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Monday, October 20, 2008

Grand Canyon State of Affairs

A terrific trio of Regional Peel Reunions concluded ~ cousins everywhere are buzzing about these family events. We can only assume the Eastern Seaboard constituents are by now clamoring for their day in the reunion spot-light.

Committee Head-Honcho Chris Cooley (LOD: Elona Cooley, Leslie Peel) reports a fine turn out under a cool 97 degree Sonoran sun. Water guns empowered the under-age. (Jackson Tanner LOD: James Tanner, Cindi Tanner, Bob Rose, Zona Peel)

Memories of Benjamin F. & Mary Peel were shared by granddaughters Elona Cooley and sister Mary Skousen.
Two artifacts were also exhibited; a custard cup, and cut glass candy dish Mary explained used to host Grandma's favorite earrings. Elona graciously announced her current position as the oldest living grandchild of Benjamin F. and Mary Welker Peel. She was honored with a round of applause.

President "Bud" Jim Rose, Jr. (LOD: Jim Rose, Zona Peel) presided over the adult meeting, Mary Skousen shared key experiences she and brother Narvin and wife Berneice Peel had compiling their Peel book. A giant generational scroll was also unfurled for inspection. Families enthusiastically lined up to buy their Peel history books and watercolor card sets.

Roaring Roll-Call: 3 distinguished family lines were represented. The Mighty Leslie Peel clan far out-numbered a sprinkling of the Zona Peel line, but could not compete with the superior lung power of Zona's raucous Portuguese posterity. A solo family from little brother Ferril Peel (Matthew & Kim LOD: Norman Peel, Ferril) was very happy to discover how many cousins were close by since their move to Mesa, AZ.

Girl Power: Nancy Rose (Bud) and daughters mastered munitions ~ hundreds of hard to find post-season water balloons and numerous water guns locked & loaded for hostilities.

Committee Secretary: Ronni Cooley (wife of Chris) Beautiful and fearless, no detail was left unnoticed under her scrupulous eye and handy legal pad.

Site Arrangements: Linda & Kelly Phelps (LOD:Elona Cooley, Leslie Peel) bedecked in full Western regalia, this dashing couple was decoration as much as hard labor.

Reservations: Maryann Bethea (LOD: Elona Cooley, Leslie Peel) With 5 grandchildren in tow, Maryann was primed for battle; however, an abrupt double-announcement of stomach flu within the ranks forced a hasty retreat.

Shutter-bugs: Kelly Phelps, Kay & Lynn Skousen, Asia Tanner - Renlentless in the quest of photo opportunity.

(Asia & Rachel Tanner)
Live Music: Cindi & David Tanner (LOD: Bob Rose, Zona Peel) and the family band/roadies. Featuring selections from Simon & Garfunkle, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, etc. in addition to original compositions by David and sons Leiland & James, the Tanners proved that babies really can fall asleep to quality Rock n' Roll.

Intrepid Traveling Peels:
1st = Bud & Nancy Rose from Woodland Hills, UT; attended ALL 3 reunions

2nd = Long, Lost Cousin Ted & Jenny Zaczkiewicz (LOD: Marolyn Dente, Manny Rose, Zona Peel) with cutie brown-eyed daughter Rebecca prevailed over whacky directions from MapQuest and drove all the way from Las Vegas, NV to meet cousins he's never seen before - AND he was glad he did. Hurray for Ted!
3rd = Randy & Marie Jones (LOD: Evalyn Jones, Leslie Peel) leaving the cool, cottonwood beauty of Snowflake, AZ to join us in the desert, bringing one of the newest little Peels; newborn Emelyn Belle born to daughter Brooke & Elliott Hinckley. Proud Army dad is serving in Iraq, and thanks everyone for your prayers and well wishes.

After all the months of preparation, promotion, planning meetings, vats of delicious BBQ pork & chicken and the resulting dehydration from the actual day, Kay Skousen (LOD: Mary Skousen, Leslie Peel) noted how the little children went nuts for a simple tray of halloween candy corn and plastic spider rings offered specially in their honor at the buffet table.

Why would someone think of the least of these? Because we remember how we felt at the reunions our parents and grandparents arranged for us 40 years ago. Considering that, it feels extra good that LeRoy Peel (LOD: Leslie Peel) went out of his way to tell me that he remembered me from all those long years ago. I think a sweet spider ring and a killer water gun just about says it all.

Thanks, Peel Family.

*To view captions, move your cursor over each picture. Sorry - but you'll need to scroll down to the next slide show & click the speaker icon to get rid of the dueling 2 songs at a time...!

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