2011 Gray PEAR Affair, aka The Alligator Pear Congregation, WRAP UP—Posted August 6, 2011


Family and friends were invited for a get together at Alice's house Friday evening and enjoyed an abundant array of hometown food: hot dogs, hamburgers, homemade potato salad, homemade cake, chips, dip, and more—a perfect menu to enjoy with excellent Washingtonian July weather while sitting under a huge tent canopy in Alice's charming backyard.

For those of you who couldn't make it Friday night, we missed you!


Okay maybe not all the games were played on Saturday as planned, but the time went so fast there just wasn't time. I felt like I was ringing my bell to grab people's attention for group photos, food, games, and door prizes every time they turned around so I am thinking no one really missed not playing Grab the Gator or running races. Weigh in if you don't agree.

My favorite activities were the piñata and Top Croc at 3:00. The Puzzle for Prizes didn't quite go the way I had planned since I forgot to tell everyone there were only 10 matches. (See game descriptions under the July 19th post below.)

The Piñata:
All the kids (eight total participated) were SO patient when it was time for the specially designed *indoor* piñata. All were directed to sit in chairs in a circle with the alligator avocado pear piñata in the center and each was given a crepe paper streamer to hold. They were told to pull it but not until I said "1, 2, 3, PULL!" Each streamer was connected to an egg (containing a prize) inside the piñata. Not a single kid pulled their streamer too soon. Anya pulled out the golden egg, which meant she had the honor of emptying out the candy. When she stood on a chair and dumped all the candy from the alligator's belly onto the floor, all the kids absolutely squealed!

Doing the piñata like this worked out great; it may well be the way to do piñatas in the future—definitely safer than stick-wielding kids!

Top Croc at 3 O'Clock:
Everyone received an alligator ticket when they arrived. It didn't take long for most people to lose their ticket. Those who took this game seriously were very quiet (not my intention) and hardly said a word—they didn't want to accidentally say any of the forbidden words: a female's name or "mom, mother, mommy, daughter, grandma, grandmother, aunt, sister," etc., because anyone catching them would get an alligator ticket from them. When they did say something it usually was to trick someone else into saying one of these words.

Frank Mesa and Anya Mesa played the game very well. They were the Top Crocs! Anya had nine tickets and Frank had eight tickets when 3:00 rolled around. Here they are displaying their alligator ticket collections and their prizes.

And in case those of you who attended didn't notice (of course you did), there were lots of alligators crawling all over the Norway Hall, big ones, stuffed ones, inflated ones, and itty bitty ones gathering about on the tables—all in honor of this year's reunion theme—The Alligator Pear Congregation!

There were 36 attendees at the reunion this year. There were many who could not make it. You were all missed! We hope you will make it next year. The Gray PEAR Reunion is ALWAYS on the last Friday and Saturday of July. Mark your calendar and save these dates for 2012!

The next reunion will be at Frank and Lisa Mesa's place the first weekend in August. There will be more camaraderie with family and friends, more good food to eat, and more games to play, maybe some old ones from the past or maybe some new ones or maybe even a combination. Anyone who has ideas or would like to lend a hand, let us know!



2011 Gray PEAR Affair Games and Entertainment Planned for July 30th—Posted July 19, 2011

Top Croc at 3 o' clock using Alligator Tickets:
Each person will receive one alligator ticket to wear around their neck. A person can take an alligator ticket from someone else whenever they hear them say a female's name or "mom, mother, mommy, daughter, grandma, grandmother, aunt, sister," etc. Saying "her" and "she" do not count. At 3:00 the top three people with the most alligator tickets hanging around their neck win a prize.

Puzzle for Prizes:
Each participant will be given half a picture (from a past reunion) and will need to seek out the person who has the other half. When two people discover they have a match they both can pick up a prize at the prize table by selecting the prizes that have the same matching image as the one they matched together. There will be a limited number of match ups—only 10 or 15 thus this is a game of chance. The rest of the images will not have a match.

Alligator Pear Piñata Egg Pull:

Because the reunion is indoors, this will be a sitting-on-the-floor piñata. Each kid will be given a streamer attached to and wrapped around a plastic egg inside the piñata. Everyone will tug at once to pull out and unwrap their egg. Each egg will have a prize inside. One egg will be a gold or silver egg. Whoever gets the special egg gets to stand on a chair to turn the piñata upside down to empty the candy and toys onto the floor for everyone else.

Grab the Gator:
This is similar to the hot potato game. Chairs will be arranged in a large circle for participants to sit in. A stuffed alligator will be passed from person to person. When the music stops (or a monitor yells out "Don't let the gator bite you"), whoever is holding the stuffed alligator is out. This continues until there are only two people left. Both will receive a prize.

Kid Activity Center:
Crayons, coloring books, kid scissors, magazines or old photos to cut up, stickers, blank paper, glue sticks, etc. will be set up at tables for kids to use.

Kid Races:
Races for kids will be organized by age and will consist of scooting, crawling and/or carrying items for prizes.

Group Photos:
The main photo of the day is the one of Neil and Alice Ellingson's descendants. This takes place at noon. There will also be a group photo taken of ALL attendees just before the potluck is served.

And of course all attendees receive a button to wear and to add to their collection!

Below is postcard for this year's Gray PEAR Affair Family Reunion—Posted May 8, 2011.
Click to view larger.