A reunion for the ages

Towers family a pillar of community

By Victoria Register Freeman
Resident Community News

“Babies to Eighties” was the theme of the Towers’ family reunion on Independence Day. The patriarch, 89-year-old Charlie Towers, lawyer and well-known civic leader, was surrounded by 81 members of his clan, many of whom reside in or near Jacksonville.

Photo by Heather Stine

Photo by Heather Stine

The event was organized by Towers’ sister Sarah Van Cleve who held it at her Richmond Street home and who showcased the talents of the extended family. There were Hot Wings cooks, graphic artists, a videographer, and numerous storytellers. Family members were encouraged to submit a recipe for a cookbook and to include some background with the recipe.
A glossy Treaty Oak style family tree was given to everyone along with a simplified cheat sheet of the family connections. The labyrinthine connections were clarified by a questionnaire which encouraged folks to find family members who had submitted unknown events about themselves such as- ‘Who ran a cattle ranch? Or attended the Queen’s party? Or who ran a marathon at age 40’?

A tee shirt bearing the reunion motto and the iconic lighthouse of Towers’ Hardware was given to every arrival. Some folks wore their shirts during family memento sharing time. One of the mementoes was a chipped tea cup taken from the ruins of grandmother’s house after the 1901 fire.

“This,” says Van Cleve, referring to the teacup, “shows we have been part of Jacksonville for a very, very long time.”

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