50 plus years family reunion Lake Pleasant, Arizona…Returning to my roots and connecting with family is a blessing…

I have never experienced seeing a family member after over 50 years of being completely disconnected.  Words can’t describe the feeling of kinship…  It was also a joy to meet new cousins both 2nd & 3rd generation.   Frank Jr’s. wife, Mary, is a delightful hostess, and wonderful person to know.  It is easy to remember all their names, starting with Frank Jr., Frank III, and Frank IV…  Frank Devine Jr. lost his dad when he was 13.   I can remember this tragedy in Minnesota long ago, and know that it was very challenging for his family to begin a new life, eventually moving to Arizona.   Frank Jr. also lost his brother, Mike, about 7 years ago.  I remember both cousins as “Frankie & Mikey” when we were little kids hanging out back in Minnesota.

Frank Jr. shared many photos of my family, helping me to recall those fun times well over 50 years ago.  My memory doesn’t serve me as well as others in our family, so looking at the old photos helped me greatly to take another step on the long road of retrieving my memory during a period between 5 & 10 years old when recollection seems mostly blank and very vague on events and places in my past.  I am scanning copies of many of the photos and documents for safe keeping and to share with my siblings.  There is one very special photo of my Dad, Vernon. when he first joined the US Navy in 1936.  My Aunt Juneth even wrote a beautiful poem for Dad that is a treasure.  I’ll share more of these family mementos in a later posting.

Frank Jr. is coming by this afternoon with plans to visit the town of Cave Creek, a must see according to most who live here.http://www.cavecreek.org/.  Reconnecting with family members after all these years is a huge gift!  An even greater gift and blessing is to begin remembering lost childhood years when for some reason my memory has failed.  I hope to hear from my readers who have experienced memory loss in their lives, and learn more about how others have been able to recall lost events and places of the past…


Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

P.S.  Enjoy the photos of our family picnic gathering at Pleasant Lake and the beauty of this oasis in the Sonora desert.  Click on the referenced websites to learn more… 




http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/history.aspx

http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/marketing.aspx

Quote from the above site…

“Maricopa County’s Parks and Recreation Department now features the nation’s largest county park system, with 10 regional parks totaling more than 120,000 acres.

The park system began in 1954 to preserve the mountain areas for future generations to enjoy. A federal act in the 1970 called the Recreation and Public Purposes Act allowed Maricopa County to acquire thousands of acres of parkland from the Bureau of Land Management at $2.50 an acre. A combination of leased and purchased land has allowed this department to develop a regional park system that preserves open space and will forever provide the residents of Maricopa County with an opportunity to visit “Natural Arizona.”

Sunset at Pleasant Lake

From the right cousins, Steve, Frank Jr., Frank III, and friend Flower

Cousins Frank & Mary
 
 
Pleasant Lake View

From the left, Frank III, Flower, Frank IV, Abel, Mary, Frank Jr. & Steve
 

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