Friday, September 10, 2010

Family Reunion

Last weekend my family and I headed to Waterproof, Louisiana for our reunion. For the first time ever I was able to ride down the Louisiana highways and see the beauty of it all. I usually see the cotton fields and find myself angry. The humidity usually takes my hair to new heights—LITERALLY. This time my hair was already upset with me before I got there, so the moisture in the air didn’t make a difference at all. The bugs, after introducing themselves and scaring me senseless, flew away and minded their business. The cool breeze against my face was so crisp and refreshing. The stillness and peacefulness of it all was so relaxing.

The family barbeque at the park was actually more like a barbeque in the field, but it was perfect nonetheless.

Hardly ever do I see people who look anything like me in L.A., but at the reunion, foreheads and high, bold cheekbones were everywhere and I absolutely LOVED it. I was there with my people in the place where my father called home for many years of his life, and I felt right at home too.

My father took us on a tour on Saturday after the BBQ. We passed by his mother’s home, which he was quite proud of. I could see the memories flooding back while he walked around and took it all in. He showed us the old Negro schools, which were shut down with integration, when separate but equal was ruled unconstitutional. We drove to the top of the levy that he enjoyed standing on as a boy. We visited my grandparents’ graves and said a prayer. We drove through “town,” which consisted of a post office, a tiny city hall-type building, and about three other businesses.

It was very important to my dad that we all be there together, and I’m glad I was able to make it. I did a lot of complaining before I got there—4 airline tickets (because Halle JUST turned 2), a rental car, hotel, and food costs for a weekend trip can really hurt a girl in these uncertain economic times—but it ended up being worth every penny.

“MmmHmm…Yaaay!”

4 comments:

  1. I too was very glad the younger generation could attend. It was very important for them to see where it all started for their grandpa, papa, father, or whatever each chooses to call "pop". The weather was very nice (surprisingly), and other than my 16-17 hour pilgrimage back to my home state...I enjoyed it as well!! Actually, the trip back wasn't as bad because I didn't have to drive the whole trip that time around.....

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  2. I must admit I wasnt the least bit excited about going to Waterproof, LA. I mean Waterproof? I took that to mean dry, just like this trip we were about to take. I knew it wasnt a good sign when pops looked at me and said, "You're going to the family reunion.(pause)Right, Shan!?" (S/N his eyes were flaring). How can you tell a confrontational, 80+ yr old, No...?
    But... It was peaceful. The hotel had a great view of the mississippi river, complete with floating barges and a riverboat to gamble on. The food was great, I finally ate cajun red beans & rice. My favorite part of the trip was pops guided tour. So much history. Cotton fields and segregated schools are sobering to me, but nothing can bring things into perspective like an 80 yr old man who in spite of it all still loves the place enough to go back, and call it home.

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  3. awww...that was sweet shan...lol

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  4. It sounds like a great time. Don't you love when something that you didn't want to do turns out to be one of the best things you ever did? You are so blessed to have family with such deep roots. I mean, I guess we all have roots that go somewhere but to be able to walk on the land your father did as a child is special. Not all of us have that information or opportunity. Love it. Please keep sharing. I don't know why my post says "What is this about?" But I told you that I'm slow when it comes to blogs so maybe you can help me change my little title...lol

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