After all these years...
By LILLIAN KAFKA
Monday, June 18, 2001
Yesterday a local family marked its 85th reunion
and remained faithful to the location where, in 1916, Frank Tettemer decided
to gather his family in a park.
Eight-five years ago, Tettemer was worried
that his family's ties were weakening, so he held a reunion at the Washington
Crossing Historic Park on the Upper Makefield/Solebury border. Yesterday,
his family carried on that tradition and even rented the same pavilion
where the first reunion was held.
Mary Jane Sheppard of Wrightstown, whose maiden
name is Tettemer, said one of the reasons she likes the reunion is that
it reminds her of her parents, who passed away.
"I love it. It's fun to see people that look
like my dad," she said.
Dorothy G. Maggio has been going to the James
Moore pavilion every Father's Day for 80 years.
"It's a very happy day," she said. "You feel
like you're filled with love. It's a wonderful feeling."
She said she has 17 great-grandchildren and
even some great-great-grandchildren.
Sheppard said when she was younger, Father's
Day was her second favorite day next to Christmas.
"It's a special day. It's really special to
me and it has been my whole life. It's a day of fun; everyone is relaxed
and having fun," she said. The kids and adults toss water balloons and
compete in three-legged races. They take a poll to see who is the youngest,
oldest and who drove the farthest to get there.
This year they even printed T-shirts to commemorate
Ruth Margicin is Maggio's daughter and the
secretary of the meeting the family holds every year during the reunion.
This year she expected between 50 and 80 relatives
to show up.
She said it's not that hard to keep track of
everyone; she just keeps a list of addresses.
"Eighty-five years is a long time," said Sheppard,
"but it seems like people want to keep it going."