September 4, 2022
Following the Pfeiff reunion in Iowa on Saturday, my kids drove through the local cemeteries, seeking the resting places of Pfeiffs and Millers (formerly Mueller). Something about cemeteries intrigues them. That each generation of my extended family spanned 40 years meant that death was frequent when I was a child. Growing up near the family home, we visited the cemeteries regularly. I have met my quota. Maybe they haven’t.
But there was more family to see. On Sunday, Mike’s paternal cousin hosted a family brunch serving Happy Joe’s breakfast pizza. Who knew? The relaxed morning allowed everyone to get better acquainted as adults and newer family members such as P-DiL to be inducted into the tribe. LLJ enjoyed playing with plastic food, demonstrating unambiguously that she disliked lettuce by tossing it across the room. It was a beautiful day for mimosas, breakfast pizzas, and conversation on the deck overlooking the wooded lot in Moline. I had forgotten how hilly and wooded the Quad Cities are.
One more family branch: my mother’s family, the Parrotts, now congregating on Sunday afternoon at Frank’s Pizzeria in Silvis. By this time the babies were asleep in the car. While Aunt Amy sat with them, C-boy and P-DiL ran inside to extend their greetings before leaving for home. Not hungry, we had to have at least one slice of the decadent sausage pizza, sliced in strips, of course. Like Adolph’s Tacos, the pizza seemed less greasy than we remembered. We enjoyed time with cousins from Chicago and the Quad Cities, having a shared history of up to 70+ years. Now needing some dairy in our diet, our group converged on Whitey’s Ice Cream. I sense a fast in my future.
Were we done yet? Of course not. Gray Wolf band was playing outdoors at East Moline’s Runners Park. Where was this fun when we lived there? At previous performances, we had danced the night away. Tonight, it was hard to find a song to dance to. After embarrassing our cousin’s children with our public gamboling, we headed back to the hotel to find food and drink.
Was that the evening that the hotel restaurant denied us service? The bartender claimed they were understaffed for such a large group. Hmmm. Did we trek down to Axis Hotel occupying the former office building where we visited our foot doctor, Dr. Vis? Memories of ingrown toenails being ripped out did not endear me to the place. The locked doors require the staff to buzz you in. Rough neighborhood. The bar was closed. As were most places on this drizzly Sunday evening.
Bent River Brewing had shown us love on other nights and again welcomed us. Some cousins had already left for homes far away, but the four children of Milt and Gerry and a few of their offspring carried on for one last evening of Pfeiff Pfamily Pfun. Over the cacophony, our mother’s voice rang out: a bunch of boozers!