Each summer for twenty-seven years, I've headed to Southwest Missouri for the reunion of Orr and related families. I should say twenty-five years, because we did 2020 and 2021 on Zoom. Still fun and lots of shared stories.
The reunion began in 1937, which marked the 100th year that the first Orr family (that of my GGG Grandparents William Orr and Jennie Adams) came to Lawrence County, Missouri. They were joined by other relatives beginning in the 1860s, and there were eventually Orr, Knox, and Campbell families, as well as Shirley families in the east and the James Orr family in Indiana. And then they spread to 49 of the 50 states. Vermont must have been too cold.
Some lemons still get the benefit of upper body strength, while others provide their juice through an electric squeezer. The same bucket is employed today as in 1937, though supervision in 2022 passed from Bobby and Margaret Samuels to a community effort.
More fun than squeezing lemons indoors was Bobby and Margaret's lemonade making on the back of his pick-up truck. He had help from every child who attended.
Those of us who have become used to cool indoor homes rejoiced when the Ozark Prairie Presbyterian Church (founded by Orrs among others in 1854) added an air-conditioned community room.
The food is just as good, but attendees don't wilt in the prairie heat. We're smaller than the initial years, when more than 100 people came from many parts of the U.S. This year we had only several midwestern states, but I expect that as COVID continues to wane the numbers and home states will rise again.