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1936 May Family Reunion
The exact year isn't known.
It may have been after Reuben Thomas May died in February 1937.

We are fortunate to have photos and a report of this summer reunion from
Edna A. May, who was 20 years old in the summer of 1936.

See photos of their 1931 reunion.

Home of Reuben Thomas May,
where he lived from about 1917 until 1937.

Photos courtesy of Eldon J. May & Emilee Clevinger Jones

Quotes from Edna May Clevinger's memories of the second reunion.
(Edna added notes in parentheses)
[notes added in brackets to help clarify the story]

At the Second reunion John Thomas, Uncle Dave and Aunt Marie's son, and I had our pictures taken on the rocks where we went up the hill back of the house. Also Aunt Matilda and her niece had their picture taken on the same rock. John and I had our pictures taken on a rock at the foot of the hill going down to the river on the left of the rocks on the hill. There was a lane leading down to the river. The mountain was on the right hand of the lane and the river ran on the left about 50 feet from lane. The swing bridge was very long across Blain Creek. The Creek was 99 miles long and required 100 miles to be called a river, so it was called Little Blain. [This is a myth which is repeated about a number of creeks in Eastern Kentucky, including Johns Creek which flows through Pike and Floyd Counties].

If I remember correctly, the swing bridge went into the trees a long way on each side of the creek. John and I had pictures taken on the bridge on our way facing Uncle Tom's side towards R.T. May's old home place. I also have a picture of Aunt Lucille and some of us on the bridge. [Edna's uncle, Tom May (b. 1905), was R.T. May's youngest child. He was married to Lucille Muncy (b. 1908), so they were only a few years older than Edna (b. 1915).]

Edna May and first cousin, John Thomas May

The picture of the table was in the front yard. [Not shown]. I was walking toward the house, the creek was across a big bottom at my back. The walk led toward the lane leading to the swing bridge and cheek where the picture of John and I was taken. The table was for cakes, pies and other desserts. The food table was usually placed on the end of this table toward the lane and bridge. The group picture was taken just beyond the dessert and food tables. [A group photo wasn't provided for this reunion. This may be a reference to the group picture at the 1931 reunion.]

The house has two stories with three large bedrooms upstairs where they had shuck mattresses on the beds. These mattresses were made of corn shucks pup into bed ticking. There were three large rooms downstairs, a hall and an el-shaped back porch facing the cemetery and hill. The cliffs were on the hill toward the back and front side of the house - the upper right on the picture I have of the house. The hand-dug well was under the trees to the lower left of the pictures. The house had two large chimneys and large three-foot wide fireplaces in the two front rooms. It had a front porch and porch swing on the right side facing the house. Granddad owned hundreds of acres, big bottoms which led toward the creek which flowed by the front of the house circling around and down to the main road, where the mail boxes were located. Several people lived along the creek on large farms between R.T. May's and the main road, which we reached before we came to the town of Louisa. It was located north of town.

The Mays and others that were buried on the hill cemetery were moved somewhere around Big Blain. [The farm was flooded in a 2,300 acre lake behind the Yatesville Dam in 1988 and now is part of a Kentucky State Park.] We went to the May reunions several years. Moma only went to two. Mack Justice went one year. He, John, Minnie and I went for a boat ride that year. Aunt Mattie quarreled at us, afraid that we could have drowned. I remember that John said, ". . . and I've known people sitting on a park bench, sneeze and die."[NOTE: Mack Justice {1909-1965} was the child of Dulcie's sister, Laura, who drowned when he was an infant. He was reared by Crit and Dulcie from the time he was about a year old.]

[The following probably refers to the 1931 reunion, since Dulcie died in 1935..]
I remember that Moma [Dulcie Adkins May] would go upstairs and have us talk to her and make noise when the men were killing a lamb for cooking. They didn't have refrigerators then, so they killed the lamb the day before the big dinner. They hung the lamb in the large tree left of the well back of the house. They put some food in the well with buckets and rope [to keep it cool]. R.T. and Joanah [Edna's grandparents] invited the neighbors to the Sunday and Monday Labor day dinner.

Anyone with information of other May family reunions can contact me for assistance in having them placed on this site.

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© 2005 Fred T. May