Our family history story, part 4 continues:
Joyce ("Genealogy Grandma") writes:
Family Reunion 1986
In 1985 my sister, Brenda, and I took a trip to Chicago, and for the life of me I cannot remember the purpose of the trip.
However, it was during this vacation that we met with our cousins: Ethelda, June, Donald, Ronald, Craig, Myra, and Gale in East Chicago, IN.
The conversation soon turned into a discussion about having a family reunion. I was asked by the family to put the reunion together.
I recalled being frightened out of my mind. I had never done anything like this before and did not know where or how to get started.
The knowledge I had of the family was limited and I needed the help of my Aunt Dorothy. She, more than anyone else, knew our family best.
First cousins: Ethelda Love Palmer Davidson (left), and Aunt Dorothy at the first Love Family Reunion
Whenever I would ask if "so-and-so" could answer a question, her reply was, "Joyce, they don't know anything." And, for the most part, she was right...she had a wealth of knowledge about the family history that few could match.
Another roadblock was that my aunt and I sometimes had a contentious relationship. She had contempt for my mother and because of their strained relationship, I was never close to her as I felt an aunt and niece should be.
But...she had all the information I needed: names, addresses, phone numbers, and most of our family knew her and not me.
The dilemma in my mind was, "How do I get her to share her knowledge with me so that I can move forward with the reunion?"
I had the perfect answer: invite her to dinner nightly as she loved a good home-cooked meal. And it worked.
Slowly...she started to release bits of information, a little piece here and a little piece there, but no addresses or phone numbers.
Often, she would say, "You are wasting your time, Joyce. People are not going to come to no family reunion."
But as time went on, and as she began to become more involved, I could sense her disposition changing.
She wanted this reunion too. And the stories about my great-grandfather, Miles Love, and his children began to flow from her lips.
I had exactly 6 months to organize the gathering and with the help of my daughters and son I believe we planned a memorable family reunion.
My family and I live in Los Angeles. We were able to book the Hyatt Hotel on Sunset Blvd., right on the Strip, located right between the Comedy Store and the Chateau Marmont.
We had a lot of fun. People were taking pictures not only for themselves, but were taking photos of others who were taking photos!
We had a picnic and a baseball game to break the ice on Saturday, a dinner dance that night, and presented trophies for the "Most Spirited" male and female.
Cousin Ethelda received a plaque for the most family members in attendance. We had a ball!
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