Lauper Family Reunion - 1995

an account by Claudia Lauper Bushman

Georgia asked if I would report on the family reunion this year in Fresno. I was pleased to be present for the second year in a row, a record for me. Bonnie and her daughter Betsy were also present. Georgia would have come but for the annual July 4th concert in Beloit which Crawford conducts. I felt that attending was a tribute to Dad who was always concerned that "our side" be represented. Paulie and Gib's house was in beautiful order. Everything was fresh and trim. Behind the large pool in back, the lawns stretched away, green and inviting, with room for lots of sports equipment, and orchards behind. The place looked very spruce, the gardens flowering, the rooms freshly painted and everything very, very nice.

We spent a lot of time shopping for and preparing the extensive menu to be served for the family reunion on Saturday, July 1st. Between 50 and 75 adults and as many children were expected to attend, to arrive for breakfast about 10:30 and to stay through to about 7 or 8. For this crowd, Paulie had planned a breakfast consisting of a breakfast souffle (bread, cheese, ham, eggs), cinnamon rolls, raisin-date-bran muffins, orange juice, and melons. This food was put out on the tables, steadily replenished, and left out until about gone, supplemented with a variety of other things, cookies, popcorn, rice krispy treats, etc. etc., many brought by other guests, which steadily disappeared until dinner time about 4. We doubted that people would be hungry with so much below their belts already, but every scrap of the ten large beef roasts, the rice pilaf, the bean and bacon dish, the green salad, the rolls, the lemonade, and the ice cream with chocolate sauce were polished off as well. Only small leftovers remained of the beans and rice. People ate a lot.

The reunion was well attended. Paulie and Gib produced all of their children, plus Bonnie, Betsy, and I on the Serge Lauper side. Auntie Vi and Aunt Alice were very well represented with all but Linda and Dave (they being on a mission in Argentina) of the second generation and many of the third. I saw J.R. Johnson, Auntie Vi's son, for the first time in 30 years, maybe more, and met his charming wife Sue for the first time. Wilma Brown Stocker is a grandmother now thanks to her daughter Karen. J.R., David Lauper, David Peterson, and Dennis and Eric Brown seem to have taken up the clever easy banter we used to hear from the Uncles. Each of the latter two has a beautiful teen-aged daughter, Barbara and Kristin, moving into adulthood; they replace the beauties of the last while, Elisa and Lanae Peterson, who are now married to very nice young men and each has two children of her own. JoAnn was there with two of her handsome sons, one now married to Paige Marriott, the daughter of old friends of ours. So the family moves on.

Aunt Jane came alone, as Rica and Kevin were involved in the coming Oakland Temple Pageant. She took off alone too, said she always wanted to be a racecar driver. Still she uses a walker to keep her balance. I always think of Jane and Uncle Ralph as the glamorous couple they were during the war and am surprised that time has not stood still. David and Judy were there with three of their boys and a girl friend of Michael's. Uncle Marcel and Frances were there, husbanding some strength to go to Washington the next month for Janelle's wedding. (I saw them at the Temple in Washington when Janelle was married to our new cousin David Shields. We all enjoyed Janelle's very pretty marital festivities.) Back at the reunion, two of the Marcel Lauper children were there, Diane and Warren and boys, along with John and Lory and their three daughters, one quite new. Gib's father and sister DeLyn, who lives with him, were also there, and I had good visits with them. And I must have missed some people.

The activities went well. People swam and jumped on the trampoline and played other games. Everyone was very cooperative about playing the games, tying the quilt, doing the hunting and relay games, guessing on the jelly beans, and gathering for the family meeting. Mother used to complain that she could not move people from their conversations to take part in activities; this year the cooperation was dramatic and heartwarming. Everyone was very amiable and nice, welcoming known relatives and meeting new ones. \Nhat with the terrific attendance, the great menu and the happy times, I'd say that it was a very successful family reunion. The next one will be on July 6th, 1996 at Wilma's place. I hope that the great family feeling will be continued and extended. Put it on your calendars, everybody, and think about a trip to Danville, California. We are certainly lucky to be part of such a great family.

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