You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Making memories at family reunion
Zook siblings at Zook Reunion in early 1940s, (from left) Maurine, Warren, Gladys (Sister Agatha Linn), Everett, Lawrence, and Ola Dee
Rainy Days and Starry NightsSeptember 5, 2012 3,145 views Post a comment
We had our Zook/Wauson Family Reunion last weekend. We had it in New Braunfels at the Gruene Outpost Lodge. We checked in about 3:30. A little while later, my daughter Kristi and her husband Chuck arrived from Belton and checked in at their cabin, and Taylor, my granddaughter from Fort Worth, and her husband Brett and their kids arrived. A little while later, we had a little sandstorm and then a thunderstorm that didn’t last long. The temperature went from 103 to about 83 in a matter of 30 minutes. I think that was our gift from God! Then my granddaughter Jessica came with her son Ayden. I was excited and happy. Reunions are fun. And more family was coming later.
We went to Freddie’s for supper ... did you ever hear of Freddie’s? They have the best hamburgers, or should I say “steak burgers” ... they were made with steak, not hamburger, and we had milkshakes and ice cream. We sat there eating, talking, and visiting with all of them, including Taylor and Brett’s and Jessica’s kids. I loved being around them. Grandparents have so much fun!
As we left Freddie’s, the cool air brushed our faces with a cool breeze. The atmosphere had changed from hot and humid -- most unbearable -- to cool, moist, and smelling like it does after a rain. This felt like heaven! We went back to the lodge and sat our lawn chairs in front of our cabin facing the river. We sat there for several hours, in the cool night breeze, watched as the lightning bugs started lighting up -- down by the trees by the river. Then they became more numerous and then it seemed like hundreds of lightning bugs flitting everywhere in the darkness. The kids began chasing them with Jessica helping them. Then Jessica, Taylor, and Brett played red light, green light with them and we watched and laughed at them and with them. More family members arrived and we chatted for a while. It was so beautiful and surreal with the occasional shooting star up above.
I thought about all the family reunions we have had in the Zook family throughout the years. It was so pleasant just sitting out there in the cool night air, the smell of the river, especially after the little shower, and the sight of the fireflies and the occasional shooting star; made me remember former days when our family sat all together on the river bank talking and laughing and loving each other. I had to go back at least 70 years.
They first began in the 1940s at my Uncle Warren Zook’s farm by the San Antonio River out in the Camp Ranch community. His farm was part of the original farmland that my Grandfather Zook bought back about 1906. His son Gary still lives on the farm. Those years the Zook Family Reunion was a whole weekend down by the river. All my aunts and uncles came then from all over Texas. Uncle Everett and his wife Alta from Houston, Aunt Maurine from Brownsville and then Houston, Aunt Ola Dee from Houston, Aunt Gladys (a Catholic nun who changed her name to Sister Agatha Linn), Uncle Warren and Aunt Janie. I remember sitting up late in the night, listening to the “old folks” laughing and talking, and my daddy and uncles telling “tall tales,” and my aunts arguing with them that the men had the story wrong. The same cool air was there, the same smells, and also the smell of the wood smoke from the fire drifted across us kids as we nodded and fell asleep on the pallets. The river brought all these memories back to me Friday night down on the Guadalupe River.
Our children started having their own “The Lawrence Zook Cousins Reunion” in 1979. Later they started inviting us parents to them. I guess they needed someone to cook and take care of the little kids. We didn’t mind. It gave us a reason to go too. So they continued to have them all these years -- every year or two.
Friday night everyone left to go to their cabins around midnight ... and I was sitting out there alone ... thinking “How come I am so lucky or blessed to still experience this at my age?” I could have sat out there by the river all night, but thinking I might need to go in and get a sweater or a blanket, it was that cool. It really was!
I remember those old days when I used to sit up and talk half the night with people. Now I do well to last till midnight! I knew I had to be rested for tomorrow because I had volunteered to baby-sit all the great-grandkids (six of them) while the adults went tubing on the Comal River. Yes, I am still doing the same thing I was in the ’80s. Only now it is the great-grandkids.
After more than 70 years of Zook Family Reunions, I was ready for one more day of memories. Tomorrow would be another one of those days!
