Wednesday morning, June 19.. David took me to the Orange County airport. Got there about five a.m. My plane left at 6:45 to Chicago. Changed planes and got to Grand Rapids about 5 p.m. Rented a car and went to get my luggage. It was not there. So I had to report it. They said it will most likely be on the next plane. And we will deliver it. I knew where the group was having dinner at six. I was late so I went directly to the restaurant and joined them about 6:30. After dinner we went to Lefty’s. Harry and Betty and Chuck and Joyce joined us. About nine thirty the airline delivered my luggage.
Thursday. Went to the same restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Had a good group including cousin Martha Vanden Hoek Smits I had not seen her since I left South Dakota about 65 years ago. Harry met her at a senior church dinner by chance, talking to her son by her first husband, who said his name was Leafers. Harry said I knew some Leafers in South Dakota. He said not Corsica! Then they talked to his mother Martha Smits; this is our cousin. Also joining us were Chuck and Joyce, Lee and Carol; and Trudy and Connie are coming in today also. Some of us went bowling after breakfast.
Friday. The group is getting bigger. Now Marvin and Betty also joined us.
Saturday. We had 25 for breakfast this morning, most came to Lefty’s for a while. We planned to go bowling but because of a golf tournament it seems all the bowling alleys were involved and were all closed today. Lefty and I went to see Greg’s house, that he is building, doing most of the work himself. He has it just about finished, He will have a nice big home. He is the manager of one of the Grand Rapids post offices. Tonight we are going to a larger restaurant and expect to have a large crowd. After dinner the group went to Steve and Carol’s for the evening.
Sunday. Went to church with Left and Betty. In the afternoon we went to Harry and Betty’s, had about 30 people there, lots of food, etc. Showed the video that I made last year at Walt’s hundredth birthday party. After most of the group left, Lefty, Harry and the two Bettys, Linda and I played cards.
Monday. Again a nice group, about twenty, came for breakfast,. We went bowling and several are leaving today including Trudy, Connie, Jan, Linda, Ruth, Sharon and Judy, Lee and Carolyn, so I think I am the only out of towner still here. Left, Harry and the two Bettys went out for dinner, then to Harry’s house and played setback.
Tuesday. Went for my walk as I do every day, then had breakfast at Lefty’s, then we went to Myers gardens. I had heard of it many times but had never been there. It is quite a place, lots of plants and flowers outside and in large buildings. It also has a 20-acre sculpture park, sculptures from all over the world, except none from Holland. The whole area covers about a hundred acres I think. After the park we went to Harry and Betty’s house, they were with us when we were visiting the park. We had a nice visit and lunch at Harry’s. After lunch and after resting a while, Left and Betty and I went bowling. After we got back I went out and gassed the car as I have to leave early in the morning. Had something to eat and about 8 p.m. Fred and Esther came over for a while.
Wednesday. Got up at 6 a.m, had a little breakfast, and out to the airport. Got rid of the car, checked in at the airline, they now Xray all luggage, and the machine or operator pulled out my luggage and went through it. They found no bomb or anything else that they did not like, so I was allowed to leave, after being about two hours late leaving for Chicago. Had a good flight. David picked me up at the airport. I got home about 4 p.m.
It was a very good reunion, but we sure missed Bill and Helen, as about two days before the reunion started, the doctor told Bill he could not go. And of course this is the third reunion that Martin has missed.
Postscript: Bill died one month later, July 17. 2002.