Scenes from a Family Reunion, Part 2

One of the joys of being back in North Carolina has been spending more time with my extended family. In the last year and two days, I have spent a lot of time with the Watts side of my family.

John with Lucy in 2010

Today we lost one of my favorite Watts family members – John Watts. Like a lot of people, I am certain we all want to hear John’s voice one more time.

These videos were taken at the MP Watts Reunion John hosted in 2010. I forgot my camera and just had my little Flip video camera. So I have 41 bumpy little clips. But the following is the longest video of the night, during which John identifies several of his classmates.

And if you are wondering why I skipped the PANTS on the front row, well, that’s because they were the subject of their own conversation.

Mark, those are certainly RICH pants. As an aside, Mark qualifies as the family member I’ve likely spent the most time with outside of my immediate family during the past year. This year I shifted my thinking of him as Watts relative, as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed our MP Watts Family Reunion and hated I missed the last one. I sent John a text two weeks ago requesting the date for this year’s reunion. It was a fairly recent tradition in addition to the larger Watts Reunion that was held this past Sunday, or the first Sunday of June. I planned to go, but decided not to after learning of John’s accident.

One of my last conversations with John was over dinner in late March. We talked about being a Watts and some of the characteristics that comes with it. I wish I had recorded it and even recommended that Ryan and Ben make a video about our family with John the main speaker highlighting his points. Some of them include the following: we always grew up eating good food; we may explode in anger but forget what we were mad about thirty minutes later; and, we are good at math and business. I tacked this last one on because I know that he and my mom were both math majors. And I would like to claim this myself, although I wasn’t a fan of calculus. And I am far from the business man that John became.

Mom really wanted me to go to Sunday’s reunion because of the new baby. Of course! She was very excited that Oliver is the first of three boys born in the last four weeks to the MP Watts Family. The third was born on Friday. And Oliver turned four weeks old today. So MP Watts has two new great-great-grandsons and one great-grandson: Oliver, Davis and Jackson.

I know very little of my great-grandfather. But John was a master storyteller and he was my link to learning more, not just about my great-grandfather, but my entire family. And quite frankly, the entire community. He told us about how he would come to their house to eat and he wanted to be called Mr. Watts. So John wanted his granddaughter to call him Mr. Watts. I thought this was hilarious. I asked him if she called him that. He said, “No. She calls me Papa.”

We love you, John. You will be missed dearly by so many.

These are the first scenes from the same family reunion when I said goodbye to Joan in 2010. I think I’ll go ahead and post the remaining videos before we lose anymore loved ones.

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  1. Sarah D.

    What a beautiful personal obituary.

  2. Put the videos on Dropbox and Ben and I are on it. I feel a lot of shame and regret for not having done this already. I will figure out who we can get together soon on this.

  3. I hear either my mom or Paula talking in the end of that John and Lucy video.

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