my parents. This was the girls’ first visit to the gulf and in warm ocean water. We visited the Navel museum and dad, Lexi, and I climbed all 177 steps to the top of the Pensacola Light House. It was wonderful to visit with my Uncle Michael and Aunt Alexis in Pensacola.
Shannon is nine years old and finished the fourth grade. Shannon joined a new and more competitive soccer team play in the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Shannon’s team was the division champions in the fall season. With this new team Shannon has found that she enjoys playing on the field more than in the goal and is a huge asset on the field, being able to play both offence and defense. Shannon enjoys singing in our church choir. She continues to enjoy art and presenting us with wonderful pictures that I take to work and display. This summer Shannon will
As always we travel throughout the year to see parents and grandparents in St. Louis, MO; Des Moines, IA; Smithville, MO; and Lake of the Ozarks, MO. We send our love and wish everyone a great year. Aimée
Richard Brevard Russell IV Branch
are excellent tree decorators. I’m leaving it for them from now on. With the joyful addition of the Keeley and Warrington clans, as well as the Whites from Hilton Head, we had 28 diners. I ate leftovers for a week. My ceramics work has begun to bear fruit. In December, I received notice that my work had been accepted for two exhibitions: one in Colorado, and one in Texas. Because the teapot accepted for the Texas International Teapot Exhibition had a crack in its back, I found myself spending the time between Christmas and the start of spring semester making and firing a replacement for it. I did get a good one in the mail, and learned an important lesson about submitting a picture without having a good look at the object itself. I’ve learned that exhibiting that requires mailing pieces can be expensive.
Virginia Russell Branch -reported by Virginia Russell
What have I done since the last reunion? As I look back upon the year, I’m surprised at how busy I’ve been. On July 14, I hosted a party for Margo and Jason’s Statesboro friends who weren’t able to make their wedding. Also present was her father, whose mother-in-law’s death several days from the wedding had kept him from being at the wedding. I think I’m safe in saying that a large time was had by all.
My thesis defense was scheduled for early March, and I spent two months working on the pieces that would represent my body of work. The Saturday before my defense, I hosted a dinner in the gallery (with much help from Margo and Jason McCoy, Jessica Keeley and her two big kids) of mostly local, all seasonal food for 22 people who have helped me along the way in one way or another. It was quite an evening. Although the thesis wasn’t completely finished, I successfully defended it and my body of work the following Monday.
Just a year and a baby late for Lara Nelson’s wedding, I visited the Nelsons of Spokane. I got a tour of the wedding site, and visits with Lara, Gabe, sweet Zoe, and the star of their family, Beau. We weren’t exactly the people we were in the 70’s (the last time we spent so much time together), but the bonds seem to have survived the distance and passage of time. Nancy has not lost her gourmet cooking touch, and it was fortuitous that Rusty helped me launch yet another fitness push, sharing his walk from the house to the newspaper box—a long and hilly route guaranteed to promote fitness. They indulged me in my desire to see Glacier National Park, where we had beautiful weather and scenery. The drawings of how the glaciers have shrunk were pretty scary. At some point, they’ll have to change its name. In October, I made my second trip to the Spruce Pine pottery sale with Cecil Clemons. As always, we are dangerous when on the road together. Margo and I also made the sad journey to Memphis for Aunt Ala Jo’s funeral. As we rode along, we remembered the kindness she showed the two of us when we moved to West Tennessee. We were far from home, and she made us feel welcome in Memphis. We spent many happy hours at 140 South Goodlett at her invitation. The food she served and the way she furnished her house are still inspirations for me. The Fielding Russell Jr. family joined us for Christmas, and I found that Ella Gordon and Fiona Russell
During spring break the week after the defense, Margo, Jason, and I flew to Houston for the National Ceramics annual meeting. I had a cold when I left home, and came back with bronchitis. That was the beginning of five weeks of on again off again illness and medication. I think the prednisone between the two courses of antibiotics was what did the number on my spirit, and I decided in the end not to try to finish all I had to do in two classes, and the thesis, and the studio move out. What went was the thesis and graduation. SO—I’m graduating in December. The last factor was the trip to Japan and China. I was not about to give up that adventure. Since I’m still in the midst of it, I’ll have to write about it next year. -reported by Margo H. McCoy
Jason and I have had a great first year of marriage! We spent our honeymoon in Ft Pierce, Fl with some great
friends and had a great visit with Frank and Joanna Hogan in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. Then it was back to Statesboro and back to work! I am still at Starbucks, a company which I continue to adore, and Jason back to Georgia Southern University where he takes care of all the studios for the art department. I travelled to Houston, Tx twice this year. Once with Starbucks in October and then again in March with my mother and my husband to attend theNCECA ceramics conference. I also had the honor of traveling with my mother to Memphis in the fall to attend Aunt Ala Jo’s memorial service. I continue to be inspired by her spirt and her fabulous family. Ala Jo welcomed me into her house when I was seven years old at a time when felt very far away from my own grandparents. She and Uncle Jeb were my Memphis grandparents and I will never forget that kindness. We are working on our house and enjoying life! We have a strange and wonderful collection of animals that have found their way to us and they brighten our days. We look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion!
Henry Edward (Jeb) Russell Family descendants of Ala Jo Brewton and Henry Edward Russell
Harriette Coleman and George Coleman Branch
Joanna Russell and Frank Hogan Branch -reported by Thomas Robinson
Cay Russell and Peter Davis Branch
All is well for the Hawaii Robinson’s. Tom is still teaching high school religion and Donna is working as a food broker. Our son, Bud, is eleven and was accepted this year into Iolani School, the top college prep school in the state! Tom and Bud will be at the reunion this year; it will be Bud’s first reunion.
Belinda andJeb Russell Jr. Branch Dorothy Patience Russell Branham Branch
Much Aloha, and can’t wait to see y’all next month.
Alexander Brevard Russell Family descendants of Sarah Eaton and Alex Russell
Judy and Alex Russell Branch
to tell you the hilarious details. In late October and Early November Alex took his youngest grandson, Aaron (just turned 14 then), on his first pheasant hunt in So. Dakota. His three older brothers had each been twice since Collin’s first trip when he was 13. This time, however, Cameron went along to check out Collin’s college in Seward, Nebraska since they were going there to visit Collin anyway. It was profitable, as he will be attending there also with scholarships this fall.
-reported by Judy Russell
If I am going to continue writing about what happened between July of the previous year and the present time, I’ll have to start keeping a diary or “log”. As I said last year, I can’t even remember yesterday, let alone the last 11 months. I’ve read that it’s good for one’s mental activity to strain the brain, so guess I’ll just dive in and wring it out.
In February, we made our usual winter trek to Sandridge Manor in Ailey, but took several side trips; one to Dothan, Alabama for 4 days to visit with an old med school/navy internship classmate of Alex’s and his wife. After a jaunt over to Panama City and on our way back, we spent time in Vienna, GA. with another old med school classmate who was a surgeon here in Soldotna for 30+ years and retired to his old home place.
July-oh yes, Alex and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday, July 22nd. Temple and Patience, with the women of our church, prepared a reception for us after the morning service. I made a scrapbook of pictures, news articles, and cards from over the years, and framed some of our wedding pictures taken from our old worn album. These were displayed on a “memories” table. Our office manager, Sharon, made us a nice brochure with a brief story, pictures and quoting our favorite scripture verses. (see attachment)
In April, we came to Ailey again for turkey hunting and again spent more time on side trips, the first of which was a turkey trip to Blakely, GA. Alex’s young friend who runs a logging operation there is a devout turkey hunter. We got to see much of the logging activity, ate turkey leg ghoulash, and a whole slew of fried crawdads.
