Sunday, August 10, 2008


Mostly about Phil...

Photo taken at the 50th Anniversary picnic
for Duane & Darlene Brown--August, 1996
in & around the favorite climbing tree!

Cousins! We have become quite an extension of the Fulkerson Family Tree. Who would ever have thought that the marriage of our grandparents,Charles & Exie, way back in October, 1911, would have resulted in so many branches of the family tree. The roots run deep!

Grandma & Grandpa Fulkerson with the first batch of cousins...
baby Steve, Sheila, Luana, Hazel Dean

Philip, Cherie, & Russell
-about 1952-

As a family, we have always enjoyed our cousin relationship. My parents were the ones that remained in the hometown where Grandma lived until 1966. So, when it was summer time, Christmas time, or just time for a visit, we were always excited that aunts, uncles and cousins would be coming to stay with us.

I remember the uncles coming in the winter time to go hunting, and later in the early spring to gather in our hometown, leaving the aunts & cousins, and heading to southern Missouri for fishing trips.

Summer would mean that at least some of them would be coming to Hallsville for vacation time. We would always have a barbeque, family dinners, with lots of time for visiting. Dad would drag out the old White Mountain crank handled freezer & Mom would whip up a batch of delicious Boone County variety banana ice cream.

"The Forty Nine-er's"!-Cherie, Sheila & Lulu

Dean & Russ were the first, children of Aunt Thelma. Then came Philip only 18 months after Russell, the
son of Aunt Paulene. Then there was a long stretch without any new family births for 7 years. The year of 1949 was a "boomer" year as I was born in March, Luana in October-Aunt Paulene's daughter--and cousin Cherie in November, the only child of Unce Millard. Then my brother Steve came along. Uncle Jim's 3 children were next...Sandy, Craig & Pam. Back to Mom with our sister Carol...and once again Uncle Jim's turn with Kim. That rounded out our branch of first cousins. And I won't even go into the second and thirds!

But that was all a long time ago and things are changing in our families. We cousins are aging---at least the first batch of us are!--and things are beginning to happen to us physically. Earlier this year we lost our first "first"cousin and it sort of hit me in the face to realize that none of our days are guaranteed. Craig left this world unexpectedly, laying down for a nap, when something went wrong and his life sadly slipped away from us. He was only 49.

Philip a little boy growing up in Moberly, Missouri

Previous to this, two of our second cousins were tragically taken away. One in a storm related accident and another in a car wreck. Both were too young to die.

Luana & Phil...ready to trapse through the tombstones!

Now Philip is seriously ill. If you saw him face to face, he would tell you that cigarettes have ruined his health. He is only 66 years old, but has the body of an old man. He has to gasp for his breath and weighs way too little for a man of his age. Just this week, after spending several days in a hospital, he has been moved to a nursing home with the hopes of being able to regain enough strenght to return to his beloved apartment.

Grandma's Hoosier Cabinet

that Phil rescued & refinished!

Phil is our family historian. If you could see his home, you would see the walls lined with photographs of ancestors from both sides of his family. Years ago he was able to purchase our grandmother's old Hoosier cabinet and has filled it with antiques. He has collected butter churns, butter molds, and oil lanterns. He has copies of genealogy records that he actually researched at the courthouses. Phil can go on and on with stories of family members we never even met.

Phil's "Wall of Fame"

I'm hoping that the next few weeks or months bring in improvement in Phil's health & he will be able to return home. He is homesick already. Phil was raised in a Holiness preacher's home and knows about the things of God. Somehow through the years, he never felt that God spoke to him. Hopefully now, he can realize that God does care for him and he will willingly give his heart to our Heavenly Father. He has a rich heritage in Heaven & we don't want to see him miss it.

Only Aunt Thelma is left of all of the parents of "the cousins", she being almost 96 years old & in a nursing home herself. So we no longer get together very often as cousins. But that doesn't mean that the love for one another is any less. You know how thick that Missouri blood runs!

More cousin stories to come...


Karen Walden said...

You sure do have cousins by the dozens... It is fun to read your memories about the good ole' family days.

I have some great memories with my cousins, Debbie and Paula too! :)

Sheila said...

Memories like your "Beech Bend" experience...Lu hitting Debbie on the head with the hair brush...camping with them...Debbie telling silly jokes? You could do a cousin blog yourself! :)

Carol said...

I guess we do have cousins by the dozens! Funny how I have completely different memories of them.
Can you believe how much most of us have changed in the past 12 year???

Sheila said...

We have changed a little, haven't we. At least you have! And I've spread out even more & now have "white" hair!'s strange how 15 1/2 years difference affects the memories! You probably have more memories of Jim & Barb's kids...& even Dean's! I'm just an oldie.