My Aunt Frankie used to say, “Family you can do nothing about but sideburns are your own fault.”
Having said that I have a cousin, used to be Joey but now Joseph who has taken upon himself the job of tracking down every cousin he can in my family. He uses Geni, a website that allows you to produce a family tree. In the last three or four years he has identified 836 cousins many living and many who have gone on to their reward.
He started with my great grandfather who came to this country in 1863 from a small town called Simna in what is now Lithuania but was then Poland. It turns out he had five brothers and two sisters all of whom married and spread around the United States and produced many children. My grandfather was one of eight so the next generation were fruitful and multiplied also… and so on. I get regular emails from Geni saying things like “send a note to …….. your cousin. It’s her 36th birthday.” It is amazing that about 95% of the cousins I have never met and most I have never heard of.
Today I received an email saying I should send an email to Jon Samuels on his 54th birthday. Jon, who is the son of Alice Samuels (Elting) who was your second cousin once removed’s wife.  So usually I just delete the email but this morning I tried to figure out how this person is related and found that his mother was the granddaughter of one on my great grandfather’s brothers.
I have always been interested in geneology and love those old pictures of family reunions from the early days that you often see at flea markets but I think this is information overload. I wont send a birthday greeting to Jon and hope he wont be offended.
With all that said this will be the 21st year of the Boy’s Weekend in Clove Valley. This year eleven or twelve  close male relatives gather in clove Valley for a weekend of talking, walking, eating, poker and catching up. The oldest will be 84 and the youngest 6. By the end of the weekend the place looks a little like a fraternity house the week after homecoming but it is all worth it

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