Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A family in search of a host/hostess

MARK’S ARTICLE – October 13, 2009
“Jill dry-docks Juggernaut”

I don’t know if you’re aware but last month Jill gave up her role as family organizer and go-to person. Just flat out quit. I would’ve told you earlier, but wasn’t sure how you would take the news. It hit me pretty hard.

Jill didn’t quit ‘cause she was upset about anything. She was just tired. I can certainly understand why. Nearly every get-together our family has had since, oh, the last three decades has been organized and, for the most part, hosted by my kid sister. She took responsibility for finding a time that would come closest to suiting everyone, telling each person what to bring and setting up the appropriate games and prizes.
This is the winning team in one of the family's Thanksgiving Day Football games. I don't remember the score of the game, but I assure you that Jill included it in the Family Newsletter.

Jill not only wrestled with that kind of stuff, but she also managed to publish a family newsletter from ’88 through ’99. There were few secrets in our family during that time. Jill told all.

Here, I’ve saved all copies. Let’s see what she wrote this time back in ’88. Okay, it seems that we drew names for Christmas at our October get-together. Someone even had an idea to draw names for birthdays. That way we only had to buy one birthday gift a year. Don’t remember how that went over. I’m sure mine was a “Yea” vote.

Look at this, Larry sent in a joke in this issue. It’s old as the hills. I think I’ll share it. – A duck goes into a fancy restaurant and orders the most expensive thing on the menu. The waiter asks him how he’s gonna pay for it. Cash or credit card? The duck says, “Just put it on my bill.” -- Larry is such a goober.
This is Lynda performing at one of Jill's hosted parties. The girl was rockin' out!

There is news of softball and volleyball games. News of family happenings small and… well, mostly small. There is one big story about our niece Cheryl helping the police catch a car thief. Great story. She had to go undercover. And, she’s not even a cop!

So much stuff. So many family stories. That was awhile back. After closing down the newsletter, Jill still continued taking care of all get-togethers. Kept at it even after Mom passed. I think that’s really what made her tire of it. Her heart’s not in it as much now.

As soon as I got word from Jill that she was quitting, I sent all family members the following e-mail:

On September 1, twenty-hundred and nine, a date that will live in family infamy, Jill resigned as matriarch of the family gatherings. A week of mourning has been called for and ratified by the powers that be. Take my word. All trophies won and/or photos taken at previous get-togethers are to be turned to face the wall, not to be righted again until midday of Sept. 8, 2009.

You served your family well, Jill. By lifting a huge load from yourself, you have left us a miserable mass of familydom. Your tremendous effort was never in vain, nor your intense responsibilities and unwavering devotion likely ever to be forgotten. Signed: #3 Son.

The costume that should've won the best costume award at the '87 Hayter Halloween Party hosted by Jill... of course.

So, there you have it. The family is stunned, but not undone. It takes more than this to dry-dock this juggernaut. We’re too close. We’re too—Oh, who am I kidding? We’re dead in the water. Somebody has got to step up to the plate before Halloween. We’ve already missed Dennis’ birthday. Time for a “Draft Jill” movement. I’ll be probably be calling you this week for donations. Hey, everybody else does it. – Next time.



  1. You are in deep, "you know what" now, Hayter family. Those will be tough shoes to fill. It isn't easy being the one who tries to figure it out and coordinate it. It takes a lot of thought, caring and sacrifice. A very under-appreciated, taken for granted position, until it's gone. I wish you luck!

  2. I love you Ms. A, I'm thinking that you've done more than your share of hosting and organizing. Wish you and all the other rooftoppers could have seen us Hayter's doing our thing. We were, oh and still are, a very happening family!

    That first picture of us playing football - there's Ma with her hand on your shoulder, Moke, she loved you so much, and there I am holding on to my Jeffrey and he's loving me back *tear*, and man, don't Big Al & Clintrock look alike, and Lar hasn't changed a bit.

    Next picture is of Lynda doing Dolly Parton, she's our sister that had Alzheimer's and passed away on Oct. 4, 2005, just look at her, that's my big sister acting cool in front of all of us. Oh, and the one standing behind her is me, the one with the big rearend. I was Lynda's back-up and that's the same outfit I did Tina Turner in.
    Me & Big Al won the talent contest as Ike & Tina Turner. Why don't we have that on tape?! I remember how much Daddy liked our act.

    And the last picture... Moke that was an excellent costume, so excellent. But it's hard to beat Big Al as Spiderman. Any other Halloween your Woodsy Owl would have won best costume, except the Halloween when Big Al came as Zorro of course.

    I think that one of the other family members, like maybe a niece or a few of the nieces, should put on a smash banger of a Halloween party some year, really do it up huge! That would be fun!

    I think Mom & Daddy thought us kids had so much talent, don't you... they knew where we got it from.