The 57th annual Lady Cemetery Homecoming was held in the Lyon County portion of LBL, formerly called Between the Rivers, on Sunday, Sept. 15. The tradition began as families were forced to re-locate in the 1960s due to TVA's use of eminent domain to establish a demonstration in the area. Annual homecomings at the remaining LBL cemeteries replaced family reunions and other celebrations once held at family homeplaces or in local communities.
Due to the Forest Service's failure to grade the road leading to the cemetery, there were a couple of chipped teeth and the added pain for those who had recent accidents or those expected to have surgeries in the upcoming weeks. Despite that, everyone arrived in good spirits with extra chairs and family updates. They were also thankful to see the Porta Potties furnished by the Forest Service. They delivered them a week early and came in handy while mowing and sprucing up the cemetery prior to the homecoming.
Dinner on the grounds began shortly after noon. Leon Knott, whose family was from the Stewart County portion of LBL, first blessed the food, all those gathered there, and those who could not be with us due to illnesses, other family obligations, or work. He also remembered those who have passed, thanking God for their contributions and strength of body and spirit when settling the area generations before.
Since the last gathering, Charles "Chuck" Huff has passed away and now rests near other family members buried at Lady. He would have been 64 the day of the reunion. His sister Marcia Huff Brittain and his brother Willis Redd Jr. came to pay their respects that day. His uncle, Harry Noble Barnett, also recently passed away and is buried in Lyon County near his home.
Surnames on the monuments at Henry Lady Cemetery include Bonner, Clevidence, Gordon, Gray, Lady, Lawrence, Leeper, Hardy, Noles, Martin, and Ray. The first person buried at the cemetery was Henry Lady on April 27, 1893. Unidentified graves include several Lady infants, two prisoners from Kentucky State Penitentiary who asked permission to be buried there, and several former slaves who served the Lady family prior to the Civil War and remained with the Lady family after the war ended.
The oldest person in attendance was JBelle Snyder Riggle, although a lady never reveals her age. She admitted to being over 25. The youngest person in attendance was Maci Rudd, 6, who is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Thomas and Celia Ray Lawrence who are buried at the cemetery.
Instead of the usual 20+ photograph albums, a Lady Cemetery Homecoming PowerPoint featuring past reunions and homes, stores, and other locations once in LBL and a book, "Where the Heart Is," prepared by Carolyne Martin Bonds and a Between the Rivers tri-fold display by Graycee Lynn Clark sat on a display table.
The descendants of both Henry and Arrenia Lady and Ira Edward "Edd" and Salome Lady Lawrence included Ronnie and Justin Hardy. Justin has four generations of ancestors buried at the cemetery.
Others in attendance could claim descent from William Jackson Pinnegar, Linn Ezekiel and Mary Pinnegar Lawrence, Thomas and Celia Ray Lawrence, or Ira Edward "Edd" and Fannie Ann Lawrence.
Everyone in attendance was either former residents of Between the Rivers or their descendants, and all were related by blood or marriage.
Among the many occupations held by these descendants of Between the Rivers; farmers, teachers, preachers, cooks, and one or two moonshiners included a brick mason, a carpenter and jack-of-all trades, a CCA for the USPS and a part-time a retail merchandiser for Hallmark, CNAs, a Datamax employee, a day care instructor, a dispatcher for 911, an elder caretaker, a lay minister/astronomer/inventor, maintenance workers, a mechanic, an RSR driver for Walmart, a retired crane operator and custodian, a retired educator, retired factory or plant employees, a retired horse trainer and vendor, a retired postman, resort owners and managers, a self-employed truck driver, and some who own and operate their own businesses. There is not one moonshiner in the bunch.
The 47 in attendance included Homer and Stella Pinnegar Barnett, Eddyville; Billy and Carolyne Martin Bonds with son Trace, Fredonia; Marcia Huff Brittain, Murray; Gregory Clevidence and his new bride Ashleigh, Bebe, Arkansas; Craig Clevidence and son Ayden, Hardin; Kim Clark with children Briley and Lane Clark and Dakari Jones, Bebe, Arkansas; Tiffany Clevidence and son Anthony, Bebe, Arkansas; Ronnie and Ronna Hurt Clevidence, Hardin; Leon Forsythe, Kuttawa; Ronnie and Anita Mitchuson Hardy with their son Justin, Benton; Leon and Fannie Bell Lawrence Knott, Almo; Billy and Virginia Lee Lawrence, Rock Hill, South Carolina; Donnie and Deloris Lee, Benton; Gerald Tatman "Jerry" Martin and his friend Nancy, Benton; Daniel and Danielle Walz Lee and son Dillion, Grand Rivers; Charles Benjamin "Benny" and Mavis Jean Fowler Pinnegar with their grandson Ben, Swanee; JBelle Snyder Riggle, Kuttawa; Willis Huell "Willie" Redd II, Murray; Keith and Casi Clevidence Rudd with their children Landon, Griffin, and Maci, Hardin; Derek Walz, Grand Rivers; and Mariah Walz, Grand Rivers.