52 Ancestors 2015: #29 Musical Reunions

Week 29 (July 16-22) – Musical: There seems to be a musician in every family. Who is
the one in yours? Don’t have a musician? Which ancestor has a lyrical name or reminds
you of a song?

Music has always been part of my family. Some of my best memories are of Dad singing while making pancakes, or Mom singing as she rocked a sibling or cousin to sleep. Singing in church, in school choirs, playing instruments – we grew up with music.

I remember from the first to the last, the Roberts’ family reunions had music and food and lots of laughs. From the memorial service where we sang the old hymns and spoke of John & Carrie, the parents of the siblings who gathered their families here, to sharing memories of those who had been with us last year…but weren’t here now. Then we’d go to the cemetery and put flowers on the graves. (Yes, I started liking cemeteries when I was a little kid!)

Roberts Reunion - Memorial 1988

Coffee and donuts after the memorial, a chance to catch up a little bit – and to set up the grange hall for dinner the next day. There would be a huge family dinner and then a ‘business meeting’ where they talked about the cost and organization of the reunion this year and for next, and then there was the talent show.

When you talk about a huge family dinner in northeast Maine, you KNOW there will be baked beans. Several kinds of them. I remember one year, there were sixteen different pots of baked beans. (I think the talent show was a little more ‘musical’ that year…:wry grin:)

reunion food

reunion dinner 1982

It became a ‘thing to do’ – to do something for the reunion Talent Show that was held after the big family dinner. From the time we were little kids, we would plan what we would do at reunion. For my sister and I, it was usually a bit from one of our dance recitals – complete with costume. As I got older, I played guitar and sang – and looking back on the pictures, my family was -very- musical.

reunion music 1 reunion autoharp player

When we grew up and got married, our spouses also participated.

My first husband - probably playing a song by America

My first husband – probably playing a song by America

And when our kids were old enough – they participated

My daughter, Irish step dancing @ reunion 1993 (Yes, I made the dress)

My daughter, Irish step dancing @ reunion 1993 (Yes, I made the dress)

Everyone came to watch and listen – even the folks cleaning up in the kitchen would slip out to watch and clap and sing along.

1987 reunion talent show audience
“Come young ones, come old ones, we welcome you all. To the Roberts’ reunion, we’re gonna have a ball…”

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About T.K. Eldridge

Consultant/Writer
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