The descendants of George and Jessie Brister gathered on the banks of Rough Creek between San Saba and Bend over the 4th of July weekend for their annual reunion.
Those who arrived early got to help build the fence around the pavilion at Rough Creek, work on the creek crossing and close the end of the pavilion. Brister family members have been working together for the past four years to build and refine the pavilion on the banks of the creek.
Family members from Oregon, Idaho, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, and California as well as from Texas attended this year; members from 9 of George & Jessie’s 10 children’s families were represented. Those attending include: Georgia Frances (Brister) Morris, Sarah & Andrew Reiman, George & Lynn Morris, Kayla & Jonathan Hughes, Alyssa Hughes, Tia Morris & Luke Morris from the Georgia Frances Morris family; Barbara & Neil Gorter from the A.J. Brister family; Linda & Duane Schmidt, Susie & Clark Smith from the Eugene Brister family; Kathy & Frank Rokohl, Jennifer & J.B. Richter, Victoria Richter, Cody Rokohl, Missy Shanen, Damien & Jocelyn, Joey Christopher and friend Jackie, Julie Martinez & friend, Olivia & Mary Jane Martinez, Ira & Shirley Brister, Shane & Casie Brister, Sarah Brister, Cliff & Danine Brister from the Roy David Brister family; Rayford, Steve, Cindi, Alyssa, and Mariah Brister from the Rayford Brister family; Mary Evelyn (Brister) & Bill Herman, Cindy & Ken Prater, Michelle & Benny Carr, Jace Carr, Ashton Poole, Theresa Herman, Jessica Herman, McKenzie Rodriguez, Ethan Lewis & Danielle, Bill Jr. & Alice Herman, Brandy & Byron Grimm, Casey & Bion Coleman, Justin Herman from the Mary Evelyn Herman family; Emerson & Gladys Brister, Walter, Ethan, & Elliott Brister, Gayle Reinhardt, Marissa Quinn, Larry & Debbie Brister, J.W. Brister, Luke Brister, Thomas Brister & friends, Sierra Brister & Julianna, Hunter Brister from the Emerson Brister family; Vernon & Judy Brister, Clifton & Tammy Brister, Chase, Zachary, & Ian Brister, Kasha & Levi Brister from the Vernon Brister family.
The Jackie Brister family acted as the host family this year; those assisting were Jackie & Charlene Brister, Marilyn Brister, Carl Adams, Elizabeth Adams & Joe Tamez, Jr., Blain Adams & Shantell Dowell, Gene & Janet Brister, Lauren Brister, Michael & Gennifer Brister, Dillon & Dean Brister, Shari & Steve Raesz, Bryan Benningfield & Brenda, and Bonnie Benningfield.
There was nobody attending from the Dewayne Brister family this year. Others who attended included Jerry Harbour and friend, George & Frances Herrington, Jim & Ora Beth Hicks, more friends of Joey Christopher, Bill & Lois Patillo, Ron & Sharon Grimm, Tye Grimm & Summer, Bobby Clark, Lloyd Henniger and others from the Henniger family as well as our Lometa Brister cousins Velma Brister, Tico Hicks, Tonya Hicks and several others. Also attending were Sidoni Thornton and Josh Dovie
Activities started with lunch on Friday, July 4th. Hamburgers, homemade ice cream, watermelons and cantaloupes were the menu for supper Friday followed by a fireworks exhibition. Gene Brister was the chief of our own little fire department to keep the pasture from catching on fire. Shooting competitions were held Saturday morning with awards presented Saturday night before the auction. We had lunch on Saturday followed by a business meeting of the Riachuelo Áspero Ranch, LLC, shareholders.
Family camped, swam in the creek, hiked and visited. There was a contest to see who could name the most faces in a group of family photos (won by Ashton Poole). Judy Brister won the door prize drawn from those who registered at the reunion. Jackie Brister and the “Green Aprons” cooked fish for supper Saturday night, followed by the awards ceremony and auction. Zachary Brister was recognized and presented with a poem written by Emerson Brister in honor of his archery accomplishments. Clifford Brister was also presented with a poem written by Emerson Brister as well as a plaque from his immediate family in honor of his recognition as Texas State Trapper of the Year. It was great to see the kids have their own auction and bid for wonderful baskets of prizes and toys. This was followed by our regular auction; proceeds from this supply money for our operating expenses for the ranch as well as family reunion the next year. The grand finale on Saturday was the drawing for the 7MM Winchester rifle donated by Jerry Harbour; Susie Smith was the lucky winner who took the rifle home to Kansas with her and her husband, Clark.
Worship services were coordinated by the Jackie Brister family at 10 AM Sunday. Special music was provided by Steven & JoAnn Pepper of Stephenville. The message was given by Gene Brister. Gladys Brister celebrated her birthday Sunday by having a car wreck on the way to the worship services. Kids’ activities were performed while Sunday lunch was being prepared; they played Redneck Golf, decorated visors, and built PVC marshmallow guns followed by a marshmallow war (the big kids probably had more fun than the little kids did!). Good-byes were said after lunch as everyone packed and prepared to go home. Ceremonial tea bag was passed on to Cindy Prater, representative of the Evelyn Herman and A.J. Brister families; they will serve as host families for the reunion next year.
Cousin Camp started Sunday afternoon after all the “old folks” left. This has become a tradition for about the past ten years and was started by Cindy Prater. The kids (ages 4-?) who attend, camp on the creek for a week; swim, work, hike, tell tall tales and have all kinds of adventures to help build comradeship and family ties that will carry on to the next generations.
Cindy was helped (minimally) by Marilyn Brister this year. Those attending included Cody Rokohl and Missy Shanen along with Damien & Jocelyn Shanen, from the Corpus Christi area; Ethan & Elliott Brister of Thorndale; Sierra Brister and friends, Julianna and Hunter Brister, of Hutto; Mariah Brister of San Antonio, Zachary & Chase Brister of Mission; and Luke Brister of Texarkana, Arkansas.
One of the projects was to paint the fence which was recently built. Most of this group stayed all week until scattering to the winds Saturday, July 12th. Rough Creek Ranch sure was busy there for a couple of weeks! Next year’s reunion will be held 4th of July weekend, 2009, on the creek.