Allen Family Reunion

Emily referred to our annual Allen Family Reunion on her xanga, so I thought I’d give you all a taste of what our rowdy family reunion is like.

The Allen family reunion has its roots in Stump and Ila Allen, my Big Daddy and Mamaw.  They had 5 boys:  Harold, Billy (my Daddy), Kenneth, Thomas, and Bobby.  Billy is the only brother left, the oldest living Allen (this branch), and it is not a situation he ever wanted to be in. 

I won’t go into the history of our reunions, just let it suffice to say that we have been gathering often for as long as I can remember.  The Allen’s are a close family.  Our reunions are not the “nametags, ice-breaker games” kind of family.  We already know each other, have chased armadillos together, gone down to the Bottom to look at the cattle, gone with Big Daddy to milk “Pet”, and ridden miles on Punkin and Princess, Tonja’s horses.  We’ve watched the adults play “Pitch”, a card game that in the Allen family you must be a legal adult for years in order to play with the Uncles.  And stories….those Allen boys have a million stories to tell, and what story tellers they all are/were! 

So, on the first weekend that includes Friday in October, we all descend upon Fairfield, TX, at Tony and Jan Allen’s home.  There are usually somewhere around 100 relatives there and a few Allen wannabes .  We have a blast!  As Emily said, we are a very huggy-kissy family, and you might even get your bottom pinched if you stay in one place too long!  I’m including pictures of the Streetman Centennial, which is NOT an Allen reunion, but is very close since we Allen’s have a tendency to take over any event we attend.  I don’t have any pics on our new computer of past Allen Reunions because our last computer died with all pictures firmly in its grip.

One of the favorite treats of an Allen Reunion is to go driving with one or more of the Uncles.  They take you to all their old haunts, and tell stories that make you laugh, cry, or just thank God that any of them are still alive!!!  This is my Daddy on a recent drive in the Streetman area where he spent most of his young life.

Sometimes, trips down memory lane include a trip to Saint Elmo, where much of the Allen ancestors are buried.  This is Dad filling in Bettye, Michael and Amy on family history.

The infamous Allen hugs.  This is Gen getting a big hug from Aunt Jeri, Uncle Harold’s widow.

Eating is always a part of Allen gatherings.  Here we are picnicking at Saint Elmo Cemetery, but at the reunion, breakfast is the MEAL OF THE DAY!!!  Tony, Jim, Marty, and Dean (sorry if I missed anyone) are the designated cooks of the bacon, eggs, and sausage, while Patsy and any helpers she can round up make biscuits and Patsy’s famous cheese biscuits.  The men outside also make gravy, and then we’re set.  You have NEVER tasted anything as good as breakfast at the Allen Reunion!

Games are also included at Allen Reunions.  We play cards, dominos, horseshoes, whatever.

Allen’s love to talk, and have a GREAT gift of gab.  This is my Daddy, sister Bettye, me holding newest Allen baby, and Gen on the phone.

My brain won’t let me recall this precious baby’s name, but he was only a couple of weeks old in this pic.  Allen’s are a very prolific bunch, as noted by the number of reunion attendees each year. 

As Emily said, we can be somewhat intimidating, but don’t let us scare you off.  We are a fun bunch of folks who love each other, are proud of our heritage, and love to share who we are with you.  We all seem to feel sorry for anyone not blessed to be an Allen!  God has blessed our family with so much, and we are thankful for His grace on the Allen Family!


About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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11 Responses to Allen Family Reunion

  1. Anonymous says:

    Em seems to have lit a few fires, hasn’t she.  That newest baby boy is Michael Allen Pickering, son of Quincy and Mike.  He is the second boy to be named Allen (spelled the right way!!).  Allen Martin Strader was the first.  It is wonderful to see how proud this newest generation of parents is of their heritage.  As family secretary I felt it my “duty” to also elaborate a bit on our reunions at my site today. ha

  2. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t have expressed it any better myself, dear sister.  I never realized that all families were not like we are.  VERY proud to be an Allen AND a Texan.  Just a way of life w/us.  My husband’s family (CALIFORNIANS – duh!) were NOT huggy/kissy people til I joined their family (43 years ago in two days!) & now I get the biggest HUGS & kisses from them all.  It made them a closer family.  I hope my children never stop passing down the emotional hugging & loving to their children & grandchildren.  Even my Mommy w/Alzheimers still loves to get & give her hugs & kisses!!  I love the reunions even if it’s just to see my Daddy & brother & sisters & their children.  It’s very hard to get that many people together at one time!!  I LOVE IT & ALL OF YOU!!  Motts 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mommy does love her kisses and hugs, doesn’t she, Motts?  When I take the grandkids to visit her, I encourage them to stroke her arms and hug her and kiss her.  She seems to really respond to it.  I wish I could kiss Mommy right now and tell her i love her.  And the few times any more that she replies, “I love you, too!” are so incredible!

