Friday, August 31, 2007

Olympics In DuPage?

Could the 2016 Olympics come to DuPage? Well, not the whole thing, but some of the activities. We will find out. Brent Manning (Our Executive Director) has sent a letter to the Olympic Committee in Chicago to offer help. It is our understanding that there may be some needs for equestrian facilities and practice fields for archery. This would fit into two projects we are working on developing.

First, there is the archery facility that we are in the process of developing at Blackwell F.P. It will have 4 ranges and would have plenty of viewing space. Second, in addition to our current horse operation at Danada F.P., we are developing the opportunities at St. James Farm F.P.
Since many of the needs for the Olympics are already in place, it might work out to assist in that fashion.

One of the benefits possible with assisting the Olympic Committee in its needs is that they provide some of the money to bring things up to Olympic Standards. Improved facilities on someone else's dime sounds ok to me.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Every August Is Reunion Time

I have just returned from my family reunion. It is held every August just west of Pittsfield Illiniois. We meet at a one-room schoolhouse on a small parcel that my family owns. This reunion dates back to 1872! We have met every year since 1900. It is not unusual for us to have 150-200 people attend the weekend.

The reunion starts with clearing out the schoolhouse, setting up tables and chairs, all with a good cleaning. The reward is my Uncle Carl's famous fish fry (yes, I am named after him). He catches the fish himself, with a little help from the cousins. They also make homemade onion rings. The menu is rounded out with various dishes that everyone brings. YUM! The evening is mostly a chance to catch up with various relatives.

Saturday's events start at 3:00 pm with the children's games. Lots of fun and lots of prizes. Not long after my cousin Peter starts to cut up the pig he's been roasting all day. He has won several cook offs against many competitors. And more potluck. (I am beginning to see a trend.) More catching up with the relatives. After we clean up dinner, there is a sing-a-long, followed by a family talent show. This is great fun to see young and old get up to entertain everyone. Finally, we finish the night with a dance, with either a disc jockey or a live band.

Sunday morning we start the day with a devotional service. A lot of singing, mostly old church hymns like 'When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder' and 'Faith Of Our Fathers'. After the blessing of the family, we have business meeting. We thank the appropriate people, task a new crew to organize next year's reunion, and discuss the future about things like restoring the ol' schoolhouse, etc. We convene the meeting, say grace, and you guessed it, have another meal. This time it is potluck. I enjoy listening to my elders telling the oral history of the family and watching the little ones become the new history for years to come. We visit some more and then bid our adieus, looking forward to next year's reunion.