The third reunion of the Hansen/Flaherty family was in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 2-5, 2004. Family members started arriving on Thursday, September 2, and a few stayed over until September 6. There were thirty-three attendees, from nine states:
North Carolina: 7
The Hansen/Flaherty Family logo
The attendees made the Summerfield Suites—which is located on the eastern edge of the city, south of I-85—their headquarters. A number of the ladies concentrated on shopping, while several of the (younger) men found a local golf course to their liking. There was also ample opportunity to sightsee in the Charlotte area, share photo albums, discuss family history, play cards, and schmoose around beer and soft drink coolers in the pool area, while the children splashed in the water.
The major event was a backyard patio-style steak dinner on Saturday evening. The hotel turned over their kitchen and outdoor barbecue area to us, and steakmeister Ken Myers directed the overall preparation of the food and did his magic with the steaks. He was definitely the star of the evening, but sons Jon and Justin Myers did an outstanding job also. Don Erwin used his farm boy skills to shuck the roasting ears, and it seemed like “General” Joe Vaccari was everywhere with his clip board as he made sure that every segment of the meal preparation came together at the right time.
After dinner there was a mini “talent” show. Flaherty sisters Jean Sharp and Ruth Erwin sang a rousing bar room ditty that their father had taught them as children in Boston. Bruce Hansen and his family (on leave from his language translation service job in China) sang a couple of tunes and demonstrated their Chinese language skills. Barbara Sigler, and daughter Kyra, age four, sang a duet, as did sisters Mary Jane Myers and Christine Ratzel. Alf Hansen— the family patriarch at age 87—entertained the gathering with several pieces on his harmonica, and Haley Myers played a couple of tunes on her recorder, a flute-like wind instrument.
A special acknowledgement goes to Mary Jane Myers. Her selection of Charlotte as meeting site, and of the Summerfield Suites as our hotel, was outstanding. And a big thanks goes to her from all of the attendees for the effort and energy that she put into the overall planning. It was a memorable event.
Alf and Norma Hansen live in Deland, Florida. They returned home on Monday, September 6, and were grateful to find that their condo had escaped major damage from Hurricane Francis, but for the next five days they were without electricity. A discomfort, but on the positive side there was no loss of life in their general area.
The Charlotte gathering was declared a rousing success by all, and suggestions were made by several attendees regarding another event next year. Alf Hansen opined that the 2005 event should be somewhere on the West Coast, but that the 2006 gathering should definitely be in Florida near his home.
Sounds good to us Alf!
The Hansen/Flaherty Family Reunion—2004
Norma & Alf Hansen, Ruth Flaherty Erwin, Jean Flaherty Sharp
Ken Myers, the Steakmeister