The predicted thunderstorms held off until evening and the people just kept coming --- so the Lucas County Historical Society Museum campus was about as fully utilized on Saturday as it gets. Which was great, and it should happen more often --- or at least until the staff and volunteers play out and have to be carried away.
But there was plenty of help this weekend --- the Roberts-Rose family organized their own reunion in the Pioneer Barn and Master Gardeners & Friends handled the garden tour. So all Kathleen and crew had to do was be available for those who wanted to tour the museum buildings, too.
It should be pointed out, however, that Kay and Jim, LCHS board members, and their volunteer grounds crew, after working hard to make sure everything looked good, were on hand to lead garden tours and help serve cookies and lemonade, too.
I went home after morning patrol to start cutting my own grass, so didn't get around to crashing the Roberts-Rose reunion (top) until about 1:30 p.m. By that time, dinner was over and about half of the 50 or so family members from around Iowa and at least three other states --- Kansas, Ohio and Arizona --- had scattered onto the patio or into other museum buildings.
The oldest family member present was Dorothy Nagle Roberts, age 92, on the right. That's Bill Cox in the middle, with dog. The last time I recall seeing Bill was many years ago when, as one of the older kids, he climbed onto the school bus southeast of Russell. His sisters, Virginia and Bonnie, are principal organizers of the reunion.
After-dinner music was provided by brothers Chris (left) and Fred Horn on guitar and their cousin, Craig Wright, on hammered dulcimer. I took the second picture when the Horn boys' mother, Wanda, passed by in the background and agreed to pose. Although Chris and Fred live elsewhere, they are Russell natives, born when their dad, the late Rev. Charles Horn, was pastor of First Baptist Church. Wanda (Fry) Horn, also a Russell native, moved back to Lucas County a couple of years ago after living in something like 26 other places as a pastor's wife.
The museum was the final stop of five on the garden tour sponsored by Master Gardeners & Friends, so that procession of people began arriving as the reunion started to wind down.
Volunteers served cookies and lemonade on the front porch of the Stephens House, also equipped with plenty of chairs for those who wanted to sit down and enjoy the breeze for a while. The front-porch planters were the work of the Rev. Sara Speer Palmer, retired long-time pastor of Lucas and Chariton Presbyterian churches.
After refreshments, the garden tourists moved on around the house to admire flower beds and the herb garden, then to the patio and down the hill to the heirloom garden, where chief vegetable gardener Jim Secor was on hand to talk about what was growing there.
I went home about 3:30 p.m. to continue work on the lawn --- and almost made it before the skies opened. Then, as has happened before, there I was like an idiot in pouring rain with lightning flashing all around at the dump offloading grass clippings.