I just returned from a family reunion deep in the piney woods of South Mississippi. It was held a stone’s throw from the old home place of my great, great grandfather, Needham Lee. An itinerate Baptist minister, he traveled from church to church on horseback in the 1840s. His homestead still stands today, though a bit battered by Hurricane Katrina., and he and his children and grandchildren are buried in the front lawn.
I’m fascinated by my heritage, and I surveyed the room of “Lees” – whose linage we’ve traced to the 1100s in Jolly old England when we were the “Leas.” This tidbit was reported by my “Texas cousin” who noted it was discovered in his wife’s research work in the DRA. ( I think he meant DAR.)
We have blended nicely with other families to develop an interesting palate of hair colors, a lively amalgamation of personalities and extremes of stature. But I detected an eerily similar nose on 75 percent of the attendees. I guess you could call it the Lee nose – not too big, not too small, just about right.
I learned that my great grandfather, Jasper Lee, fought in the battle of Vicksburg as a Confederate soldier. Until his death he could not celebrate the Fourth of July because it was also the date of the fall of Vicksburg.
I learned that my grandparents, Sam and Katie Lee, were double first cousins which probably explains my problems, but best of all I learned that I was lucky enough to be born into a pretty nice family.
They didn’t even care that as secretary-treasurer of the clan, I couldn’t balance the financial statement from the last reunion. I had $40 extra that had no explanation and was counting heavily on being fired from the thankless job.
I was re-elected to another two-year term. Maybe next time I should pocket the $40 and get my pink slip!