Sunday begins with a service in the Old Reilly Springs United Methodist Church at 11 a.m., with dinner-on-the-grounds in the Reilly Springs Community Center following the service. The Reilly Springs Cemetery will be starched and ironed for the occasion with everyone remembering those loved ones that have made our memories so special and made such a lasting impact on our lives.
Make plans to join the Reilly Springs community for a day of celebration and rejoicing.
Further, Enola Gay and her friends have planned a music show for Saturday night to mark the Memorial Day Weekend. They’ll be re-creating the Old Reilly Springs Jamboree, so you’ll want to make that event to complete your Reilly Springs weekend.
Sunday’s Memorial Day speaker is Tommy Shearer. Tommy has deep roots in Reilly Springs on both sides of his family. He is the great-grandson of Henry and Ina Vanginault and the grandson of Joe and Jenine Vanginault Shearer on his paternal side. He is the great-grandson of T.O. and Bertha McDonald Jenkins on his maternal side. Everyone is looking forward to hearing Tommy’s presentation.
Others appearing on Sunday’s program include Jerry Miller as Master of Ceremonies; Leslie McCullough giving the invocation; Damon Wilks giving the welcome; Tommie Jo McKay Tennison delivering the response; special music by Hannah Meeks; special awards by Artie Mae Bailey, Wanda Alkire and Teresa Morton; memorials by Joyce McDonald and Leslie McCullough; and the benediction by Teddy Boggs.
Teresa Wallace has generously accepted the duties of making certain that the kitchen and lunch are ready. Give Teresa a hearty “thank you” for her efforts.
Meanwhile, Kerry Bailey has generously agreed to get everything converted from the music show on Saturday night to being ready for Memorial Day on Sunday at the Community Center. As you can see, it takes an army of people working to get things ready for Memorial Day. Thanks to all who so graciously serve.
I visited with Vera Harrington for a few minutes this week. She reported a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday. Mary, Mitzi, Elizabeth, Caroline and Charlotte came home for a visit and couldn’t have pleased Vera more.
Mary and the girls have just returned from Disneyland and reported a great time but glad to be back home.
Congratulations are in order for Elizabeth, as she has just gotten her first car. Vera said it wasn’t exactly what she would have chosen, but the ever-practical Elizabeth wanted an older car that it wouldn’t hurt if she dented it u, until she learned to drive better. (She must have been watching Vera drive?)
While in Reilly Springs, Caroline enjoyed riding horses for the afternoon, and as they prepared to leave, Charlotte made Vera’s day by exclaiming, “Grandma, you are awesome!”
“I can live off that for at least a year, don’t you think?” expressed Vera.
Sympathy is extended to the Ella Wayne Bearden family. Ella Wayne was the mother of Sheila Koon and visited Reilly Springs events quite regularly. She passed away last Wednesday at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital with funeral services on Friday.
“We’re going to miss ‘Nannie’ at all the events, but she had ‘worn-out’ from it all,” declared one of her grandchildren. “She had fallen a couple of weeks ago and never really recovered.”
Ella Wayne will be sorely missed by us all.
Jan Lawrence and Jana Dewitt made the trip from Muleshoe to Hopkins County on Thursday for Ella Wayne’s funeral, and returned on Saturday. They did Mother’s Day things on Saturday before returning home.
Jan and Jana brought some tractor tires back to Hopkins County with them for David, and exclaimed that if only they could have found a rocking chair they would have looked like the “Beverly Hillbillies” going down the road. “It’s a long way from Muleshoe to Sulphur Springs,” exclaimed Jana. “I don’t think I probably could have ridden in a rocking chair quite that far, but I’m sure I would have looked the part.”
Jana and Jan arrived back in Muleshoe on Saturday night, in time for dedication services for Sam Lawrence and Reagan Kirby at church on Sunday. Everyone reported a great Mother’s Day out there.
Rhandi Fails called and reported that they feted Joyce Gilbreath with a lunch on Sunday in observance of Mother’s Day, and that Joyce is doing better. They also attended a baseball game of Brayden’s on Saturday and had a nice meal on Friday night at Oak Valley.
Many from our community have been attending the daily luncheon in Yantis at the Senior Citizen’s Building, Monday thru Fridays. “We have a great time and enjoy seeing everyone we know, and meeting all the new people who have moved to Yantis,” reported one of our resident. “It’s a great way to get out of the house and have some fun.”
With Memorial Day on Sunday, I thought it would be great to look back at how the tradition began in our community. According to legend, for years, after the crops were laid by, members of the community would meet somewhere around the fourth of July and plan a “graveyard working.” Families in the community would bring their rakes, hoes and farming equipment and clean the cemetery of all the weeds, grass and debris. They’d spend all morning getting the cemetery worked, and then break for lunch with a community meal. The afternoons would be spent playing baseball and other games, as the community enjoyed this respite from the cotton patch.
“It was always a fun day,” reported one of our older community residents. “The competition on the baseball diamond was fierce and everyone for miles around came to enjoy the day.”
“Someone would go to Sulphur Springs and bring back ice and they’d ice-down watermelons, as well as make some homemade ice cream for the occasion,” remembered another resident. “You got to visit with all your friends and most times some of the political candidates would be out ‘stumping’ for the elections that would be held later in the month of July.”
Of course, Memorial Day Services haven’t been in the month of May in Reilly Springs but for about 25 years. When the cemetery managed to save enough money to hire a caretaker, the traditional day was continued in July. A service replaced the graveyard working and the traditional dinner-on-the-grounds continued. How many of you can remember eating dinner underneath the Oak trees next to the Methodist Church?
Some 15 or 20 years ago, the dinner was moved into the Reilly Springs Community Center to accommodate the air conditioning, and today, it’s much more convenient and pleasant. However, the traditions of family and neighbors continue in Reilly Springs as everyone makes their pilgrimage back to the beloved community to share stories, memories and common bonds.
We’re looking for all of you on Sunday.
Until next week, continue to enjoy the sunshine and the great spring weather. Remember our troops who defend our freedoms and ask for them an extra measure of safety. Pray for love in our hearts, harmony in our community, and peace in our land. God bless Reilly Springs, Hopkins County, and America.
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