March 30th, 1926.
In imagination I can see the different members of our notable organization, coming from the North, the South, the East and the West, each with his story of the past year. I think all are here who came last year, except for Cousin Phil Young, whose tragic going we all deplore and most deeply sympathize with the family, - and Gordon Parks, more distantly connected, although Jim has always seemed one of us1; to him also we extend sympathy.
The year passes so quickly when looked at as a unit; we hardly get the job of writing the "Cousins Letter" off our conscience before it is time to write again, but in looking backward over a whole year we can recall many things which have happened, - some glad, some sad, some joyful and some sorrowful. I think tho', as I look over it all, it has been a beautiful year and I am thankful for the blessings it has given me. Right here I am reminded of some lines we used to sing, and they apply to the most of us.
"If you cannot on the ocean sail among the swiftest fleet,"
"Rocking on the highest billows, laughing at the storms you meet,"
"You can stay among the sailors anchored yet within the bay;"
"You can lend a hand to help them as they launch their ship away."2
If we are not going out into the world doing big things, we can do much right within the bay.
Last July George came for me and I was with them for some time. Northern New Jersey is a beautiful spot, over which we too many drives; then we had a long and delightful ride up the Hudson to Bear Mountain. I had read about the wonderful new bridge there, but never expected to see it; we crossed it, enjoying the grand view, both up and down the river. We went up the river as far as West Point, gong into the famous old Chapel where we looked as long as we cared to at those exquisite memorial windows, the old fashioned pews, etc. We then came back to the bridge, crossed over and came down the East side of the river, staying over night at Waterbury. I hardly think it was intentional on George's part, but we ran into a big prize fight there. The town was entertaining 20,000 visitors, so we could hardly find a place to sleep. We rode all the next day, reach-
1. Jim was doubly her 2nd cousin --- once because he was a grandson of James Campbell, brother of Emma's grandfather, Joseph; and also because he was a grandson of Mary (Blackwell) Campbell, half-sister of Emma's grandmother, Ann (Clinch) Campbell.
2. The first verse of Your Mission.
ing home about midnight, - pretty tired, but it had been worth while, for where can one find more beautiful scenery than going up and down our lovely Hudson Valley from West Point to New York. I am talking as though none of you have been there. While I do not doubt that many of you have, it was new and thrilling to me and I felt while there I'd like to tell everybody all about it.
I then went over to Myra's and we conceived the idea of going to Gettysburg. It was a pleasant July morning and as we rode mile after mile over those grand old Pennsylvania hills, I felt as though I had never half known my native state. Of the real battle field I will not speak, as it is now a National Park and everyone goes there. It is far better seen than described. Just as we were about to leave I stood by the place where one of our Generals had stood, watching the battle; my attention was called to a man standing there We spoke of how visitors were coming in from all over the United States to this place. He said "I live in St. Petersburg". Of course I asked him if he knew Tommie, - he said he did know Tommie, Curt Shewman, and he even had kept his car in Curt's garage. I thought, well, the world is not so large after all. In September, Myra and family brought me home, stopping in Marshall Falls, we saw the place as well as the folks3. We also stopped over night at Johnson City and had a very pleasant visit in Ed and Eva Hills' lovely little home4. I thought then I was home for the rest of the year, but the children wrote for me to come and spend the holidays with them, so away I started again. We has a family dinner at George's on Thanksgiving Day, - then the next Saturday evening George, Anna, and I had the pleasure of being guests at Doris Selph's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and a sweet little bride. Will seemed pleased to have two of his old Cousins there, Ann Owlett and myself. We surely enjoyed being there On Christmas morning, George, Anna, and the boys and I drove to Myra's, one hundred miles; we arrived in time for dinner and a Happy Christmas.
On January 16th, I came home to Watkins. There is one more important event I want to mention and that is the "Cousins Dinner" at Cousin Will and Minnie Clark's. Everything had been perfectly planned and we had about as near a perfect time as we can here on earth. The cold snowy day did not seem to effect our spirits, and I think it was seventeen who had stayed over that gathered at Ada's in the evening. We were all saddened at the news that Mary Shipman was in the hospital, and we missed the five
3. The summer home of Cousin Charles H. Congdon.
4. It was a cozy bungalow. I was in it many times. It still stands and looks like it's been cared for - wbt.
own cousins who were absent, but we look forward to another year knowing the good God is over all.
I am busy here at my home in Watkins. I want to know what is going on in the world and I want to have a hand in some things I am interested in.
With love to all the Cousins, both old and young,
Very sincerely yours,
COUSIN EMMA E.BUCK.
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