Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Family Reunion 2014.....Picture Heavy

I forgot I hadn't blogged about the Family Reunion I went to back in September.
But then I remembered so, Oh!, you lucky sure and pay attention and maybe take notes, as there WILL be a quiz!

On the way down on I-81, we stopped outside of Harrisonburg, VA for lunch at the Bar-B-Q Ranch.

Hey!  Any place with an Iced Tea flag can't be all bad, right?

Posing by the door with the Pig Chef.

"Good Food....Quick Service"?  Not so much with the Quick Service on our visit.  Our waitress was about 90 years old and I think she was napping in the kitchen.

Ah, pig love......

The back wall of the dining room had massive showcases with every pig collectible known to man, and a few not none to

Our lunch finally arrived.
Pork 'cue with slaw, iced tea on the side.

I shared this piggy mural on FB a couple of months ago.
Words fail me now as they did then.......

This place also had an old fashioned drive-in car hop component on the side of the building, though I don't think they skated out in this day and age.

A stained glass of their logo in the front window of the kitchen......

We got into our motel after dark and after settling in and all I called my brother.  He wasn't staying at the motel this year as he arranged to stay in one of the bedrooms at Roxabel.  Lucky him!

He didn't want to come out to dinner and we didn't want to be wandering around the county in the dark trying to find the house to go have dinner at Roxabel with him, so Hubs and I wandered barely a mile down the road from the motel to this place......

Badeaux's Cajun Kitchen

Imagine finding Cajun cuisine in rural Central Virginia!
I got fried oysters with a Cajun batter.
But the best thing I had there was this order of Spinach Rangoon's I split with Hubs......

They were really good!

Then I noticed the "table d├ęcor".......

As we ate our meal the place started filling up with folks who didn't order food but just drinks.  We thought it was strange until we noticed there was a bar in the next room.

Then we figured out that we had arrived on KARAOKE Night and they evidently used the dining room for that purpose on Friday nights.

We paid the bill and got out of there just in the nick of time.  As we left the building the group who staged the Karaoke was coming in with speakers and mikes.
They told us to stay as we were just in time for karaoke.
Nope, we were just in time to AVOID karaoke night! lolz

Back to the room and bedtime after a little tv.

The next morning we grabbed some Country Ham biscuits from the motel's restaurant to eat in the room. 
Then we started the journey over to Roxabel for the reunion.

In town we passed the house where my Great Grandmother lived until her death in 1974.
This is a bed & breakfast now.

After making one wrong turn we found the entrance......

A couple of miles into the property we came to the cedar tree lined driveway......

 Back when I was a small child these expanses of grass beyond the trees was all woods.

And finally the house, Roxabel.

We parked around back by the barn and attempted to "mingle".

Here's Hubs and my brother.

Mingling isn't very easy here.  Since I haven't been around these folks since I was about 8 years old mostly.  Nobody really will come up to you and introduce themselves and after trying to introduce myself to some of them a few times I gave up. lol

Here are some random candid shots I took.....

The guy above is my mother's cousin Dean, my 1st cousin 1x removed(son of Clarence Vassar), the woman on the right is Carl Vassar's daughter, Janet(also my 1st cousin 1x removed)

The guy 4th from the left is Gary Walker(Lula Vassar Walker's son)also a 1st cousin 1x removed.

That's Gary again(he is one of the organizers of this shindig.  His daughter has the camera on the balcony and is about to take the group shot for the year.

I went upstairs on the balcony and took some more photos......

Hubs is at the bottom of this shot......

Some young cousins mugging for the camera.....

My brother working on lunch.....

Then I went out front and asked Hubs to take my picture in front of the house.
Pretty soon a bunch of my youngest cousins gathered and wanted him to take their pictures too.


I tried to ask them who they were, who their parents where so I could figure out which of my grandmother's siblings we were related through but that didn't get me anywhere.
Then a few of them started telling me about the "ghost" that lives here.  Yes, they claim to have seen a ghost.  One of them led me into the house to this photo of the "ghost".....

