BILL SAMPSON: Family Reunions

I was sitting on my front porch having my first cup of coffee, thoroughly enjoying what the morning had to offer. Beautiful day today with a very light breeze, temp around 80 and clear skies. I was thinking about the past few days and a trip my wife and I made to the Ardmore area for a family reunion.Have you been to a family reunion recently? They are interesting events. Going to this particular reunion gave me the chance to look at the event in a couple of ways. The food for lunch was, of course, very good and very plentiful. Dishes were brought that were made from the recipes of the past matriarch.This particular reunion was of my wife’s mother’s side of the family. It was a large family and a lot of the family was in attendance even though several of the “children” are getting up in years. Several are now in their mid- to late-eighties.Have you noticed at reunions you have been to there are invariably one or two people who manage to stay off by themselves? I can almost bet you these are the folks who are attending because it is the spouses family, not theirs. We had a couple of folks like that and they were indeed the outlaws in the family.Usually, before the event is over, even these wall flowers manage to get into a conversation with other folks and are feeling more at home. Sometimes these people are the ones with real interesting backgrounds or professions and are a lot of fun to talk with.Family reunions represent to me a microcosm of our country. There are people at a reunion from all walks of life. People who have backgrounds of blue collar, white collar and no collar. The one thing they all have in common is the family tie with a particular group of people. It is interesting to me to see the cement, if you will, that binds a particular set of people together. That tie is very strong and people at a reunion are bound and determined to keep that tie, that cement, holding them together year after year.I think family reunions are good to have and, even if you are one of the outlaws as I was at this reunion, it is good to see these people year after year. To watch their kids grow up, to see us all age a bit from one year to the next.I believe family reunions that are held all across this wonderful land of ours represent a very basic part of the fabric that makes our land great. Oh, world events and the sad state our land is going through right now may or may not be discussed, but you can be sure that you can go from group to group of folks and just stand there a bit and know that a lot of knowledge is being passed back and forth.Yes, family reunions are a good thing and if you get the chance to go to one, I urge you to do so. You might not be 100 percent into the event but at least you get the chance have another piece of MaMaw’s famous chocolate cake recipe. ‘Til next time. God Bless.Bill Sampson, a retired financial consultant, lives in the Cameron area. E-mail him at