Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gathering Of The Clan

Fun & Food In North Texas!

Last weekend was the biennial reunion for Dad's side of the family. He & his 3 younger brothers are the core of the family, and the "clan elders".

This year the festivities were in Fort Worth. We rotate between Houston, Austin, Oklahoma City & D/FW, letting each of the 4 brothers host the shindig.

Dad's family has been in Texas for quite a while, mostly up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area since the late 1800's. Mom's kinfolk go back a bit further than that, and settled out north of Abilene back when you had to comb Comanches out of your beard before bedtime.

The trip up was uneventful. I'd gotten the truck in & out of the shop Friday morning, and it ran flawlessly the entire way. I had an occasion to stop & record an event on the way up, the 150,000 mile rollover on the odometer:

My buddy BooBoo would lambaste me for snapping this picture! He feels it's an anticlimactic event, paying attention to something that ultimately means nothing but more wear & tear on a depreciating asset. I'm just jazzed the truck has lasted this long!

We gathered at Kincaid's for dinner Friday night. That's a grocery-turned-burger joint that's been cranking out good eats since 1947. It's up on Camp Bowie Blvd, the old brick-paved street in north FW. I splurged on a chili-cheeseburger (No fries, though!) and though it required a couple of Rolaids an hour later, it was deeeelicious!

The next morning was a trip out to a couple of cemeteries to see some departed kinfolk. Me & my cousin Cindy joined the four brothers at the crack of dawn for the outing. It was a hoot to be tucked in a minivan with four bickering brothers! I wish I'd recorded the debate about where to go buy flowers at 8 AM!

Here's a view of the FW skyline from Oakwood Cemetery. Not a bad spot to be buried!

Lunch Saturday was hosted at my cousin Becky's church in SW Fort Worth. The hallways were filled with shrieking kids, and corralling them for the photo session was a chore.

Here's the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their wives:

This is me & my sister & our cousins, the "Sandwich Generation" as Becky calls us... Most of us are taking care of the generations above & below us!

Here's the crop of kids, ranging from less than 1 year up to age 19 or so. No danger of running out of family anytime soon!

We hung out all afternoon, swapping stories and doing some antique furniture horsetrading. Uncle Tom gave me a huge box of Granddad's leatherworking supplies and a pile of old half-finished leather projects. I'll wrangle a shoulder holster rig out of the mess, I suppose. Try as hard as I might, I still can't manage to fob off that old piano on anyone...

Here's my sister and her kids Sammy & Grace. I know it looks like Gracie got into Uncle Cap's bourbon, but she's just in mid-blink!

Dinner Saturday night was an experience. It can't be easy to feed all these folks at one sitting, but the Salt Grass Steakhouse near the hotel managed the feat with only one or two minor bobbles. Poor little Gracie got a bit too excited, & had a little accident and peed on the floor by the bar. I'm sure the barroom floor has seen worse...

After dinner it was more chat, dominoes & cards, and cigars & libations out on the hotel patio. It's fun to reconnect with your kinfolk and learn stories from the past as you introduce tales of your own. I'm very blessed that my kinfolk place great value in our family, and raise the kids to understand how important family ties are. Sure, we can bicker and squabble at times, but no one loses sight of our shared history and our future.

Here's my niece & nephew, all wore out!

After we parted on Sunday, I headed over to Arlington to meet a buddy for lunch, and to drop in at Uncle Bob's house to dispense some free technical support for his new laptop. He & I had more than our share of drama when I lived in Arlington during my college years, but the passing years have mellowed us both considerably!

So, a fine weekend, and one that we'll repeat in 2 more years!