There is a small door on the wall near this fireplace mantle and they said they saw him disappear into that door.

I told them that's no ghost.....that's my 2x great grandfather(don't know how many times great for these kids)and I was going to go visit Jack where he is buried later that day.
Their eyes got wide and now they think I know a ghost. lolz

Hubs about to eat.....he'd been waiting for this all morning. lol

My brother and his wife always bring ribs.  Sis in-law didn't come this year but brother brought the ribs anyway and saved me one.

My plate.....a little taste of lots of things.

After lunch it was time for dancing and the entertainment.


This a video I shot of cousin Dean and Steve jamming.

Hilda, mom's cousin, is the sister of Steve's father, Ray Foster Jr. which makes them cousins.  I am related to both Hilda and Steve on both sides of their families-through Ray Jr. and Hilda's mom, Rosabel who was a Vassar sibling to my grandmother, and through Ray and Hilda's granddad/dad respectively, Ray Foster, Sr. who was also the brother of my 2x great grandmother Lou Foster, my grandmother's mother's mother.  I think Steve is my 3rd cousin 1x removed....or not. lolz
See, didn't I tell you this is very complicated?

The lady on the left is my cousin Debbie(1st cousin 1x removed)....daughter of my grandmother's younger sister.....Gary's sister.

Barry Vassar(in the light cap,  the last of the 12 Vassar siblings-my grandmother's baby brother) cutting a rug with his lady friend.  The gentleman on the left in the black hat, Carl, I believe is the husband of LaVerne another 1st cousin 1x removed(daughter of one of my grandmother's other sisters, Doris Vassar Trent). Vernie died back in 2003.

This is my mom's cousin Hilda Foster Jones Sledd(also my 1st cousin 1x removed)dancing with LaVerne's husband Carl.
Hilda and my mom were pretty close growing up. 

Later on some of the young folks got up a softball game.....

This is a painting someone did of Roxabel....

Here's a photo of the office.....

The man who built this house, Hunter Holmes Marshall, was a lawyer by trade.  This was his "lawyerin' office" on the plantation.
My great grandparents rented this building out to a doctor for his office at some point.  It dates from the 1830's.

More shots of folks sitting around talking....

 That's Hilda again in the clue who the rest are. lolz

Soon it was time to leave.
We bid goodbye to everyone and headed to Drakes Branch, VA.  That's where my 2 x Great Grands are buried.....

 John Alfred Vassar....

 Rosa Belle Snead Vassar.
That's my Snead connection to you Sonya Ann. 8-)

Here they are in a portrait from around 1910 or so.

I found a steal of a house in Drakes Branch right across from the cemetery......

Here's downtown Drakes Branch.....

 You know, I could never live in this town, since they closed down the only liquor store here a couple years ago....lolz

This nice old brick house for sale was spotted on the way out of town....

And here is a building I remember fondly from my childhood.....just outside of Drakes Branch VA....

This use to be "Jimmy's Market" back in the 1960's.
It was Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Becky's grocery store. 
I just figured out how Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Becky were last mother's paternal grandmother, Jennie Vie Tucker Harper, had a brother, Thomas Randolph Tucker.  Becky was Tommy's daughter, so Becky is my mother's 1st cousin 1x removed(Becky was straight 1st cousins with my grandfather Harper).  Becky is my 1st cousin 2x removed.  I found out later that night that Becky had died that Spring. 8-(

My Great Uncle also worked as the butcher in this grocery store.  I called him Uncle "Tunk", he was my mom's father(grandfather's)younger brother.  He had a bad accident in a sawmill when young and walked with a limp his whole life.  His nickname was "Dot" with his family.....I don't know why I called him Tunk though.  He let me help him in the meat department at the grocery store.  I remember I burned my hand on the heating thing that shrink wraps the cellophane to the meat trays. He said don't ever touch I did.  Hey, I was about 6 or 7 years old then and not too bright. lol
He never married and died in 1969 when I was 10 years old.

