Egbert: Funny Name, Funny Family

Half of me is Egbert.  I am proud to be – although I was always a bit thankful that my mother’s maiden name would only be used as secret information such as password retrieval and not read at graduation.  The wonderful thing about the Egbert clan is that they know how to reunion.  This isn’t your run o’ the mill reunion that happens every 5 – 10 years for one day at a park.  It is annual and it spans 4 days.  These are also not small affairs as my mother has 8 siblings which has provided me with some 70,000 odd cousins (give or take a few).  The reason for this post is that the exodus has begun from all corners of the U.S. for this years festivities to commence and I am unable to be there (that and I found one of the reunion shirts from 1984 and thought it was funny that it still exists).  So here’s a quick overview of how these things go:

  • Typically take place in Utah (or Idaho) – which required my family to drive 16 hours West.  The glory of this is I am well versed in most truck stops en route through Wyoming, Colorado, and partially South Dakota (every once in a while we’d switch things up and set out to Wall Drug and Mt. Rushmore to see if anything has changed – it hasn’t).
  • A large number of these shin-digs are held in St. George Utah (the desert) in August (yes, height of summer).  I continually wonder why this pain continues to be self inflicted and another location or time or year is not chosen.
  • The cousins were able to naturally break off into gangs based on age tiers.  These were used to pick on each other quite mercilessly and included water balloons raining down from the rooftops and renaming of the mid-age girls (my group) as the “buffalo chips”.
  • The cousins still have these gangs.
  • We had old school – home made skit nights … every night … and still do … and many of them are repeated to this day.
  • One year cousin Peter and I were rebellious and skipped out on skit night #2 and went to a movie *gasp*.
  • Large obsession with Boggle – I wasn’t good at creating four letter acceptable words though (and could never piece together more than four letters).
  • One year good ol’ grandma wouldn’t let the boy cousins and girls cousins all sleep on/ under the trampoline together.  We were still are highly confused on what shenanigans she thought was going on.
  • There were many dollars spent on matching tee shirts and family photos spent in said shirts.
  • Crafts. Crafts. Crafts. (although mine always turned out like crap. crap. crap.)
After all of the fun we’d all hop back into our station wagon, plymouth caravan and then eventually super mini-van with entertainment system (btw, when your DVD player breaks calling On-Star doesn’t help you – as my mother learned. I don’t think that call ever made it on their advertisements) and drove the exhausting 16 hours back home.  Luckily my parents had impeccable taste in music and we were serenaded by Billy Joel, Marty Robbins and the cast of Les Miserables until we hit Omaha again.

One thought on “Egbert: Funny Name, Funny Family

  1. Yes….I had the surname Egbert and endured the teasing that accompanied it for many long years. I did become pretty attached to that name even decided to adopt it as a second middle name when I got married. (It confuses people to no end when I have to sign legal documents and there are two middle names. Hyphenating may have been less confusing for the world as a whole.) I miss those Egbert reunions. Maybe next year we will make the trek out West with all of our children in our van (that thankfully has an entertainment system) and let them form their own fun groups and learn those timeless skits! Long live the EFR!!

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