2006 Reunions


July 27th, 28th, & 29th, 2006

On Thursday, July 27, 2006, the descendants of Joseph C. Vermilyea gathered at the Saratoga Inn in the small town of Saratoga, Wyoming. The offspring of Joseph C. Vermilyea (all deceased) produced twenty-three children. Fourteen of these first cousins attended with their spouses, children, grandchildren, and friends for a total of seventy-six. They represented five generations from age 88 to age 2 and came from sixteen states from Florida to Washington.
On Friday morning, ten of the younger people had a three-hour trail ride at Brush Creek Ranch. Even those with riding experience reported it was no ordinary trail ride. Up and down steep rocky terrain, crossing creeks, jumping fallen logs and spectacular mountain scenery provided a true western riding adventure.
While the horseback riders enjoyed their outing, eighteen of the mostly older generations enjoyed a three-hour scenic float trip down the North Platte River. The river was low due to our on-going drought, but this fact suited some just fine, as they would not have had the nerve to do any white water rafting. It provided time to visit and enjoy the natural beauty around them, including deer coming down to graze and bald eagles and owls in flight.
Many stayed behind at the Inn to sit out on the spacious porch to visit, playing in the large lawn area, swimming in the natural hot spring pool, fishing in the nearby ponds, playing golf, getting a massage, or shopping. There was plenty to do to keep everyone of any age occupied.
On Saturday morning, about 60 of us piled into vehicles for the 18-mile ride to Brush Creek Ranch. There we consolidated into 4-wheel drive pickups and Suburbans for the mile and a half ride into the “back country” to our breakfast site. We were treated to sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes cooked over an open pit, homemade bread, orange juice, and cowboy coffee, which will put hair on your chest! It was a beautiful location with a clear creek nearby and lots of natural scenery.
Saturday afternoon, eighteen of the mostly younger set went on their rafting trip. The guides allowed them to have high-powered water guns, so they had a ball having a water fight and being permitted to get into the North Platte River. Everyone got drenched, including the adults.
Saturday evening we met at the outdoor pavilion for our family meeting and dinner. Russ Broderdorp (Wyoming) acted as MC. Erma Vermilyea (Wyoming), widow of Forest Vermilyea, and the oldest person in attendance at age 88, made cross-stitch pictures to honor various members. Clydene Edelen (Colorado) was honored as the oldest person in attendance (other than Erma). Barbara Loftus (Florida) traveled the farthest to attend. Jake Vermilyea (California) had the most children present (4 of 6). Jim and Sandy Vermilyea (South Carolina) earned their picture for being married the longest. Little Matthew Wortham (Colorado) was our youngest honoree at age 2.
Sandy Vermilyea and Alice Spearman (friend of Peggy Vermilyea from South Carolina) honored Erma Vermilyea with a card shower. Everyone had signed a card for Erma and they were presented along with a big bouquet. Sandy had written a poem for Erma, which was read by Alice.
We observed a moment of silence in remembrance of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and cousins who are no longer with us. Bayard Vermilyea (Missouri) gave the blessing.
After our dinner, we kept the western spirit alive with a group singing of “Jingle, Jangle, Jingle” and “Don’t Fence Me In”. Vivian Vermilyea (California, and wife of Jake) had brought a couple dozen jars of homemade jellies, jams, and syrups. They were auctioned off and the proceeds used to send flowers to some family members who were unable to attend because of health. This was such a success that there was enough money left to help Peggy Vermilyea pay for some of the expense and to hold some over to forward to the next host.
Peggy Vermilyea was presented with a turquoise ring, a silver bracelet and a bouquet of flowers to show everyone’s thanks in organizing this event. It was announced that Jeremy Vermilyea, son of Scott Vermilyea shall host the next Vermilyea Family Reunion, in 2009 in the Portland, Oregon area. It is so nice to see the next generation step up and keep our reunions going.
On Sunday morning, everyone checked out and returned to their homes. It’s so hard to say good-by.

JULY 2, 2006

The crowd was small, twenty-five people, but it was a joyous occasion for the descendants of Charles Barnabas Vermilyer who gathered for the fifty-first time in Indiana
A delicious lunch was served and games were played. The traditional auction, which finances future Reunions was held.
Lewis Vermilyer was elected President, other family members will be serving as Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and helpers for the next Reunion which is planned for mid June 2007. The exact date will be announced when arrangements are complete.
A group picture was taken, and everyone enjoyed visiting with family again.

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