Today Kish and I visited Portage Country Club in Akron, Ohio for the first time in almost 20 years. It’s a grand old Tudor-style club that was the center of many activities for our family. We’ve had wedding receptions there, it’s where I learned to swim, and today it hosted a memorial service for Uncle Gilbert. He would have liked the fact that the occasion brought all the cousins together again at such a familiar location.
One of the most familiar places at Portage is the Board Room. For years, Grandpa Neal would hold an annual family luncheon around the time of his birthday. Everyone attended, and as spouses and babies joined the family the size of the gathering grew. After we’d had our lunch Grandpa would give a little speech about what had happened to everyone during the year, and the lunch would be capped off by Baked Alaska (Kish’s favorite).
It’s been many years since we had one of those dinners, but the Board Room still looks the same. Seeing the room and the pictures of the past country club presidents, I could almost hear Grandpa’s voice and see us all gathered around the table.