We raced along at 80-90 miles per hour in Elton Tuck's new red Buick - on our way to the first Bracewell Reunion in 1936. His mother, Emma, scared to death, begged him to slow down. As a kid almost 12 years old, I found it exciting! Emma's brother, Barto (eldest of Joseph Marion and Emiline Bracewell's children) had died earlier in 1936 and this first family get together was organized to remember and honor him.

All of Barto's siblings were there, with their families. There was worship in the old Mt. Pleasant Church Building, singing - yes "Sing the wondrous love of Jesus...." still our theme song. The long tables of food, aunts and uncles and cousins by the dozens, became precious memories for me.

Aunt Emma and Uncle Arthur Tuck were so gracious and helpful to my family of six when we were newcomers to Goose Creek (now Baytown) in 1935. I'll always be grateful to Aunt Emma for taking me to the 1936 Reunion.

The event continued, year after year. The next time I recall attending I had grown up, married, and hadd two children. It was the early 1960s. Uncle Roy Stone (who married my mother, Winnie's, younger sister Jessie Bracewell) preached the sermon that day. His text was the Bible verse: "therefore, brethren, present your bodies, a living sacrifice.......which is your reasonable service." Years later he was thrilled that I recalled his text. (Jessie and Roy Stone, many years later, donated $10,000 to the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Fund, and the same amount to the Baptist cemetery in Bedias.)

More years passed. Then in the 1980s my husband and I began to drive my parents, Carter and Winnie Bracewell Steed) to Bedias as they became too old to drive themselves. When I served as President I became involved in continuing Joe Taylor (and others) attempt to update the family tree, which by then had become huge. President Ron Perkins with his computer took over this attempt, which is today continued by Russell Bracewell. We are all indebted to Russell and his wife for the web site they have developed.

The Reunion has continued so long because many different people assumed leadership from year to year - from all branches of the family. The Bracewells have scattered all over the place. But again relatives will gather in Grimes County - where it all began with the arrival of J.M. And E. Bracewell in 1873.

My mother, Winnie (Barto's daughter) in 1985 wrote down many memories of the old times which I've put in a book and hope to publish (perhaps self-publish). If so, I'll let you know.

 

Mildred Schmidt
April 2008