The descendants of Joseph Marion Bracewell started their annual reunion back in 1937. Family traveled many miles by wagon to their church grounds in the small town of Bedias, Texas . It would be 1915 before the first automobile would make this journey. Maybe it was the lawyer in the family, or they knew the importance of what they were doing. Each year they keep minutes of the reunion program, electing officials to organize and run the event, and researching their genealogy. The importance of genealogy is seen in the 1939 minutes: "The Family Tree was presented in a most clever manner by Reginald Bracewell. His interest and work in getting the needed information is deeply appreciated."
Yearly attendance was expected. If someone was absent it was assumed they were very sick. This is shown in 1940 minutes "Motion made and carried that a telegram be sent to Windor Bracewell expressing regrets of his absence due to illness." As a young boy the third weekend in June was time to drop everything and head to grandpas for the reunion. I did not know who the people were or why they would tell stories about the past, all I cared about was who is going to stand up and say the blessing. This was the kids cue to quietly sneak in line for lunch. After all who could resist a 20 foot long pot-luck buffet?
Our reunion continues to this day and genealogy is still a large portion of our reunion. The Original Church is no longer standing. Through family donations we have built a Pavilion in its place. The grounds do not have running water or electricity. Everyone sits is lawn chairs and brings their favorite pot luck dish for lunch. Presidents are elected by acclamation and may serve several terms. Over the year's attendance has gone up and down, technology has improved, but we still hold our reunion were it all began 71 years ago.