The resulting reminiscence was rekindled this past March 16th, when Sharon put together a small party for Alex’s 75th birthday. Some of those newly framed “pix” (cell phone texting with our daughters and grandsons has taken its toll on my obsession with proper spelling) and scrapbook memories came out again much to the delight of Alex’ little patients and their parents. Mothers brought in trays of colorful decorated cupcakes, some with very unique artwork. Each child was given a helium balloon in the colors of camo hunting gear (they all know about Dr. Russell’s talents and favorite pastimes) and lots of “pix” were taken. The weekend before Alex’s birthday, we surprised him by bringing Collin home for spring break. It was the best orchestrated surprise event ever! Ask Alex
One night Hugh and Mary Jane took us to a festive occasion at the aeronautical museum in Savannah. Bruce Sr. and Jr. flew down in their twin Comanche to join us. For the last weekend of this trip , we drove north and had a great visit with Bruce and Debbie and Bruce Jr. The second week of June, Alex and I will be in Hilton Head for the 8th year of pediatric seminars then hangin’ out in Ailey for a few days before the reunion.
P.S. Patience may not take time to write her news because she had a new, very demanding job as a house
mother/caregiver/cook/custodian in a small assisted-living complex for the disabled. She has put her helicopter training on hold for a little bit while she adjusts, but she takes time out for short mountain biking excursions and helps with Temple and the boys in home schooling on her days off
in the play “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Somehow this boy does all this and still maintains a 3.95 GPA. We were able to bring him home for spring break and some Alaskan skiing this year which was the highlight for us. Cameron officially graduates May 16th and has already landed a good summer job in readiness to go with his brother to play football at CUNE next fall. A notable addition for Cameron to the information in Rod’s section above regarding football is that as well as earning the Conference Title in football this year, Cameron’s basketball team also won the Conference Title and played in three semi-final games at the State Tournament. Now, he is hoping to do the same with the baseball team, but spring is not yet springing here and the fields are full of ice, snow, and water. Our baseball season is short as it is, so we don’t know what will happen.
-reported by Laura Temple Russell Christiansen
This year I really stepped out of the boat as a homeschool mom teaching a high school chemistry lab class after taking it myself a week at a time so my senior Cameron could take the class at a convenient time along with another homeschool student. Then, I taught a high school economics class and the 7th grade Confirmation teacher at church came down with breast cancer and asked me to take her class. I really enjoyed it all and was greatly blessed by responding to the call.
Adam is our mechanic, photographer, inventor, entrepeneur (sp?) and also very good at football, basketball and baseball. We are looking forward to watching him do great things in the next two years.
Rod is a very supportive husband and involved father and made all of the above possible while working hard himself at teaching high School and coaching football. He coached the Palmer Moose Football team with our son Cameron at the starting quarterback position this year to a 9-1 record which gave them the Conference Title. Their only loss of the season being the state semi-final game against the much larger South Anchorage High Wolverines team for whom our nephew Louis Page played. Louis and Cameron are just six weeks apart in age and both seniors this year. They have played in at least three state finalist games including two championships on opposing teams down through the years. The grandparents managed to keep the mood light this year wearing “Mooserine” clothing to the game with heart shaped pictures with Cameron on one side and Louis on the other.
Aaron has improved greatly on his violin this year. He played football last fall, hockey this winter at the comp level for the first time, and is now trying to play baseball in parking lots while waiting for the fields to dry. He is still our History “Professor” and was a senatorial candidate at our TeenPact Leadership Government Class Elections last week. So, there you have it short and sweet for the Rod Christiansen family (Temple Russell).
Sally and Les Warrington Branch
-reported by Sally Russell Warrington
We salute all our kin with joy and love, writing from Prince Edward Island, Canada, near the little town (all towns are little on PEI) of Montague, which is Down East. You may recall we moved here in April 2012.
Collin spent his second year at Concordia University Nebraska studying Communications and Business Administration while playing football for the CUNE Bulldogs. Collin also enjoyed singing in the “Man Choir” and performing the part of the wolf in the musical “Into the Woods” and the part of Jonathan
We thank beautiful Mary Carol for her efforts in do-
ing this family newsletter. We know what a job it is, but we know she can handle it.
We are also helping with Joyriders, a group that does riding for the disabled. Ever since I learned about this initiative from our Aaron and Susan Hiscutt, I’ve wanted to be involved, and there is an established group here who accepted us as volunteers. We do sidewalking, barn chores, grooming horses, stuff you know we love. The riders are a wide-range of disabilities from autism, CHARGE Syndrome, through various stages of cerebral palsy. It is a thrill to see how much it means to them to be able to get on a horse and spend time riding and learning. The teacher is an absolute angel, so effective with asking the riders to do things they can do and treating them with dignity. With all the news we get every day about how cruel and violent people can be to each other, it is a privilege to be involved with something where people are helping and trusting each other.
We are settling in happily on this magical spot at the Eastern end of Canada. We bought an old house (1927) and have learned in the ensuing year that it is famous as the home of “the old McIntyre boys.” These two bachelor brothers lived here from their childhood until their deaths. Fond of drink, they are featured in countless stories. Every time we tell anyone from here where we live, they invariably say, “Oh, you mean the Old McIntyre place.” Then comes a story of how Clive and Bruce grew strawberries and hired the local youth to pick them, especially if the girls wore shorts or a swimsuit. Or how they kept a Christmas tree for twelve years that at some juncture had a hornets’ nest in it. Our house is haunted in a colorful and delightful way. But there goes my dream of naming the house something poetic like Green Gables or Echo Lodge. I fear it will always be “the old McIntyre place.” I may even put up a sign. We have been warmly welcomed here and already feel at home. We are going to Hillcrest United Church, which has a lively congregation and lots going on, like the Jane Austen Book Club and the Knitting Group and several choirs. We settled on Hillcrest United because it is a combination of Methodist, Presbyterian and a couple of other denominations that in Canada “united” back in the Twenties. Membership is still small enough—I think about 150—to be family friendly. In April they had a St. George’s Day Dinner because someone felt there were enough English in the town/area to support it. And the support was there! They sold 100 tickets—the maximum—and served up 100 roast beef dinners with Yorkshire puddings on the side and Spotted Dick for dessert. They asked Les to MC because of his English accent, and he did a wonderful job, was so witty and entertaining. There was other entertainment, English folk songs and I recited a comic poem from our Church Lench people on “The Origin of St. George’s Day”, though without the English accent. It was a gala evening and we felt privileged to be part of it. (I also praise the Lord that I made 50 Yorkshire puddings without mishap!) Our pastor, Martin Dawson and his wife Nancy, came last Sunday to bless our house. You may have seen the Kitchen Racket they put on afterwards on my Facebook page. Martin plays the button accordion and Nancy plays guitar.
We have been living in Canada now for nearly 8 years and, having accumulated enough time “on the ground”, Les has qualified for Canadian citizenship and was duly sworn-in on October 30, 2012. He had to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth, but that was no hardship to him and meant he could keep his UK passport. Les took employment last October with a small, family-run engineering consulting company called Ops a la Carte, based in California. They wanted to extend their Canadian and their European clientele, so with both a Canadian and a British passport, and being an expert in quality and reliability engineering, Les fit their bill to a “t”. He has to travel to the places they are assessing and then write up elaborate reports. There’re also lots of on-line meetings and phone calls. For six weeks he taught a course on-line for those about to take an important engineering exam in the States. Strange, hearing teaching going on in the house, but no students in evidence. So far no trips to Europe, but a couple in Canada. Most work has been in the States, and it is at the right level for time and finances. We are pleased and satisfied. And grateful to the Great Spirit.
