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Our Members Say...
40 Current Reunions
Right Off the Top of My Head
by Craig Richards October 1, 1999
Is time travel possible? In a visit with relatives I haven't seen in two generations, I attempted to "go back"...
My six-year-old son Nicholas and I planned this eight-day holiday to introduce him to his many Wisconsin relatives and, though geography and nearly 40 years have separated us, I've always been very fond of those on Dad's side of the family and was eager to finally see them again.
Our time machine, a United Airlines 737, transported us to many generations of our family past and present living in the Green Bay area. (Go Packers.)
From the moment we stepped from our "time capsule" at the airport to when we boarded for our return trip to southern California, we had a
During our stay, Uncle Dick gave me a huge folder containing documents and other genealogical records he's been collecting. They go back 150 years or more and fill in some of the missing branches of our family tree!
With lots of individual time with my aunt, uncle and cousins as well as a few group events, our itinerary struck a comfortable balance of activity and sitting around shooting the breeze. Activities included a delicious backyard barbecue at Cousin Tom and his wife Jean's lovely home, a three-day stay at cousin Sue and her husband Steve's "retreat" home up the peninsula in Wisconsin's Door County playground, a huge gathering of our kin at a sports bar on the ground floor of the recently renovated hotel in De Pere built by my great-grandfather in 1912, and a hardy dinner at cousin Tim's working farm. I'm sure Nicholas (an only child) was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of continuous conversation!
My brother Randy (my lifelong best friend) and his wife Stella flew up from their home in Florida for the week as well just to make this adventure even more rewarding!
We were introduced to two "new" generations of family my cousins' children and their children, learned of their struggles and triumphs, and witnessed first-hand the depth of their love for each other.
Our shared experiences gave us new memories, life-enriching bonds to extended family, and deeper connections to our own roots; proving that travel through time is not only feasible, but well worth the journey!
Just a spontaneous thought right off the top of my head. We're very interested in your reunion story that we can share among our FamilyReunion.com "family" members. Remember, we're all connected.
Living Family Histories
Have you ever wanted to create an audio or video history of your family, but wondered how you can get started? I've recently discovered a website that is sure to inspire the "Spielberg" in all of us!
Featured among Dana Atchley's portfolio of "Digital Storytelling" productions is a particularly charming example of his concepts (and talents) entitled "Redheads."
Through cleverly montaged historical photographs overlayed with simple-yet-effective animations and featuring live-action video and synchronized sound, the central character and narrator (Barbara Welch French) shares bits of her family's past and present by following the trail of red hair through the generations.
Barbara's son Dana Atchley and producer of "Redheads" has a website at nextexit.com where he reveals some of his secrets for producing compelling presentations. Information on these techniques, technologies and the annual Digital Storytelling Festival is also available at the Digital Storytelling Festival website.
In three-day workshops developed by Atchley and now conducted by the Center for Digital Storytelling you, too, can get hands-on training for producing exciting "living" records of your family history for all who follow.
a poem by Shelly Dawn Heil
courtesy of her cousin Danny-Joe Ridgway
Here we are, gathered together on this special day
We hope your upcoming reunion is a joyful and memory-making event and we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family gathering. That's it right from the top! Until the next time we gather together around the warm glow of your monitor, I remain...
Craig Richards, publisher