Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Reunions

When I discovered this amazing photograph among my dad’s keepsakes, I dove deep into it. So many here kin to me. It’s my dad’s mother’s family. I have it propped with music books at the piano now and when I play I study the faces. I wonder if they sang or knew the songs I play. So many questions fill my curious mind.

Was my great-grandmother stubborn?  (front row second from left) Was some of the old furniture now gracing my home in this house at that time? Did some in this group of kin like to write? To cook or draw?  Is my uncle the babe in arms of the great-great grandmother? What is the thing on the head of a great-uncle in the back row? And too bad we can’t see the top of the house!

This photo makes me think of another family reunion though on my father’s mother’s side of the family. It met yearly at least 50 times. Amazingly also among my dad’s things, I found minutes to the annual around-Labor-Day-gathering. It’s fascinating to read about the games they played, the now-seeming mundane prizes that were given out (a packet of rubber bands for example), and the record of their business meetings. They were serious about the family stuff. Towards the end I read complaints about lack of attendance, particularly among the young people. Does that sound familiar? They tried various things to entice their attendance without much success. Finally, around 1951, the reunions ended.

Another family reunion of sorts, on a much smaller scale, is going on at our house now ... and at many of yours as well. What will future generations be asking about our digital photos, I wonder. Will they hold history in awe as many of us do? Only "time will tell."


  1. I love your family reunion photo. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of gathering for my mother's family reunion. With seventeen children and their families (I have 39 first cousins), it was a big event held on the grounds of the church which they grew up in.

    I can just imagine what kinds of foods those ladies brought to your family reunion. It would be fun to view photos of those heavily laden tables.

    Enjoy your own family reunion. I certainly am enjoying mine!


  2. That the biggest problem in looking at old photos such as this one, you have so many questions, some of which will never be answered!

    But it is nice to know that the problem of getting the younger folks involved isn't something new :-)

    Happy New Year Podso!

  3. That is a very special photo with so many relatives gathered together. A treasure!

    Sending wishes to you, Podso, for a very Happy New Year!

  4. Seeing that marvelous photo makes me remember that it is important to print some of these digital photos. There's nothing like having the picture in one's hands.

  5. Podso,
    I agree that it would have been nice had someone written down what happened at family reunions! My cousins, always tell me the best thing about our family reunions was me. I made it fun for them. We have Irish heritage. Our father's all played string instruments. I love to dance...the freedom of expression it brings to one's soul! As our fathers played, I'd take the cousins by the hand and we'd form a huge circle around them and dance! Sometimes similiar to "Ring around Rosie" or we'd find a huge tree and do a "May Pole" effect! I'm pleased that they remember. I just had to dance...still do...whenever there's music! Thanks for those memories today!
    P.S. I think the "thing" on your family members head is a lantern. Not really sitting on his head...just appears that way. In the photo there appears to be another under the roof of the porch at the house!

  6. What a treasure to have that photo, Dotsie! Our family used to have a gathering around Labor Day and it, too, dwindled down. The food. Oh, my, the food! We used to run and play with our cousins, though we were rarely able to attend we always lived so far away. This brings back some good memories.

    I know you are enjoying your reunion!! And, what do you think these blogs will be of our days?? Do you think they will still be floating around in cyberspace for our families-to-be? Do you think they will research them? Interesting to think about.

    Happiest of new years to you and yours, Dotsie! blessings ~ tanna

  7. What an amazing photo to have! Both my Mom and Dad came from small families and all my aunts and uncles have passed and also some of my cousins. My husband will be the last here that knew his relatives in Italy well. I wonder if our blogs will survive forever for future generations to read?

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy & Healthy New Year!

  8. How wonderful to find a photo like that of one's family!
    Hugs, Cindy

  9. I had to come looking for you this evening. For some reason you sprang to mind. What a wonderful family photo. Amazing even. I am sorry that the family that gathered for reunions ended them so long ago. I'm sure you would have loved to attend. Sometimes I think that my cousins and I should work on one, but life tugs in so many opposite directions. A very happy New Year to you, Podso!

  10. Oh my, that picture is a treasure. I have all the same questions you do about my ancestors. I wish I knew so much more then their vital statistics. And if we are known to each other in glory, I feel like I will be so ahead of the game having learned who they are doing genealogy! I can't wait!


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