I have not been writing much, too busy creating a new life. However, I did teach two creative writing classes at the winter Community School, one in Montague and one in Murray Harbour. This is a learning project that many of the towns have in winter and I enjoyed it very much. We got snowed out only twice. I made several good writing friends through this work and
at the end-of-term banquets, my students made me look really good.
riding, dance, and general academics. Their parents seem to be holding up well in the face of all this activity.
We have continued our travels, of course. We had lovely family time at the cabin in Wyoming in the summer, with all our folks there. Such a blessing to have O’Neills and Keeleys together. We drove back all the way across Canada, from Saskatchewan through Quebec, where we spent our eighteenth wedding anniversary in Vieux Quebec. We went to Britain to see Mavis in November, then spent Christmas in Georgia. Les went to Wales to see his mum again in April. I spent that time with Jessica and family in Statesboro. During this time Susan Ottolene and I made an overnight visit to Aunt Susan in Winder. What fun! We stopped at the Mt. Zion once-Presbyterian Church in Hancock County, where Harriette Brumby Russell had to bury William Edward during her flight from the Yankees. We were happy to see that it is being repaired somewhat. A personable gentleman was painting it and they had just had a sacred harp event on the day before so the sanctuary was open and also had been painted and spruced up.
Heart of Love, Sally and Les -reported by Nan Jackson O’Neill
The O’Neills had a great 2012 and start to 2013... Brian graduated with his Master’s degree and is a fully licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner. He opened his own practice - Beartooth Brain Works and is as busy as he wants to be. Sometimes busier. Nan finished year 22 of teaching French and English. A good year, I decided to give summer school a whirl. Not too bad. I’m also still running and biking...as those of you on FB know well. Most recent brag-worthy event: Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon where I finished 110/1923 total runners, 24/1343 women. Some call me crazy; I say it keeps me sane -(ish).
Les’ mum, Mavis, is managing on her own pretty well. We know she is the best definition of ‘spunk’ you could want, but of course we are a little anxious about her. She recently had an over-night stay in hospital and got excellent care and attention. We are eternally grateful for the Social Services on the island of Anglesey and for her kind and helpful neighbors. Mavis is eighty-four on May 22!
Sarah Jean maintains a 4.0 GPA and continues to excel in the pool and on the track. In April she turned 16 and is a fully licensed driver and proud owner of “Oscar,” a 1992 green Isuzu Trooper. We can’t believe she’s a rising junior. Julia Kay also has kept her 4.0 GPA, had stellar xc, swim and track seasons. She set a new school record in the mile at a time of 5:52. She’ll be an eighth grader in the fall marking the beginning of the end of middle school for this little family.
One of the highlights of the year was a visit from sister Susan, cousin[Eaton] Polly Elliott and close friend Lynn Smith Roberts. We had a glorious week of going to Anne of Green Gables spots, eating lobster, exploring Charlottetown, walking the Confederation Trail, having a Kitchen Racket, going to a cooking school. This was in October, when many things were closed, so we are hoping for more summer visitors this year. But y’all come anytime. There’s always music and visiting. We really love the slow pace of life here, and we bet you would, too. I’m counting on the Keeleys and the O’Neills sending in their news. From me you will not be surprised to learn that those six grandchildren are into all sorts of precocious achievements, from piano and guitar performances, swimming and track races, horseback
Our life also keeps us busy and mostly out of trouble. Come see us! -reported by Jessica Jackson Keeley
The Keeleys have had a good year in Statesboro. We are all healthy and happy, and half of us are gainfully employed, so there’s not much there to complain about!
We enjoyed being with all of you last June for the regular shenanigans and the special celebration of
the wedding of Margo & Jason McCoy. We have enjoyed spending much time with the newlyweds this year!
land program that he and a colleague from Columbus State University developed on behalf of the University System of Georgia. Sixty students chose from ten full-credit courses and engaged in “participative learning” at high-value sites throughout southeastern Ireland and in Dublin.
Since we saw you all last, we have had a busy year of work, school, and play. All the children have had good years with school and various activities.
Howard returned to Ireland in early September to give the keynote lecture (to an audience of around 300) at the three-day John F. Kennedy Summer School, a high-profile gathering of thought-leaders that included several senior Irish government ministers and a variety of other politicians, civil servants, academics, and journalists—plus Howard’s dad, John. Working with materials from the Kennedy Presidential Library and the Russell Library (generously identified by Sheryl Vogt), Howard built his lecture around the RBR-JFK relationship. In connection with the event, he and Robert F. Kennedy III were interviewed together on Irish national radio’s flagship current affairs show, heard by over a quarter-million people.
Fielding completed 11th grade in the top 5% of his class and qualified as a National Merit Scholar finalist. His Odyssey of the Mind team advanced to the World Finals competition for the third year in a row, this year competing at Michigan State University, where they placed 14th, significantly higher than they placed the last two times out. He was dual-enrolled at Statesboro High School & Georgia Southern University during Spring semester and completed his first two college classes, Trigonometry and Spanish, with final grades of 100 and 98, respectively. He is working as a lifeguard this summer at the local water park here in Statesboro. Mary Georgia completed 7th grade with all A’s, as well as grace and charm. In December she competed in the Georgia Music Educators Association piano auditions held at Macon State University. She placed in the top three for 7th grade and was thus invited to play in a recital at the GMEA Convention in Savannah in January. She did a great job at the recital and it was a thrill to see her hold her own among so many excellent musicians. MG and I also ran a series of 5K races over the winter and early spring, including the Hot Chocolate Run in Atlanta in January. Margo went with us for the weekend, and who in the world do you think we ran into there? Ina Nelson Jones! [see photo gallery] I love this family!
Another highlight of Howard’s busy year was co-hosting with colleagues from Emory University the Southern Regional Conference of the major Irish Studies organization. At the core of that multi-day event (in historic downtown Decatur in early March) was a major presentation by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Howard’s feet haven’t yet fully touched the ground: he had an opportunity to chat with “famous Seamus” alone for around twenty minutes! Howard was thrilled that mother-in-law Sally was in Statesboro around a month later to meet the preeminent historian of the Irish potato famine, Christine Kinealy, who gave the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Lecture in Irish Studies to a packed auditorium on the Georgia Southern Campus.
Lucy had a great year in Kindergarten learning all sorts of wonderful things, including how to read, and making many new friends. Susan continued in her two-days –week preschool at the First Baptist Church in Statesboro and had a fun year there. Both Lucy and Susan began dance lessons this year with the Statesboro Youth Ballet: it was a big hit! Howard continued to direct Georgia Southern University’s Center for Irish Studies, as well as teach a variety of Irish and English literature courses in Statesboro. For a fourth consecutive year, he played a large part in directing the summer-semester-in-Ire-
I (Jessica) continue to work part-time at Trinity Episcopal Church, but also spend a lot of time managing the schedules of four children. Turns out that even when they don’t do all that many activities, with four, there seems to be something going on almost every afternoon and/or evening of the week! I did have the opportunity to go to Washington, DC, in January for the 2nd Inauguration of President Obama. My dear friend Kaylan Dunlap was there for work, so we met up for MLK, Jr. weekend and had a fantastic time seeing the city decked out for the festivities. By a series
of random happy events, we actually wound up on Sunday morning at Metropolitan AME Church with President Obama and his family! Talk about a thrill! We braved the cold and the crowds on the National Mall on Inauguration Day, and it was a wonderful and powerful and truly American experience!
been trying to think of something profound to say about this last year for Raymond and me and it just ain’t there. We have had an ordinary year. Which is to say we have had heaps of blessings and thorny opportunities (to borrow a term from Uncle Jeb) that we have been able to cope with.
