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.

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.