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Thursday December 5, 1997

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

Schell City, Gathering of the clans

Someone estimated there were 51 people. Others said, no, it
was closer to 100. And it doesn't really matter how many there were. The
only thing that matters is they were there in Schell City next to the
Schell-Osage Wildlife Area, in Vernon County, Missouri, on Thanksgiving
1997. Adult Browns, Joneses, Currys, Fettys laughed and talked inside
the Schell City Community Center. Outside the kids ran and hollered and
generally were boisterous. Me, I was asleep in the car only to be
awakened when brother Terry picked it up and dropped it a couple of
times. Terry does things like that. He might have scared someone who
didn't know him. But he said he was certain it was me because of the
Texas plates.

The center, right across from the bank and 50 feet in front of the
gazebo where the band plays when the town holds its annual Summer
festival, had been set aside for this gathering of the clans. Some came
from Missouri; some, from Kansas; others, from Oklahoma; a few from a
lot farther. Us, we were a day and a half, more or less, by Chevrolet,
from the sandhills of Monahans, Tex. In Schell City, It was cloudy and gray and the air outside was wet. Inside the tables bowed with the weight of the food. We are talking tons here. There were a whole bunch of
turkeys, smoked and regular. There were candied sweet potatoes and sweet
potato pie with marshmallow (home made none of your store bought stuff
for the clans). There were vegetables from gardens - green beans and
what tasted like new potatoes but they couldn't have been. There were
real cranberries and some more turkey. There were scalloped potatoes and
a veritable cornucopia of the fruits of the harvest. Over at the right
were another few tons of desserts - pumpkin pie and pecan pie,
blackberry cobbler and banana nut bread, heavenly cakes and even some
brownies. All this was coordinated and ramrodded by Cheryl. The
strawboss was Jonna. Mamma said Grace. Everybody said amen and started
to eat. I figure everybody ate for three or four hours. I do know I
gained two inches in the waist. Jonna, Cheryl, Jess, Judy and a whole
host of other volunteers cleaned up the mess.

Outside it was damp but considering what it can be in Vernon County
Missouri in November (blizzard, wind, plunging temperatures), the
weather was mild. Inside it was warm and a tape of The Lion King was
playing on one television set where each of the younger kids sat
entranced, watching the film for maybe the thousandth time. My fun came
with seeing the kids and the grandkids and talking with them. Jess and
Cheryl let us watch the cellaigh dancing tapes. Todd sent us back with
some venison. Cheryl and Jonna made Christmas wreaths.

Generally speaking we had a most excellent Thanksgiving holiday and we
avoided being snowed in until Spring which was a very real possibility
any November in Missouri. The only bad weather we had came at Enid,
Okla., on the return trip when the wet air froze and we pulled into a
motel to wait out the chill.

Coming west on Highway 60 the next day (Sunday) out of Seiling, Okla.,
the clouds in the west parted and flashing blue sky appeared. The sun's
rays flashed through. Sunlight and blue sky crowned Texas over there in
the West. It may well have been wet and generally uncomfortable
meterologically over the rest of the world this Thanksgiving but the sun
still shined in Texas.

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