According to Wikipedia, “a family reunion is an occasion when many members of an extended family congregate. Sometimes reunions are held regularly, for example on the same date of every year.” A would suggest that this practice began back in the day as family members moved away from other members and communication was difficult or impossible. Once a year families could gather at some central location and catch up on news.

My mother and aunt went to my grandmother’s family reunion the first weekend in June. It was interesting to listen to her talk about it because she and my aunt were probably the oldest attendees. My grandmother and all of her 12 sisters and brothers are deceased. Most likely the other attendees were first and second cousins and I can’t imagine that any of them really had anything in common with one another.

About 20 years ago my mother and aunt organized a Foster reunion that gathered every Thanksgiving weekend. Foster was their maiden name and the reunion was held at some State park where cabins were for rent. For the first few years we met at Fort Parker State Park. For the most part I enjoy being around my cousins for about an hour so being cooped up with them and their families bordered on a form of torture. Then there were planned activities that each of us had to participate in such as building a ginger bread house. Televisions were discouraged so there was no way to watch football games scheduled during the holiday period. Since most of us are Aggies or Longhorns we had to listen to that game on the radio, an activity that was discouraged. “This is a family gathering and you should be spending time with your family.” It was so much fun that my two older children referred to it as “Camp Hell”. This description doesn’t even include the reunion at Garner State Park where a cousin brought the stomach virus and made us all sick.

So what is up with an article about family reunions? As you read this my wife and I will be at a family reunion organized by my sister-in-law; The Anderson family reunion. The main day for said reunion is June 21 which also happens to be our wedding anniversary. So to make things better, I have made hotel reservations in San Antonio rather than stay at my in-laws’ house in Bulverde. This way we can slide in for some event that sounds fun like eating and shopping in Greune and then slide out when the hot game of washers is being played. I haven’t seen most of these people in years and didn’t know them very well when I did see them. As you can probably tell I am not too excited. I expressed some of these views to my spouse who then reminded me of attending the reunions described above. So we are going to San Antonio and Bulverde happily participating in a reunion. I am confident that once things get going it will be enjoyable.

If not there is always the Alamo.

Bob Newby is a psychology professor at Tarleton State University who lives in Morgan Mill. He is a member of the E-T's community columnists and can be reached at