Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Summer seems to be family reunion time. The choice of time probably goes back to when most of the work on the farm was done by plowing a team of mules, cultivating the crops and hoeing and weeding whatever was planted in the fields until it was "laid by" and left to grow and mature until harvest time came in the fall. Families thought about gathering and catching up on news, rejoicing over babies born since the previous year's reunion, and remembering beloved family members that had passed away within the year. It was called reunion. The union had never been broken, just delayed by hard work and lack of communication (unless, of course, some like the Martins and the Coys of legend who continually had a feud going).
was just a time to be united again, as the term implies.
Call me a reunion person! Whether the event is a family reunion, a high school class reunion, a college class reunion, a church homecoming, or a birthday gathering, I enjoy planning for, implementing and being in the midst of the activity.
One year, we
had a young man all the way from
We're changing our pattern this year. Instead of the third Sunday in July, we're meeting the third Saturday in July, the 15th.
Since 1999, the
Dyer-Souther Heritage Association has used the beautiful
We welcome kin
as well as interested visitors to the reunion. Registration starts at and
the buffet meal will be served at .
Reunions always mean good food. People tend to bring their "best"
dishes to spread on tables well laden with delectable food. The French
writer Moliere in the seventeenth century
penned these words: "One should eat to live, and not live to eat." Had
he known about our Southern family reunions, he would have known that
once a year we "live to eat" Roma Sue's chicken dumplings, chocolate
pies that our late Aunt Northa taught some
of us to make, or caramel pies like our late Aunt Pauline taught her
granddaughter to make.
We've had the
request that there be "less programmed" time and more time for
visitation and sharing family genealogy. We will have a program in
which we recognize first-time attendees, the family that traveled
farthest, the youngest, the oldest, and everyone over the age of 90. We
will, in solemn remembrance, have a memorial service for those who have
passed on since our last reunion. We will take care of necessary
business recommended by the Board of Trustees. But mainly, we will
visit, be happy, enjoy being together.
program at at this year's reunion will be
to honor Micajah Clark Dyer (1822-1891),
inventor who received a registered patent in 1874 for his "Apparatus
for Navigating the Air." Those gathered for the reunion and others who
will come for the special event will observe the unveiling of the
historic sign to name a portion of Georgia Highway 180 the
180 winds from Highway 129 up toward
Reunions are for looking back and appreciating the legacy our forebears left to us.
For many years members of the DyerSouther clan heard the legend of "Clark Dyer and his flying machine." It was passed down, generation to generation. When the official patent was found, along with detailed engineering instructions on the building and operation of the "Apparatus for Navigating the Air," we of this generation marveled that this was not a legend but it actually did happen. As the legend holds, Clark Dyer looked at the birds and wondered, "Why can't I fly?" And he set to work to make an airship for that very purpose.
c2006 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail