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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Clay County Day Reunion, Bradenton, Fla.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mildred "Midge" Tibbets Cochran (left) was recognized as the oldest person at the recent Clay County Day reunion in Bradenton, Fla. She received accolades from Mary Jo Butts, right, 2009 event chairman. Midge, 96, is formerly from Brazil where she was involved in many community and church activities. She was the first female to be a member of the Brazil Concert Band. As a soloist, she remembers when she sang with the band on top of the Forest Park refreshment stand during the 1930s. She and her 102-year-old husband, Clay Cochran, retired to Florida many years ago, and she has never missed a Clay County Day reunion since its inception in 1980.
The 30th annual Clay County Day reunion was held Jan. 15, in Bradenton, Fla. More than 90 people with Clay County roots gathered for fun and fellowship in the Rio Vista Room of the former Holiday Inn Riverfront. The hotel is now known as Courtyard by Marriott Riverfront.

At noon, Mary Jo Butts, 2008-09 chairman, welcomed everyone. Ann Atkinson lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem. Warren "Nic" Nicoson gave the blessing for the food. Tables were called to the buffet by numbers according to "the luck of the draw."

After luncheon, announcements were made, and sponsors who financially supplemented the banquet room charge were named and thanked. Recognition was given to the oldest person attending and to all first-timers. Happy Birthday was sung to those who had January birthdays. Also, recognition was given to Amos and Betty Thomas who were on their honeymoon, and to the Swartz family for their personal reunion within the Clay Day reunion. This was the first time in many years that the four brothers, Dan, Hugh, Joe, Karl, and their sister, Ethel Frost, were all together. It was a time of rejoicing.

After the first group of door prizes, donated by Clay County businesses, were distributed to several lucky attendees, the entertainment began. Harold Plunkett, accompanied by his banjo, led a sing-a-long. Song sheets were passed out, and throughout the afternoon, peppy old songs, silly songs, love songs, and religious songs were sung.

After the first session of songs, those who are Clay County graduates were ask to stand when their school was called. The names of Ashboro, Bowling Green, Brazil, Clay City, Cory, Staunton and Van Buren brought cheers.

More door prizes and more singing were enjoyed. Then the annual meeting was conducted. During that time, Mary Jo gave a brief history of Clay County Day -- how it began and those who were responsible for leading the way.

Door prizes continued to be distributed. And the final session of the sing-a-long, lead by Plunkett, was brought to a close by singing, "God Bless America."

After the final door prizes were distributed by Virgil Butts and Allen McKamey, and a few parting remarks were made by the chairman, another Clay County Day was brought to a close. Mary Jo thanked everyone for coming and being part of a tradition that span three decades.

She, also, encouraged people to continue visiting and travel safely.

The next Clay County Day will be Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010. Reservation letters will be sent out in late November. Watch for announcements in The Brazil Times and Clay City News regarding the time and location.

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