There were 11 kids in my Dad’s family, six girls and five boys. Before Grandpa Smith passed away, we would have our annual reunion at a local park on Father’s Day. As you can imagine once those 11 started having kids and then their kids had kids, it was more than just a get-together, it was an event! I remember sitting in lawn chairs or on a pallet (for those of you who may be too young to remember, pallets were blankets or quilts that we spread out on the ground), running and playing with my cousins and catching up on all the family news. Oh did I mention the food? Everyone brought a homemade dish – fried chicken, brisket, mac and cheese, corn casseroles, macaroni salads, green beans, coleslaw, fruit salad, cornbread, watermelon and so much more. Of course you had to save room for dessert – pies and cakes, cobblers, brownies, cookies, fudge.
Every year the tradition continues with a family reunion the weekend before Father’s Day. We were able to attend this year after a long absence. Instead of the park, now the reunion is held in a convention center but the agenda is still the same. Home cooked dishes are still eaten, family memories are shared and new ones are made. Out of the 11 kids there are three sisters left. Both Aunt Minnie (90) and Aunt Jerry (88) attended this year along with about 50 other family members.
My heart soared when I saw my family, both on Dad’s side and Mom’s. Although we now live in Georgia it’s like we were never away. The love of family and tradition is alive and well with the Smith crew. I’m sure those who have gone before us are looking down and saying job well done.
Texas born and raised, I lift my 10-gallon hat to all of you who help organize this event each year and to all that attend. We’re already looking forward to seeing everyone next year.
Y’all come back to visit soon…Frankie D