My wife Abby’s family, the Shoffners, originally of Ryan, Oklahoma, hosts a large annual family reunion. Many years it takes place at the Taff Farm east of Duncan, Oklahoma. Activities at the reunions over the years have included spook walks, haunted houses, pig tying contests, donkey riding, corn shucking contests, three-legged races, boat races, skeet and trap shooting, bowling for cousins, hexapede races, family photo sessions, and Sunday devotional services. I attended my first Shoffner reunion in October 2004 just a week after Abby and I got married.
Abby and I were quite pleased that for the first time in many years Abby’s daughter Chele was able to come to Oklahoma for the reunion, and bring her husband Tom and their son Paul, our grandson, for their first ever Shoffner reunion. Abby and I packed us all into our RV, the Kokopelli, and drove to Duncan Saturday morning, October 3, where we were able to plug in for the night.
In addition to bringing out the hexapede game from three years ago, we got the boats, the Tipsy and the Mayfloat, out of retirement, cleaned out the rats nests and wasps, and hosted boat races in the pond.
Watch Tipsy vs The Mayfloat here…
Shoffner Reunion 2014: Home on the Range
I have just returned from the annual Shoffner Family Reunion at Judy Taff’s farm in Duncan, Oklahoma. Sadly, my wife Abby was down with a sickness (probably something going around, since two of her coworkers reported the same), but since I feel very much a part of her family, I went anyway, and was glad I did.
The main Saturday activity was trap and target shooting. Ronnie brought his target launcher, and everyone brought a number of shotguns, pistols, and rifles. I brought my Ruger SR22.
The original schedule called for a family photo session at 2 pm Saturday, but the shooting activity lasted all afternoon, so we made family photos Sunday.
Watch Home on the Range here…
Shoffner Reunion 2013: In-Laws and Outlaws
Shoffner Reunion 2012: Walk the Plank
Abby and I spent the weekend at the 2012 edition of the Shoffner Family Reunion. Some highlights:
Thunderstorms, sometimes severe, passed through off and on Saturday. Clear and cooler Sunday.
The kid’s scavenger hunt started just as a huge thunderstorm began, though none of the kids came in from the rain.
The game this year was called either “Hexapede on Skis” or “Walk the Plank,” and involved two teams of three people racing to a finish line atop two 4×4 boards with ropes attached. It was harder than it looks.
The hay ride was also an Easter egg hunt. Yes, we know it’s not Easter.
The annual “spook walk” was indoors due to the possibility of rain, and took the form of a haunted house full of clowns.
We paused to shoot family photos between “Dutch” Shoffner’s devotional and the auction. We posed in front of an old four-wheel-drive truck named Elmer.
It was another great reunion.
Shoffner Reunion 2011: The Forge
Donald Ashford fired up the old forge, one which had belonged, we believe, to Abby’s grandfather. He heated some scrap steel and demonstrated some ironworking, such as bending, cutting, and shaping metal. He made several letters as souvenirs, including an “A” for Abby.
Abby’s nephew Michael Larson is reenlisting as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force, the oath for which only needs to be administered by an officer. Abby’s Uncle Dutch Shoffner, a retired Lieutenant General, did the honors.
Because of continuous rain, the annual spook walk had to be moved inside, so we created a parade of characters from the haunted woods, including such Shoffner legends as Sacky Joe, “The Twins,” Bloody Bags, and more.
Sunday morning’s auction shattered all records for sales, due in large part to two cypress Airondack chairs Dutch had handcrafted just for the occasion. Abby and Judy got into a fierce bidding war, with Judy taking the prized pieces with the admonition, “Those aren’t leaving here.”
The rain, which started Saturday afternoon at about 2 pm, continued through the end of the reunion, but as Abby noted, the kids made up indoor games and never got bored.
Shoffner Reunion 2010: Wild Ass Reunion
Abby and I just returned from the annual Shoffner family reunion. Readers will recall themes for past reunions like Pigs Gone Wild, Ten Little Shoffners, Put Mabel in Charge, or Legend of the Chupacabra. Last year’s swine-themed reunion featured an actual wild pig, and a pig-tying contest. This year, those in charge, most notably the Ashford sons, were not to be outdone, and brought an untamed donkey for everyone to ride. Thus this year’s theme, Wild Ass Reunion. And although I was unable to join the group until later, Abby made some great images of the event.
I find myself amazed by this family, who not only put on a great show, but make sure that everyone is welcome and has a good time. It is a privilege to be part of this family and their excellent reunions.
Shoffner Reunion 2009: Pigs Gone Wild
We feel that this Shoffner family reunion might have been the best yet. Despite colder weather, everyone had an amazing time. This year’s theme was “pigs gone wild,” and featured, among other attractions, a wild pig tying contest, with a real wild pig.
Shoffner Reunion 2008: Legend of the Chupacabra
Shoffner Reunion 2007: Ten Little Shoffners
Shoffner Reunion 2005: Put Mable in Charge
Because of work, I was only able to join the festivities of the Shoffner Reunion 2005 on the last day, Sunday, but the ever-capable Abby made images in my place.
With abundant sunshine and plenty of pets to entertain the kids, everyone had a terrific time.
Shoffner Reunion 2004: Hop Along
The first Shoffner family reunion I attended was in October 2004, just a week after Abby and I got married. At the time, I knew very few of these people, but as I write this, in November 2011, I not only know and love them, I am amazed at how much they have changed in the past seven years.
Abby and I have attended each reunion since we got married except 2006, when Abby wasn’t feeling well. We look forward to it with great excitement.
In this video clip during the three-legged race, Abby and Gail had conjured a system of synchronizing their legs, saying out loud, “In-out, in-out, in-out…” Listen closely at the end, after Daniel and Judy push Abby and Gail our of their way and Abby and Gail fall down giggling, and you’ll hear Gail say to Abby, “Sounds like really bad sex”…