Memorial Day weekend was the occasion of a momentous gathering of the Chambers’ tribe. We will try to capture the flavor and scope of this hugely successful event. Such a Herculean labor of love on the part of so many precludes giving appropriate thanks to all that deserve it, but in this posting we will try. We will inevitably miss important contributors, for that we apologize. A big ‘Thank You’ is owed to everyone that attended and worked to make it such a memorable celebration of the Chambers Clan.
Before we begin we must provide some important background information. Given that Bepaw’s company was the Harris Polk Hat Company, we felt it was fitting to commission a souvenir that tied into that history and also into a theme of Making Chambers Great Again. But a confession is appropriate up front. Sad. Our family classicist (belatedly) pointed out a grammatical error in our hat logo. The logo should have read “Deus Fortitudo Mea”. Instead we have the word “Meo” (as in “Hold the Meo”), which does not agree in gender with the female noun fortitudo. Horribile dictu! I’m certain that everyone noticed the error but charity precluded any critical comments for which I am very grateful. Anyhow here is the offending item:
Anticipating the inevitable weaseling from Iowa, the answer is: “No, despite this minor error, there will be no discounts nor refunds.” Indeed in the philatelic realm, errors such as this increase the value of the item. Hence management is contemplating raising the price of the hats accordingly. We will let you know the final decision about this shortly.
Thanks to Katherine Law and Bill Cromie we have lots of reunion photos to share. The Salters, Quicks and Dunns kicked off activities on Thursday May 25th with a visit to the family grave site at Calvary Cemetery followed by a visit to the chapel of the Pink Sisters for a prayer for our clan, especially those recently departed family members including Claiborne Pentland, Ray Salter, Bill Hollo and Ralph Kalish. They were sorely missed throughout the weekend. A luncheon at the City Garden featuring its many whimsical sculptures followed. On Saturday evening, May 27th, Bobby and Mary Dunn hosted a spare rib cook ‘in’ (owing to inclement weather) at the newly renovated Moone Athy farm house (hat tip – kitchen update thanks to the planning efforts of Jennie Quick, Susan Cromie, Eleanor Withers, Katherine Law and Helene Tatum). Danny Cromie once again stepped up to the plate to provide delightful vocal and instrumental entertainment for the clan’s enjoyment that evening. Flying Chinese Sky Lanterns were a special treat after dark. On Sunday sleep in was made possible thanks to Fr Gerard Garrigan of the St Louis Abbey who very kindly agreed to travel to the farm to say Mass midday. Captain Charlie Skinner noted how extraordinarily beautiful the ceremony was in our outdoor setting. Many thanks to Fr Gerard! Sarah Fehlig provided the Cantor’s duties with vocal and guitar accompaniment. Following lunch, many participated in a nature walk through the Jack Cromie trail. A late afternoon sing-along in the Quick room capped Sunday’s events featuring Sarah and Ed Fehlig’s recently donated Yamaha digital piano – thanks Sarah and Ed! We must note that numerous meals throughout the weekend were provided and prepared by Cynthia and Bill Cromie – many thanks to them both for these! Memorial Day itself centered on the clan’s Florissant roots. The day started with a trip to Cold Water Cemetery, considered to be the oldest Protestant Cemetery west of the Mississippi still in use, for a Memorial Day ceremony. We regrouped next at Taille de Noyer where we were hosted for a private tour of the historical family homestead by family relative Jean Hilmer. Here Alicia Salter and those of her generation shared their recollections of their time there as children. Finally we moved on to St Ferdinand’s Church where again we were given a wonderful tour of the shrine where St Rose Philippine Duchesne lived and taught as she founded the first convents of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States. Bill and Karen Skinner then treated the family to a delicious picnic lunch on the grounds of the shrine. Thus it was appropriate that we culminated the wonderful weekend on the stomping grounds where the family took its St Louis origins.
Weekend photographs starting with the visit to Calvary Cemetery:
A few snapshots from the Saturday night cook in:
Sunday May 28th. Mass at Moone Athy followed by baseball at Kalish Field and the Jack Cromie trail walk:
Memorial Day at Taille de Noyer and St Ferdinand’s shrine:
This last photo from Katherine Law pretty well sums up the Memorial Day Reunion – doesn’t get much better!
Let’s hope there’s another Making Chambers Great Again event in our future!
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