We've just returned from a big Paco family reunion in North Carolina. Amazing how old all those other folks have gotten.
A special treat was seeing my great aunt Mary. She's 102 years old, and looks to be on track for celebrating 103 in January. There was some fine home-cooked barbecue and hot dogs and ribs, and the company was extraordinarily jolly. Plus, my brother put together some genealogical information going back to the mid-18th century and distributed copies to everybody (I was amused to learn that I had a great great uncle named "Iron"; I kept looking for an uncle Stainless Steel and an aunt Magnesium, but couldn't find 'em).
One thing my brother and I worried about: would cousin Neal show up? Phil told me a story about how, when we were all kids, he (Phil) and I tied Neal to an apple tree and left him there. I didn't remember the incident myself, and figured if there was any truth to the yarn at all, Neal wouldn't remember it either. Sure enough, Neal showed up - a devastatingly handsome fellow who somewhat resembles Mitt Romney; he's now a medical doctor - and he recognized me and came over to chat. He gave me a big smile and shook my hand. I said, "Gosh, Neal, it's been a long time." He laughed and said "It sure has! In fact, I think the last time we saw each other, you and Phil had just tied me to an apple tree." I confess to having felt some embarrassment over his immediate recollection of an incident that had completely slipped my memory. Of course, I did the honorable thing - pinned the whole idea on my brother, and threw in cousin Mike as a bonus conspirator - but there was no need. Neal just laughed and we spent a pleasant hour catching up on each other's history.
My father, Old Paco, hosted the event at his beautiful home located on a ridge overlooking some sixty acres of pasture land. I was greatly pleased that he bestowed on me a commemorative revolver (a Colt Python .357 magnum), decorated with some nice gold work celebrating the moonshiner-chasing epoch of the ATF.
BTW, what's a good birthday gift for a woman who's turning 103? I was thinking of a skateboard.
Update: Not really related, except that I saw most of the first game on television the night before the reunion: congrats to the cats for taking the first two games of the American League Championship Series - in New York. I am genuinely sorry about Derek Jeter, however; best wishes to the Yankee captain for a speedy recovery.