What a weekend! Who knew that a family reunion could be so fun! Of course, it took lots of devoted planning and inspired vision, and we can all thank Jim’s cousin Bill Hogan for that. (Jim also did lots of legwork putting family history and memorabilia into digitized form.) So much history, so many stories, such wonderful laughter and reminiscing.
The Friday afternoon and evening adventures included commemorating a portrait of Edgar Poe Hogan (Jim’s great Uncle who was a prominent physician in Birmingham AL in the early to mid 1900s), walking to family statues and cornerstones within the University of Alabama hospital complex, feasting on seafood at The Fish Market, watching history slide shows in the Magic City Room at the hotel. (I spent over 20 years going to Birmingham to visit Jim’s mom and we got married there – who knew it was known as the magic city?!)
Saturday was packed with cemetery hopping, complete with ghost stories about the Hogan Clinic where EP Hogan had his home and practice, to stories about the adventures of Kiki and Granny (Jim’s grandmother and great grandmother), to stretching memories to retrieve historical facts. My favorite part was going to where the family had property on Lake Logan Martin which stirred up all kinds of memories for Jim and his siblings (Richard’s snake bite, Nelle’s getting the kids lost, Jim nearly turning over a tractor, diving with his Uncle Sid to find a lost boat propeller, hiking to the bait shop and leaving Freckles in the boat all day…), and returning to The Hogan House at Tannehill State Park (which was the home of Archibald Hogan, Jim’s great, great grandfather), where I’d been a couple of times in the early days with Jim.
It was great to meet some relatives I’ve never met (Bill’s kids Jennifer, Jonathan, and Lillian Hogan, Kathleen Hogan Saab’s daughter Claire, Frank DeLathouder, distant cousins Jill Scott, Addi Duncan, and Ben Hogan), connect with relatives we’ve not seen in (20+!) years (Bill Hogan, Kathleen Hogan Saab, Judy Rye Badger), and have fun with the closest family. Glad to be a Hogan!