The Bigelow Society Reunion 2010

Blue Gray Line

The Dates:  13, 14, 15 August 2010
<>     The reunion was in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, and hosted by Don and Don Jr. Bigelow on their beautiful farm. (President) Rod Bigelow, (Vice-President) Jackie Woods, Alan Bigelow (Production Manager and Board Director), and his wife Dee Bigelow (Treasurer) were in attendance. Rod Bigelow held proxies from most of the other Board of Directors, so a quorum was present to hold business or Board meetings.
    The Board meetings were very informal. The first was held at the Fireside Restaurant and Theater on Friday night, where we had a wonderful dinner of fish or chicken. Most of the discussion revolved around further reunions and recruiting new board members. It was a rainy Friday night, but we were cozy at the Fireside and at the farm. We met new people and reconnected with others from previous reunions. As we left the restaurant, there was a beautiful rainbow, which turned out to be a good omen for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday morning we met at Don Bigelow’s farm for coffee, juice, and pastries. The men and women of this family are such wonderful hosts, and they make you feel so welcome. After visiting with “cousins”, we were off on a new adventure. We took a bus to Old World Wisconsin, a wonderful historical park which showed the homes and villages of the immigrants to Wisconsin. On the bus we held our second Board meeting, which again was informal and short. We discussed some By-law changes and Board meetings via conference calls or internet. Very little was decided, as too few Board members were present to offer their views.

Carol Valentine followed by husband Bob on right
     It was Saturday afternoon, when most of the family members showed up. We had a wonderful time meeting and talking to all our “cousins”. Soon it was time for dinner, and what a dinner it was. Nobody went away hungry. I met some people, whom I only heard or read about. They are Bob and Carol Valentine, who were early Board members when my uncle Claude Bigelow was president. Carol even had a picture of her dancing with Claude at an earlier reunion. It was great fun meeting them and so many others too numerous to mention. I had some nice conversations with the women and men who did all the work preparing the food, etc. Thank you for all the great food and memories.
     After a wonderful dinner and plenty of deserts, we had our general meeting. It too was kind of informal, with the President Rod Bigelow giving a report on the progress of the society over the past years, and Treasurer Dee Bigelow giving the financial report. It was 4 years since we last visited Don Bigelows’ farm and it was great to see all the fine restored tractors again as well as classic autos and trucks.

Rod and Dee Standing; Allan to her right; Jackie Woods in front of Rod
     The President and Treasurer related the progress of the Society over the past year. The finances are in good order, and the membership is stable. Not growing as much as we would like, but stable. The sales of Volume I and II are going fairly well, but progress on Volume III is going very slow. This is due to the enormous amount of research done in the past and just filed away. It looks like a couple more years are needed. 
     Then it was time for the auction. We all had a good time, thanks to the fine job done by Don jr. and a real auctioneer Kevin Bigelow. As many of you know, the auction is usually run by the president. So it was with great relief that Don and Kevin took over. Thanks to the auction, the society took in some money, which has been unusual the last couple years. We shared with the Don Bigelow families, but it was hardly enough. So I want to thank them again for such a wonderful time.

Kevin Bigelow and Don jr. Auctioneers
     We had our final Board meeting, later that evening and again not much accomplished due to so few board members present. We discussed the next reunion, which may be in Michigan thanks to our Vice President Jackie Woods. New directors were not appointed, but the previous directors have decided to serve for 3 more years. More on this in a later Forge.
On a further personal note:

      As I like to do on my reunion trips, I made it a mini-vacation. I traveled from Ft. Atkinson to Milwaukee, and drove around seeing some of the sights of last year’s trip. I then went to Chicago and stayed two nights with relatives. I had a wonderful visit with their grand kids that spend their summers near our place in Chazy Lake. On Monday afternoon, I rode my bike along Lake Michigan, and went to the Shedd Aquarium. This has always been one of my dreams of going there, because of my great interest in fish. It did not disappoint, and I took many pictures. That night, my wife’s second cousin, John, took me out to one of the best barbecue rib joints that I have ever eaten at. Frank Sinatra used to eat there, when in town and ordered ribs “keep them coming”. Now I know why. This made my long drive home better………….ROD

                                                    Photos by Gail Hummel (our Authorized Bigelow Society Photographer),

More photos:

Blue Gray Line

Rod Bigelow
Box 13  Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
Back to Bigelow Society