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July 1999


Yesterday I had a long visit with cousin Suzanne Eileen Myers Bruce. Suzanne married a Penn State fellow classmate of mine, Edgar Bruce, that I knew from my first days at Penn State. Ed started out in the small Aeronautical Engineering group with me and was chosen to move to a new study called Engineering Research. Ed is the brother of Donald William Bruce, the husband of another cousin, Carol Jean Altman. Both of these cousins are descendants of Frederick and Susannah Held. (Suzanne and Ed were in St. Louis at a Reemer Convention. Suzanne collects juice reemers.) Suzanne and Ed own part of the farm near Brick Church where the Nellie Bly monument is located.

We both agreed that we should start considering an all Held reunion. This would include all the descendants of Johann David and Christina Held. I suggested a grand reunion in 2006 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their arrival in America. We felt that we should have a couple prior to 2006 to spur interest in the 2006 one and to make contacts with family members to help find other family members.

We discussed the possibility that it should last more than one day, perhaps a whole weekend, and maybe more. We did not discuss a date, but for discussion purposes I would like to consider something around August 11-12-13, 2000 for the first one. Ed suggested an air conditioned hall for the first try. He was going to look into the Free Mason's hall in Kittanning.

This would give us an opportunity to bring some of our Held artifacts for display in relative comfort. The artifacts would be items like the cabinet that Suzanne and Ed have, the pin box that David Hawthorne has, the family bibles (Suzanne and Ed have F.C.s, and David Hawthorne tells me that Fred Held in Saxonburg has George's, but I have since received a message that the George Held bible in in the hands of Fonda Alene Schrecengost, who was married to Kenneth Lias Held, son of Charles Edwin Held), and family photos and certificates.

Suzanne felt we should form a couple committees to help plan the effort. At this time I would consider volunteers for a (1) planning committee, (2) contact committee, (3) refreshment committee, (4) possibly a meal committee, (5) lodging committee, (6) momento committee, and any others you might suggest. We have contacts in the George, Jacob, Frederick, and Hiram branches that I will rely on. We still need contacts to help in the Regina Held Frantz and Louisa Held Kunkle branches. I will work on that.

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Copyright 1999 by Fred H. Held