All Those Cousins at a 4-year-olds’ Birthday Party

Although the Wilson children eventually moved to California, the rest of these cousins grew up around Dexter, Iowa. This photo was taken in July 1950 on the farm NW of Dexfield Park where Dad rented after the war, a birthday party for my sister, Gloria Neal.

Leora Darlene Wilson (born during the war) is on the left in back. Her sister Donna is in the front row looking at the camera. They were the children of Delbert and Evelyn Wilson.

I’m next in the back row, then Susan Shepherd, oldest daughter of John and Nadine (Neal) Shepherd, also born during the war. (Nadine played the organ for my folks’ wedding.) Susan’s brother Kenny is looking at my sister Gloria, who is holding her birthday puppy.

Richard Scar, son of Sam and Darlene (Wilson) Scar and the oldest of the “Wilson cousins” is in the center back, holding his brother Dennis. Robert Scar is next. He and Richard were both born during the war.

Judy Neal with the braids, daughter of Willis (Bill) and Helen Neal, was born while her dad was flying over “the Hump” during WWII. Her sister Jane is in the front, watching the crying baby.

Vincent Wells, born during the war, son of Mervin and Betty (Neal) Wells is on the end. His sister Patty is in the middle of the front row.

Emily Neal, on the right in front, is the only daughter of Grandpa Kenneth Neal’s brother MM Neal, so a cousin of my dad’s.

I guess about half of these cousins are true Baby Boomers, and the rest of us are too old for such a moniker.


  1. What a great gathering! I can’t remember all of our cousins getting together at the same time, let alone having a photo taken of us all. Hey, I don’t think I even know half my cousins! Whenever I rode along as a kid with my dad and someone waved, I’d asked, “Who was that?” He’d invariably respond, “Oh, that was your cousin.” I think everyone in our community was my cousin!

  2. The Wilson cousins were up near Perry. You four Neals, the Wells and Shepherd cousins were current and future Dexter students. Richard and I were still at the one-room school house (Penn Township No. 5). The following year we went into Earlham Community School (town school!). I am sitting next to Judy, who I didn’t even know. Other side of the family, different Dexter churches, etc. Not until high school when many of you moved from Dexter to Earlham did Judy and I become classmates. Close friends to this day. Sorry, I got a bit “wordy”, hope not too boring. Bob

    • I love it when you get wordy, Bob! I didn’t know that you and Richard went to country school! (I think Judy did as well, her first year. I went to Redfield when we lived at this house.) You and Judy were the juniors chosen to lead us seniors to our seats on graduation day!

  3. I loved your post about your 4-year-old birthday party with all your baby boomer cousins. You have such a sweet and nostalgic memory of that day. I enjoyed seeing your photos and reading your captions of each cousin. Thank you for sharing your precious and fun moments with us!

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