Every year since I’ve been old enough to remember, our family has celebrated our family’s history with an Annual Family Reunion. I can recall many years ago, when the families as descendants of Bumpers Family, all gathered in the small town of Frankville, Alabama and had the most wonderful time. There was plenty of food, most of it brought by other family members and people came from far and near to celebrate the history of our roots.
Alabama is known for its beautiful landscapes, but the state holds so much more to enjoy. Alabama has always been known for the many festivals and parks that it has. I love going down there because I feel so close to nature, and here is where the history of our nation can definitely be re-visited. Years ago, the residents of this beautiful state were oppressed by racism and traditional living; a lot of that remains today, but there are more modernized families and ways of living. And since then, we have had an even greater experience while visiting our relatives in the country.
There have been times when our family reunion was hosted by other family members, which gave us the opportunity to visit other states as well as other counties and areas in Alabama. I remember a time when we had the reunion in Mobile, Alabama. The park was huge and had a lake to swim in, a camping area and an area for children. But the only thing that was a major turn off about the park was the fact that it was not maintained. There was trash in the water, and dead animals on the hiking trails. We truly didn’t want to have another reunion dinner there, but it seems that we will be there again this year.
Another negative about going to Mobile for the reunion is the fact that many of the attendees are drinkers, and the trip to Mobile from Washington County is an hour long; And the roadways that we have to take to get there are always filled with state troopers and other officials. So, this proved that it would be an even longer ride for those who were drinking. And needless to say what the trip would be like for those who ended up in the back seat of one of those cruisers.
But don’t get me wrong; a person should have enough common sense to know that the roadways are going to have law officials out and about, patrolling the roadways and interstates and one shouldn’t do any heavy drinking, if not any at all. Alabama is well known for their ‘No Tolerance Law’; where they have a zero tolerance for DUIs and no seat belts. I am happy to say that there hasn’t been any major situations where someone in our family was apprehended for driving while under the influence, or accidents while traveling back and forth for these celebrations.
Most of our family members arrive a week in advance for the celebration, which gives them the chance to visit or participate in other summertime activities and events. One doesn’t have to stay in Washington County for all the fun, there are so many festivals going on during the summer months in Alabama, until you may not have enough time to check them all out. One of the most popular festivals is the Shakespeare Festival. Another favorite for visitors are the botanical gardens in Mobile.
Whatever the reason one may have for visiting Alabama during the hottest time of the year, it’s always a pleasure to return home to see your family. There’s nothing better than meeting family members that you never knew you had, and a chance to be introduced to some of the newest additions to our family tree. I’m proud of my family for continuing this annual event, and I pray that we are able to keep it going for years to come!