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Upcoming Reunions News Archive

Right Off the Top of My Head
Are You Ready for Reunion Season?
by Craig Richards   June 1, 2001

For our friends here in the northern hemisphere, last weekend marked the official beginning of summer holiday travel and, for more than 1 in 4 of all recreational travelers, the Reunion Season.

Traditionally, more reunion gatherings are planned during these months than any other period. (Other family events don't count here.)

With the opening of this season, you don't need a hunting license! In addition to your own gathering, though, you should find out if extended family members are planning a gathering! Just go to the Reunion Calendar at and type in a surname from your family tree.

Over this past year, has continued its sharp growth rate and, thanks to you, remains among the most popular 10% of all websites in the world!

We've refined some of the features at including the Reunion Calendar announcement form – making it easier than ever to submit or modify your family's listing! Be sure to let all your family members know there's one convenient place on the internet to get the latest information on your gathering –!

I hope you enjoy this issue of "Connections" our new rich-format email newsletter. As always, your feedback is encouraged and welcome.

A thought or two right off the top of my head. We are very interested in your views and opinions.

Until next time we gather around the warm glow of your monitor, I remain

virtually yours,

return to the TOP Craig Richards, publisher

FUN AND GAMES:   The Name Game

The free Name Game for this month is now online! Print out as many as you want and pass them around. This is our new twist on a familiar word puzzle. You search for words (from the list on the right) that are hidden in the letter grid. Look vertically, horizontally, diagonally and backward to find them all!
Play The Name Game
Order your Name Game!
Print your Name Game
Learn more about The Name Game
It's easy and fun to play The Name Game
This month's Name Game
View the answer keyClick here to view the answer key
View the answer keyClick here to order your Custom Name Game

Did you know you can get your own custom Name Game? We create your custom puzzle from words important to your family – and we even host your Name Game online at FREE! Folks just load it in their browsers and print out as many as they want.

Point your browser to and use the order form to compose your custom Name Game.

return to the TOP Your purchase of our Name Game service helps support the efforts of to help connect families around the world – We are grateful for your continued patronage and the opportunity to help you Make Fun of Your Reunion!


Last June, 3500 kin of the legendary feuding families "The Hatfields and McCoys" gathered in the highlands of Kentucky and West Virginia, USA.

Since then, organizers have been hard at work to produce an even bigger gathering. The combined reunion of the two famous families is now also a regional festival being coordinated by municipal and county agencies and chambers of commerce as well as folks from the McCoy and Hatfield families!

Scheduled activities include a softball game, tug-of-war, marathon, golf tournament, Shriner's carnival and rides, laser tag, feud site tours, dedication ceremonies, genealogical events, interpretive dramas, special dinners and more.

Noted "feud" scholar and author Dr. Altina Waller is scheduled to speak and will be available for a book-signing. Both Kentucky Governor Patton and West Virginia's new Governor Bob Wise will be meeting together on the Matewan-Buskirk Bridge to commemorate the historic battle between Kentucky and West Virginia during the feud.

Coca-Cola is also releasing a special collectible version of their 8-oz. bottle for the Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival – only available in Eastern Kentucky during the event.

Another highlight of the weekend will be the classic rematches in both the softball and tug-of-war events. The families will meet at the Pikeville College softball field on Saturday, June 9 and, on Sunday, June 10, the Hatfields will meet the McCoys again for some friendly "rope-pullin'" at the Tug River in Matewan, West Virginia.

A new historical marker will be dedicated on Sunday morning, June 10 at the remains of Rev. Anderson Hatfield's cabin – the site of the feud's infamous "pig trial" followed by a joint family Memorial/Prayer service on the bridge that spans the Tug River connecting West Virginia and Kentucky.

return to the TOP For more information on the Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival, please go to


Living Legacies

According to Duane Elgin and Coleen LeDrew, experts in the growing field of chronicling personal and family histories, storytelling is "the oldest teaching and healing art."

I love a good story! In fact, some of my favorite books are biographies. When I read through the notes my grandmother had prepared for her own life story, I could see her life from a very unique viewpoint: hers.

And the more I understand about the inner workings of others – especially my family, the more sense I can make of my own quirky style and offbeat genius!

I can imagine what someone three or four generations downline might write about me: My hopes, dreams, talents and passions, struggles and triumphs – all reduced to a sentence of facts and statistics?

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So, yes. When it comes to telling my story, I'd like at least some input, thank you. So how do I chronicle? Where do I begin? The beginning?

Through their newly released book, Mr. Elgin and Ms. LeDrew took me on a guided tour of the whole process, patiently drawing me from the first through each successive step.

I am impressed that each beautifully illustrated page of their "Living Legacies: How to Write, Illustrate, and Share Your Life Stories" appears skillfully handcrafted with a loving balance of light, shadow, color, hue, scale, shape and texture. The book itself is an inspiring keepsake!

Its 240 pages brimming with anecdotes and examples, this tutorial goes further by demonstrating the process rather than simply showing the polished result. It is painless learning thanks to serious instruction punctuated liberally with light humor.

The authors have thoughtfully included websites for getting archival materials and other online resources for research, ideas and inspiration, as well as a helpful list of other publications to help you take that first step to telling your life story.
return to the TOP
My thanks to Duane Elgin and Coleen LeDrew for making the idea of recording my own life story actually seem accessible. With their help, you'll feel inspired to tell your side of the story.

I encourage you to save 20% off your purchase of "Living Legacies" through the Barnes and Noble bookstore now.

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