There was plenty of action at the Spiker Family Reunion this year that started when the crowd began to gather at the farm on Saturday. Some parked their motor homes on the lawn, some piled their gear in the farmhouse bedrooms for an overnight stay and others drove in just for the evening. Melanie Fouse attended the event and shared the following story.
“The power went out early in the evening and Mike tried everything to get it back on but finally ended up calling the power company. They said they’d be out later that evening. They had to come all the way from Clarksburg. Mike blamed it on all the women being there. Said the men (had) come out (in the past to) hunt, fish, etc., and the power never went out.
“Everyone had to make do with the outhouse or use the old hand pump in the back room to refill the tank on the toilet as the water goes off when the electric goes off.
“As the evening grew darker, everyone gathered around the bonfire and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. There was singing and conversation and then the power company man arrived and everyone cheered! The worker looked at the transformer and said he’d been doing this job for more than 20 years and he’d never seen one that old but he thought there was a switch on it he could flip. Turned out he was right and right away the lights in the house came on and all the women cheered again! Seems the transformer had probably been there since they first brought electricity to the farm.”
Preparations for the main event began early the next morning. The grill was prepared, chickens were cleaned and tables were lined up on the lawn. Volunteers to assist in various planned events were recruited from their cars as they pulled up to the house.
While many of us rummaged through hundreds of old family photos pressed into albums, tossed into boxes and hung on the wall, John and his crew manned the grill. As I watched them meticulously clean each chicken, John informed me that such care was due to my mother’s instructions. She and my father, Bob (aka, “Chicken Bob”,) have always been considered the family’s Charcoaled Chicken experts. One of mother’s requirements was that each chicken be carefully inspected and thoroughly cleaned of all feathers, hairs and leftover “icky stuff” often missed by the poultry providers.
Having created his own version of Daddy’s personally designed grill (one that was modified to cook up to 200 chicken halves,) “Chicken John” has taken over the time-honored tradition. Each year John stops by Mother’s house to pick up a sprayer of “goopy” (the secret marinade that makes the chicken taste soooo good; click here for her recipe) and treats us to such tasty grilled chicken that I’m sure Daddy would be proud.
After a delicious dinner that included a wide variety of salads, side dishes and desserts contributed by the family cooks (click here to snag some of those recipes), everyone gathered on the front lawn for the annual group photo. And as soon as the last camera shutter clicked, many headed to the pond or river for the Fishing Rodeo. Mike Spiker ended the contest with a blast from his personal air horn and later announced the following:
A special thanks to Shelly Curry for being the judge, jury and overseeing the event. This year’s contest winners are:
Mark’s granddaughter, Kate, won a rod and reel combo.
Melinda’s grandson, Christian, won a rod and reel combo.
Jeff’s grandson, Derek, won a fishing kit combo set.
The crowd soon gathered again on the front lawn to learn the winners in the raffle drawing and to take part in the annual auction. Although I do not know the exact dollar amount, I have been told that the auction proceeds benefiting the South Fork Cemetery exceeded $1100.
Our day of family celebration came to a close with another campfire Sunday evening that included songs, stories and, of course, more s’mores.
Plans for next year’s reunion are already in the works. Mike tells us they are reconditioning the old Spiker buggy, which has not been used for over 60 years, and hope to have it available for rides by then.
In the meantime, you can view some photos of the weekend by flipping through our album (click here - EDIT - photos no longer available after merge.) We couldn’t post them all on our site, but literally HUNDREDS of additional photos (and some scrapbook layouts of the event) may be viewed on Facebook where several of our cousins (including me, Cathy, Melanie, Paula, Briana, Brada, Marty, and many of our spouses and children) have accounts. If you’re not yet a member, consider creating your own free account on Facebook too and join us in all the continuing family fun.
Brada summed up the event by saying, “It was one of the best reunions ever!” I agree. And I’m sure the sentiment was shared by many others. Here’s hoping we’ll all be together again next year.
