We recently returned from New Jersey and the 2008 Buckner Family Reunion. This was the inaugural reunion for the New York chapter. It is also the 1st of two reunions for me this week.
It was memorable as we traveled late Thursday to arrive at our hotel in New Jersey. Since we left late in the evening, we avoided most of the traffic jams. However, we were immersed in the throng of Big Apple’s traffic the next day as we traveled from Hasbruck Heights, NJ to the cookout in Hempstead, NY.
We traveled across Manhattan Island and it was amazing as people used their cars jockeying for lane positions. The labyrinth of bridges and ramps is quite intimidating for out-of-town guests. Technology truly helps navigate one through the maze of roads that make up the city. One must shift lane positions from the left to the right and back to the left again or you risk missing your desired exit. I cannot imagine driving through the area for the 1st time as you attempt to read paper directions without an assistant to guide you. The on-board GPS truly helped me as it forewarned me of upcoming turns. Even with that assistance, I chose wrongly as we got to a fork in the road. Despite the GPS’s warning, I took the express lane instead of the local one and we ended up missing our exit. Nevertheless, the two areas merged and I was able to exit, turn around and head in the right direction.
The next day was exciting. We woke-up early and caught the NJ Once we arrived, we took the girls to Times Square and showed them the bright light in the big city. We managed to do some “light” shopping. However, the highlight was supposed to be the two-hour cruise around Manhattan Island. I wanted the girls to see the city and the Statue of Liberty. A storm came and the rain caused us to close the boat’s windows and this hindered some of the sight-seeing. Nevertheless, they saw Lady Liberty, the Brooklyn bridge and other memorable landmarks. Ironically, as soon as we left the island and arrived at our hotel, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.
Later that evening, we attended the banquet. This is always the highlight of the reunion. This is a time where we reflect on Buckner ancestors and pay homage to those who laid the family foundation. The eldest man and woman are honored along with the youngest. Also, those who have passed are remembered. Afterwards, a keynote speaker provides a timely message. Lastly, we eat and conclude with dancing and celebrating our togetherness.
The final day, which is Sunday, concludes the reunion. This includes a Sunday morning message and a prayer for everyone’s safe arrival to their various destinations.
I always enjoy the reunions and I especially look forward to next year’s. It’s in Michigan!!!!