2004 Reunion Report

by Joy Cooley

Someone asked me if I was satisfied with the 2004 reunion and I remarked that everything about it exceeded my expectations. Everything went smoothly and that was due to having dedicated persons such as Bernie & Rosemary who worked well with the OU Inn personnel and even managed at the last minute to arrange a larger room for the banquet when our dinner reservations were edging up to 100  rather than the 50-75 we had anticipated.

Rosemary was also gracious enough to invite Joan & Sue Cooley, Eva Poston, Kim & Vicki Kantner, Sherry Koon and myself to bake cookies, make buckeye candies in her kitchen, then use her freezer for storage plus having the goodie bags, centerpieces, etc. sitting around for weeks. Thanks to Pat Goebel for contributing the CFA pens & refrigerator magnets for the bags plus typing & running off the programs, sing-along sheets & Buckeye activity sheets for the kids. She also picked up a CFA member at Columbus airport and then Bill & Chad Cooley provided transportation to Athens. Bill Cooley deserves a special commendation for personally contacting many of the local Athens County Cooleys & getting them out for the banquet & parade. He also arranged to borrow a wagon from a friend which was used in the Coolville Founders' Day Parade. The signs made for our CFA group & on the wagon were due to the efforts of Brandon Kantner & Jeff Morris. Brandon also designed the t-shirts which we wore. The coonskin caps worn by the youngsters were brought by Ginny Burkey.

Heather & Jeff Morris & Brandon Kantner also enhanced our banquet with their music before & during the banquet program.

The program was introduced by Jim Sturgill, executive director of the Athens Co. Historical Society & Museum who gave a sketch of Asahel Cooley as an active participant in the pioneering movement of the NW Territory.

The younger generation of Asahel Cooley's descendants shared the following:

The program was concluded by Ginny Burkey reading her brother's memories of growing up on a farm near Coolville. This was very poignant as the week of the reunion the old Coolville Mill (the original was built by Simeon & Heman Cooley) was torn down and many other places mentioned are no longer in operation.

A special thanks is due Nevis Knisely who in her words "kept badgering" me to arrange to have the CFA participate in a Founders' Day Parade. It was great fun! She & her daughter served us up a delicious lunch at the Coolville Methodist Church after the parade. Visiting afterwards with the Coolville folks was personally gratifying as so many of my dad's former students spoke so fondly of he & my mother, Stanley & Lillian Cooley.