Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Family Reunions

Two of the best things about family reunions-the babies and the elders.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    June 4, 2011 at 9:37 am

    our reunion is coming up in mid-July!! Sadly, our numbers are dwindling as so many of the ‘young’ ones are scattered geographically. At one time we celebrated six generations with the birth of my first great-granddaughter. What blessings.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 6:11 am

    We used to have a family reunion, but I guess everyone is too busy with their own life now. I would have savored them more had I known they would ever end! I would have asked a lot more questions of the elders, most of them gone now, who knew all the little details of the family history.
    Sweet picture, Tipper! I love the bemused and indulgent look on the gentleman’s face, the little ones seem to bring out the tender side in us all!

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    June 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Tipper: nothing could be better than go back too any one of a dozen family reunions. they were all filled with happiness, and good food. i remember my dad would put on Carl Storys great song family reunion. love those memories. k.o.h

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    June 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    You’re timing is spot on, Tipper! We attended a wedding this evening a the Phillip’s family’s old homeplace. We had the elders (74) & the youngers (3 days). When this bunch gets together, it always turns into a reunion with priceless stories & precious memories. The ones who are no longer with us always are in spirit. Lovely evening!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    June 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    The babies and the elders are why we have to have picnics–to remember it’s just good to be home. Beautiful.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    We used to have the best reunions when I was little and then as a yong man! So many of my family have gone now.
    I always dreaded it when I was very little because we got all those wet and gooey kisses. You could count on getting your cheeks and nose tweaked till you just wanted to run. Then there was all those that would laugh and slap their knees and say, “Lord I won’t never forget that time you boys got butted nearly to death by Granny’s old billy goat!” It was always something you wanted to forget like that time the old cow tried trample us little boys when we tried to pet her new calf! Then there was the time that etc., etc., etc., but there was always so much love then.
    We still have a reunion but not as frequent now. The homemade ice cream (I think tasted better then).
    Oh,yes there is always some young sprout there that just can’t believe that you are so old that you actually remember seeing Buddy Holly live on The “Ed Sullivan Show.”
    Yeah, those were the days!

  • Reply
    Mary Jane Plemons
    June 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    My husband and his twin are the eldest of twelve siblings. When his Daddy died at 80-something several years ago, there were exactly 100 descendents and spouses living. His mother had died about 40 years ago. Now there are approximately 130, maybe more, in the immediate family, plus uncles, cousins, and friends who show up at reunions. One brother died last year, the youngest. The twins are 73 now. Most of the 8 brothers play music, plus many of the others, so we have lots of guitars, a steel, drums, etc., with music all day, tons of good food, and we visit up a storm! At the last one, we took a picture of all our military vets, and they represented 108 years of service, from World War II, thru Korea, Viet Nam, and Desert Storm, with one nephew actively serving in the Army now. He is in Afghanistan now, for the second time, plus serving in Iraq.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Have never been to a family reunion, mainly because there has never been one. Is that weird?

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I agree.
    We had two aunts (sisters) who bickered constantly at family reunions. They WERE the elders. We called them The Aunts. But their little squabbles were humorous, not rancorous – especially to those listening, cause they’d argue about the silliest things. The one I remember most is whether their mom (our Gran) had two rinse tubs with her wringer washer or just one.
    Can you imagine arguing about that? LOL

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    June 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    For various reasons we have missed our family reunions (both sides) for a couple of years. We do plan to head to Mississippi in July for this year’s reunion. My mama will be excited. She always can tell me how many cousins there are now and the newly borned ones as well. Some of our earlier “kin” were from NE Georgia and some even in NC, but I’ve had trouble tracing all of them.

  • Reply
    Mama Crow
    June 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    My fav parts of reunions are Mama’s potato salad, watching the kids play in the creek, cleaning out the spring, and waiting for evening so we can start the campfire and do hotdogs and marshmallows. Mama Crow.
    ps I don’t like the part where my cousin and I get out the big poster size chart of our family tree and put dashes around the names of those that died this year, but we also get to put new stickers for the new arrivals…that helps.
    still Mama Crow

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I love family reunions! We are having ours on Saturday.

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    June 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

    love this Tipper!

  • Reply
    John Dilbeck
    June 1, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I couldn’t agree more, Tipper.
    I went to a family reunion last Saturday and had a great time seeing everyone again.
    I shot over an hour of video and now I’m working on whittling it down to under 15 minutes so I can post it online — and not leave anyone out.
    There were lots of new young-uns and not as many of the old folks.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 10:00 am

    The funny thing about family reunions is that when you are between those two extremes…They just aren’t as much fun.
    It’s the kids and the elders that make those awkward in-between years worth living through. At least in my family, everyone seems to go through that period of young adulthood where you just don’t want to be bothered with the yearly trip to see all of “the relatives”.
    Nice timing Tipper, I have a reunion this Sunday for my dad’s family…The attendance has dropped off in recent years, and since I am now an elder…That bother’s me.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I think you have to develop a little maturity before you can truly appreciate the innocence and purity of the very young and the hard won second sight of the elders!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Memories in the making for both generations!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    June 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I wish I still had my grandparents around. My last surviving grandmother died almost 20 years ago, just shy of her 90th birthday. I would love to chat with them, and I have a LOT of questions.
    I was blessed, though, because with the exception of my Dad’s dad who died from cancer at 72, the other three lived into their mid-80’s to mid-90’s. Knowing what I know now, though, I would have spent more time with them.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 8:40 am

    a lovely shot of young and older, not old of course. the little boy’s look like twins. i always like the elders at our reunion, because of their stories,now all those elders are gone home to heaven and I am the elder.

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    June 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I love get togethers, but unfortunatley for us our reunions of late only occur when there is a death or wedding in the family. We did just have a christening get together for my wife’s 2nd cousins little girl.
    I always enjoy talking to my elders. They are the keepers of the family memories. They are good at reminding one of their younger days and happier times as well.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    June 1, 2011 at 7:02 am

    This one has me perplexed….It could be someone waiting with the younger cousins at the Trailways or Greyhound bus station in town for a family reunion….but gosh I haven’t seen a Trailways or Greyhound bus in years! sooo, that type of meeting (reunion)is not probable…
    The picture reminds me of the bus depots, pick-up and drop-offs, in small towns I’ve seen thru the years….
    So where is it?
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    June 1, 2011 at 6:43 am

    I agree with that!
    It has been a long time since my family has had a family reunion.

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