  4. I’m really not trying to light any fires!! Y’all do things so differently sometimes from anything I’m remotely familiar with that it’s completely bumfuzzling. I’m not trying to offend anybody or frustrate anybody, but you have to understand just how scary this can be for me sometimes. I’m sorta uprooted from everything “normal” and have jumped headfirst into a whole new world that’s still quite unfamiliar. Please forgive me if I’ve offended, but please do try to understand, if you can. It’s not like this is easy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This has nothing to do w/Nina’s post, but in response to Emily.  I moved to California when I was barely 20 years old w/a six week old baby.  We were just fresh out of the Air Force, no job, no money & I had NEVER met any of my new in-laws other than my mother in law (once).  I was laughed at (my accent – which made me pour it on MORE), we lived in ONE bedroom of my mother-in-law’s house complete Rob’s crib in there & it was nearing Christmas.  My FIRST one in my life w/o my mother.  I was (& still am) an extreme Mama’s girl.  We didn’t have the luxury of computers, e-mails, or even long distance phone calls to communicate w/”home”.  Everything was done by mail.  So yes, I know what it’s like to be in unfamiliar surroundings.  I guess that’s why I try to “embrace” new family members so they will feel welcome or loved or wanted by hugging them.  I was the LONE emotional/hugger in a sea of non “touchy” people in California.  BUT I did the best I could to fit in & slowly had them adapting to some of my ways as well as I adapted to their ways………..  My husband is the one that decided that he had become a TEXAN in the 4 years he was in the Air Force & that there was more love & friendlier people in a place he thought he had to leave than the one where he thought he had to return.  So…… we are………I hope you can understand that most of us have been uprooted from familiar surroundings at one time or another…..and that’s why some wanted to make you feel welcome or wanted.  If it were known that you didn’t want the familiarity of embracing, it wouldn’t have been done.  And I’m sorry you’re not looking forward to the reunion….I can see how it’s not every one’s cup of tea.

  6. AuntGen says:

    Just a note to present and future “new Allens.”   The fires Emily has ignited are not unfriendly ones.  They are just fires of excitement about family, love and fun.  We have a burning desire for everyone to experience what our family has and to give them a taste of Allen hospitality.  Please don’t think we Allens are offended at your being overwhelmed by our open demonstrations of affection and our boisterous Texas friendliness.  We are not offended at all, but want to make you and all other newcomers to our family feel welcome and loved. 
    At first, inductees into the family are loved by association (as someone that we love has undoubtedly introduced you to us).  As we become more aquainted with you our love for you personally grows and you are accepted for who you are, as an individual.  I am glad Emily loves and accepts our family the way we are and allows us to love her with both arms.  I don’t know what anyone will think of my commenting on this particular subject, but had to say it anyway.  (As for church hugging, I am not always all about it.  I do not like hugging men that are not family or really close friends.  I, too think they can be too familiar and intimate and try to ward them off or go for one of those sideways shoulder hugs.) 

  7. Kunkel_Daze says:

    Give me a big ol’ kissypoo! SMOOCH!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, I for one am DONE w/the entire subject………..& yes, Jeanne, I’ve been “hugged” by what I call “ooooky” ol’ men & didn’t like it, either, so not all hugs are a “good thing”.  But unlike you – maybe I was just a “tad” offended…… I guess you have to know (or THINK you know) who to hug & who NOT to hug…………And, Dave, I’d love to give you a big ol’ kissypoo – SMOOCH anytime!!  so…that’s all for me on this, folks.  End of story~~

  9. pettybunch says:

    As the author of this post, let me just say that Emmie didn’t light a fire for me.  We had talked yesterday about all this, and I decided to post about our family more for those who might read Emmie’s post than for her.  Emmie doesn’t mind hugs at all – she’s just not used to it.  She hugs with the best of them.  She just likes to have a bit of knowledge of who she’s hugging, that’s all!
    Emmie will love the reunion because she loves all of us – and I think the Bill Allens might be the most overwhelming of all!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well, of course the Bill Allens are the most overwhelming of them all.  There are over 50 of us. ha  And we work at being overwhelming. ha  I mean, Marty earned his nickname “Steal the Show” honestly and we all try to take that name away from him.  ha  We are not your typical quiet shy flowers.  We are big boisterous wild sunflowers!  Look at me!  I’m the tallest and the brightest and the fullest flower in the field!  ha  Ain’t we great?  If there is an exception to this it would be Jeanne, our quiet little violet.  Don’t get to say much when we are all together, huh, Gen?  ha 
    Much love to all you wild flowers and to our sweet violet!  After all, you smell sweetest. ha

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