A wonderful time was had by all at the Barker Family Reunion. The town of Red River proclaimed June 11th as the Barker Family Day in honor of the love, laughter, and good times the Barkers (my parents in particular) have brought to RR. They gave us a little certificate signed by the mayor. The town folk constantly asked about my dad and talked about good times with him. It was all very wonderful, but a little sad too. Dad would love all of the attention.
Most of my time was spent on the family reunion rather than running around and seeing good friends, shopping, or doing typical mountain things. Two of my cousins and I decided to give out awards at the big meal on Saturday night. We gave out everything from "Traveling with Stinky Boys" award (which went to my sister-in-law) to the O. I. T. (Otto in Training) award which went to the oldest cousin. One cousin got the "Queen" award (she made me the Prime Minister) and my baby sister got the "Princess" award. WP got the jeep driver award for carting all of the young people all over the mountains in his jeep. TL got the "Best Fisherman" award after winning the fishing tournament between cousins (of course, he and Joe cheated). My big brother got the "Full of Bear Poop" award for coming up with a story about dancing with Julia Roberts in Taos - which never happened, but he sure had us going. Cousin Jim heads off to Iraq in a month so he got a t-shirt that said "RR, NM - as good as it gets!" to remind him of his family who love him. All of the newcomers to the mountains got an Indian doll which all little girls get when they come to the RR. My daughter-in-law's doll had a papoose attached. If there had been a "Cutest grandbaby" award, Lizzie would have taken that one hands down. She was highly entertaining. My cousin, Carrie took the "Good as Gold" award for having three children under the age of four at the reunion and her husband was sick in the cabin with strep throat. Joe got the award for driving all the way from West Virginia. He was a hoot, and should come more often. His wife should have received an award for the best margaritas. Of course, my partners in this awards ceremony and I had the best time of all because we got to plan the ceremony and find the awards.
The food worked out great. I had worried about the meals for nothing - everything fell in place perfectly. Maybe the margaritas were a help there. After a few of them, no one could complain about anything. We watched a video from the last big reunion in 1996. It was bitter sweet seeing how everyone had changed or grown up, but several are no longer with us which was sad. I don't think anyone had a video camera this time other than small digital cameras. It would have been nice to capture the "Ottotones" (Ted, Joe, and Craig) on Karioki(sp?) night at the bar singing "Stand By Your Man". We had planned on taking a group picture after the big meal, but we forgot (those margaritas!). All in all, a good time was had. For those of you who missed it, we will do it again in a few years. Things certainly change over the years, but it is great how the Barker cousins can come together after not seeing each other for years and have such a great time.