Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shepard Family Update, Sept. 11, 2009

The value of the family 
is not that adults produce children,
but that children produce adults. 
-Peter de Vries

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

"Kalimera!" from the beautiful little seaside town of Napflion, Greece, southwest of Athens. We are on the Peloponnesian peninsula, which is a place of vital importance to the history of western civilization. The ancient city of Corinth is about an hour's drive from here, and is home to some of the most stunning archeological ruins in the entire country. That city is also where the Apostle Paul lived for a period of time, and where he planted a church that became one of the most famous in the first century.

On this 8th anniversary of 911, it is humbling to be an American on foreign soil. Of more particular concern to our family, this is a day to be reminded again of how much our world and our country has changed. I can still recall my Grandad Will Shepard 35 or so years ago, talking about the Russians (he pronounced the word "Ruushuns") and how they were the fulfillment of Biblical teaching and a grave danger to our future. How times have changed when thinking about the threats we have to deal with!

Select this link to listen to Will Shepard being interviewed on a variety of family subjects in 1975. In this particular recording he does not expound on the "Ruushuns," but you will still find it interesting and -- if you knew Grandad -- nostalgic. Thanks to Dane Shepard for this recording. (The file is very large, so please be patient.)

As a day of remembrance, September 11 is a day of darkness and tragedy. I prefer September 12 myself. There is a movement afoot to make 9-12 a day of recovery, a day of reconciliation, an annual Axis of Friendship Day, in order to move beyond the ugliness and horror of 911.

I also like September 12 because it was on that day in 1861 that GGgrandpa "Wabash" William Sheppard joined the Union cause and began his military service. Even though he would not live to see another September 12, that day in 1861 must have been for him a time of great hope and expectation. He had just left his young wife in Wabash, Indiana -- who was four months pregnant with their first child -- and found himself in Indianapolis. It was very early in the conflict, so he -- like all the other recruits -- was anticipating a swift conclusion to the southern rebellion, so they could all get on with their young lives. In hindsight we know that his story ended sadly, but it was a fine September 12 when the last adventure of his life began.

Back to the future: here in the 21st century, September 12 is important because it is the birthday of Kelly Shepard Sauvage of Weatherford, Texas. Those of you who were at the July reunion will remember her and her 2 boys who attended and enjoyed themselves immensely. Kelly emailed recently to say,

We have a lot going on here in Texas. Nate and Kyle entered public school this year. YEAH!! No more monthly payments to daycare/private school. They are so excited about public school. Kyle is so happy to have some boys in his class. In Pre-K he was one of only three boys in a class with 13 girls. He had his first T-ball practice this week and is excited to finally be old enough to play. Nate loves his new school too. Especially going to P.E. and Music class. Nate will have his first "coach pitch" practice this week. After two seasons of T-ball he will be moving up. James started a new job with Direct TV in July and he seems to be enjoying it. He will once again be referreeing football as often as his job will allow. He referees everything from pee wee to high school. So I will once again be a "single mom" until football season is over. It doesn't leave me much free time, but I love being with my boys. I had a great time this summer at the family reunion in Oklahoma. It was great to see everyone. Nate and Kyle still talk about the people they met and played with. Nate loves to talk about his "best buddy" Steven. Kyle still talks about his second cousin Linda and his third and fouth cousins... Nate Shepard and Nathan Shepard.  I can't wait for us to do this again!

The first picture I am including was taken in San Diego in 1976 and shows a young Kelly on the shoulders of her uncle Darrell Shepard, who now lives in Kenmore, Washington. Also in the picture are her aunt Barbara Shepard and another uncle, Russell Shepard, who both now live in Anacortes, Washington.
The second picture I am including was taken in July in Newcastle, Oklahoma at the family reunion. In the middle of the picture is Kelly. Surrounding her (beginning in the bottom left and going counterclockwise) are her younger son Kyle Sauvage, Ciara Ortiz of San Diego and Kelly's older son Nate Sauvage. Then Virginia Niles of Edmond, Oklahoma, Linda and Steven Shepard of Anacortes, Washington, and Nathan and Chenda Shepard, of San Francisco.

Speaking of Nathan and Chenda, congratulations are in order. They are expecting a baby next spring! Best wishes and good health to both of them. Have a great week, wherever you may be, celebrating this wonderful, diverse family that we are!

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