Thomas: Family reunion event to remember

Well, it’s a week overdue but I wanted to share with you the fun and joy I experienced during my family reunion on Labor Day weekend.

Every year my family gathers to celebrate our proud family heritage by reliving our favorite memories of childhood, sharing our latest exploits and, my favorite, making new favorite memories with family.

The reunion is a collaboration of efforts to organize and put on the many different activities we enjoy. To be honest I don’t know if anyone ever truly thanks those who put so much work into our family reunion, though I’d like to do so right now.

“Thank you,” for making our family reunion such a success each year. I’m not going to name anyone cause I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out, and since this is about family I know it won’t ever be forgotten, even though we really appreciate all that you all do and we may forget to say so.

But “Thank you.”

Now, our reunion was on a holiday weekend which meant relaxation. Or so I thought, but my cousin Sandra was the first to welcome me and say “grab a spoon,” which normally I’m ready to do, though in this instance she was talking about helping out in the serving line.

I enjoyed serving the food to our family as they proceeded down our cafeteria-style setup. I don’t want to complain, because I know we were all equally important, but I can’t help feeling I got the short end of the stick by having to serve the green beans.

Green beans? I couldn’t have served the slow-roasted brisket, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, beans, or one of the two kinds of chili we had?

It also didn’t help that by the time people got down to me, their plates were so full they didn’t have room for the green beans. That, and the children were not to keen on having green on their plate.

Of course, being at the end of the line did put me closer to the tortillas, which I had to refill at least eight or nine times. You know how us Garcias; we need tortillas when we eat. In fact, many of us were using tortillas before we used spoons. Though I know I’m not alone when I say this, it would have been nice to have some of my dad’s home-made rolls. In case you didn’t know, my dad, Ralph Garcia, is the best cook/baker many others and I have ever known. I don’t want to start a culinary war with that statement, but those who know what I am talking about will back me up.

My dad is getting older and he had already done so much cooking for the meal, including the brisket and some desserts, that I completely understand why there were no rolls.

However, I would like to address a certain cousin who was hiding tortillas when everybody thought they were all gone. I’m not going to mention any names but you know who you are. You asked me to help serve.

As the reunion rolled on, the groups of people began to splinter off, we had the children enjoying kids games and cake walks, there was a Texas Hold’em game and Bingo.

The card game last longer than the bingo game and during some reunions it has run to the very start of the dance. Many wonder how we can sit there for so long playing cards, the truth is we talk just about everything under the sun. It’s a way for us to spend some quality time together while sharing experiences, ideas and the occasional bad beat.

Later in the evening we enjoy a dance, usually with a band that plays a mixture of country, rock and Spanish favorites. More than just family attend the dance, though many of them are my friends and I consider many of them as family.

It is one of my most treasured joys to see my family together laughing and carrying on with one another, considering its often been too long since we last spoke.

Family is truly one of those rare things in this life that can make a person happy beyond belief one day and crazy the next. Though for better or worse, we would not trade them for anything in the world.

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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