Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shepard Family Update, July 24, 2009

A person travels the world overin search of what they need,and returns home to find it.
-- George Moore

Hello Shepard Family and Friends.

Greetings to all of you from home in sunny San Diego, where Cindy and I have returned after last weekend's trip to Oklahoma. The Newcastle Family Reunion is over, but the memories remain. It was a grand event as 40 of our family members met outside Oklahoma City in the small throw-back town of Newcastle, Oklahoma. Most of those present were descendants of Bura Davis and Will Shepard, but we were also honored to have a dozen or so other Davis relatives (one of whom rightly reminded us that all of us Shepard descendants are also "Davis relatives").

The first picture I am including today shows the group who attended the reunion, including people with the last names of Shepard, Davis, Taylor, Sauvage, Millikan, Jenkins, Villanueva, Ortiz and Boyd. (Click on the picture to see a larger view.) Select this link to see the pictures that appeared in my PowerPoint presentation at the reunion. But be patient, there are lots of pictures, so it takes a while to load. The good news is there is a feature that allows you to download the pictures if you choose. Select this link to see a much smaller collection of some pictures that were taken last weekend.

The day began with a time of renewing family ties with people we had not seen in many years. In some cases family members were meeting for the very first time. We also shared a great meal catered by a local barbeque, and then viewed lots of old (and new) family pictures from photo albums as well as on a big screen. We also recognized special people among us, including the oldest and youngest members of the Shepard clan: 92 year old Elmer Shepard (Dane's dad), and 2 year old Damian Ortiz (Thelma's Ggrandson). Special thanks go to Dane Shepard and his cousin Kim Clark who formed the core of the planning team for the reunion.

BIRTHDAYS. Today is the birthday of Shannon Wilk of Atchison, Kansas, granddaughter of Pauline Shepard Russell. Shannon was planning to attend our reunion last week, but health concerns prevented her from coming. Best wishes to Shannon for good health and a happy birthday!

This coming Tuesday is the birthday of Barbara Shepard of Anacortes, Washington, who reaches a major milestone on July 28. Tuesday is also the birthday of Jeff Clark, husband of Kim Clark of Blue Springs, Missouri. The second picture shows these two birthday kids, taken last week at the family reunion. As you might guess from the camera in his hand, Jeff was the photographer of the group picture above.

And finally I would like to pass on some family emails I received just before the reunion.

From Eric and Ruth Russell of Red Rock, Nevada,
Hello Steve... Sorry we haven’t gotten back to you sooner. Work has been busy and dad was in the hospital two weeks ago with pneumonia. He’s doing well now. This past week was dealing with two wild fires near our houses. All is well now. I did find some photos of dad that you might enjoy. We are still trying to locate old family photos that you were asking about. We do enjoy reading your e-mails, and print them out for dad to read. Best wishes.
(Eric and Ruth graciously sent some photos of their father Rex, which I will include in an upcoming email.)
From Joan Shepard of Dixon, California,
Right now I'm concentrating to reach a deadline with my work. And I'll miss you all very much. I wanted to thank you for the inspiring comments in the family emails. Havilah and I appreciated your discussion so much. Thank you for your loving altruism. I'm also so delighted about Nathan and Chenda. My best to them. I've attached some memories for Dad. Perhaps you can read it at the reunion. Thanks so much, Steve. Have a wonderful weekend.

From Joan's daughter Halilah Reynolds, who lives just outside Salt Lake City, Utah,

I so wish that I could be there at the family reunion. I send my love to the family! Thanks for the updates, as always. Enjoy the day! -Havilah

From Bud and Janet Davis,

Please say hello to our family members for us, as we are not able to make the trip from the Tacoma, WA area. Sounds like you will have a great time at the reunion. Thank you for doing such a good job with your family email and website. It helps us hold on to memories. Great pictures of the Davis family including my dad Jesse. Jessie and Charlotte should have some pics to share and wish we could be there too. ...Bud and Janet Davis

And lastly, these insightful words from brother Darrell Shepard of Kenmore, Wa.,

I loved the quotes this week. I presume you are just being nice and upbeat regarding those quotes for the sake of the family reunion. Because quite frankly as funny as those quotes are, I think they reveal a usually unspoken truth about family dynamics. (Please don't make me sight examples or individuals, mainly because I would have to present myself as exhibit "A".) I believe when it comes to family self image, we like to present ourselves as we would like to be. Otherwise we might lose sight of how important and valuable and wonderful family relationships really are - in spite of all the quirkiness. If we hold that image of who would like to be as as a family up to ourselves and the world, we might move closer to actually being that someday.

Anyway, I will be with you all tomorrow in spirit. I hope you all have a terrific time. The family web site and the old pictures you post are a blessing to all of us. Especially my kids, and in fact all the younger members of our family. Thank you for the recent picture of Gram, me and Mary taken in 1984. My kids love that picture and it has launched many a story telling session about the "older days." It really gives them a strong sense of family and history and belonging to something bigger than themselves. It binds us all together more closely - quirks and all.


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