My mom’s family reunions were always held in this little town on the banks of a nice river. It was a thing for many years (even though we only went one time) and the very name of the town – Christoval – can conjure up manufactured memories of reunions on a riverbank. You may have actual memories of family reunions, and I may be way off base with what I think I missed: watermelon; home made ice cream; the aunts sitting together and smoking and gossiping; the uncles sitting together somewhere else smoking and gossiping (but they’d just call it “talking” because surely gossip is something only women do); cousins running and squealing and playing in the river; sunburns; and chiggers and mosquitoes.
I was driving through Christoval recently and decided to get off the highway and look around. Nothing I saw seemed like anything I’d ever seen before – no actual family-reunion memories surfaced or anything like that. This old café, with its hollow promise of “home cooked meals,” seemed sort of symbolic of the place, both as it is now and as it stands in my memory.
So you know what I did…