Abilene News

Published 4:12 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1 – I hope that all of you had a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks for God's blessings is a long tradition in our country:

In 1541, the Spanish explorer, Francisco Casquez de Coronado and his men conducted a service of thanksgiving for the abundant food and water they found along the Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle.

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In 1564, French Huguenot colonists settled in the area of Jacksonville, FL, and “sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God.”

Here in Virginia, in 1607, when the Jamestown colonists arrived, they immediately erected a wooden cross and gave thanks for their safe passage across the ocean. In 1619, English colonists at Berkeley Hundred decreed that the day of their arrival, Dec. 4, “shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

In the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims at Plymouth, MA, held a feast to celebrate the harvest and thank the Lord for his goodness.

In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress designated December 18 of that year a day “for solemn Thanksgiving and praise” for the Patriot army's victory at Saratoga-the first national day of thanksgiving.

In 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26 to be a day of thanksgiving for God's blessings and for the new United States Constitution.

It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that the country got a regular national Thanksgiving Day. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” Succeeding presidents followed Lincoln's example. In 1941, Congress passed a law officially declaring the fourth Thursday in November as America's Thanksgiving Day.

Friends and Neighbors

Madeline Slaydon and her family started off the season of Thanksgiving with all their family coming together for a fun-filled weekend. Beginning Nov. 17, those visiting Madeline Slaydon were Mary Frances (Gryder) Throckmorton, her son Chuck Throckmorton and his wife, Linda, and their daughter Susan (Throckmorton) Smith, all from Georgia; Norman and Helen Gryder from Holden Beach, NC; Steve, Patsy (Slaydon), Brian, Christopher, and Tara Wood from Lebanon, Ohio; Carl Lee, Norma (Slaydon) and Christy Kernodle; Barbara (Slaydon) Armentrout; Scott Reinhardt; Stefan Reinhardt and girls, Nikki and Elizabeth; Frances Swalley; Floyd and Lou Garrett; Billy and Joyce Slayton, their daughter Pam Jones and grandchildren, Matthew and Christiana; Troy Adams; and Avery Luna.

On Nov. 18, Madeline Slaydon and Mary Frances Throckmorton visited their childhood friends, Lois Pugh and Dolly Childress of Darlington Heights.

On Friday evening, Betty Dunn Gryder had her mother, Ruth Dunn, Mary Frances, Chuck, Linda, Susan, Norman, Madeline, Mike and Rhonda Adams and family, and Scottie and Connie Queensberry and family for dinner.

On Nov. 19, a Gryder family reunion (descendants of Wayne and Earlene Gryder and family of Thomas Gryder) was held at the Abilene Community Center. The reunion included the families of Mary Frances Throckmorton, Madeline Slaydon, Norman Gryder, and Betty Gryder.

On Nov. 20, Betty Gryder had lunch for her family, Madeline, Patsy, Norman, and Helen.

On Nov. 20, Madeline Slaydon visited George Davis and Clarence Schmidt.

On Nov. 23, John and Marolyn Lavra's family arrived to spend the Thanksgiving weekend. They included Cathy and Bob Bissett; Jessica and Joe L'Heureux and their three sons, Zackary, Brayden and Ryan; Brandon Riddle; Valerie Lavra; and Candy Lavra. The men even managed to get in a little time for hunting and fishing. Everyone departed on Sunday having had a wonderful family weekend.

On Nov. 23, Marshall and Donna Thackston hosted their annual Thanksgiving get-together. Those in attendance were Violet Thackston; Chris and Mitzi Thackston and their two sons, Derek and Clint (both students at Virginia Tech); Dexter and Margie Franklin and their two boys, Curtis and Tyler from Farmville; Ryan and Nicole Johns from Rice; and Sharon Drinkard and her two boys Keath and Braden from Appomattox.

Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, guests of Thomas and Bonnie Garnett were Mercer and Catherine Garnett; Jay and Kathy Garnett and their three boys, Mercer, Jackson and Carson from Orange; and Suzanne and Brian Williams from Charlotte Court House.

The annual Keysville Christmas Parade is scheduled for Friday, Dec 2, at 7 p.m.

The annual Farmville Christmas Parade is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m.

A reminder: The Abilene Community Club is hosting a Christmas gathering for the community on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Abilene Community Center. The Mr. Nebo Choir and the Prodigal Sons Singers will be featured guests for the evening. Light refreshments will be served. All are invited to attend.

The Abilene Community Club (ACC) is holding a “Beamer-ball” raffle. Raffle tickets for a football autographed by Coach Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech are available from any ACC member. The drawing will be held at a special meeting of the ACC on Dec. 21. You do not have to be present to win. What a great Christmas gift for some lucky person.

If you have any news or announcements that you would like to share, please call me at 223-2271 or e-mail me at kz5ro@kinex.net.