Correspondence

The Unvanquished Family

This is the story of a real Texas family.  Locations and names have been changed to protect the family’s anonymity.

Notes from a casual conversation between office coworkers:

He: “What are you gonna do this weekend?”

She: “Host a family reunion.”

He: “How many will be there.”

She: “466.”

He (surprised at size and exactness of number): “How many are in the family?”

She: “469.  One is in the hospital; two are on a world cruise.  All the rest will be there.”

Corporate relocations caused me to lose track of my friend shortly thereafter.  Fifteen years later, I ran into her again.

“How’s the family?” I asked.

“Stronger than ever,” she replied.

There was obviously too much going on here to ignore.  An extended family that was not dysfunctional or dissolving?  I called my friend again and asked for an interview.  It took several months to arrange.  Many of the older family members were dead set against revealing anything about the family.  I finally convinced them, however, that their story needed to be told and that other families, struggling with a world that seems intent on destroying them, might benefit from it.  Finally the permission came, and I headed out for the tiny town east of Houston...

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