four years! Its hard to believe. Who ever thought it would last? But
it has and its great!
those of you who may not know, or who were not even born 24 years
ago, the Cousins Picnic is celebrating its 24th year. It all started
with a simple conversation that grew to an annual event that we have
all come to treasure.
did this thing get started? Let me begin...
the beginning there was Charles and Mary Gallagher, Irish immigrants,
who settled in the Bronx, N.Y. and raised a family of five girls and
two boys. Their names were Mabel, Mary, Elizabeth, Charlie, Joseph,
Rita and Anne. They were, from all appearances a happy and deeply
religious family. Charles Gallagher unfortunately died quite young,
but Mary lived on in her house at 3641 Irwin Avenue with her sister
Betty and her two youngest daughters for quite some time.
of the Gallagher children married, settled nearby, and began having
families of their own. As their children (the "original"
cousins) were growing up, they visited each other's houses often,
and of course were always seen coming and going from "Nanny"
cousins saw quite a bit of each other, so for the most part the grapevine
worked well and everybody knew what was going on in the family.
alas, as these cousins married and started raising families of their
own, the family got bigger and bigger, and didn't see as much of each
other as before (except of course, at weddings and funerals).
one day the cousins were invited to the wedding of Kathy Groark and
Jim Detmer in Westchester. A good time was had by all, and some cousins
got to talking about all the newest additions to their families, when
one cousin said, "You know I wouldn't know your kids if I fell
over them!" Another said, "That's true! We never see each
other's kids, because we only get together at wakes and weddings,
and the little ones are never there."
was at this point, as the legend goes, that Tipper Hughes, our Cousins
Picnic "Grand Marshall" piped up and uttered those prophetic
words; "HEY, WHY DON'T WE HAVE A PICNIC?!"
Committee was formed that very day, with a representative from each
branch of the original cousins -- Hughes, Gallagher, Dion, and Groark.
The Cousins Picnic was born. It has grown and endured for 24 years!
indeed, we have gotten to know each other's children. In fact, we
have gotten to know more cousins, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, extended
family and dear friends than we can count. But, we can look at somebody
now and say, "Oh yeah, I know who that is, that's Monica's daughter
Nabla, or Tipper's son Ted, or Eddie's new wife Pat!"
had lots of fun over the years and no real disasters (thank God!).
Just good times and good talk. Some of our loved ones are no longer
here, but that's all part of the continuation of family. Not too many
people have what we have.
knew when Tipper uttered those famous words, we would all be embarking
on a journey that's lasted 24 years?
go for fifty!!