July 20, 2008
The DiStefano Famiy Reunion was held in Tabiona, Utah. It was the hometown of my grandparents, Girolamo and Kathrine DiStefano, from the 20′s to early 40′s. They moved out to the rural, eastern part of the state to “bootleg” during the prohibition… but that’s another story for another day.
Their children were raised in this quiet little valley… but moved away when they reached adulthood. Wanting to return to their “roots,” five of the nine children purchased property for trailers or cabins on Tabby Mt. overlooking this serene little valley. We have held our three day family reunion here for over 25 years… and that agenda will never change.
Since family members wander in at different times on Friday evening, a casual hot dog roast is held. The family members who show up, gather round the fire and tell stories and slap mosquitoes.
Saturday morning activities begin with the children’s games and water slide. The adult horse shoe competition kicks off… and runs for two days. This year the older kids participated in first family rendition of “The Amazing Race.” (See Video) The kids had a ball! We play and chat until around 2:30… then the crowd scatters to go back to their abodes to prepare the for evening feast.
Around 4:30, a banquet is placed on the table and everyone lines up to chow down. Sometimes a pig is put on a spit and other times, we prepare the meat ahead of time. There is always plenty to eat… and eat..and eat. Did I say there is always plenty to eat?
The dance in the town hall begins around 8:00 but nobody shows up until around 9:00. We have a live band and all. The kids have a great time dancing… bunny hopping and doing the “wipe out” thing. We stop for a bit to raffle off a sleeping bag for the kids. Check the little bitty sleeping bag winner. The bag is bigger than she is.
We then… raffle off a quilt for the adults. You don’t want to win the quilt though… cause if you do… your in charge of the “quilt raffle” the next year. I love quilts… but not so much that I want to win and take on the responsibility of coming up with a suitable quilt. These quilts aren’t shabby!
My son Wade, engraves a hunting knife every year for the men. The guys buy lots of tickets for a chance to win this one. It’s truly a collectors item. We dance until midnight then back up the mountain for a good nights sleep.
Up and running the next morning… cause the “Big raffle” starts at 10:00. Nobody seems to make it on time…. too tired from all that dancing. Raffle tickets are purchased right up until the last minute. Everyone donates prizes and gifts… some for the adults and some for the kids. Can you see by the expression on these faces…this is serious business.
Here’s the kicker… You don’t want to be holding the winning number for the last prize… which are camping chairs. Yep… you guest it… if you win… you are in charge of the raffle then next year. Can you tell by the look on my two boys faces how they feel about winning the chairs?
Home for lunch and back to the general meeting by 2:00. Need to count the money and plan for next year. Yea!… We made our expenses and a few bucks over. Through the years, we’ve built a nice little nest egg. Now that’s away to run a Family Reunion… in the black.
Hmmm… about 52 kids…and 48 adults. A little smaller than last year. Must be those darn gas prices.
Whew!…. it’s over. Are you tired yet? I sure am.
P.S. I think I’ll take another nap… I still haven’t recovered from our fun Family Reunion.