Monday, March 21, 2011

Come Meet My Family - The Wilkinsons

This summer, Donald and Harley and I will be going home to Maryland for a few days.

We have much to celebrate.

Our 25th Wedding Anniversary, my retirement, my 45th high school reunion, and the fact that Donald is still with us to celebrate these things after what we refer to around here as "that incident last May."  You'll all be happy to hear he's doing very well.  All doctors' reports have come back excellent and they tell him to just keep on doing what he's doing - eating healthier and exercising.  He's become a lot fonder of hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway trails than the exercise equipment at The Wellness Center.

Along with all this - a new item to add to the list.

A Wilkinson Family Reunion.

I can hardly wait!

When I was growing up in Cambridge, my Aunt Belle & Uncle Kelley were there with their three children - Wray, Janet Belle and Billy.  And My Uncle Irv and Aunt Miriam with their son, Little Irv.  But the other aunts and uncles and kids lived away.  Some were in Pennsylvania, and some were in Aberdeen where my dad and his siblings were born.  I spent some of my very best times in Aberdeen while I was growing up.  Going to spend a couple of weeks during the summer with my cousins was always something I looked forward to and loved doing for many years.

So.  Let me introduce you. - there were
Aunt Ethel and Uncle Dutch Esch (children, George, Paul and Leslie)
Aunt Belle and Uncle Kelley Mowbray (Wray, Janet Belle and Billy)
Uncle Irv and Aunt Miriam (Irv)
Uncle Ed and Aunt Hilda (Ed)
Uncle Roy and Aunt Mable (Dick, Joan, Laurie and Pat)
Uncle Lewis and Aunt Edna (Linda and Bruce)
My Dad - Alan, and Mom - Hazel

I never met my Grandmother Laura Mae Street Wilkinson.  She died before I was born.  But Pop-Pop was married a second time - to a woman named Lura, and she was the Wilkinson grandmother I grew up knowing, and loving.

There were family reunions fairly often while I was growing up.  Sometimes they were in Pop-Pop and Lura's backyard on Oakley Street, but it seems they were usually at my Aunt Belle's on Talbot Avenue.

And often we met up in Aberdeen for parties.  Sometimes in Aunt Mable and Uncle Roy's back yard on Mt. Royal Avenue (where I remember Uncle Roy hand feeding peanuts to the squirrels.  I was amazed by this.  And jealous!  The squirrels wouldn't have anything to do with the rest of, but they seemed to love and trust Uncle Roy, who I didn't really know very well, but remember as a gentle soul), and often the parties were in Aunt Edna and Uncle Lewis' basement on Baker Street.  I gotta tell you.  The Wilkinsons know how to party.  And they know how to throw a party.  In addition to reunions and cook-outs, and birthday celebrations, elegant weddings and elegant wedding receptions usually ended up finishing sometime in the wee hours in the Wilkinson basement on Baker Street.  (my first wedding included).  What I remember about some of these parties in the Baker Street basement as a child is the fact that the ductwork was such that after we kids had been sent to bed and the grown-ups continued partying, we could hear every word come up through the heating vent into one of the bedrooms.  We learned alot of interesting stuff.  And we heard some interesting records - Moms Mabley, Hot Nuts and Red Foxx seemed to be old favorites.  Remember them?!  oh my.

When my Aunt Belle died on November 26th of last year (my 62nd birthday), I think it got all of us cousins to reminiscing a bit.  Aunt Belle was the one who worked the hardest - and had the best time doing it - keeping the family close by throwing these reunions.  Next thing we knew, we cousins were planning a get together for lunch in Cambridge while Donald and I are there.  Next thing - SURPRISE! - it's grown.  The party will be in Aberdeen and I'll get to see cousins I haven't seen in much too long.  I'll get to meet some of their kids, along with their families and their kids.  Oh my.  I expect I'll shed a few tears, but I know I'll also have huge belly laughs.  The Wilkinsons DO love to laugh.

The reunion that the cousins are planning for this summer would have all the Wilkinson aunts and uncles who are no longer with us smiling.  Especially Aunt Belle, I think.  And we will lift a glass to toast and honor them.


AND -

in honor of the family, I'm going to do a few photo blogs.

This first one is just the beginning.

Meet my great grandparents, my grandparents, my parents and my aunts and uncles.

We'll get to the cousins a little later.


