Friday, January 9, 2009

Moore Family Reunion Of 1993

The Moore family (my uncles and aunts - dad’s brothers and sisters) have had a Round Robin going for many years. One who receives it takes out their last letter and writes a new one. Then it is on to the next person to do the same. It takes about five months for the robin to make it’s flight and return to you. My dad, Leonard, had passed away in 1940 and when the robin was started, his family was not represented. Uncle Dale asked me to represent the Leonard Moore family in the robin about 1988 or so. I joined it to bring them up on our family and what my brother and sisters families were doing. I knew all the aunts and uncles very well as I had contact with them while living in their parents home in Celina. So I was a natural to join and was glad to do it.

After a few years I thought it was time for this family to get together once more. We had most of the family together for grandpa’s birthday parties but not all could make it. I wanted to honor the original members of my grandparents family with this reunion. They were all getting up in years and before too long wouldn’t be able to make a trip to whatever location was chosen for the reunion. Everyone was all for the reunion but no one wanted to step forward to plan the event. So I took charge and became the Director of the Moore Family Reunion of 1993.
Director and Master of Ceremonies Of The Moore Family Reunion Of 1993 - Dick Moore

It took 18 months of planning to get this organized and done. My superintendent at State Farm was a computer whiz and he helped me design a letterhead for communications that included two pictures -- grandpa and grandma! I had copies make and used them in all requests and information that I needed sent out to the family. We had to choose the time and the place for this reunion. I lived in California and we have a lot of things to do here but some were coming from the east coast which made it a long trip. I decided to hold it in Oklahoma City over the weekend of July 30, 31, and August 1, 1993. This was Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We wanted to spend as much time together as we could. Uncle Ray and his family could help me because they live nearby. Ann’s sister, Helen, also lives there and could recruit her family to help in the details of the reunion.

Phil Moore helped me with the talent show. Linda Comingdeer registered everyone and handed out packets of materials that we had for all. Ron Comingdeer took pictures at the program so we could enjoy the family and not be concerned with documenting the reunion. Perry Gering handled the video portion of capturing the reunion on film. Ron also ran the golf tournament for me. Others had a role such as securing the locations of our gatherings and entertainment. A lot had to be done and the family helped when given an assignment.

I took a week’s vacation during Ann’s Spring Break and we went to Oklahoma to handle some details. One of the things I did was to meet with the Mayor of Bethany, Oklahoma, and explain what we were doing. I went to City Hall and found that he doesn’t office there. He was a Farmers Insurance Agent and handled his mayor duties out of his insurance office. This was interesting as I worked with State Farm, a competitor. I asked him if he would declare July 31, 1993 as “Moore Family Day” in Bethany. He said he would be happy to help in making this a memorable day for all. He would come to the main program on Saturday and present each honored guest with a proclamation declaring the special day. He did a wonderful job on this and made everyone welcome. He didn’t want to leave the program as he was having as much fun as the rest.

We started with a picnic in a local park. Dick standing by the sign.

We would first meet at a local park in Bethany for lunch on Friday. Uncle Ray organized this for us. At this time we would share pictures of the past and present for each family. We had a banner that a friend made for me to identify the actual place for the picnic. It was great to see everyone and talk over “old times”. We met again that evening after dinner for a concert at the First Church of the Nazarene in Bethany given by one of the professors at Southern Nazarene University. He did a program on the piano like Victor Borge which was hilarious. Also demonstrated the various styles of church pianists which had everyone laughing very hard.

The next day was Saturday and we had suggestions for get together opportunities. The golf tournament was held at the University of Oklahoma. Uncle Ray had his brothers and sisters over for brunch. The zoo and several museums were available for meeting someone and enjoying the morning. The packets we had given each family contained many suggestions for use of this time.

Our main program would be at 3:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene. My cousin, Phil Moore, was the Minister of Music there and arranged that room for us. Here we had the Mayor of Bethany proclaim the day as ours and he handed out an individual proclamation to each aunt and uncle or family member if they were not there. I accepted the one for Leonard Moore. Aunt Betty had passed on and her daughter Donna accepted for her. The only living member of the original family that wasn’t there was Carlan. He was unable to make it that weekend. But the other eight living members were there and what a time they had. Each one was able to relate a story of their childhood living in the Moore household. We talked about the “Humor of J. I. Moore” relating some funny things that grandpa had said or done. We had the talent show with many participating in it. Uncle Gary and his daughter Becky sang a duet. Ray, Dale, Bob, and Gary sang a quartet. Doris and her daughters Eileen and Carolyn sang a trio. Eileen and Carolyn did a funny sketch about two cats. Phil, Harlan, Rick and I sang a quartet number about “What A Meeting” relating our reunion in Heaven. Rick sang a solo. I was scheduled to do one but time got away and I decided not to do it. Ray and Gary did a duet. It was a great time.

Uncle Dale had prepared “The History of the Moore Family” which was printed in the program and he delivered it orally as well. Uncle Cecil was a pastor in Georgia and he delivered a sermonette on “Family Values”. I brought a clock momento to each of the honored family members which had a picture of their parents on the inside cover. The clock was engraved with their name and date. I had several nieces and nephews call each one up and give them the gift.
The ladies of the church prepared the evening meal for us. So we continued the conversation around tables and food. Ernie Reynolds was the first grandchild of our grandparents and we asked him to pray for the family.

On Sunday morning we gathered back at the Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene to worship together. The Moore Family sang a special number for the congregation as most of the family are singers. This was a wonderful experience. We had lunch together at the church and bid everyone farewell. Of the nine living members at the time, eight have gone on to their reward in Heaven to this date. Bob, Doris, Dale, Cecil, Ruth, Carlan, Ray and Pauline have reached their eternal destination and are rejoicing with their family members who have gone on before them. We have pictures and video of them participating in the reunion which I believe was Heaven inspired. I am so thankful that I took the time and effort to get the family together and share this one last time enjoying each others company.
Front Row: Pauline, Doris & Ruth
Back Row: Gary, Cecil, Ray, Dale, & Bob

The Moore Round Robin continues to fly with cousins taking the places of those who have passed on. Gary is the last remaining of the 12 siblings and still participates in this letter exchange. The family continues to keep in touch and we hope it will continue for many years.

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