Friday, July 25, 2008

2008 Anspach Family Reunion - the 13th”

A summary of A8R the “2008 Anspach Family Reunion - the 13th”

7/14/08 Tom E Anspach

A story for those who were not able to make it and encouragement for those who were there to write their story. .

(I will place a copy in the log book and post it on the ‘2008 Reunion is over’ web site page . . . eventually)

For me it started early in the morning of Saturday July 5th ,, disregarding packing, as I boarded Patty’s little Ford Escort and headed to Townsend TN. This, after making the crucial decision of not riding my MC and deciding to move in with Earl and Carl in the ‘Taj Ma Hal’ – the KOA River Lodge. I placed Patty’s Audio Book “The Last Juror by John Grisham” in the tape deck and I was on my way.

The River Lodges were brand new. Sleeps 6, would be a little crowded but 6 could make it. For us it was 3 and each had our own room, MOL. Facing the Little River. Ours was the side door model. The others, Gene Rena, Josh Ashley, were the front door models. . . with a perfect view of the River. It worked out well, even with the finicky gas hot water heater, which worked some of the time. The campground was pretty typical. Not my favorite type of campground. But I will have to admit, even with all the RV’s, campers, River Lodges and cabins it turned out OK. I suspect that the Anspach Family Environment had a lot to do with it being OK. It was packed solid on July 4th weekend. It cleared out somewhat during the following week, and filling up again for the July 11th weekend.

The only tent campers were Nephew Jim and Barbra. Jerry, Becky, Drew, Jeff Calvin were in cabins. Tom Susan (Jeff Linda also) in their RV. The rest, Doug Kerry, John Diane, Kevin, Ken Judy, David Tammy, Mathew Charla, Scott Kelly, were off base, in Cabins, Becky G stayed wherever she happened to be when the lights went out. The term ‘cabin’ is a misnomer as they were pretty neat full featured ‘houses’ with multiple bedrooms, several bath’s, hot tubs, fireplaces, grand views and hilly curvy mountainy, sometimes gravel, roads leading to and from.

We ALL went up to Doug and Kerry’s place 1 night, after dinner. And it was pretty neat, lots of room, with a hot tub. We had a great time playing cards, talking and socializing. All the kids had a great time too, you could tell by the ‘noise’ and activity. . ahh. . . only to the have the energy of youth. Must have taken Doug and Carry many hours of clean up after we left. There should be some great pictures of this gathering.

The pavilion worked out great. KOA brought the brand new grill down from our Lodge #5 for our use at the Pavilion the entire week. The KOA staff were extremely accommodating and continually asking us if we needed anything. There were several scheduled activities at or near the Pavilion. The kids were invited to participate in many of them. They were not bashful and joined right in with the local kids. There were open grassy areas (only a little muddy after the rains) around 2 sides for the lawn games (corn hole and ladder golf), and the kids to play. A fire ring off to 1 side, around which we spent several late nights.

At the peak there were 50 people in attendance. All there for the evening meal. The rest of the time people were in and out with many varied activities - Bike riding, Local River rafting, Upper Rapids Rafting, Lower River Rafting, Cades Cove, Splash World (at Pigeon Forge Dollyworld), hiking, KOA swimming pool, Ripley’s Aquarium, River Tubing (several times), Laurel Falls, Tuckaleechee Caverns, Golf, Smoky Mountain Helicopter Ride, Previous Reunion Photo Album/Log book reviews and discussions, Checking the genealogy chart and the 300th John George Anspach (older brother of our Ancestor Johannes Anspach ) birthday reunion planning near Quad Cities in 2010, Socializing, Shopping, cooking, cleaning up, chasing after the kids, reading, some even working on their laptops using local WiFi hot spot connection, route planning using maps, Riding US119 in both directions, known the Motorcycle world over as Deal’s gap (Jerry A the only 1 to ride his MC down), etc.

It was great seeing all of the little kids getting to know each other. They certainly seemed to have a lot of fun. Most had seen each other 4 long years ago, and some weren’t around 4 years ago. I hope I didn’t teach them too many bad habits by blowing spit balls in the restaurant as we waited for our Friday night meal. And, unfortunately, or fortunately, I forgot to get the ‘spoon in the glass’ challenge going.

The wx was about as perfect as you can get in July. Maybe a little warm during some of the days, but not bad. Rained off and on a couple days, and couple times at night. The rest of the days were rain free.

And of course there were the GRAND evening meals. Prepared by the, by now world renown, Anspach chef’s. Followed by the usual boisturess Horse uchre games. We were only chastised by the campground management once for not observing the 10PM quiet hours. As I recall it was from Monday night. Usual shutdown time was around midnight or so. All though I heard there was 1 session lasting until the wee hours of the night, or is that morning. There appeared to be several empty bottles of red wine lying around in the morning. Apparently an attempt to keep the cholesterol lowered. And Alan where were you? . . The bottle of Yukon Jack lasted all week. The last sip taken on Friday Eve.

As most of us did I am sure, we looked at this new trend of reunion in an unknown location away from the historical known location of Winamac with uncertainty. For myself I was sure that once we all got going, it would work out. And of course it did. Maybe with a few small items for learning. And as usual, it seemed to go by too quickly, with that resulting exhausted feeling, missing those who were unable to make it, enjoying those who where there, leave with many memories, looking toward the next one, in 2012.

At some time I will convert the Anspach 2008 pages on to past history. Some place we will have storage for digital photo’s from the reunion.

I finished listening to the audio book as I headed up the gravel road, ….and I was home. I had to drive pretty slow the last couple miles to hear the end of the book.

The 2008 Anspach Family Reunion was over; a great time.


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