Sunday, July 30, 2006


Today we went to Cascadia Park for the Kropf Reunion along with about 200 descendants of Daniel and Anna Kropf. Daniel was Paul's great-grandpa, the guy who built the house we live in.

A few reunion observations:
First cousins are the big reunion pushers. The next generation doesn't show up as much, and the next even less.

Every family needs storytellers. The Kropfs are a bit too blunt and to-the-point to be great storytellers (Nobody beats my Miller relatives IMHO) but I did like two stories especially:

a) Anna was old and dying. In fact, she was having an out-of-body experience, hovering above her bed and also above her daughters Mae and Lena, who were carrying on terribly. So she had to come back to life, because her girls were making such a fuss. The next day she told her son Frank that it's her time to go, and he's to keep the girls at the other end of the house. So he did. And that night she died for good.

b) Daniel's son Frank's boys used to be sent down to the creek to cut wood. But they would spend some of their time teasing the billy goat until he would chase after them, then they'd grab tree branches and pull themselves up out of his way, and the goat would go plunging into the creek. One day Frank didn't show up for a while and the boys found him down by the creek. The story was a bit vague here but I think he was on one side of the woodpile trying to keep the billy goat from coming over or around the woodpile at him. It turned out he had seen the boys try their tricks with the goat and thought it looked fun and tried it himself. But he was less agile than his sons at pulling himself up, and both he and the goat landed in the creek.

No one beats Kropf food. Or Kropf singing.

Every family has people with unusual and interesting lives. The Millers, for instance, have my cousin's son who is an artist first and a football guy second, and a high school in San Antonio, Texas, created an art-teacher position just for him so he'd come and be one of their 12 (!) football coaches. The Kropfs have Daniel's Orie's Larry's Jeff, who is a state legislator and also has a radio program in Portland and who is very amusing to watch because he works the crowd at a Kropf reunion as though this was a Republican fundraiser. Then there's Cody, married to Daniel's Frank's Merle's Clarene's daughter, who is an airline pilot and is moving his family to Dublin soon to fly for Air France.

The descendants who are least Mennonite tend to make the most noise about how much they appreciate their heritage.

Quote of the Day:
"Aunt Lena made the best pickles!"
--one of Lena's nieces; I think it was Arzalea. Lena was Paul's grandma.


  1. We had a family reunion last weekend, at which one of the uncles informed us that Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, is in our Zimmerman book. We're gonna wait to blow that around until he clears the doping charges. ;o)

    I too, thought the singing was the best part of our reunion.

  2. The comment on the heritage... ain't that the truth!

  3. That's because you don't know presence so well until you experience absence. You often appreciate something more when you've lost it.