French 50-80 Celebration Held June 19-20, 2004

Morgan and Maxine French
50th Wedding Anniversary
June 10, 1954

Maxine French
80th Birthday
June 21, 1924

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2004 is a memorable year for my parents, Morgan and Maxine French. They have been married 50 years, and Maxine is 80 years old! Morgan T. (my brother) and I started planning a shindig for them many months ago. We thought about various places to hold it, Mom and Dad's church, the local Masonic Lodge, or maybe one of the hotels or restaurants in Ft. Knox, Radcliff, or E-Town. We finally settled on having the celebration at their house, out back, just like we did for Dad's 80th birthday 5 years ago. We couldn't do any Suprise Party this way, but it better suited Mom and Dad since they love having people visit and really enjoy a picnic. We sent out invites months before the celebration, French family to come on Saturday, Milby family to come on Sunday. This is exactly what we did for Dad's 80th birthday in 1999 and that worked out so well.

Morgan sent the French invitations out, I sent the Milby invitations. We carved up all the various tasks between us so that nobody had too much to do. We started making plans in plenty of time so that there was really no rush at all when the big weekend arrived.

Anne and I drove up from Plano, TX on Wednesday arriving early in the evening. We checked into a hotel in E-Town this trip since Morgan T. and his family would be staying at Mom and Dad's house. We drove on over to Mom and Dad's where Mom had some Chicken Corn Soup waiting for us. I sure love that Chicken Corn Soup! We ate good. In the middle of the meal the sky opened up and it rained and stormed like you wouldn't believe. We watched it pour down rain and it continued for hours. We were all a bit worried and hopeful that it would end before Saturday morning.

Thursday dawned a bit humid but with no rain. There had also been storms the previous week and there was a little cleanup left. So I took a broom and went up on the metal building and swept it, then on top of the house in front and swept that off too. Then everyone helped with some window cleaning on the ladder and everything was ship-shape! Morgan and Mary Jane flew in Thursday night. They had delays in Houston that pushed their arrival time to after midnight. Anne and I had supper at Mom and Dad's then headed back over to the hotel for the night.

On Friday we stopped by and picked up some coffee's at Arnold's Coffee Cafe on the way to my folk's house. This was very well received, Morgan and Mary Jane were already up and around even though they didn't get a lot of sleep that night. Of course Mom and Dad had been up for hours already. We worked on the slide show some, scanning some of Morgan and Mary Jane's photos that they had brought, and more of Mom and Dad's photos and got all that ready to go. We experimented with parking cars in the extra lot and out front near the road. That worked out very well. Anne and Mom made 4 Pecan Pies for the parties, which turned out to be 4 too many with all the desserts that other people brought and the celebration cakes that Morgan and Mary Jane picked up. We barbequed hamburgers on Mom and Dad's new barbeque grill and sat out on the screened-in porch to eat. Anne and I drove over and picked up the Honey Baked Hams we had reserved, while Morgan and Mary Jane picked up the celebration cakes. In the evening Morgan and Mary Jane headed to Louisville to pick up Clifton and Meredith as they flew in from college in Baton Rouge.

While they were gone we moved most of Dad's lawn equipment from inside the metal building to the back, out of sight, and covered it all with plastic and tarps so none of it would get wet in case it rained. We swept out the metal building and setup the Slide Show equipment and some fans in the windows to see how that would work. It looked great, so we just left it there for Saturday. Everything that could be prepared ahead was now done.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

On Saturday morning it was cool and clear and beautiful. We could not have asked for a better day. The forecasts predicted highs of 78 degrees, low humidity, and no chance of rain. Morgan and I drove up to Winn Dixie and picked up ice for the sodas. Clifton helped load the metal washtub and ice everything down. Morgan and I hung the two banners I had made at Kinkos. They fit perfectly on the metal railing around the porch. Mom and Dad were inside getting cleaned up when the first guests arrived. Over the next couple of hours we saw -

Danny, Nancy, and Nancy's sister
Ed (Eddie Bruce)
Patty (Ellen?), Bill, and daughter
Cheryl, Christina
Jennifer, Jacqueline, and Jacob
Lucien and Margaret
Walter Lewis, Ruth
Ed (Edward Thomas) and Arlene
Jamie, Laura, Allison

Did I miss anybody? I sure hope not! We setup the tables and everyone piled the food on. We visited, talking and cutting up for a long while. Jackie brought some name tags and proceeded to fill out tags as people arrived. Good show Jackie! This helped a lot in figuring out who was who and making us not have to rely on our old and flagging memories.

The kids, led by Christina went on a frogging expedition. They found lots of tiny frogs, snails, and slugs in the woods and had a great time. Everyone drifted in and watched the slide show which we had running all day. We also had a signup sheet just inside the door into the basement where people could sign little anniversary/birthday notes for Mom and Dad. We ate.

After everyone had finished eating we gathered around two big cakes, one decorated for the 50th anniversary, the other for Maxine's 80th birthday. Morgan T. made a short celebration speech, Mom and Dad talked a bit, then everybody was invited to speak "their remembers" of Morgan and Maxine. "Dog Eggs", Ed ? Unfortunately some people left before we got organized enough for the group photo. We took one anyway and you can see it in the photo gallery above.

As people started leaving two kids drove by in a lawn tractor pulling a small trailer. Just as they passed my folks house the tractor ran out of gas. My Dad loves this sort of thing! He ran down to the metal building and pulled out his plastic can of gasoline, refilled their tank, and sent them on their way, waving their thanks back to him.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The next day, Sunday, we started the whole thing over with Mom's family. Anne and I stopped by Krogers on our way to Mom and Dad's and picked up some ice and other groceries. We arrived at the house about 9am to incredibly beautiful weather! In the mid 60s with very low humidity. It was even nicer weather than Saturday. Anne and I iced down the drinks, restarted the slide show, brought out the tables, and sat down to await the days guests.

Joyce and Roxie were the first to arrive. Followed soon by -

Angie, Pete, and Kendall
Franklin and Josephone
Wes and his friend Bob

As on Saturday we ate hearty, visited, and talked. I discovered the old scythe Morgan T. and I used to help clear this land years ago. Dad pulled out his knives and he and Franklin showed us how to cut tobacco. After eating we again gathered around two celebration cakes while Morgan gave a short speech. Then people gave their Remembers of Morgan and Maxine.