2014 Harper-Boyd Family Reunion

Residence_Inn_Arlington_Capital_View_Updated

Mailers will soon be sent for the upcoming 2014 Harper-Boyd Reunion. We are behind the curve on getting our mailers out as we know they are typically sent the later part of the year prior. However, we spent a significant amount of time updating content and securing a venue for our busy metropolitan area.

The reunion is scheduled for August 8-10, 2014 and will be held at the Residence Inn Arlington Capital View.

Some of you may remember the 2008 Harper-Boyd Reunion held at the Residence Inn Pentagon City. However, this is not the same hotel. In fact, this hotel didn’t exist in 2008. The Residence Inn Arlington Capital View opened 2010 and is situated at the 28th block of South Potomac Avenue in Arlington, just south of the Crystal City dining and business districts, the hotel is connected to the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel and is minutes from the offices of PBS, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and government agencies like the Pentagon and Environmental Protection Agency.

Unfortunately, the registration fee will be $150 for adults ages 19 and over; and $65 for ages 4-18. This may seem as a significant amount but if you consider the $99 hotel rate (including breakfast) for the Washington, DC area you will get a great experience for a small premium over past reunions.

We’re hoping to get a great turn out but understand some of our core reunion guests, that participate year-to-year, may not be in a position to travel, for either reasons due to health or financial. Therefore, to keep this great tradition alive we’re relying upon the participation of more family members from all generations — great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and children to participate.

2010 Harper-Boyd Family Reunion Information Posted

Tuskegee Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center

Just in time for Christmas!!  Information for the 2010 Harper-Boyd Family Reunion has now been posted.  Pictured above is our venue, the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, located on the historical Tuskegee University, approximately 28 miles from Opelika, AL.  You can also get a jump start on your registration.  Why not make this a Christmas gift for a loved one…  Keep coming back to our site for more info.  Happy Holidays.

2008 Family Reunion: It’s in the Bag

The three monumentsIf you had the opportunity to attend, thanks. If you were not able to make this years reunion then start saving up now for 2010. We took great strides to make this an enjoyable experience for all family members that attended. I do hope all 32 attending family members shared in our enjoyment.

The venue for this years reunion was the Pentagon City Residence Inn by Marriott.

It was a packed three days of events.

Friday, August 8th
We kicked things off with a welcome reception where finger food was served and we offered a “death by PowerPoint” presentation on our wonderful city – Washington, DC. We also gave a quick demo of Family Tree Maker 2008. Using the software for one hour prior to the reunion, I was able to generate a family tree stemming from my children all the up to my great-grandfather. The powerful Ancestry.com access allowed me to find the birth/death information as compiled from county records or US census information.

We later presented a slide show of the 2006 Harper-Boyd Reunion. Due to software glitches we missed out showing the 2004 reunion. Following the slide presentation we fired off a few challenging DC trivia questions. Family members that mustered up the correct answers received redeemable chips.

Saturday, August 9th
We packed all guest in seven vehicles and took a short road trip to Fort Myer Army Installation for the family picnic. The Spates Recreation Center served up hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, and a variety of potato chips. After a few more trivia question, some family members went for a swim, while others relaxed and enjoyed the excellent weather under a nicely shaded patio.

Following the picnic a few family members took a drive to Howard University for sightseeing. As Howard is an urban setting, vice the rolling green hills you would expect to find in a more rural university, they were out and back to the hotel in less than two hours. Great timing considering our banquet took place later in the evening.

The banquet was the perfect excuse for throwing on your Sunday’s best. Our family members showed up in style, y’all! The Residence Inn served us our entrée choice of chicken, salmon, or vegetarian. We finished the meal with apple pie and chocolate cake. After the meal we honored our family members with gifts for the youngest and oldest family members. We also gave out gifts for the longest married, the attendee who brought the most immediate family members, and the person who accrued the most poker chips over the course of the reunion.

We ended the evening with the “wRight” game, where a family member a each table was presented with a gift As each family member listened to the story about the Wright family they passed the gift around to the right or left whenever those words were mentioned in the story. The person with the gift at the end of the story kept it. We also played a memory game.

Sunday, August 10th
Our Sunday message was delivered by Rev. Thompson of Prince Georges County. His sermon provided inspiration and motivation for all. What a great message!

Finally, we closed the Reunion with the most exciting news: the next Harper-Boyd Reunion will be in Opelika, Alabama 13-15 August, 2010.

Family Reunion: In Full Gear!

2008 T-Shirt Logo

Our 2008 Harper-Boyd Reunion being held in the great Washington DC is fast approaching. We have 35 confirmed guests with, as of the writing of this article, 26 days remaining.

