October 5, 2021


This Connelly family photo is something of a collector’s item!  It was taken at our Beersheba Springs house where we had all gathered for Thanksgiving. As the photographer, Tom escaped being in the group shot, which was probably just what he wanted to do. He’d already begun slowly removing himself from us.

Grandparents Papa Con and Mama Nezzy are on the left back row. I’m standing next to her, holding Patrick. Eldest son Marlin, Jr. and his wife Nancy were next, with their firstborn son Phil standing next to his mom.  He probably felt awkward as a teenager with all the younger siblings and cousins that day. Youngest son Bill is kneeling in front of Papa Con, holding their son Hunter. Jane is sitting on the front. Phil’s sister Pam is sitting on a stool, holding Bill and Jane’s daughter Marla.  Heather is perched on a little stool beside Pam, and Andy is standing behind Pam holding a picture of Santa Claus in front of his face.

It was a lovely day on the mountain. We’d driven over from South Carolina a few days earlier to get everything ready for the Thanksgiving Day gathering. I did some of the cooking and everyone brought favorite dishes to share. Pam and Phil kept an eye on all the younger ones as they played outdoors. There was more food than we could eat, with the welcome prospect of leftovers the next day.  By late afternoon, the Nashville group packed up and headed home. We had a few more days to enjoy our log house before going back to South Carolina.By the next Thanksgiving, things were very different. There were no more Thanksgivings at Beersheba. And no more unbroken family group photos for the Connellys.

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