Last Sunday was the annual Hopkins/Page reunion at the VFW in Roachdale, Indiana. When I first attended a reunion both my grandparents Hopkins and Page were still living. They used to be held in a public park where there were playgrounds for kids, horseshoe diamonds for the men and sometimes band concerts. Back then the families of all of my aunts and uncles came so there were over 30 of us who gathered around the picnic tables and stuffed ourselves with chicken, noodles, ham, potatoe salad, green beans, pie, watermelon, and sometimes even ice cream. Young adults aren't as keen on family reunions as kids and old folks, so there were many years after I became an adult that I or we didn't attend. But then, after I turned fifty, I became a regular again. My aunts and uncles were all still living and some of their children with families would come and it was a good time to catch up with everyone.
As my parents and their siblings got older and not many young families were attending, they decided that the 3rd Sunday in July was usually too hot for them to be comfortable in a park, so the air conditioned VFW became their gathering place. Time passed, uncles and aunts died, then a cousin and my parents until now only a half dozen cousins and my brother remain and our attendance last Sunday was only seventeen for dinner with another two couples showing up to visit a while later. It is disappointing but likely that after we cousins are all gone there will be no Hopkins/Page reunion.
However, we did have a good visit and I received some exciting news. I learned that back in May a body was found in a pit beside the barn on the Hicks Place. Yes, the farm where I lived from age two to ten and for which this blog is named had been the resting place of the Body of Missing Carmel Man for 17 years. A man in prison, in hopes of obtaining a shorter sentence, had told authorities where he had hidden the body. The house at the Hicks Place was torn down long ago, and unfortunately I do not have a picture of that house of which I have so many memories, but the barn is still there and now has some notoriety. Well, I had to take a trip out there this week and take a few more photos
including the disposal site. As you can see, part of the pit has now been filled in with crushed rock.
I am writing this blog in Starbucks, across from the Indiana University Campus in Bloomington, Indiana. It was in the building next door, which was called "The Gables" when I was here in the mid "50's, in which Hoagy Carmichael played piano and is said to have written "Stardust" when he was in college. I am leaving here shortly to attend a concert by the Bottom Road Blues Band in nearby Bryan Park. My grand nephew Kyle plays with the band. It is a beautiful, though somewhat cool, summer evening, so a great time to enjoy some great music. Speaking of which, I was listening in the converible on the way down here to John Mellencamp's album "Life, Death and Freedom". Ones favorite music changes with age, so at my age that is one of my favorites.
My wife Marcia is in California visiting her mother. She is my spell checker and editor, so please excuse any errors you find here.