The included picture is the logo design for our family reunion T-shirt. The T-shirts will have this logo in royal blue on the front and the back of the T-shirt will have the quote:

In God We Trust,
In Family We Believe

The T-shirts are on sale for $10. If you are interested in receiving a T-shirt and do not plan on joining us at the reunion just email this blog for arrangements of payment and shipping.

We originally started this site/blog as a way to easily convey information and allow an open forum for friends and family members to collaborate.

Since the inception of this site, March 7, 2008, we’ve had little to no response. Based on response, we decided to concentrate our energy on other, fast approaching deadlines — T-shirts, picnics, gift bags, entertainment, etc. With so many other things to work on, including our immediate family activities, this website took backseat.

On June 9th, the Harper-Boyd Communicator received an email from someone that stumbled across the site while conducting genealogical research on the web. She wanted to know if our Boyd family was from Alabama as her Boyd relatives were too. She was also hoping to find more information on our family’s history.

Yes, we are the Harper & Boyd’s from Alabama. We’re an African-American family with family members in AL, AZ, CA, FL, MD, MI, NY, OH, and VA just to name a few.

This simple email demonstrates the power of the World Wide Web! How on earth would we have made this connection otherwise? This single response will also serve as a catalyst in making this site more robust, yet always taking privacy into account, thus the lack of names or photos of family members.

In the coming months we will continue to add a bit of character and identity to this site. We’ll also use the upcoming reunion as a forum in deciding what more we can do with the Harper-Boyd Communicator. More importantly, there are family members with no Internet connectivity — completely missing out on this great opportunity. Don’t worry, we do not see this site going away following the reunion. We want to make it better. After all, it is for you.

Another Family Reunion Site

If you’re interested in checking out another family reunion webpage FamilyReunion.com may spark your interest.

FamilyReunion.com is one of the many social networking sites. The site is touted as being one of the largest family-based social networking sites.

The site also allows you to register your family gathering onto their site. Family members, you are more than welcome to register us. This administrator will be too busy working on our own site & reunion : ).

FamilyReunion.com webpage

If You Plan It Will They Come?

A view of the Capitol from Penn AveWell, well, as our 2008 Reunion draws near, we had a bit of a fright with the fine print of the contract. More importantly, the cancellation fee.

we agree that if we cancel the engagement we will pay the hotel A LARGE SUM OF MONEY within 30 days after cancellation as a reasonable estimate of the harm the cancellation will cause the hotel.

Man, after reading that I feel like a parachutist that just jumped out of a perfectly good plane without a backup chute.

After having a deep conversation on any possible reason we would want to cancel (thinking worst case), we came to the conclusion that canceling isn’t really an option — hopefully. Looking over our Evite RSVP listing we have 13 family members planning to attend. We were initially expecting 50, which is probably a rather lofty number.

Last year, our Phoenix reunion had 27 attendees. That doesn’t seem like a large number but keep in mind most family members, besides some out West, had to hop on a plane and fly for a few hours. Most attendees from the East thought like us — driving cross-country would’ve taken away too many valuable summer days. Don’t get me wrong, flying is not necessarily a bad thing but, for some, may not be a good thing; either financially or due to aviaphobia, the fear of flying.

Having the reunion in our Nation’s Capitol is an attractive location for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s a short distance away from the New Yorkers, who outnumbers any other city or state as far as family members go.
  2. Washington DC is 8-9 hours from Toledo and Detroit respectively, they also have a large number of family members.
  3. Opelika, Alabama is about 11 to 12 hours away by car.
  4. Washington DC is one of the largest summer tourist locations in the Nation, stoked with history, especially Black History.
  5. There is an excellent mass transit system in close proximity to the hotel. Depending on your agenda, you may get away with not having to rent a car.
  6. The reunion location is 10 mins away from Reagan National Airport with offers competitive airfare into the city.
  7. The reunion has never been here before.

OK, the last one was kind of lame but true… Even with all of those great reasons we still may have been too ambitious throwing around a number like 50, especially when you factor in the economy. The what? Yes, the economy. With sub prime housing foreclosures on the rise, gas prices possibly approaching over $4.00 a gallon this summer, and unemployment rising, we just may have over estimated our attendees. What do you think?

Faced with those odds we decided to drop our estimate down to 30 attendees. We personally feel, just based on our location and what this city has to offer, we WILL get a larger turn out. At the same time, we tried to make this affordable for all, which means if we do not reach our projected numbers it come out of our family’s pocket (not yours but mine). So lowering our expected guest count is not a negative. I’m thinking of it as our backup chute.