In April we had the opportunity to return to Washington—Howard, Mary Georgia, Lucy & I. (Fielding and Susan stayed in Statesboro with Grandmother— Fielding had classes and Grandmother took Susan on a lost weekend to Aunt Susan’s in Winder!) MG’s class trip for 7th grade was to Washington, but we decided to make it a family spring break trip instead. We stayed in Maryland with a high school friend of mine and took the train into the city every day. Lucy would have been perfectly happy just to ride the rails all day every day! We had a great time visiting monuments, museums, and sights. We even went out to Arlington for a changing of the guard and to visit Aunt Ina’s grave [see photo gallery]. It was the most beautiful week of the year—we heard the locals were reporting that the cherry blossoms had not been so beautiful in many years!
Raymond continues to farm about the same as last year. We just have cows and 2 donkeys now. No chickens. Well, there are two golden retrievers that add to the mix. His back did bother him enough that he had another back surgery in March. It was successful enough that he’s back riding tractors again. I’m not sure that’s what the surgeon had in mind but there you have it. He’s baling hay as I type this. I’ve been able to continue hiking around and about NE GA and the Carolinas with my trail buddies. Two of them travelled with me to visit Sally and Les on Prince Edwards Island in the fall. What a wonderful visit we had! PEI is like a fairyland and we got to visit with the best of tour guides. On days we are not on the farm we are at our place on Lake Hartwell. That’s a ﬁne place to be and we are especially happy about it when John and Kim, Jake, Nicholas, and Sarah are there to play with us. This year is nice already as spring rains brought the lake back. Come see us there.
We have no travel plans this summer; after four years of taking students to Ireland, I requested that Howard please stay home this summer. We’re enjoying a quieter summer in Statesboro, and our door is always open! Y’all come!
Raymond, Jr.’s, family thrives in Atlanta and I hope he sends the particulars. John Fielding’s bunch still reigns in Waxhaw NC. and he had better tell you about them too.
Susan Russell and Raymond Reynolds Branch -reported by Susan Reynolds
-reported by John Fielding Reynolds
From “Peanuts” :
The John Fielding Reynolds clan continues to live a charmed and blessed life in Waxhaw, North Carolina (South Charlotte). Here are the individual updates on each:
Sally says to Charlie Brown: “I now have three philosophies... ‘Life Goes on,’ ‘Who cares?’ and ‘How should I know?’ Pretty profound, huh?” Charlie answers: “Maybe a little too profound...” Sally: “Who cares? How should I know? Life Goes on!” I’m borrowing this from Charles Schultz because I’ve
Sarah Isabelle Reynolds (11) – Sarah entered middle school this year and joined her middle sibling as a Cutherbertson Middle School Cavalier. She continues the traditions of her grandmother as a great student winning several honors and making the honor roll every quarter. She continues to remind
her brothers of this every time. Her teachers love her attitude and has an incredible group of friends. Sarah continues to be a very bright and caring individual and fun to be around! Her hobbies include the Cavs dance team, reading, outdoor activities and making her daddy proud.
family is growing and maturing. It always takes me back to see that I have 2 full grown men living in my boys bedrooms and a beautiful young lady sleeping where once I had my little girl take rest for the night! Work is going great and we continue to see the residential housing market recovering here in the southeast; which is a good thing for a building material salesman at MAAX Bath. I am also blessed to have 2 of the most fantastic parents in the world that continue to bless me with their wisdom and support every day. I also still have my beloved Grandmother Katie Sue Reynolds to share my experiences of a growing family with as well! God bless you all and look forward to seeing everyone soon!
Nicholas Fielding Reynolds (14) - Nicholas has enjoyed the year being in the 8th grade and part of the top dogs of middle school. As usual, Nick is into a ton of different things. In the fall, Nick played football for the Cavaliers which lost in the final game in the county championship. This is a team that only lost 4 games during their 3 years together in middle school football. Lookout NC high school football…. He also has had a very rewarding year in school, enjoying as his favorite studies in History and English. His grandmother is so proud!
Nancy Russell Black Branch
-from Hayley Huggins
Jacob Thomas Reynolds (16) – Jacob took a big step this year by entering high school and has truly hit the ground running. He was a member of the JV football team and continues to impress his dad’s friends when he joins them on the golf course. He is an excellent student and continues the tradition of being well rounded in all subjects even taking his 2nd year in Chinese. He has a great group of friends and continues in his mother’s footsteps of being a social butterfly. Jake is a huge UGA fan and is committed to earning his way to the beloved university. Just 3 more year of hard work!
This year has been relatively calm for our clan. We’ve enjoyed a few trips to Tennessee to spend time with Gran Grance and the Broomes, but all of our really big news was reported in last year’s Herald. John Eaton will be 21 months at the Reunion this year, and he is very close to saying full sentences. He named Aunt Betsy, Be’Be’ and she treasures her new title. Watching him grow and develop and love has transformed our hearts. We’d love for you to meet and know him. His hugs are so sweet!
Kimberly Lynn Simon Reynolds (N/A) – Kim continues her role as leader of the household and most excellent mother of the clan. She is working 2 days a week keeping 2 darling kids from the neighborhood (Brody and Lila) and the rest of the week keeping everyone in the right place and mostly the right time. Kim loves to be on time and hates that is not a family talent. She continues to push as to which the kids can attest! She continues to be a friend favorite around the neighborhood being in many book clubs, game nights and seasonal parties. Most people know that if you want a fun party, you need to invite Kim! Matter of fact, I just got a kiss from her on her way out the door to Kiawah Island for a girls weekend. John Fielding Reynolds (44) – I had a great year as well and continue to be amazed at how quickly my
Jerald celebrated the first anniversary of his second Chick-fil-A restaurant in March. Both restaurants are performing well and the employment of 100 people is providing terrific growth opportunities for Jerald and for his leadership team. Hayley is still working with Chick-fil-A, Inc but in a different role. Traveling with John proved too challenging for her to remain in her previous position so she is blessed to be able to work from home and manage the household chores alongside the work. It’s been a tremendous blessing and stress reliever to be at home more than in hotel rooms.
We’ve had an exciting year in Aggieland with Texas A&M football becoming a popular topic of conversation. If any of you are traveling to College Station this fall to cheer on your team, please stay with us. We’d love to show you our tradition-filled city.
a few days skiing. We basically had the entire resort to ourselves as Parker learned to ski for the first time and Trey and Betsy got reacquainted with the slopes. From there, we went to Chatham, VA to spend a couple of days with Trey’s family to celebrate the holidays before returning home. We had a wonderful Christmas holiday at home with our family which included our first time participating in the Leipers Fork Christmas Parade. Trey drove his ‘66 F100 with some goats riding in the back and others walking beside. It was a grand time!
