Sunday, December 26, 2004

Family reunion, part I 

In much the same way that my kids think a "cavity check" is the special security check at the post gate, I grew up believing a "gang bang" was a get-together at my Grandma Jernigan's house. That is, after all, what my father called it, at least when Grandma wasn't around. We would descend on her house--6 granchildren spanning 10 years--and feast on ham and cheesy potatoes, chicken and dumplings, and the best banana pudding ever made.

One thing you have to know about my grandmother is that she was photo happy. As much as we have come to treasure the photos she took, the sight of Grandma with a camera in her hands inspired dread in the 6 of us. Any photo shoot was sure to drag on, with Grandma stage directing the whole thing: "Now a little more to the left. Hold it. OK, now do your arm like this like a ballerina!"

In May 1989, we had a photo session that got a little bit goofy. After we took every other arrangement possible, we 6 cousins flopped down on the floor with our heads together and posed for the best shot of the day:

In the years since, reunions with all the cousins have grown rarer and rarer. We got together though for Grandma's funeral in January 2002. I'm sure the man in charge of the funeral parlor thought we were quite crazy when we assumed the position right there in his lobby and re-took our favorite shot:

Today all 6 cousins and their respective parental units descended on my cousin Laura's house in Orlando for a Christmas reunion. We munched on ham and lasagna and watched our own children tear through Laura's house like we used to rip through Grandma's. At the end of the evening, we moved the coffee table out of the way and dropped to the floor for the 2004 edition of our trademark photo:

Other notable photos for today were my cousin Becky with her boyfriend Eric:

And my cousin Julie with her baby Emma:

We are returning to Orlando tomorrow for another day of family fun. I would dearly love to get a shot of the great-grandchildren in our classic pose, but I have my doubts. Getting 8 kids as young as 1 and as old as almost 15 in one place is a lot like herding cats. I'm sure Grandma wouldn't have backed down from that photographic challenge though!

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?