Learning to Live & Look - Fair Valley Reunion, 1997

by LK Wagner - 9 September 1997, Tuesday

There is a saying that sticks in my mind that I acquired from my sister (Dorthy) while she was running for State Representative in 1990. It goes something like this, "We Learn from the Past! Live in the Present! and Look towards the Future!"

This weekend I had the opportunity to do just that at my first 'Fairvalley Reunion' held in the quaint little town of Freedom, Oklahoma, in the Chamber of Commerce building on the eastside of town. This was Fairvalleys' 60th something reunion that they hold in Freedom on the first Sunday after Labor Day. I'm not quite sure of the number of years, but think perhaps it is around the 62nd or something like that. If I am wrong, I expect someone out there to correct me.

I planned my trip so that I would arrive in the town of Freedom with some time to stop by the Cimarron Cowboy Monument that is located in their downtown park area.

After visiting the monument and looking up my ancestor's name, I then strolled over to the Chamber of Commerce building where they were having the Fairvalley Reunion. As I opened the door I asked, "Is this the place for the Fairvalley Reunion?"

All the friendly faces looked my way and welcomed me with open arms and smiles. It was like "coming home again" - although, I have never lived in Freedom but have visited it many times.

Fairvalley Reunion 1997 These beautiful people whose ancestors grew up during the 'Dirty Thirties' and the 'Depression Era' have been meeting for sixty-some odd years at the same place on 'Grandparents Day' for their annual gathering of the Fairvalley Reunion.

Those attending were Jack and Bonnie (Eden) Lenhart, Darrel and Mary Lou Eden, Glenn Murray, Helen London, Wilma (Benson) Terrill, Joy Davidson, Peggy Love, Merle (Chuck) Smith, Dorothy Smith, Leota Fulton, Marie Bergman, Edna Olson, Lillian Devine, Jan Leist Burnham, Dina Slieker, and myself (Linda McGill Wagner).

Everyone brought a special potluck dish to share during the warm, Sunday afternoon gathering. They shared old stories, information, and history of the area. Merle Smith acquired the Memoirs of one 'Anne Rose Eden' who had written down the history of her early days and recollections of the area around Fairvalley and donated it to the museum. Merle offered to supply copies to those who would love to have a copy.