Submitted by Jean Spiker – Author Melinda Chambers will be signing copies of her children’s books at Tamarack, WV on June 13 between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
Submitted by John DeBrular – Thank you for inviting me to the reunion and to everyone for making me feel so welcome. It was as if I had known your family all my life. Your family relationship is precious.
Submitted by Mike Spiker – The annual Spiker Reunion was held Sunday, May 24, 2009 at the Spiker Family Farm on Holbrook Road in Ritchie County. The following attended the reunion:
|Brada Stotts||Evans, WV||Brock Stotts||Evans, WV|
|Paula Nolan||Columbia, MO||Mark Spiker||Pennsboro, WV|
|Marilyn Spiker||Pennsboro, WV||Katie Spiker||Elizabeth, WV|
|Jeana Spiker||Pennsboro, WV||Mike Spiker||Ripley, WV|
|Marty Spiker||Ripley, WV||Drew Spiker||Arlington, VA|
|Delane “Ann” King||Harrisville, WV||Kari Deremer||Morgantown, WV|
|Briana Spiker||Morgantown, WV||Cathy Gregis||Jane Lew, WV|
|Larry Gregis||Jane Lew, WV||Clayton Yeager||Salem, WV|
|Devon Yeager||Salem, WV||Mikayla Yeager||Salem, WV|
|Sarah Smith||Charleston, WV||Connor Smith||Charleston, WV|
|Kate Smith||Charleston, WV||Mike Nolan||Columbia, MO|
|Jonelle Swiger||Jane Lew, WV||Slate Swiger||Jane Lew, WV|
|Sawyer Swiger||Jane Lew, WV||Angie Benson||Hurricane, WV|
|Robby Benson||Hurricane, WV||Sue Spiker||Jane Lew, WV|
|Byron Spiker||Jane Lew, WV||Alice Spiker||Marietta, OH|
|Melanie Fouse||Kearneysville, WV||Rheanna Hess||Kearneysville, WV|
|Cameron Hess||Kearneysville, WV||Adreanna Hess||Kearneysville, WV|
|Rachel Fouse||Kearneysville, WV||Caden Hess||Kearneysville, WV|
|Alison Spiker||Ripley, WV||Adelene Spiker||Jane Lew, WV|
|Ruth Burnside||Jane Lew, WV||John Spiker||Jane Lew, WV|
|Gene Burnside||Jane Lew, WV||John Hicks||Romney, WV|
|Kelly Hicks||Romney, WV||Chris Chambers||Fort Ashby, WV|
|Renee Chambers||Fort Ashby, WV||Ella Chambers||Keyser, WV|
|Byron Chambers||Romney, WV||Melinda Chambers||Romney, WV|
|Shelly Curry||Salem, WV||Rob Currey||Salem, WV|
|Robby Curry||Salem, WV||Pete Deremer||Morgantown, WV|
|Kristen Lorensen||Charleston, WV||Chris Grisib||Morgantown, WV|
|Dana Hurst||Oxford, WV||Keri Hurst||Oxford, WV|
|Morgan Hurst||Oxford, WV||Phoebe Hurst||Oxford, WV|
|Willa Dean Spiker||Good Hope, WV||Christian Shaffer||Weston, WV|
|Bobbi Conley||Orlando, FL||Gary Conley||Orlando, FL|
|Haley Conley||Mahopac, NY||Jeff Spiker||Good Hope, WV|
|Jean Spiker||Good Hope, WV||Derek Gifford||Clarksburg, WV|
|Mary Payne||West Union, WV||John Hicks Jr.||Romney, WV|
|Christian Hicks||Romney, WV||Grant Hicks||Romney, WV|
|Carigan Hayes||Harrisville, WV||Cruz Hayes||Harrisville, WV|
|David Spiker||Jane Lew, WV||Jessica O’Connell||Calgary, Canada|
|Coon Larew||Ballard, WV||Delene “Boots” Larew||Ballard, WV|
|Darrell Siesholtz||Lancaster, PA||Priscilla Siesholtz||Lancaster, PA|
|John DeBrular||Washington, WV||David Ball||Oxford, WV|
|Rhonda Ball||Oxford, WV||Byran Ireland & family||Pullman, WV|