Paternal Great Grandmother Rebecca Raysor Wilkinson

Paternal Great Grandfather Samuel Street

Laura Mae Street

Great Aunt Sadie, ??, Laura Mae Street Wilkinson, Irvin Wilkinson
Ethel Wilkinson, Irvin Wilkinson, Jr., Samuel Street


Fulmers and Wilkinsons


Wilkinsons

Laura Mae Street Wilkinson

Grandparents Laura Mae Street Wilkinson and Irvin Wilkinson



Laura Mae Street Wilkinson and Irvin Wilkinson


Laura Mae Street Wilkinson
  

Laura Mae Street Wilkinson with Alan (my dad) and Aunt Belle


 
(1)Lewis Webster, (2)Irvin Fulmer, (3)Albert Leroy, (4)Ethel May, (5)Alan Willard, (6)Irvin Webster, (7)Mary Isabelle, (8)Laura Mae




Alan Wilkinson
Lewis Wilkinson and Belle Wilkinson

Belle and Ethel Wilkinson

 
Belle

Laura Mae and Irvin Wilkinson

Irvin and Laura Mae
Ethel and Laura Mae Wilkinson
Roy Wilkinson

Edna, Mable and Miriam Wilkinson

Belle Wilkinson Mowbray, Hilda, Miriam and Edna Wilkinson
Edna Wilkinson

Lewis, Hazel, Alan and Edna Wilkinson
 
Hilda, Ed, and Miriam Wilkinson

Irv, Roy, Lewis, Pop-Pop, Alan (Dad) Wilkinson
 

Irv, Roy, Belle, Alan, Irvin, Lewis Wilkinson

Belle Wilkinson Mowbray
Ethel Wilkinson Esch
Alan Wilkinson

My Parents - Hazel and Alan Wilkinson
Hazel and Alan Wilkinson

Mabel Wilkinson

Edna and Hazel Wilkinson

Calvin W. (Kelley) and Bell Mowbray

Miriam and Irv Wilkinson

Irvin and Lura Wilkinson

Lura and Irvin Wilkinson

Pop-Pop's 90th Birthday


Lewis, Pop-Pop (Irvin), Irv, Roy, Ethel, Ed
Belle, Alan

9 comments:

Beth Anderson said...

This was like looking into a time capsule with my own family, Kaye. Loved your story too.

I have only one thing to more to say:

Kaye. Start. Your. Book.

Earl Staggs said...

Kaye Darlin', these pictures are priceless. Made me itch to dig out an old box filled with some of my own.

And great news about Donald's progress.

Earl Staggs said...

And by the way, I second what Beth said.

Start. Your. Book

Vicki Lane said...

What great pictures! Love the folks in their bathing costumes! And the stiff little child on the table! Thanks, Kaye!

Patty said...

Great pictures! I believe I have a bunch that look remarkably similar in content and staging -- all set in Iowa or South Dakota.

Our family on my fathers side still has a family reunion every year in Sioux City. I haven't been in a few years but am going to try and make it this year.

Diane said...

I loved your pictures. They reminded of my grandparents' photo album filled with pics from the past. Precious. Enjoyed your story as well.

Jill said...

Beautiful pictures Kaye! Love the Haley's Comet one! Family reunions are always so much fun. You are right! You and Donald have so much to be thankful for. So glad all is well.

Coco said...

I believe, as we get older, we find relationships and family more and more important.

Reading your story and looking through the family pictures was such a special treat for me. Since I never had a family to grow up with, and the memories associated with that, I love to "adopt" other people's. Yours seems so wonderful! Can I "adopt" them and you? :-) Thanks for sharing!

Kaye Barley said...

Hi, Guys!!!! Thanks for stopping by.

Our old photos are treasures, aren't they?! And another of the things I love about our new (well, new"ish") technology - being able to preserve these photos and be able to share them so easily.

Earl - get that old box out and enjoy some memories!

Beth & Earl? A book??!!! EEK! I've just discovered the joys of essays, I have NO idea what I could come up with for a book. (but, Thank You!).

Vicki - that still little child on the table! isn't that an odd little picture?! Kinda frightening, actually.

Patty - I hope you get to your family reunion this year! And then come share it with us - pictures included!

Thanks, Diane - very much. Glad you stopped by.

Jill - we do. Not least of which is our neighborhood. (hugs)

Coco - Sweetie, consider yourself an honorary Wilkinson! We'll look for you in Aberdeen at the reunion this summer! (happy to have you).