Jan 092011

Yes, I know, only Nick can make a family reunion sound tacky. But have you ever actually met anyone in my family? Trust me, if you did, it would make sense! 🙂

Yesterday was a busy and fun day for us. We left the Escapees campground in the morning and drove 70 miles down to Clearwater to take care of some business. On the way to our appointment, I spotted this sign, and had to stop and take a picture. I mean, we’re talking history here, folks. This is where Hooters began. Can you imagine a world without delicious barbecued wings delivered to your table by pretty girls in short shorts and skimpy T-shirts? Why would you even want to imagine a world like that? I’m talking about really, really good barbecued wings!

Original Hooters sign

I knew that my dear friend Greg White would never forgive me if I didn’t get a photo of the actual restaurant where it all began. Greg loves hooters. He’s fond of the restaurant too. To be honest, I had never been in a Hooters restaurant until Greg and his pretty wife Jan took us to the one in Las Vegas last year. It was actually very good.

Original Hooters

From Clearwater, it was about twelve miles to my nephew Steve’s house in Pinellas Park. Steve is my brother Jack’s son, and I recently reconnected with that branch of my family tree after over 25 years. I was born very late in my parents lives, and Jack actually had a son who was older than me. My parents and siblings have all been gone for many years, and I had lost touch with my nephews and niece a long time ago. There was never any kind of falling out, but they all moved from Ohio to Florida, and when I got out of the Army, I went out west and started my newspaper career. Years went by, family members passed on, and one day I looked around and realized that people I loved were not a part of my life anymore. It happens sometimes.

I had tried to find them for years. I knew that they lived somewhere in Florida, but I never was able to make a connection. While doing genealogical research on Ancestry.com early last year, I was finally able to find them, and we have been keeping in touch ever since.

A few weeks ago, Terry and I stopped in to meet Steve, his brother Harold, and sister Cheryl, but two other brothers, Jack and Lou, were not able to make that meeting. So Steve and his wife Denise hosted a family reunion at their house yesterday. As you can see, we had quite a turnout! Don’t ask me who everybody is, because there were so many new faces that I can’t remember them all. I do know that pretty lady on the far right, though!

Family group photo

Here is another picture of my nephews (from left) Harold, Steve, Jack,  their sister Cheryl, brother Lou, and me. Why isn’t anybody smiling? Hey, if after all those years you found your long lost uncle, and it turned out to be me, would you smile?

Nephews niece Nick best

And here I am with two pretty ladies, Miss Terry and my grand niece, LaDonna.

Nick Terry Donna

They are all great people, and I am very happy to have met them. They are a close knit group, and not having had that kind of relationship with my own siblings, I really envy them for having that. Thanks everybody for making us feel so welcome, and thanks Steve and Denise, for arranging and hosting the reunion.

Now that we have gotten to know one another, I’m really looking forward to visiting with all of my Florida kinfolk again the next time we’re in the area.

Today we plan to sleep in, then do a whole lot of nothing most of the day. Another cold front is coming through the area, and we don’t have anything we have to do, or any place we have to be. So we’re not going to.

Thought For The Day – How come we never hear any father-in-law jokes?

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Hooters And A Family Reunion”

  1. Often wondered if Hooters began a home delivery service would it be called Knockers.

  2. Howdy ‘Uncle’ Nick,

    That’s a fine looking bunch of ‘crackers’ you got there.. I hate to say it, but you can certainly see the family resemblance, except for Lou and he is normal size!!!

  3. Hey- great article. We just posted about you on the official twitter page. http://www.twitter.com/hooterscalendar

  4. Here is a link for Lynne Austin the Original Hooters Girl and Miss July 198?, she does local radio here now and lots of other stuff.


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