Every Boxing Day my ancestral family hosts a party to celebrate and honor the heritage of our family and its many contributions to the City of Portland.
This party, for me, has never really struck the right chord. It always hit me as a bit stuffy and even pretentious. To please my mother I normally attend once every 6-8 years. This year was one of those years.
This edition of the party should’ve been the stuffiest of all; Hosted at the Portland Art Museum. However, to my surprise, I enjoyed this version tremendously. Bruce must be growing up. Mom will be proud.
I learned a great deal about the founding of the Art Museum and our ancestors’ roles in that. We were given a private tour by the current curator of many of the significant works that were sold or donated to the museum. Cousin Bill gave a great account of the family over the years and many of the specific donations, gifts and contributions.
The highlight, once again, was Aunt Lucy. She related several stories but one that was very touching. The family once had a Winslow Homer painting. It was sold to put Lucy through college. It turns out that several of her generation of the family attended college through similar sacrifices. It was evident to all how much this meant to Lucy and it really demonstrated to me the profound connections of family, city, museum, education and culture.
I’ve always felt a bit of disconnect to my extended family, much to my mother’s dismay, I fear. But, as I’ve been working to be better connected to both family and friends, I want this to change.
So, see you all next Boxing Day.