J. Diane Josey - Vice President
Wow, what a Reunion! I sincerely congratulate our immediate past
president, Martha Josey Larsen, for putting together a great national
reunion. It was a difficult and formidable task to make all of the
arrangements for a reunion in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, from her home in
Macon, Georgia. That's a long reach even when you have a cadre of people on site
to help you, but when Martha became our president, she had no contacts in North
Carolina and had to start from scratch. Thank you, Martha. We had a
great time and appreciate all of your very hard work! At our banquet on
Saturday night, The House of Jossey-Josey presented Martha with a bowl engraved
with the words "Martha Josey Larsen, President 1999-2001, The House of
Jossey-Josey, Preserving the Legacy, Pursuing the Vision" in recognition of
the mission she set for herself and for all of us during her term as president.
Thank you also to Reverend James Drake of the First Baptist Church of Scotland Neck and to Frederica Josey, Dan Josey, and all of the folks in the Scotland Neck/Halifax county area who made our Homecoming Reunion so special.
For those of you who missed the Reunion, start planning now to attend the next one. These reunions really do get better and better. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone who attended this one. This was our "Back to our Roots" Reunion and everyone made the most of it, in their own ways. Some of the highlights in Scotland Neck included: touring the Napoleon Bonaparte Josey House built in 1882; gawking at the Josey Building (built in 1925) and the R. C. Josey Building (built in 1904) on the main street of town; wandering the old cemetery; buying souvenirs and enjoying refreshments provided by Frederica Josey at Josey Brothers Store (est. 1930); admiring the stained glass windows named in memory of Mrs. Huldah Josey Dunn and Mrs. Marietta E. Josey in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church; eating Barbecue and slaw sandwiches at a local restaurant; taking Ralph's bus tour; wearing our House of Jossey-Josey Homecoming Reunion buttons; and of course attending the big Saturday night gathering at the Scotfield Country Club. Some of our members also enjoyed poking around the genealogy department at the Halifax County Library, and some found plenty of places to play golf and relax with close family members. Many Joseys arrived in time to meet for dinner on Friday night at the Golden Corral in Tarboro.
"Great performances" at this year's reunion included: Bud Josey recounting for us the history of our Josey ancestors who left Halifax county, N.C., for other parts of the country; Alice Josey of Hempstead, Texas (wife of former president, Jim Josey) playing a medley of piano music at the Church on Saturday; Joanne Josey singing beautifully at our big meeting Saturday night; and the participants in our costume contest parading for the judges, which is always a treat. A lot of time went into some of the costumes, with very authentic results. Others had a great time just dressing in overalls or long dresses like their North Carolina ancestors probably did, and the straw hats from the hardware section of Josey Brothers store looked great with them. Best Costume winners were James Otis Josey, Moss Point, MS, Male Division; Myrtle J. Fowler, Holt, FL, Female Division; and Chuck and Jackie Helfrich, Tampa, FL, won in the Best Couple Division. Congratulations to all of our winners.
This year we got to meet some of Bud and Marion's family. His mother, Elsie V. Josey Ferguson, and his sister, Norma Josey Camel, were there from Tavares, FL; their daughter, Marion, and husband, Bruce Baker, came from Rock Hill, SC; and his brother, William A. (Bill) Josey joined us from Niagara Falls, NY.
Bud's mother took the prize for oldest member attending against stiff competition - we had a surprising number of people there who were over 80. Lots of young people came to the Reunion too and we got to meet all of them, including little Griffen Tate Wheeler (born 3-12-2001) who was the youngest member in attendance. He is the son of Jeffery & Casey Wheeler and grandson of Harold and Karen Josey. Here's hoping they will all come back in 2003 and bring some cousins with them. Will Josey traveled all the way from Sterling, Alaska to be with us, and took the prize for longest distance traveled.
Many thanks to our tireless secretary/treasurer, Jackie Josey Helfrich, for getting everyone registered and their information updated in record time, preparing name tags for each of us every day, and keeping us financially solvent by collecting dues. (If you have not paid your dues of $20 for the 2002-2003 term, do it NOW, because the Board voted to stop sending Newsletters to folks who don't pay, unless there is a good reason to continue sending it! Let Jackie know if you have special circumstances.) We cannot thank Jackie enough for preparing and mailing our Newsletters each year, and we are delighted she has agreed to stay on as our Secretary/Treasurer for another term.
Page 3 of 6