Thursday, July 06, 2017

INDEPENDENCE -- that day


The greatest Generation
My dad, J. Lee Campbell was first cousin to a bunch of Campbell's -- children of my great uncle, Cuyler Campbell. My grandfather (Cuyler's brother)  was Jim Campbell. My dad was James Lee and my brother is James Edward II (after grandpa).

In a small community like ours - in Chumuckla, Florida - the family ties are THICK and stretch back in these woods for a couple hundred years. 

So first cousins are almost like siblings and even second cousins are bonded by family lore and heritage and usually geographical proximity. It's a family model similar to
The stories get thicker and deeper
thousands across America. You know the people. You know a level of trust you have with few other social networks in your world.

But even so -- you begin to lose clarity of lineage as the families expand and your second cousins have grand-kids.  The names begin to blur.  In my case, I have to refresh my memory every year. It gets embarrassing to ask some of the now twenty-something cousins what their name is -- AGAIN.

It helps to ask who their mom or grandma is.  I am going to have to write up a family tree chart.

picture time
But, beyond the embarrassment I find myself increasingly amazed at the younger generation. They are following their dreams in all manner of fields.  Engineers, Medicine, Psychology, Educators, Farmers and business people.  Many are very advanced degrees.

Some of the twenties generation are still in school and the little ones are just getting started.  The talent and power of these independent people - as a family -- and as individuals is a gift to America - and to the next generation to follow them ! I am amazed.



America
The gathering every INDEPENDENCE DAY at
the barn in Chumuckla is a tradition for the Cuyler and Bessie  Campbell descendants for decades.

My brother Jim and I take advantage of every opportunity to soak up this bit of heritage that comes alive in this place every July. It is something to savor.

All Sizes of cousins
The fish are mullet caught by one of the cousins, Joe - who lives in Alabama. He used a cast net to take in a haul out of the Perdido Bay.  He cleaned them. His daughter often helps. Another cousin, David, cooked them.  Another fried up the hush puppies.


There was a pot luck table full of more food.  So many farmers are involved it is expected that every bounty the earth can provide will be laid out for discerning tastes.


 And it was. And it was good.   Very good.   
                                                      In America last Tuesday.

Generational Exchange

Generations Helping Hands

Enough to feed Coxie's Army
Joe caught the mullet and he eats the mullet

My brother, Jim can tell a story so it seems

The youngster here comes from a strong mold

A family within the family -
It is Sharon's barn but Ronnie is down from NC







There were a lot more cousins here
but they are shared in a private family
album.  Must have been 20 smaller kids
and then everybody under 60 is the younger
folks. The ones over 80 are getting old
and the ones over 90 are
simply superhuman.

My Brother, Jim - Retired from reserves as a Navy Captain. Our cousin, Clay who was here retired an Army Colonel. The BIRD on either collar is the the same. It is an American Bird.

an INDEPENDENT BIRD





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1 comment:

Barbie Dycus said...

My Family the Terronez/Navarrette's have their annual reunion 4th of July weekend. They come from near and far, yet it's been over 15 years since I last attended, I'm going have to make it to the next one,so I too can get some stories out of my dad's generation. We are now 5 generations and thousands strong and growing.