TRI-CITIES, WA – June 22nd & 23rd

     I may be a little prejudiced in my opinion, but I think the 2001 reunion was one of the best I’ve attended. The fun factor was high and the weather was beautiful.
     We started the reunion Friday evening at the Pasco home of Callis & Shirley Cazier with a backyard gathering. Family members enjoyed finger foods and snacks while catching up on all the latest news. The children had a great time in the play area, complete with trampoline, swing set, and basketball court.
     Saturday morning we met across the river at the Columbia Point Marina Park in Richland. Bob Cazier and his sons Jim & Jed assumed chef duties and prepared a hot off the grill breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and juice, which got the day off to a great start. It was a beautiful morning to sit and enjoy each other’s company as we waited for more family to arrive.
     Later that morning the activities started. As previewed in the newsletter “Outposts” were created that highlighted events or daily activities in our Pioneer Ancestor’s lives.
     We were broken up into “Companies” with a leader who kept score, and rotated us to different outposts as soon as our companies' members completed their turn. Callis, Shirley and their children Bob, Russ, Andy, Patty & Ina and their families had a great time creating the ideas for the outposts. One outpost had us showing off our marksmanship 

 skills with homemade rubber band rifles - those plastic bottles didn’t stand a chance. Another outpost had us roping a buffalo…okay it was only a barrel, but it was just as dangerous…really, it was. In memory of our ancestors we had a Battle of the Bulls…and faced off with a fierce range beast (okay, we actually just threw sock balls into a hole cut in the shape of a bull’s head on the side of a barrel). Then we braved the unknown territories, compass in hand just to prove we could find our way out of a grove of trees (can three trees be a grove?). And of course no pioneer trek would have been the same without the “cow-pie” toss, which fortunately for those with delicate sensibilities (as we’re sure many of our female ancestors had) were carpet circles tossed into a basket. The final outpost was a Quilting Bee; you needed to look at a small quilt (made by Patti Cazier) depicting William and Pleasant's family and pioneer activities. You had to figure out who was who on the quilt and then on a sheet of paper put them in birth order. Click here for pictures of the activities.
     Once all the participants had taken a turn at every outpost, points were tallied up and the winning Company was awarded a watermelon. We were given a brief respite from the early afternoon heat after Eric Cazier made a road trip for Popsicles. Young and old alike could be observed enjoying this ice-cold treat. Following the morning activity families went off to spend the day together enjoying the sunshine of the

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     A drop of rain rolled down the crown of the helmet, hesitated at the edge then slid along it towards the front where it met another droplet, hesitated, merged and splashed into the thick, dark jungle mud. The young soldier saw it all in his peripheral vision. He did not miss much. He could not afford to. His life and the life of his friends counted on it.
     He held his eyelids open wide, as if the effort would let in more light and allow him to detect movement in the thick misty night. The enemy was out there. They came every night. They were admiralty relentless, stealthy seasoned warriors. There would be no shots fired. To fire a round could mean instant death. It would give away his position and elicit a storm of machine gun fire and a volley of mortars. He had fixed his bayonet earlier and he was sure he would have to use it.
     He thought of home, of the small log mud-chinked cabin in the swale where he had lived with his four brothers and six sisters. He thought of the long hard days that he and his family had spent eking out a living from the desert soil. They had survived the Great Depression. He was a Haws and a Haws does not waver, does not falter and does not surrender.
     He was so premature at birth that the doctor didn’t give him much of a chance. But his Grandma Dodson said, “That baby is not going to die” and she put him in a shoebox and put it in the oven. He did not die then and he was not about to die now.
     Vance Leroy Haws survived the military campaign in the Pacific and volunteered

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