Upon arrival everyone was given a nametag as they signed the roster. As the myriad of picnic fare was placed on the buffet, all could see that we could see that we were in for another delicious meal prepared by the Lay-Hall clan.
The display of scrapbooks and other memorabilia provided many interesting and pleasant topics of conversation for the adults as they reminisced over the past. The children enjoyed playing games of badminton, croquet, horseshoes and football while waiting for the dinner bell.
President Don Castiglioni gave the official wecome. In the absence of the Reverend William hall Andrews, Russell Earnest asked the blessing. All realized the anticipation of a wonderful meal as we continued with food and more fellowship. Once all were sufficiently fed, the traditional group photos were taken.
Everyone gathered around as President Don Castiglioni called the meeting to order. Secretary, Carolyn Lee Lay read the minutes of the 74th Lay-hall reunion. Special guests Suzanne Trundle Felts, daughter of Frank Trundle who was the nephew of Aunt Tea Cake and Jackie brown, friend of Laura Lay French were welcomed. A moment of silence was observed in honor of the passing of David Dellinger Sr., and long time family friend, Paul Campbell.
Recognition was given to Kay Lay earnest, Lois Lay Castiglioni, Ed Lay and Jim Lay who were present at the very first reunion in 1937. Lois lay Castiglioni from Galveston, Texas had traveled the farthest. Kay Lay Earnest was the oldest present at age 86. Chandler Godsey, son of Kevin and Darlene Godsey, brought to the reunion by his grandparents, Darryl and Suzanne Smith, was the youngest present at the age of six months.
Next on the agenda was the election of officers for 2013. Vice Preident, Andrea Hall Huffman will serve as President for next year. Other officers nominated and elected by acclamation were Vice President Ellen McNeel, Secretary Carolyn L. lay, Treasurer Abbott Hall, Scrapbook Kay Earnest and Arrangements Jim Lay.
Kay Earnest announced the start of a new filing system for books and articles written by family members. Jim Lay read a letter from Ryland Swain expressing that we consider changing the date of the reunion again. After some discussion all voted to keep the date on the third Sunday in May.
Next, Eleanor Swain All presented a program about Mary Telitha Kinman Hall and life during the Civil War. A story entitled, Blunder Buss I, was read by marilyn Hall (Cookie) Carter. Other stories told of the different names of Calhoun, Granny Hall’s riding the first train from Calhoun to Chattanooga, her meeting the Evangelist, Billy Sunday and telling him that he was a pretty good preacher to be a “damn yankee.” Eleanor emphasized the strength of the women in the family. She said that Granny Hall was very forward thinking and said that she would be President if she had been born a man.
Jim Lay and Bill All four songs then led us in singing from the Civil War period. These included “Dixieland” which was the southern anthem when Jefferson Davis was President of the Confederacy and was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln.
Reports from families included news of being cancer free for 19 years, honors received by grandchildren, surgeries, the climbing of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, the birth of a first grandchild and a stirring tribute given by David Dellinger Jr. in Honor of the passing of his father, David Dellinger Sr.
Once again the reunion was a great success as we ended with the traditional singing of “Bless be the Tie.” Those in attendance were the following: Bill and Eleanor All, Joseph, Martha, Jonathan and David Blanchard, Jackie Brown, Marilyn Hall Carter, Lois Lay Castiglioni, Don, Elizabeth, Olivia and Natalie Castiglioni, David Dellinger Jr., Mary Dellinger, Kay Lay Earnest, Russell and Alicia Earnest, Pam Earnest, Emily Earnest, Earnie Earnest, Suzanne Trundle Felts, Laura and Collin French, Abbot Hall, Andrea Hall Huffman, Finley and Susan Johnson, Ed and Vicky Lay, Charlie, Caitlin, Lauren and Ryan Lay, Andy, Becca and A.J. Lay, Kenman and Carolyn Lay, Patrick, Turner and Jared Lay, Jim Lay, Robert Lay, Gary and Rebecca Owen and Olivia Anabel Hall, Justin, Kristin and Everett Owen, Annelle Shope, Darryl and Suzanne Smith and Chandler Godsey, John, Heather and William Wolgemuth.