I love get togethers. One of my very favorites is getting together with the children of the late John and Margret Braden. Except for one brother, Johnny, who is not able to make it, the rest of the"kids" and their families get together the same time each year. Bob, Connie and I are so happy that we are included as part of the family. This year one of the other cousins, Betty (Cathers) Jones and her husband Bil were there. ( John Braden was a brother to my Frank’s and Betty’s Mothers.) I have always admired the Braden family so much. John died when the youngest child was just a tiny baby. He was a victim of the terrible disease called Cancer. Margret raised her family by making drapes and sewing for people. She could make anything. She was a self taught seamstress. Her daughters dressed like they had been shopping at the Boston Store…the Dillards of that time.

Bob and Connie both feel like they are part of that family because they spent so much time at their house in the Burnsville Community. When Connie was little she wanted me to make her a "SHILLS GREEZE." I couldn’t understand what she was saying. Even after I had asked her about a dozen times what she was saying. She stomped her foot and said, "Shills Greeze" like Shirley (Braden) makes. When I asked her how Shirley made them she told me, "She puts butter on some bread, then puts cheese on the bread and puts it in a skillet." In other words a grilled cheese sandwich. We are still making shills greeze.

I will tell you one thing one will never leave the reunion hungry. I think all the girls are good cooks. Brother Bill does the grilling. I must say he really does a good job. Lots of experience I guess. There are lots of little ones running around. I’ve yet to figure out which child belongs to which grandmother. This year Betty brought pictures of past generations of Bradens. I had never seen a picture of Grandpa Braden before. Grandpa and Grandma Braden were immigrants from Germany. All their children were born in the United States. Grandpa Braden died a tragic death. He was plowing his field with his mule when something spooked the mule causing it to run dragging Grandpa with him. His grandson, Melvin, found him dead. See what I mean when I say how much I like family get togethers? You learn so much family history although

I knew about Grandpa and the mule but it was good to learn what other people knew. My family (Bolins) were supposed to have had our get together in May at the cabin on Beaver Lake. Because of all the rain it was canceled. Now it has been rescheduled for July. I’ll be ready again for lots of good food and camaraderie.