I’m just back from a fabulous weekend in Zollicoffer where I got to hang with all of the family a bit, and the cousins a LOT. The cousins were a big part of the reason I went home, and even though I knew there was a reunion, it wasn’t something I was really excited about. The reason is simple – I’ve been going to the family reunion for YEARS and the people there fall into two categories – 1 – the people I’ve known my entire life and see all the time, and 2 – Yankees.
Yes, we have Yankees in the family. Don’t judge.
Anyway, the same thing always happens, I hang out with my cousins and aunts, etc. and never, not once, say anything to the other, you know, people. Even if I tried to figure out who they were, it would go something like this –
“Who’s that?” ”
You know, that’s Roberta, Anna V’s grand-daughter.”
“Who’s Anna V?”
“Jack has a sister??”
But to be nice, I actually DID go out of my way to say hello to someone, related to me somehow, from Indiana. It’s all about outreach.
So, as I was saying, I really went to see the cousins. But then I got there and heard the music. I’d forgotten how much the music of our family celebrations has been a part of my life. On Christmas Eve, at birthday parties or random get-togethers, there has always been music. Uncle Ralph, Doyle and/or Deloy, Uncle Bruce and Cousin Brian – always someone singing and playing an instrument. Brian and Bruce played at my wedding! There was no “Wheels On the Bus Go Round and Round” in my childhood, no it was “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”. If there is ever a movie about my life, these boys will provide the soundtrack. I can’t hear “Kalija” or “The House of the Rising Sun” without thinking of Ralph. Or “Hang on Sloopy” without remembering Bruce. And since I stopped by Brian’s house this weekend and he played me an old recording of him singing at 16 – he will now always be associated with “All You Zombies.”
The point is – they are great. And they’re a big part of why, as crazy as the whole clan is, I am so glad I’m part of this family.
About halfway through -when they kick into Orange Blossom Special – it doesn’t get much better than that.
(Features Brian, Ralph, and some other guy I don’t know, but I’m sure I should. He probably belongs to Anna V.)
More about the cousins tomorrow.