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The Spiker Gazette
 
Oxford, WV Volume  11 Issue  6 June 2017
In this Issue: Spiker Family Website Celebrates 10th Birthday !!!
The 2017 Spiker Family Reunion
Announcements

 

Spiker Family Website Celebrates 10th Birthday ! ! !

Written by:  Bobbi Spiker-Conley

     As some would say, "It kinda sneaks up on ya, don't it?" Ten years ago I was registering a domain name, searching for a web host, and trying to figure out how to design a web site despite having no coding experience. My goal in building this site was to create a place where our family could easily get together in one location, similar to the way we do at the annual reunions (but more frequently and without the long drive.) Since the reunions are held at the Spiker Farm, it made sense to build the site's navigational structure on this familiar foundation -- you can "stroll from room to room" in our home and "venture out to the garden." What is the first thing a guest should do when arriving at our home? Grab the latest publication of the Spiker Family Gazette from the Newspaper Box, of course.

     Unfortunately, the newspaper sometimes gets damp and faded after being left in the box for so long. I'm sorry about that. My crazy schedule, my inability to focus (...Squirrel...) and my occasional desire to procrastinate are just some of the reasons for the delays in publishing the Gazette on time. Or every month. Or quarter. But when we are finally able to put it to bed, we get some really interesting stories.     

   In honor of our TEN years, here is a list of TEN newsletter editions (before our home site renovations in 2015) that generated the most feedback from our readers:

  1. July 2007 -- Dean Spiker, Cathy Gregis and Melanie Fouse went "grave hunting" at 16 different cemeteries in two days. They recorded the locations of family graves and took rubbings and digital photographs of the tombstones.
     
  2. October 2007 -- Melinda Chambers shared the "story behind the story" of her published children's books.
     
  3. September 2008 -- Grandmother Gay Spiker's personal diary was transcribed.
     
  4. November 2008 -- Neighbor Mary Lucille DeBerry reminisced about how important education had been to the families living near the Spiker farm.
     
  5. February 2009 -- We explored some surprising connections among family and neighbors including Brad Spiker, Barr Wilson, John M. DeBrular, Port Debrular, Geneva Haught, Gay Spiker, Orville & Gerry Bonnell, Mary Grace Maxwell, Ed Haught, and Sue Ann Maxwell Spiker.
     
  6. October 2009 -- Mark and Marilyn Spiker restored the antique Spiker Family Buggy.
     
  7. November 2009 -- The South Fork Baptist Church's "Rules of Decorum" offered some amusement and much enlightenment. 
     
  8. December 2009 -- Aunt Ann and Aunt Boots described what Christmas was like at the Spiker home when they were children.
     
  9. March 2010 -- Preparing for "Census Day" reminded us of the unusual way cousin Burns Harlan's ancestors were named.
  10. July-December 2013 -- Mike Spiker reveals the establishment of the South Fork Cemetery Association and Uncle Paul Miller's generous contribution to the fund.

     To read more, visit our Newsletter Archives.

 
 

The 2017 Spiker Family Reunion

     It's one of those annual traditions that we look forward to with a mix of excitement and anxiety -- the family reunion group photo. For as long as most of us remember, cousin Mike has been leading the charge, rounding up the clan, lining up the multiple cameras, and scolding (if not threatening) those that try to hide or those that are lured away by activities that seem more fun. 

     In response, parents haul their over-heated and over-stimulated children to the front yard, promising them that this "won't take long." Soon the air is filled with multiple orders to "Say 'cheese'," interrupted by "This grass is itching my leg," and "Her hair is touching me!" And let's not forget the occasional pinch from Mom as she gives you THAT LOOK which says, "Sit still." 

     Each year it is "wash, rinse, repeat" as we welcome more children and later, grandchildren into the picture. We still struggle to get everyone in position. We still take multiple shots. We still have people missing from the pics. We still have that one person that defies our every attempt to get the perfect photo. You know who I mean...the one whose face is blocked by someone else, or the one with the opened mouth and closed eyes. Or in the case of this year's photo, the one determinedly asserting his independence and refusal to conform. (Yep, that's MY grandson.)

     I'm not sure who has it harder -- the parent or the grandparent -- but I'm guessing Mike Spiker now has an opinion on that. You see, although Mike is one of the eldest in our generation of cousins, he is the last of us to become a first-time grandparent. Here he is holding granddaughter Grace for her first-ever reunion photo (seated in center.) How adorable!!!

     Now check out the next picture.

     It appears the session may have lasted a little too long in baby Grace's opinion and she was announcing HER refusal to conform. She made it abundantly clear that Grandpa Mike will no longer be able to simply plop down on a spot of grass, stretch out his long legs, straighten his "yellow shirt," and passively wait for everyone else to join "the fun." Welcome, Mike, to the "Grandparents' (Drama) Club."

     I'm guessing from the "knowing" grins on his cousins' faces that they agree, "It's about time."        


 

♦  Submitted by Haley Conley Cloughessy -- 2017 Reunion Fishing Contest Winners:

 

          Biggest Fish:  Ella Chambers

          Smallest Fish: Greyson Cloughessy (pictured with Drew Spiker)

          Most Fish:  Tied Kate Spiker and Slate Swiger

 


♦  Submitted by Haley Conley Cloughessy --  Here are a couple items that were donated to the 2017 auction. We raised $942.75. 

     
Brada Stotts won this framed print of the South Fork
Church that was photographed by Sarah.
  Kari Duda created this string-art piece of the farm
from another photograph taken by Sarah.

 

Announcements


 

♦  Submitted by Barbara Stroud-Thrush -- This is definitely going to be the year to remember for Cole Grett and Kylie Tait...they are getting married in December and they just closed on their first home!