Monday, August 4, 2008

A Family Affair

Even though I don't usually have a summer agenda, I do usually know of certain key events which will take place in that 3 month span. Saying that, each summer seems to also provide at least one "surprise" event to my non-agenda.

This summer, it was a Karls family gathering, in honor of the patriarch of the Karls clan - that would be Franklin, who will be turning 90 years young this October. Because many of the Montana family would not be able to attend the California celebration in October, it was decided to have a separate gathering while Franklin was visiting Montana in August.

So, Saturday afternoon found at least 50 people arriving at his niece Marian, and her husband Pat's home. Franklin knew of the gathering, but was surprised to see additional cousins and even classmates and neighbors from his boyhood days in Stillwater County, Montana.

This banner showed individual and family photos, including the Karls homestead home, in the upper right corner.

Franklin, (in the Karls King hat) with Don Karls (a nephew) and his daughter, Kathy Karls. Kathy is the oldest - and Don the youngest, of the grandchildren of Casper Karls (Franklin's father.)

John Maxwell, Franklin's classmate, and his son, Mike Maxwell.

My mom and Ted Schuman, a neighbor and friend of both the Karls and Lutgen families.

Franklin with his nephew, Joe Karls. Some of Joe's six grandchildren were at the birthday party - and Franklin's comments showed an amazing knowledge of each generation.

...and talent abounds. One of Franklin's nieces sang a song with humorous and touching lyrics that fit Franklin's life, to the melody of "Forever Young."

I was pleased to accompany my own parents, John and Cecelia, pictured here with Franklin.

What a fitting honor to an attentive and generous uncle, who, following his own brothers' passing, has cared for this clan with love.

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