A Family Reunion in South Eastern Oklahoma

This morning, we got up early and drove south east of Oklahoma City to a Community Center outside of Holdenville in Hughes County. My mother was one of 12 kids, and many of my mother’s brothers and sisters are gone, but the oldest brother was there. He is 90 years old, and still going strong, and he will talk to you about God. He got up and spoke to everyone there encouraging them to follow God before he offered the prayer for the meal. I was disappointed because I thought my mother was coming, but my sister’s husband was in the hospital, and she stayed with him. In fact, many I wanted to see didn’t attend because of health problems. However, I got to see some of my cousins and a couple of my uncles. All the ones in my generation are grandparents now.

My cousin, Noel, on the left, and my uncle Hub on the right. My cousin is a Pentecostal preacher. My uncle is 90 years old and an elder in the Pentecostal church. I learned today that the Pentecostal church actually threw my cousin out because he preached that homosexuality is a sin, but he continues to preach at small country churches where they need him.

My cousin, Noel, and my Uncle Hub always talk to me a lot when I go to family reunions. They are from the Pentecostal church. I am not Pentecostal, but they love the Bible teaching that I have done. I ate lunch with my cousin, and my uncle asked me if I would come and live with him. I guess if all else fails, my daughter likes the fact my uncle asked me to live with him, and she says if her plan doesn’t work to get a job and an apartment in Oklahoma City, she is game for it. She liked him a lot. It is the first time she ever met him, but she was really impressed with him. However, we are working on getting a place in Oklahoma City, and my uncle lives in Wewoka.

Here is a picture I took of the same two guys, my cousin, Noel, and my Uncle Hub at a previous family reunion playing their guitars for everyone. My family is all about music. It all began with my grandpa who used to play the fiddle and do the calls at the barn dances. Our family has always played musical instruments and been singers.
I won a kind of door prize. This doll is what I won.
This is my Uncle Brownie. He is my mother’s younger brother. He is blind and walks with a walker. I used to baby sit with his kids when I was a teenager.
Here is my cousin Jimmy. He is a little closer to my age. He never got married.

There were lots of people there that I didn’t know because they were the kids and grandkids of my cousins. I have been gone for many years, and everyone’s lives have gone on. I met some of the younger people, but if I get to know them, it will take time.

Here is Grandma Sneed and Grandpa Sneed. Their picture was hanging on the wall. They passed away several years ago.
My Grandpa Sneed was a twin. His name was Liss and his twin’s name was Less. My grandpa is on the right in both the baby picture and the picture below.
Here is a picture of My mother on the top right, her sister, Aunt Betty in the middle in the back row, and their youngest sister, Lissa on the right in the back. My Aunt Billie is in front of my mother on the left. My Uncle Hub is in the middle, and my Uncle Brownie is on the left in the front. My Uncle Hub is dressed the way my grandfather usually dressed.
This is a great grandfather I never met. His name was Bert Milam. He was the first one in our family to be a member of the church of Christ. Back then, they called it “The Restoration Movement” which meant that there were many people from different churches who came together trying to unite Christians and restore the church to the way it was in the first century. He converted my Aunt Billie, and then she converted my mother and myself. He was an Englishman who married a Cherokee.
This picture isn’t very good, but it is Bert Milam again and Tennessee Indiana Burch Milam, my great grandparents. There is quite an interesting story about how she got her name. When I was in high school, she was a widow living next door to my grandmother, and I used to go and visit with her and listen to all her stories about her life. They were very interesting.

This is the story of how Tennessee Indiana Burch Milam got her name. My fourth cousin told me this story. Her parents were living on the east coast. They were Cherokees. The white men burned their house down because they wanted their land, and her parents went running into Tennessee, and then up into Indiana. In the meantime, the Trail of Tears happened which was when they marched all the Cherokees from the east coast to Indian Territory which is what Oklahoma was called back then, in the dead of winter. Many Cherokees died along the way because it was just too cold and the walk was just too long. My great- great grandparents heard the Cherokees were in Indian Territory, so they joined them. My great-great grandmother was pregnant, and when they got to Indian Territory, the baby was born. They called the baby Tennessee Indiana so they could remember where they had been. My fourth cousin who told me this story called my great grandmother Aunt Tenney.

This is Benjamin Franklin Parker and Minnie Parker. I am not sure who is in the middle. Benjamin Franklin Parker and Minnie Parker were my great grandparents, but I never met either of them. Minnie Parker’s mother is the one who took the Run into Oklahoma. .

Mary Flowers is my great-great grandmother. She took the Run into Oklahoma. She was in all the newspapers because she came in by herself with five kids. The Run is when they lined up along the border, and at a certain time, they let everyone come in and join the Indians who were already in Oklahoma. The American government was giving away free land, and many people took advantage of it. There have been recent movies made about people who came in the Run into Oklahoma. My grandfather insisted that Mary Flowers was related to Quanah Parker, the Comanche Indian chief who was half white and half Comanche and signed the treaty with President Roosevelt to bring the Comanche people into Indian Territory, Oklahoma. When my daughter tried to research her in the archives, no one really knew where she came from, and the lady working there said that Mary Flowers was researched more than anyone else in the data base. She is an enigma to many people, but my grandpa was convinced he knew where she came from.

Where we went wasn’t that long of a drive. We visited a lot, ate good food, and drove back to Oklahoma City with no problem.

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