We continue to be amazed at God’s presence in our lives and the gifts He gives us. We are blessed every day by Him and by you. -from Betsy Broome
2013 kicked off in grand style with a visit from Sally and Ina for a couple of days. We enjoyed getting to go for a hike and they got to enjoy a 1st grader’s basketball game. January then took a somber turn as it became apparent that our first child, our 10-yearold bulldog, Dooley, was not long for this Earth. We took our time and cherished every last minute that we had with him. On a beautiful snowy morning, we sent him off to the big farm in the sky. He saw us through the formative years of our marriage and was there for all of our big events. The particular event, though, has proved to be the hardest.
The Broomes have had another eventful year since we last met, which we are sure is always the case when you have young children. We enjoyed all that last summer had to offer. Betsy took a few hard-earned days and soaked up every minute of beach time with her college girlfriends in Florida. Trey flew out to Seattle to sail with his college friends to Victoria, BC. We also relished a family vacation in West Destin with Nancy, though we were disappointed that the Huggins were not able to join us. It was Sawyer’s first beach trip and, as expected, he couldn’t get enough of playing in the big sandbox.
Later in February, we were visited by the Huggins as Trey left to go on a mission trip in Panama. We loved getting to spend time with our Texas family! Meanwhile, Trey worked on building a school in the jungles of west Panama. Upon returning, Trey has stayed busy at work leading some big operational changes at his job. Parker has wrapped up his school year and first year of Scouts, which was highlighted by his first overnight campout and pinewood derby. He has also kept going with basketball and flag football. Sawyer has loved his terrific two’s and tried to keep up with all that his brother does. As usual, Betsy has been trying to keep it all going, working three days in the Cardiac Cath Lab at the hospital, and keeping everyone’s schedules straight. We have been very busy during our Spring kidding season! We have welcomed 30 new goat babies to our farm. They are so cute and we had a lot of fun naming them after candy this year! We are looking forward to many exciting times in the coming year, including an impending vacation that will take us on a roadtrip through America’s heartland.
As the summer came to a close, Parker began his 1st grade school year and his first year as a Cub Scout. Sawyer and Parker also celebrated their 2nd and 7th birthdays, respectively. Betsy and Trey took to the road to kick off football season in Missouri, watching the Dawgs whallop the Tigers and take in the sights of St. Louis including a Cardinals game. We made several fall trips down to Georgia to support the Dawgs, taking Parker and Sawyer each to a game. Parker loved going on the field with his daddy for warmups prior to the Tech game. We also took the boys to Chipper’s last regular season game as a Brave so we could all see the legend one last time. However, the biggest event of the fall was when we hosted the wedding of Trey’s sister, Danielle, at the farm. We put a lot of energy into making the farm look its best prior to the celebration, and months of planning paid off with a wonderful event. We took a winter vacation the first week of December, beginning on Saturday in the Georgia Dome with sideline seats to the game of the year. Although UGA did not come away with the win, we were spent at the end of game and proud of the team’s effort. We drove to Snowshoe, WV the following day to spend
Joey Connor and John Russell Branch
In April 2013, Alexi purchased a house on 5th Ave in Winder, GA and lives there with her American Bulldog, Pola.
-reported by Alexi Russell
News from John Russell, Joey Russell, & Alexandria Russell
Debbie and Robert Bruce Russell, Sr. Branch
John Russell still practices law at Russell Law Office and lives with his wife Joey Russell on Somechoes farm in Winder, GA.
-from Bruce Russell, Sr.
Joey is very busy with her Garden of Eden and greenhouses. If you get a chance you should stop by for a visit and blueberries and take a look at her wonderful work.
There’s not much to tell from our branch this year. Bruce Jr. and I continue practicing law in Clayton, Georgia. Bruce Jr. is well along on his third RV-12 airplane construction. Him building airplanes now seems “old hat.” Debbie is still engaged with FAITH. She had our house painted and we are all glad that’s over. We sold our Husky (airplane, not a dog). I delivered it to its new owner in Edmonton, AB, Canada. I had a great trip but hated to give up the Husky.
Alexi Russell graduated with a Masters in Public Administration from Georgia College State University in Milledgeville, GA in April 2012. In September 2012, she started working for Gwinnett County Community Development Program in Lawrenceville, GA as a Community Programs Analyst.
*see Bruce’s story on page 15 about how he is volunteering to cook the barbeque on the grounds next year! ;)
Alexi manages Gwinnett County’s Federal Grants which are awarded to the county for redistribution to the county’s cities and non-profit organizations. She specializes in grants that provide funding to domestic violence and homeless shelters.
Raymond Lee Nelson, Sr. Family descendants of Carolyn Lewis Russell and Ray Nelson, Sr.
Raymond Lee Nelson, Jr. Branch -from Ray Nelson, Jr.
Penny and neice Mary Carol Phillips and her daughter Harper and son Sam.
The highlights for me this year were the annual visits from my sisters Sally Poole and Ina Jones in mid March , first time visits from brother Rusty and sister-in-law Nancy, neice Lara Nybo with her son Beau and a trip to Star Island Resort in Kissimmee, Fl. with the addition of brother Monty Nelson, sister-in-law
Great meals were prepared as I stayed out of the way and I got to play putt putt golf and ping pong with my brothers.
Really enjoyed getting to know my great neice Harp-
er and great nephews Sam and Beau. Did manage a couple of beach trips with the Rusty Nelsons and I look forward to the Russell Reunion.
prevailed upon Spokane friends Lew and Marilynne to hang out with us among the pinon trees along the Deschutes River and had a fine time. The discovery, for us, was Smith Rock State Park, which looks like a piece of Zion National Park plopped into Oregon’s high desert.
Nancy and Lewis Russell (Rusty) Nelson Branch
Gabe, who began a globe-trotting construction job last year, returned from a brief maintenance job in the Domincan Republic late on Mothers Day and in time for Lara’s and his birthdays before taking off for a job in California. He was in no great rush to get back on the road after being Beau’s primary care since Lara returned to the classroom in October, but we did borrow him to expertly rebuild our deck.
-reported by Rusty Nelson
One might think that after last year’s scramble, Nancy and I would be ready to grow up and settle down. After all, we had to fine-tune our long-planned trip to Spain and France in order to get me to two reunions in Georgia and Nancy back to Spokane for the birth of Beau Lewis Nybo. Since then, our family has only become more far-flung, and our schemes for getting our branch together get more tentative and complicated without even factoring the possibilities of getting most of us to Winder in the same year.
Lara’s maternity leave was great, but it didn’t last nearly long enough for her. She has declared this her worst year in teaching, partly because of a new principal who gave her scant support for the discipline problems inherent in a Title One 5th grade class with a high rate of personality disorders. The high school track season was also disappointing with her top jumper being hampered by injuries. He will, however, continue to jump at the college level next year, and one of Lara’s girls has shown potential for the next two years. Beau, meanwhile, is such an altogether agreeable baby that it would be unfair for a grandpa given to hyperbole to describe him in the Herald. He obviously has the travel gene, though. Before going to Florida, he breezed through Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies, and a primitive camp site in Idaho with us before he was three months old.
