Family by the Numbers

When I talk about my mother’s side of the family, it’s usually in terms numbers.  My mother has 2 brothers and 9 sisters.  She’s number 7.  I have 37 first cousins.  And that doesn’t include their spouses or the great-grandchildren.  4 of us graduated high school in 2005.  I was the first girl born in 10 years.  We often have 60+ people and a buffet line for Christmas Eve dinner.  There was a “small bunch” at this year’s annual family day.  Just 40 or so.

At a family wedding a number of years ago, as we do at all family events, we congregated for a family photo.  First the aunts and uncles.  Then just the cousins in attendance (we’re missing a handful here).  Then all of us together, spouses and babies too.  The photographers always have to take many many steps backwards to fit us all in the frame.

When this photo was taken, my grandfather was impatient to return to his cigar.  We were moving too slowly for his taste to get organized.  He made his opinion clear that we should all hurry up.  My cousin Megan responded, “Hey!  This is all your fault!” sweeping her arms at the 30-some of us standing around him.  He laughed.  That we are.

My grandpa will be 96 years old in December.  He believes in the medicine of a good cigar and a glass of chilled Carlo Rossi.  The importance of having an excellent sense of humor.  The benefit of family and friends.  Red Lobster at 4PM on Sundays.  And that a good story is better than the truth.  That scar from where he got stabbed during WWII?  Actually his appendix.

My cousin made this video of my grandfather telling his favorite story.  Did I ever tell you my very own grandfather started WWII?  This made my whole day.  Thanks, George.

Papa from goodie pocket films on Vimeo.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Family by the Numbers

  1. Katie Dwan

    Dear George,
    Thank you for this. Your grandfather told me his story when we were on a fishing trip to Baja with my father John (he also taught me to play dominos, cheat at croquet, and drink rum in the tropics because it would make your sweat smell good). That trip wasn’t all that long after I’d seen the movie Patton, and I was profoundly intrigued. Our families have been each other’s greatest friends for sixty years now. I well remember your Papa’s 50th birthday, your mom and dad’s wedding, and the great joy when you arrived. What a talented man, you are! The film is simply amazing, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to see it.
    With admiration,

    Katie Dwan

    PS) I’m the oldest of 36 cousins on my mother’s side.

  2. Missy

    And how many great grands since this pic? Lol.

  3. DAve Cheatham

    Just creepin’ on your site…..your grandfather sounds awesome! you will cherish this for your grandkids! Way to go!

    you are gifted videographer and story teller!

    Dave

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