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Connecting and Strengthening Families

Neighborhood Reunion

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Neighborhood Reunion
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on Thursday, 07 March 2013 in Naafra - Connecting and Making Families Stronger

Men from the neighborhood. L-r Benny, Frank, Bird, John, Cookie.

Men from the neighborhood. L-r Benny, Frank, Bird, John, Cookie.
Photo credit: 
by Tony Hicks


This past labor day weekend, a group of families who grew up together in the Los Angeles area celebrated twenty-four years of hosting a Neighborhood Reunion Picnic. Parents have a lot of ways to share their history, and culture with their children. But one of the best ways is to do what one neighborhood group has been doing for many years. Back in 1987 a group of friends had an idea to host a picnic for the neighborhood(s) they grew up in. Originally the plan was to invite family and friends from the neighborhoods of Temple, Flats, and J-Flats. Temple is located near Echo Park - west of downtown L.A., The Flats is located near the infamous original Tommy's Hamburger stand and also Rampart Police station, and the J-Flats is located near Griffith Park, where all but two year's of the annual neighborhood reunions have been held.

The unique thing about the Neighborhood Reunion Picnic is that it is different than a "Family Reunion" in that family's are part of the reunion - but in addition to the biological and/or legal families attending, also included is family and friends who grew up together in those same neighborhoods during the 50's through the 80's. Many of them went to the same schools (union ave., rosemont, virgil, starr, belmont, marshall) attended the same churches, and hung out at the same places. And although a school reunion might attract some of the same people - the neighborhood reunion attracts more of the same people who used to socialize with one another, outside of school hours.

Up until the neighborhood reunions started, the only time many of the neighborhood(s) group would see one another is at a friend or relatives funeral. And no one could have imagined that after the initial reunion, we would still be having them year after year? It's a testimony to the unique relationship that was seeded many years ago. Almost everyone grows up in a neighborhood, or a town, etc. But how many continue to get together with people they share a unique history with? That's right, very few. And that's why this type of reunion is so special. Its basically a family of families, and friends who come together once a year to reminisce, socialize, share food, music, and other activities, and give thanks to our special relationship.

Since the very first reunion, there have been more neighborhoods joining us such as Dogtown, and other parts of the greater L.A. area because those neighborhoods are ones we all visited from time to time or others who grew up during the same time period can identify with. And although when you attend a Neighborhood Reunion you will always hear played throughout the day the theme song "Family Reunion by the O'Jays" and other R&B oldies, you will also find that because many of the younger generation has been attending the reunion's too...... contemporary music is also part of the festivities. One thing is clear.......when you bring together old friends, food, music, and activities, be prepared for a fun filled event. Thank You Neighborhood, for all the memories!  

Contact author at: tonyhicks32@yahoo.com

*This article and photo is from the Neighborhood Reunion held on September 4, 2010.

 

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dadmin1
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dadmin1 Thursday, 07 March 2013

Great Idea! More neighborhoods or Blocks in our communities should organize these kinds of events. If you are organizing one, post it on this site.

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