In March, Nate went back to work for a company for which he had previously built sidewalks in the Salt Lake area. Now, he is heading a traveling crew building firing ranges for military and law enforcement agencies. By publication, he will have completed a large project in Ft. Worth and spent a week at home before heading for Oklahoma. Pay is not commensurate with his responsibilities, but he gets too many hours, and he enjoys the work. Nate’s being away wears on the whole family but offers some needed opportunities for stability, and he will have regular visits in addition to his generation’s perpetual phone connection. T.J. continues to enjoy her medical job as she assumes more work at home. Alani moves toward two with customary speed and grace, not that that makes life easier for Mom. December adenoid surgery seems to have done wonders for her hearing and speech, helping her compete with her brother. Samari is stepping up at home and doing well in school. At this writing, he has just been named ‘student of the month.’ Reports from Nevada say Daysha and Devin are doing well and we hope to see them this summer.
Nancy and I have never felt more like farmers, fretting over the lack of rain subsequent to the planting of grasses which is supposed to be the culmination of our fight against noxious weeds on our acreage. That fight has overshadowed everything we’ve done in the way of gardening and forestry since we parted with our goats. It may be two years before we know if our struggle was successful. Meanwhile, between being sick and roaming the countryside, we have a substantial backlog of work on the homestead.
We had planned a March trip to Central Oregon to be with Nate’s family, but the dynamic situation in Utah left us with reservations and no relatives. We
The world still beckons, but we expect to stay in the U.S., this year. We did get as far as Florida, finally getting to Ray’s place for the first time. We called in the reserves and had a mini-reunion. Lara and Beau joined us for her spring break and spent Easter with
Uncle Ray. Monty and Penny drove down with Mary Carol, Harper and Sam. It makes one think there must be ways to do this kind of thing more often, but Nancy and I hadn’t been to Florida in 30 years and felt like it has lost most of the advantages it once had over California. Too many people and way too many cars.
During all that time, we did our usual Sunday school teaching, food pantry work, and lots of church. I continue leading a ladies Bible study every Tuesday, volunteer at our “Book Depot” as a “Friend of the Library”, lead a book club, and play with a Red Hat Society group. Both of us are fair-weather-members of our Retired Teachers group, and we have 2 or 3 groups of friends with whom we regularly dine.
Next, after missing the Reunion, we expect to venture into the Rockies, and try again to corral Nate and his family under the majestic Tetons. This, after visiting Glacier three years in a row, most recently with Virginia, Gabe, Lara and Beau. How we suffer when we’re stuck in our own country! Nonetheless, we have ambitious plans for next year, in celebration of Nancy’s 20 years past terminal cancer and my 70th birthday. We don’t know, yet, how that might affect our chances for attendance at the Reunion, so we urge you to visit us if you get within 1000 miles of Spokane.
In February we went back to Tennessee to visit sand hill cranes before they left their sanctuary there, and were so close to the Cumberland Playhouse we went back to Crossville. The week after our anniversary all 4 of our children came and spent the night, went to church with us, and made a celebration out of the weekend - what a treat! In March Ina and I took our annual trip to Ray’s house and had another good visit. Meredith came to Calhoun the next month and had a show with her new business. My friends came and chose purses by Miche, as did I. Look at her products at www.merspursenality.miche.com.
Sally Nelson and Jerry Poole Branch
Here at the end of April, we are about to get on a plane headed for Phoenix and a couple of weeks out west: Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks in Utah, and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. We are hoping to beat the heat and the crowds.
-from Sally Poole
Blessed to have celebrated our 42nd anniversary in February, Jerry and I continue to do pretty-much what we want to do. We had a wonderful two weeks in Maine last September, just two weeks after a great 4-day trip to Tennessee, finishing it off with church and dinner with Nancy Black in Franklin. (Ina and I later spent some January days with Nancy and family...so much fun!)
June is rushing towards us, so I am happy to get this done. Looking forward to another wonderful reunion! -from Emily Poole Garrison
The Garrisons had a busy year. We adopted a fantastic rescue puppy, Ceilidh (Kay-lee), who has adapted incredibly well to home and work.
In November, Jerry and I attended his Cherokee High School’s 50-year-reunion. He and I were the youngest people there (ha-ha)! We had another fabulous Thanksgiving at Ina and Ralph’s house with most of the Ray Nelson clan. The next week, I had an awesome surgery. My fundoplication has improved my life beyond words.
Ian graduated from the University of Georgia in May with a degree in Anthropology and a certificate in Archaeology. He is currently prepping to go back for a Masters of Science.
December flew by in a blur, but we had the celebration of our Savior’s birth with Jerry’s family...early at Dave and Meredith’s, and on the 25th and 26th without our children at Jerry’s sister’s house.
Emily was a participant in Dancing with the Athens Stars, which she and her dance coach won double trophies for--top awards in dance & fundraising!
She also had several trips after a year of none. In Australia, she worked at Kilikanoon Winery to both help with end of vintage and make her very own blend (look for it this fall!! we’re very excited), and made connections for her winemaking trip next year. She was invited to Germany with a group of sommeliers from around the world to take classes and visit winemakers. She is in Oregon this weekend for OPC (Pinot Camp), an invitation-only program of classes showcasing Pinot Noir there.
We gathered again for multiple Mother’s Day and birthday celebrations in the beautiful Rabun Gap Area in May. Raymond’s 70th birthday took many of us to South Florida… two trips there this year without seeing the coast, but Raymond is clearly coasting and making the aging thing look non- threatening, youthful as ever. Penny has survived a year back in the 2nd grade regular classroom, after 13 years of teaching other things…wow! Hopefully, only one more year will bring closure to this 30-year career. A badly torn ligament in her right ankle caused a slow-down this spring, but it seems to be healing nicely, though slowly, as these injuries do.
Ian and Emily still live in Athens and Emily is still running her store, Shiraz, on Pulaski Street. Please come by the store if you’re in town!
Penny and Richard Montgomery (Monty) Nelson Branch
Suzanne rarely gets a break from her intense work in the furniture design department at SCAD, Savannah. She is learning so much – building, welding, upholstering, designing, meeting with designers, field trips to Hickory, NC … and loving every minute of it. There are just not enough minutes in each quarter to get it all done and have a life at the same time! She says they have renamed Savannah College of Art and Design - Sleep Comes After Death.
-from Monty Nelson
The year vanished; we do hold some cherished memories of trips, visits, and gatherings that sometimes expanded to other Ray and Carolyn progeny. Monty spent a few days staying with Raymond while attending seminars on “Preaching at the Intersections of Faith, Suffering, and Hope.” Such a subject, along with gatherings of others involved in the same enterprise, cut too deeply into time with Ray, so a return to Florida during spring break with Rusty, along with our wives and first daughters with their children turned into much joy remembered. Each trip south included a drive-by visit to busy student, Suzanne. Monty enjoyed going into her SCAD classroom and seeing her work. The next trip through Savannah included time with Suzanne’s Baptiste Chauminon, from France, who continues to be a tie with binding. All was too brief and life continues with issues at work that make even such youngsters as Monty and Penny contemplate retirement. Monty’s shoulder and knee surgeries have gone quite well though, and one also contemplates how to use and see vocation in the fall and winter of life.
We are looking forward to time together with everyone at the reunion. What a unique treasure this weekend is for all of us, our children, and our grandchildren! -from Brian Phillips
News from Mary Carol (Nelson) and Brian Phillips Family What a year it has been for the Phillips family! After hitting the $600 million jackpot in the Georgia Lottery, my wife and I and our two kids bought the Bush mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine and a sailboat. We have been traveling the east coast and the Caribbean eating the finest of… Wait… um…oh yeah, that was just a dream that I had. We have, however, had some pretty amazing things occur, and the bulk of our news comes from our two children, so I begin with them.
