Monday, October 22, 2007

Mini Reunion Weekend

Jeri and I met with Carol Herrington this Saturday at the Whittier Area Genealogy Society (WAGS) meeting at the Masonic Lodge in Uptown Whittier. We stayed and listened to an interesting lecture on Canadian genealogy research, which lasted a little over an hour. We had lunch at the California Grill, also in Uptown Whittier and had a chance to get to know each other over a good meal. Carol, as I mentioned in a earlier post, was married to the late John Garza, my 2nd cousin (sadly, I never knew him), John's mother was Emma De La O and her father was Manuel De La O. Manuel was the older brother of my grandfather Santiago De La O.

Carol gave us some photos; one photo of my grandfather Santiago at a young age playing in a band, along with my great uncles Manuel and Andres De La O, another photo was of a De La O family reunion in Trinidad, Colorado with Manuel's descendants, names included (a great photo), and lastly a photocopy of a very young Emma De La O as a bridesmaid in her cousin Elvira Martinez' wedding. Elvira was the daughter of Sarapia De La O Martinez, the sister of Manuel, and my grandfather Santiago. Elvira was raised by Manuel after the passing of Sarapia.

We really enjoyed meeting Carol. She has been very gracious and generous with us and is a wonderful person. We hope to continue a friendship with her. My only regret for the day was that Jeri and I forgot the camera in the truck. Such a great day and I forgot to take pictures.

The following day, Sunday, we were invited to brunch at Dave and Mary Kersey's home. Mary's father is Antonio (Tony) De La O, her grandfather is Guadalupe De La O and her great grandfather is Buenaventura De La O. Buenaventura is the brother of my great grandfather Rafael De La O. Buenaventura was a famed musician and teacher in New Mexico history and there is an article about him in the October 1963 issue of New Mexico Magazine, which I will try to post here at a later date. Also there were Mary's nephew Michael De La O and Michaels mother Fran. Fran was married to Mary's brother, the late Ruben De La O.

Our daughter Meranda was with us this time and it was a good thing too, because she remembered to take the camera down. I cannot say enough what a great day it was. We were immediately made to feel welcome by Dave and Mary and they are terrific people and hosts. The food was fantastic and Mary, true to her De La O roots is a terrific cook. She served Ortega Chile and Cheese Egg casserole, an out of this world potato and sausage dish, bacon, fruit, bread, champagne and beer. We spent the day getting to know each other, laughing and going over old photos and family stories. We enjoyed meeting everyone and could not have had a better day! I thought it very poignant when Mary made a toast to family. I could not help but think of my father and all our ancestors. I hope they are pleased by our efforts to find out about the past and to reunite with each other.

Below are photos taken at Dave and Mary's home in Diamond Bar, California (a beautiful home, by the way). The photos were taken by Michael and Meranda.

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