Friday, August 01, 2008

Family Picnics and Reunions

The Genea-Bloggers are having a picnic hosted by Bill West over at West in New England. You can read the questions that Bill asked us to respond to in his invitation.

Picnics. Well, sure, I've been to a few ;-) and Summer Birthdays were always an excuse for a family get-together. Typical picnic food. Nothing really special. My younger brother's birthday was in July and we took a few trips to the Franke Park Zoo in Fort Wayne in my pre-teen days. My oldest nephew was born on my Mother's birthday and we'd venture to the park in Mishawaka, where my brother and his family lived. The food was pre-cooked. Fried Chicken. Ham salad sandwiches (though why it is called ham salad is beyond me because Mom makes it with bologna). Potato Salad. Cole Slaw. Chips. All the good stuff you're not supposed to eat anymore because it's bad for you. We did go semi-healthy with the deserts though - apples, grapes, watermelon, along with homemade pies and cookies.

Family Reunions have always been a "big" thing in Mom's family. This week I've been busy getting ready for the Phend Family Reunion on Saturday. I wrote about the reunion last year in The first Saturday in August. It is something that I look forward to every year with eagerness along with a bit of nervousness.

The Phend Family started a tradition of reunions in the early 1900s that is still carried on today (though there were a few years during and after WWI and WWII that were missed). In all of the Ledgers that were kept, food is mentioned only in general terms: "a basket dinner was served under a tent, on the lawn"; "dinner was served on tables under the trees, near the river"; "a splendid dinner was enjoyed by all"; "the bountiful dinner"; etc. The only mention of a specific food served was Ice Cream!

The original of the picture shown below was long and narrow and rolled up like a scroll. It was brought to one of the reunions by a descendant of Jacob and Louisa Phend. It's likely that I photographed the picture in its entirety though the only prints I have split it in two. Based on the attendance recorded in the reunion ledgers, the picture was taken in either 1910 or 1913. Based on the size of several children that are identified, I think it was taken in 1910. Only a few of the people have been positively identified. (As always, you can click on the pictures to view a larger version.)

Left half of picture: The boy in the dark suit sitting on the ground is Willard Phend (born 1899). The line going to the man and woman sitting in the first row points to Jacob J. Phend and his wife Louisa (Grimm) Phend. In the back row, I'm pretty sure that the man with the hat on is Henry Phend (my great grandfather). The young man next to him is identified as Mose Phend (born 1888). And the next fellow, between the two women, is Raymond Phend (born 1892).

Right half of picture: The third boy from the left, sitting on the ground, is Harold Phend (born 1903). The gentleman in the front row, in the dark suit with the cane, is Jacob Phend (my great grandfather). The man in the gray suit to Jacob's right is his son, John Phend. The two little girls on the far right in the front row have been identified as Helen Rhoades (born 1903) and Mary Phend (born 1904). The two ladies standing in the next row with lines going to them (on the end and 3rd one in) are Surelda Phend Thornton and Katherine Phend Pletcher. The good-looking fellow in the dark suit behind those girls is my grandfather, Vic Phend.

Link added August 3, 2008: Phend Reunion 2008 is now History

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