So we were off back to Charlotte Court House.....

One of the last remaining buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson still around today.....Charlotte Court House in Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia was built in 1823.  At the time of the "War of Northern Aggression" this town was called Smithfield.  This town has had many names over the years.....The Magazine, Daltonburgh, Marysville, Smithfield, Charlotte Courthouse and then in 1989 Charlotte Courthouse became Charlotte Court House.

Here's a sign to commemorate the Patrick Henry/John Randolph Debate.   Patrick Henry also gave his famous "Give Me Liberty" speech here 2 days before he delivered it in Richmond.

This is the tree where the Henry/Randolph debate took place.  That brick building clad in siding on top were lawyerin' offices across from the courthouse.  It was a store back in the 1960's when I'd walked there from my great grandmother's house down the road a piece to buy candy.

These cute basset hounds were in a truck pulling out of the post office parking lot where I was standing to take these photos.

And just in case the Yankees ever come back, Charlotte Court House is ready......

We went back to the motel in Keysville and rested a bit before heading back out to meet up with my brother and some cousins on mom's dad's side of the family......

Me, Cousins Ruby and Donnie and my brother.  Ruby is my mom's 1st cousin so my 1st cousin 1x removed.  Ruby's mom and my grandfather were siblings.

It was a real nice visit over dinner but we had to get back to the motel to rest before leaving early in the a.m.

The ride home was nice and peaceful as we wound our way down small roads and even smaller towns.....

Crossing the James River.
It was local political season in VA.  I thought this sign was a bit of "truth in advertising" as most politicians HURT us so why not HURT them back......lolz

These are houses we passed near Fork Union, VA that were for sale.....

I meant to look these properties up later to see how much they are asking for them but I never did.

I wouldn't mind living in this one.

We got off the interstate for gas and to buy a Sunday newspaper or two and decided to eat lunch at this place.....some apple themed tourist trap off the interstate I can't even remember the name of.
Googled is HERE.
Supposedly they are known for their apple donuts.....I would add long lines out the door.

It was a sea of humans, wall to wall cars in the parking lot.  We left.

We instead stopped at a BBQ place in Stephens City, Va(outside Winchester).


Good 'cue.  Nice portions, low prices.

LOVE their motto printed on the bottom of the receipt......hehehe

If we ever are in this area again, we'll be back!

Now that's the way to begin AND end a trip.....with hog!



  1. OMG, that plate of food (with the chicken, baked beans, and mac and cheese) looks so good. Is that corn pudding? My specialty.

    1. I "think" it was corn pudding....heavy on the corn, not so much the pudding.
      You need to share your recipe now!


    3. As the commenters on the recipe mentioned, it should be baked in a flat casserole dish OR baked for longer than indicated. I just bake it till it's really good and browned, but not burned. The last thing I like is runny anything.

  2. It looks like a great trip, loved the pig mural almost as much the second time around.

    1. The pig mural was a bonus! lolz
      Words still fail me......

    2. Next year, you won't have to mingle. You developed a ghost mob who will will be a following from now on. In a year they will have told everyone about who. So, even the older crew and the parents of the young parents of these children will come to you, most likely. Maybe all will be in the mingle mood. Go with stories about the ghost. If he is related to them, they would love to know how. Is this great grandfather? What did he do for a living? Kids will be your ally from now on!

    3. I don't think you will be leading a band of children like I made it sound. They influence parents and the kids will also grow up and remember you as one cool old lady. They will look you up.

  3. Why, dahlin', I done been all over that neck of the woods! And y'all weren't too fah from me!

    Looks like a wonderful time, I'm sure it was a lot of fun.

    Peace <3

  4. I had an uncle Ray Foster. Sadly he has passed away.

    It sounds like you had a lot of fun, except for the non-introducing people at the reunion.

    Any trip that starts and ends with pork BBQ sounds like a good one.


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