Lois Zook Wauson is the oldest of eight children who grew up on a farm in Wilson County in the mid-20th century. After many years living in other parts of Texas, she now lives and writes in Floresville. Her two books are available from the Wilson County News office. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Adopt-a-pet at Deason’s Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Bark For Life is Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
Beverage set (November 25, 2015)
Christmas Along the Corridor Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
El Rancho de Las Cabras, then and now (November 25, 2015)
Father Leopold Gala is Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
Get to know La Vernia at Wassail Walk (November 25, 2015)
Hear Christmas cantata (November 25, 2015)
Learn about bats at Jack’s Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Take part in Dec. 5 Christmas Parade (November 25, 2015)
Three Oaks Christmas party Dec. 4 (November 25, 2015)
Tour holiday homes in Seguin (November 25, 2015)
Yulefest in Seguin Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
‘La Mafia’ to headline Floresville’s annual Holiday Extravaganza (November 25, 2015)
‘Little white church’ takes its place in local history (November 25, 2015)
‘Texas Family Tradition’ to perform (November 25, 2015)
And the winner is...Texas Balloon Spectacular Photo Contest Results (November 18, 2015)
Art League plans free public reception (November 18, 2015)
Chorus presents ‘Showstoppers’ Nov. 21 (November 18, 2015)
El Mesias church welcomes new pastor (November 18, 2015)
Perez visits with Catholic leaders (November 18, 2015)
See snow and lights in Cuero (November 18, 2015)
Shop Traildrivers Craft Show (November 18, 2015)
Study skins, skulls, scat at Nature Park (November 18, 2015)
Thanksgiving Feast in Sutherland Springs (November 18, 2015)
Turkey dinner in St. Hedwig (November 18, 2015)
UIW’s ‘Light the Way’ (November 18, 2015)
Wilson County Courthouse records of 1874 (November 18, 2015)
Wreath-decorating registration deadline (November 18, 2015)
‘Joy of Cooking’ (November 18, 2015)
A life pieced together in love (November 11, 2015)
Acoustic to Rock studio to open (November 11, 2015)
Advent Fest, Craft Show in Elmendorf (November 11, 2015)
Antique level (November 11, 2015)
Area residents graduate from WGU Texas (November 11, 2015)
Atascosa County Craft Show (November 11, 2015)
Comal show celebrates 17 years (November 11, 2015)
Enjoy Farm Day at Mission San Juan (November 11, 2015)
Find crafts, treasures in St. Hedwig (November 11, 2015)
Master Gardeners Rummage, Bake Sale (November 11, 2015)
Never say ‘never’ (November 11, 2015)
Register for Dec. 5 Wassail Hustle (November 11, 2015)
Register for free women’s retreat (November 11, 2015)
Talent galore planned for Nov. 14 show (November 11, 2015)
Tickets available for FISD Gatsby Gala (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale for museum banquet (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale for SA Stock Show & Rodeo concerts (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale now to see Grammy award winners (November 11, 2015)
Windland wins program cover design contest (November 11, 2015)
DAR honors ancestors (November 4, 2015)
East Central FFA Farmer’s Market (November 4, 2015)
Enjoy Chihuahua Trail Art Show (November 4, 2015)
Enjoy puppet show at Magik Theatre (November 4, 2015)
Get tickets now for St. Ann 50th jubilee (November 4, 2015)
Get your tickets for TLU Christmas Vespers (November 4, 2015)
Go batty in Marion Nov. 10 (November 4, 2015)
Go Nuts Contest winners (November 4, 2015)
Go nutty at Pecan Jubilee Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Hear Fiddle Festival in Burton (November 4, 2015)
LVHS Theatre Arts presents ‘Almost, Maine’ (November 4, 2015)
Once a Year is here! (November 4, 2015)
See ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ (November 4, 2015)
Successful Homecoming in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tiny houses, big dreams (November 4, 2015)
VFW announces winners (November 4, 2015)
WCRSP promotes new program to superintendents (November 4, 2015)
Wildcats barbecue fund-raiser (November 4, 2015)
Wilson County’s Got Talent is Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
'Happy Face' mug (November 4, 2015)