Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Illinois River and Annual Labor Day Weekend Event 2012

After seeing the Jersey's Boys in late June, the temperatures in Oklahoma quickly got into the 100's and went as high as 112 on August 1.  Therefore, July and August were spent indoors under lots of air conditioning. :)     Then came Labor Day Weekend!

Digressing a bit (as I'm prone to do when telling a story in person), moving back to Oklahoma, after an absence of many years, I reconnected with as many cousins as I possibly could.  What I found was that I barely knew any of my 'first cousin's' children.  The first time or two a cousin came from out-of-state, I'd call a couple of local cousins and we'd all have dinner at my house.  Then we decided to start inviting my parents and some of the older folks and as many grown kids as we could. Eventually we grew to as many as 28 meeting as various restaurants. Then two years ago,  a son of one of the 'first cousins' invited whomever could come to the Illinois River where he and his brother had built homes right on the banks.  Now, on the Sunday during Labor Day Weekend, we call it The Ishmaels at the Illinois.  My Daddy, age 92, was the most excited of all because he remembered well that Grandma and Grandpa took their family, along with Grandpa's 4 sisters and their families for an annual outing on the Illinois.  I remembered going with my Daddy's oldest brother and his family on their camping vacations on the Illinois.  .......coming full circle. :)

These are some photos of last year's day at the Illinois.....Everyone brings a dish of food, their own beverages and a chair....the host provides fried catfish.  YUM and Double YUM

Looks like Kevin is reaching across Heather to give Jerry somethin' good
As we're filling tummies and yakking we're watching 'unknowns' as they are rafting and/or floating
Then 2 or 3 vehicles load up with people .....
...and more vehicles carry tubes and floatees
Last year there around 50 and 26 floated the river.

Non-floaters are looking upstream    for sight of the adventurous
The first ones are finally in sight....after a long afternoon in the water
Several decide to assist the weary.....
Ages 19 and 80
Age 71
                     That's what we like to see.....still smilin' and 'peppy                                 (daughter Heather - age 42)
One thing for sure.....Oklahomans know how to have food, family and fun.
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