Monday, February 22, 2016

Ft Myers Sesquicentennial Weekend

We did it for our mama.  And we did it for us.
The four children of Edward McCoy and Naia Gonzalez Goddard just returned from a long weekend in Fort Myers, Florida to join the festivities organized by a very talented cousin we had never met, Jason Gonzalez, and a local Ft Myers cousin by the name of Woody Hanson we have known all our lives.For posterity’s sake, the “four” of us consisted of Mac & Annis Goddard, Kikky Goddard Williams, George and Jaye Goddard and Bruce and Kathy Goddard.
We learned some things about our ancestors and we learned some things about ourselves.  We chased wonderful memories of our childhood and memories of the folks who helped form whoever in the heck we have become.   We also discovered we have incredible cousins for some crazy reason we had never met.
We have now.
In 1866, the same year that our paternal great grandfather, E.A. Goddard, founded Goddard Funeral Home in Reynolds, GA, Manuel A. Gonzalez and his four year old son, Manuel S. Gonzalez, came ashore in southwest Florida and founded Fort Myers Florida. Manuel S. Gonzalez would be our maternal great grandfather.
We figured out this weekend that the most plausible reason we had never met most of these 40 or so Gonzalez cousins was because our grandfather, Clyde Gonzalez, died in 1930 at the very young age of 38.   Although Clyde’s wife (and our grandmother Mabel Armstrong Gonzalez) never remarried, we spent several weeks every summer in our formative years visiting the Armstrong side of the family in Ft. Myers.

We obviously missed out on the Gonzalez side.

There was an exception to that.  My grandmother’s sister married one of Clyde’s brothers.  Their grandson, Woody Hanson, who you will see many times in the video linked here, is kin to us on both sides.   

Maybe even more grandeur than chasing memories and our heritage, was the fact that Naia’s children spent a long weekend together.

That means we laughed.  We laughed a lot.   And we ate.  We ate a lot.

I can tell you this.  It was one great weekend.

Somehow we all believe our mama was smiling at it all  from her heavenly resting place.

We won't be around for the Bicentennial but maybe some of my grandchildren will read this blog and watch the video one day and be inspired to show up for that.

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