We were up in Akron today for a funeral service for an old and dear family friend. It gave Kish, Cath and me a chance to visit the Webner clan lived in before we moved to Columbus, see some fondly remembered acquaintances again, and visit Portage Country Club, the Tudor-style building where we had countless family gatherings — including weddings, showers, and birthday celebrations — over the years.
I had to take a look at the “Board Room,” pictured above, where Grandpa Neal hosted annual luncheons that featured lots of revelry, Baked Alaska for dessert, and Grandpa’s remarks in which he gave a recap of the year and, speaking totally from memory, recounted the highlights for everyone in attendance. I looked at the table and thought that, if we were to try to convene that gathering now, many of the chairs would be empty and those of us still around would look a lot grayer and more bowed than we once did. As we left Portage Country Club, I wondered if this was the last time I would pass through its big wooden doors.
They say that funerals are a time for remembering, and our visit to Akron today certainly set me to thinking back to old times. It was a wistful experience, but I enjoyed taking a little trip down memory lane.