Walt's Look Around: Family Reunion - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Family Reunion

Posted: Updated:

It's late in the summer. Just before school starts. And an old family gathers at the old home place. A home place so old it's just the senior members of the clan who remember way back 50 years ago when it was still in the family. This house out in Hinds County was once owned by Warren Wright's parents, Ellis and Elvira Wright. 

"And when I was a boy I used to come down here, and they would move down here in the summer months. In other words in the spring we'd come down here and back in the fall," said Wright."I did farm, where I learned how to be a farmer."

Artist Jerry McWilliams and his wife own the old Wright family place, now. 

"This was way out in the country then. Where there's houses all around here now, this was a gravel road," said McWilliams. "In fact, one of the things that Mr. Wright told my father, he said whatever you do, don't lose this telephone out here because I had such a hard time getting a telephone line laid out here. That was 1961. Now we just have a telephone in our pocket." 

Phones and lots of things have changed since then. There is a built in vacation of sorts in the growing season about the end of July into the first part of August when the corn has already made and cotton is just beginning to set bowls. In other words, a week or ten days when the fields are a little less labor intensive. In that little summer lull, festivities like summer revivals were held and the church and activities like the Neshoba County Fair could be fit in. And along with it, families had their summer reunions since so many of them were already together, anyway for revivals or the fairs. 

And as we grew away from the agricultural calendar, we kept observing the activities once tied to it, because of tradition. Even family reunions. And families don't just come from down the road or the next county anymore. 

"Texas. Of course down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They're spread out a good little bit. Out to California and also Oregon, as well," said Wright. 

So much so you have to have name tags because there's no way to know everybody. But even if you don't know them or they don't know you, they want to see you because you are family. And valuing family ties is just as second nature as adhering to the old agriculture calendar for summer reunions, even though we don't consciously do it. But convene at that time, and convene at all, out of tradition and values formed long ago.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow