"Times back then were hard, simple but rewarding in that we needed each other and found peace in that closeness."

A dynamic couple has composed this lively guide for families wishing to initiate or expand upon an annual gathering. The Hardin reunion, based in rural Texas and ongoing for eighty years, may be attended by well over one hundred relatives of all ages. The earliest such reunions took place on July fourth at the Hardin's farm, with the cow's watering hole affording a recreational area. Since those days, the authors, now wedded for sixty-seven years, have taken leadership in organizing these large gatherings. Each year a meeting is held to make decisions for the next event, with a committee designated to assist with all advance arrangements. Entertainment may include golfing and other sports and auctions for bidding on family treasures like a grandparent's walking cane, photographs, and more recently, specially designed quilts and family recipe collections.

The diligence with which the Hardins have planned and cooperated in establishing their tradition has given the clan a proud sense of its history and heritage. Celebrating the unity of the extended family in the current era, the reunions have also incorporated commemorations of special occasions such as the 100th anniversary of the founding couple, the military service of many in the family extending back to the Civil War, and the publication of a book written by Hardin grandson Wayne, entitled We Didn't Know No Better. By raising money and carefully planning for the events, the Hardins ensure that there will be high motivation for the widespread group to continue to meet near to the founding ancestors' homeplace. They offer specific strategies for establishing the celebrations, with lists of possible activities and suggestions for season and dates compatible with most family schedules. Peppered with generational photos and scenes from prior years' gatherings, their book offers a sincerely intended guide for other families to follow.

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