In the fall of my eleventh year, my family of seven piled into a 1967 Volkswagen bus and headed over the river and through the woods from Southern California to my paternal grandparents' house in Springville, UT. We met up with dozens of Aunts and Uncles, Great-Aunts, Great-Uncles, cousins, 1st and 2nd, once and twice removed, as well as our maternal grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins on that side. We were gathering to give thanks for our heritage, for our upbringing, for our country, for the freedoms we held and the love we shared.
It was the biggest family gathering I can remember. We had to reserve the cultural hall at my grandparents' church, which happened to be directly across the street from their home, very convenient. There were several turkeys, casserole upon casserole, jello dish upon jello dish, huge pots of mashed potatoes and at least four dozen pies. It was an elaborate feast and we all partook.
My father's youngest brother, Uncle Chris, was the dare devil of the family. He raced and jumped motor cycles, did gymnastics out of trees and off trampolines, he skied freestyle, he was X-TREME before it was cool. He was very close in age to the oldest grand children, so we all thought he was pretty happening. I think a dozen cousins followed him around that day, asking him to do one trick or another, and we copied him, ate what he did, and begged for more. He was the best
and we all loved him dearly.
I will never forget how he ate three plates of food piled as high as one could possibly imagine and then was done
for the next five hours. He laid on my grandparents couch and groaned for two hours straight. It was delightful to see him so human and, even through his pain, he wore a smile I will never forget. After all the pies were finally cleared away, we held a family talent show that surpassed any other and put the American Music Awards to shame. ;-)
My Uncle Chris is no longer with us, when he was just thirty-two years old, he was in a fatal car accident that left his young wife a widow and his four small children fatherless but his legend lives on forever in my mind and the minds of all of those that knew him and saw the sparkle that always shone bright in his eyes. Family. I am thankful for mine. It is huge and it includes this community, RBC. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
Have a joyous Thursday and tell someone you love that you do
- you love them.
This is my Uncle, Chris Thorn, on his wedding day, sitting with his father - my grandfather - Roe Thorn.
circa 1974 -- he looks pretty X-Treme, doesn't he?
© by rayannethorn