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.”
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...