Samuel Montgomery, age 15 months, had the most eventful year of all. Just after last year’s reunion, Sam rolled over for his first time. In September, he got his first tooth and held a sippy cup on his own for the first time. In October, he began scooting himself around backwards and by November he began standing up by grabbing furniture. By this year’s reunion, we hope that you will all see Sam walking around on his own. Watch out as you walk around to be sure that he is not under foot. It would probably be much more efficient to tell you to watch out in person, but now if someone steps on my son, I can say, “Hey! Don’t you read your Herald?” This way, I can scold the individual and encourage him/her to take more of an interest in family events...
children as well as expanding her blog, “Thousand Story Kitchen.” It has been truly amazing to see how her blog has expanded and improved while our children still receive more than enough attention during the day while I am teaching. MC has also published an article in an online magazine called “Docica” and tutored two students in the evenings. On top of all of this, she took over the Herald this year. We hope that you enjoy it. My time this year was almost completely consumed with teaching Environmental Science at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School and taking classes toward my masters degree in Science Education at Montana State University. I will be five hours shy of my degree at the time of this year’s reunion and on track to present my Capstone project and graduate July 13th. I’m almost there!
By far, Sam’s most impressive accomplishment occurred during bath time in February. Sam became very still in his bath and began a series of forceful grunts. I quickly swung him onto the potty where he promptly made a deposit! I was extremely proud of him. His sister, who was still in the tub, breathed a sigh of relief having averted disaster.
At Rabun Gap, I taught classes as well as planned out three outdoor expeditions. Our trips included rafting and kayaking on the Chattooga River, caving in Cumberland Caverns in Tennessee, and Canoeing for five days in the Okefennokee Swamp and down the Suwannee River. I also had the privilege of participating in the five-day backpacking trip in western North Carolina with our Sophomore class that was planned out by MC.
Julia Harper, age three, also had a big year. She has continued taking gymnastics classes all year, as well as swimming lessons last summer and this summer. As you see her around the big house, ask her to demonstrate some of the moves that she has learned. Just make sure you can burn 5 or 10 minutes because she will gladly show you everything that she knows (or thinks she knows) how to do. Harper also mastered our smart phones and smart tv. I no longer have to be embarrassed when company comes over and I don’t know how to operate the remote control. I just hand it to Harper and she navigates everything like a pro. On top of mastering the household electronics, Harper has also learned how to write her initials as well as “Mom” and “Dad”.
As a family, we had a few highlights this year. In August, we went on a vacation to Damascus, Virginia and visited Jane Bowden and baby Jane in Abingdon. If you have not been to that part of the country, you are missing out. Another big highlight of the year was when we joined St. James Episcopal Church in Clayton, Ga. We wish you all the best during the upcoming year and we are glad that we get to spend these precious few days together. Peace.
Harper is still in a really fun stage verbally. She will periodically confuse words, which leads to some wonderfully entertaining moments. In October, MC woke up with horrible sinus issues. Harper notified me that mom had a “sinus confection.” This stage is lots of fun, but it will not last long. She begins school in the fall at Little Way Montessori School in Tiger, GA. Mary Carol spent her year focused on raising our
Ina Carolyn and Ralph Milton Jones, Jr. Branch -from Ina Nelson Jones
She is finishing a year of preschool.(Trey ran his first half marathon this year!) Trey is into his second year as an Elder at First Presbyterian. We are very proud of how He is serving Christ as well as the church. These have been difficult years for our congregation.
Ralph is still running DFI and Ina is still teaching tennis and soccer at Gordon State College. One event stands out for us this year: We drove to Canada to ice skate in Ottawa! Last year we took several trips to Atlanta to ice skate. Ralph has been roller blading for a while now so he was in the right shape! In January we headed north with high hopes for ice. The weather had been ‘iffy’ and the Rideau Canal had only just opened. Ralph was particularly interested in skating the Oval in Ottawa. Driving into Canada it was 40 degrees! The next morning we witnessed a flash freeze during a race on the Oval. We did not see 40 degrees again until we were almost home!
Carolyn and Francois are about 2 miles from us. They have a wonderful house on a hill in a cul-de-sac. Carolyn has worked very hard in the yard....pulling ivy and planting whatever flowers she can. She inherited a love for flowers from both her grandmothers! Francois has been painting and redoing the kitchen. He is still putting in pine floors on one level. The house has needed a lot of work and they are keeping at it. Francois still works for Ralph at DFI. Carolyn works at the Hope Health Clinic in town and volunteers at the Caring House most Thursday afternoons. Carolyn has planted our garden here and more energy in one day than I can hope to have in a week.
About a mile of the Canal was open for skating but it was a rough skate. I preferred to walk!! I skated some but Ralph had the ice to himself most mornings(on the oval) with the temperature at 18 below. Lake Placid was the next stop coming back south. Ralph had a few other hardy skaters with him at 1 below. We had a fun trip being together and enough ice to keep us in the south!!
Denny and Kacie are about a mile from us. They have done a lot of work on their house this year, too. Denny has done their floors and worked on cabinets among other things. Kacie loves color and the house reflects that. Denny has taken his woodworking to Etsy and sells frames now! His day job is still with his Dad at DFI, but you can look for Jones framing under shops. I hope that makes sense to those of you who know about ETSY!! Kacie has been doing her practice teaching this spring and on May 10th she graduated from Gordon State College! Kacie and Denny have 3 dogs that live inside with them. Denny and Trey have done some running together this year and entered a few races. Mom is having to be a spectator for a whle and that is a good thing!!
I did have knee surgery March. I had a torn meniscus. Slowly but surely I’m working my way back to running and swimming and playing tennis. A friend even coaxed me on the golf course and I’m now hoping to learn a lot more about the game! Ralph and I feel blessed to have 3 of our children settling in Griffin at this time: Trey is working still working with EYESORE – a web design company. If your business needs a new look or some help with upgrades you should Google them! Tara is busy with Tori and getting ready for the new baby in August. Their house is still under construction. The current project is the fireplace. (This is a Jones project so it takes years....just reminding everyone!) Tori is now 3 and her vocabulary astounds us ( of course!) She has been walking so well, but she fractured her tibia somehow last week. We hope she is out of the cast by reunion time for sure. She gets around very well in her wheelchair when she has the space!
I am mentioning Russell out of order because he is not living in Griffin. He is still attending Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. We are always glad to have him when he comes home to visit. He has worked at the school this past year and this summer he will continue working at the YMCA as a lifeguard. He is part of a running community there that keeps him running all the time it seems! This month he will be participating with a group in a run across Georgia. His team won last year. This will be a different team, but they should do well. They are all young and fast! When he comes home to race he usually wins here. He won 2 races in one day near the beginning of May. He ran a 50 miler at Pine Mountain last fall
and placed 11th overall and 1st in his age group. His time was 9:52:29. (Yes, people really do run these distances....) The joy for the parents of these young adults is seeing how well the siblings and spouses get along. They do things together a lot of the time. Russell is right there in the mix when he is back in Griffin. Most Sundays we have dinner after church at Bedlam Wood. That is a gift and I want to enjoy all the meals we can share! With thanksgiving from Griffin, Georgia!
(Photograph from Oxmoor House Publishing)
Betty Ann Russell’s Caramel Cake The cake recipe was given to Betty Ann by Eula Eley from Winder. Eula’s husband Paul Eley was related to Sybil Millsap Russell. The icing is from a lady from the Commerce area.
3 sticks butter 3 cups sugar 3 cups sifted plain flour (sift before measuring) 2 cups eggs 1 tsp vanilla Grease and flour a 10 inch tube cake pan. In a large bowl of mixer beat butter until creamy. Add sugar Gradually while beating. Add flour (mixer on low) and eggs alternately beginning and ending with flour. Scrape sides of the bowl often. Add vanilla – again, beat well. Pour into cake pan. Holding pan level, drop on counter several times to get rid of air bubbles. Put in a cold oven on center rack. Turn temperature to 325 bake for 75 minutes. Turn out onto rack right away. This may be baked in 2 loaf pans, 3 layers or as cupcakes. Adjust cooking time for type of pan you use.
3 cups sugar – 1/3 cup 2 sticks butter 1 cup canned, undiluted carnation milk In a small heavy skillet brown (or caramelize) 1/3 cup sugar on low heat. While all the other mixed ingredients come to a boil in a saucepan. While they are boiling, add the browned sugar, stirring well. (This is the only time you stir this after it has started cooking!) Continue cooking over medium heat until it holds together in cold water. (This means drip some from a spoon into a cup of cold water, if it forms a soft ball, it should be done. Cool, Cool. Beat, spread. Judy note: I like chopped pecans sprinkled between layers and on top.
Mary Carol Phillips’s Granola Bars
⅓ Cup Oat Flour (that’s the same amount of oats put into a food processor and ground finely) 1⅔ Cups Quick Oats ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon ½ teaspoon Salt 1 Cup chopped pecans 1 Cup sliced almonds 1.5 ounces sesame seeds (which is a heaping ¼ Cup, or if you buy the jar from the spice isle, it’s half the jar) 1 Cup flaked, unsweetened coconut 6 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate chips (or half a bag) 6 Tablespoons melted coconut oil 2 Tablespoons (or ⅛ cup) honey ¼ Cup maple syrup (I use maple flavored rice syrup by log cabin) 1 teaspoon vanilla ⅓ Cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350° Line a 9x13x2 metal pan with parchment paper Combine all dry ingredients (through chocolate chips) in a large bowl. Separately, whisk together wet ingredients (coconut oil through peanut butter) all together in a smaller bowl. Slowly add combined wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until well-combined. Pour into prepared metal pan and spread evenly and into corners. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until edges just begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack completely. Carefully slide parchment paper and granola onto a cutting board. Cut in half, into quarters, and into 16 equal bars.
Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
(photograph by MC Phillips | Thousand Story Kitchen.com)
2012-2013 Photo Gallery
images of descendants of Richard Brevard and Ina Dillard Russell
Jim and Geri Ingram in Paris
Ben DuBard playing on S.C.’s Olympic Development Team in a tournament in January. SC v. GA...SC Won!
Doctor Anne-Marie Campbell!
INA INGRAM AND HER FAMILY AT CHRISTMAS 2012
Mary and Betsy DuBard in front of GSSM
Teresa and Jeff Campbell with bride and groom, Tori and Phillip, and Anne-Marie, sister of the groom.
BETTY VANDIVER WITH ELIZABETH AND MATT HOGAN, AND HER GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN ALLIE AND SAM.
Adam DuBard moving into his dorm at the start of his Sophomore year.
Adam, Mary, and Ben DuBard
Campbells at Phillip and Tori’s Wedding in September at Lake Lanier
Betsy and Trey Broome, PArker and Sawyer.
Celebrating Raymond Nelson’s 70th Birthday, a few of the Rusty Nelsons and Monty Nelsons were able to gather in Florida.
Richard Bowden and others looking at pictures given by his sister Jane to the Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah.
Read Jane’s story about her trip to savannah and the 1936 christening of the uss savannah on p. 22
Jane Mayo Bowden Moore with bottle used to christen the USS Savannah in 1936.
L to R Jason and Margo McCoy, Virginia Russell at Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah, Ga.
Jane Mayo Bowden Moore at the Chirstening of the USS Savannah in 1936
Senator Richard B. Russell and Jane Mayo Bowden Moore This is a picture of the original picture taken May 8, 1936.
90th birthday party for Jane Mayo Bowden Moore, who is flanked by son Jim and daughter Jane (Ba)
Jane and Gerry hiking the Moses Cone trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Susan Ottolene Keeley and Sally Russell Warrington were fortunate to see this hard-working painter (his name may be Harris) improving the Mt. Zion once-Presbyterian Church in Hancock County on Ga. 15.
Erika Gahan and daughters Emorie and Hayleigh
Come share a lobster supper with Les as chef at the Old McIntyre Place.
Susan Reynolds, Polly Elliot and Lynn Roberts enhancing one of Prince Edwards Island’s best views.
Warrington grandchildren making a sign for the Wyoming cabin: Bedlam Removed! L.to R. Sarah Jean, Mary Georgia, Fielding, Lucy, Susan, and Julia Kay.
Sally and LEs had a quick visit with the Bowdens in Abingdon, Va., on our way back to Canada. What a treat. In photo: Jane Bowden Moore, Jimmy and Jimmie Lou Bowden, Sally and Les. Dick Bowden took the photo.
It snowed all winter and hid the steps, but not the house. (From Sally and Les)
Sally and Les with their carriage horse in Vieux Quebec, August 14, 2012, their eighteenth anniversary.
Rachel Green marries Michael Baranski November 19, 2011 in the home of her parents, Jane and Gerry Green.
Sally Poole, Ina Jones, Jane Green, and Jane Bowden Moore at the Barter Theater in August 2012
Jane Green - French Pyrenees hike
Phillips family (L to R: Harper, Mary Carol, Sam, Brian) and Sally and Ina visit with Jane and Baby Jane in Abingdon in August 2012
Margo and Jason McCoy walking up to the cemetery for their wedding, June 23rd, 2012
Girl Cousins at the 2012 Reunion
David Green and Jane hiking in French Pyrenees.
Jane and David look alike while in Spain!
Truthfully, this Herald would not be in your hands at all if it had not been for several key people by my side. First, to those who preceded me in this endeavor, Sally and Betsy, Thanks for giving me pretty much everything -a place to begin and a strong shoulder. If there was a reason for doing anything the way I did, that reason is because Betsy or Sally did it that way first! My respect for you both has grown exponentially as the hours in front of the computer have multiplied. Whew. Thanks. Speaking of hours, there were magical fairies who blessed me with abundant “sans-cute-little-interruptors” time to dedicate; without them I would have thrown in the towel weeks ago. Those fairies were actually Nana and Papa (Penny and Monty Nelson). Seriously. Couln’t have done it without you guys. Kids are exhausting. Thanks. As the deadline closed in and all my many rookie oversights were floating rapidly to the surface, my sister, Suzanne, stepped in gracefully; my husband, Brian, let me panic without remorse and wrote our herad entry, you may have noticed; and my children, Harper and Sam, were cool about everything. Thanks. All the family members who took time to write up news and those incredible articles which will live on and on, well, of course, so much thanks. I’m already buzzing with ideas for next year because I’ll be so much more organized on my second go-round, so let me say a few things on that subject: Send as many pictures as you like, all of you. I can always whittle down, but I’d love to have a wider representation of family members. I’m thinking of a theme for next year revolving around children- the resulting product being something everyone, including young children, would enjoy leafing through to glimpse at their heritage. Write short stories, poems, draw pictures, send games, and come up with memories of childhood and children. You guys are a gaggle of talented family members. Share it all with me for next year’s Herald... It could be pretty cool. Thanks.