(June 23,2001)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The 2001 Gantzer Family Reunion was blessed with cool, but mostly sunny, weather at Metcalf Bottoms on the northern slopes of the Smokies. After shooing off some well-intentioned, but clueless, poachers from our reserved shelter house, Bob (this year's chief reunion organizer) welcomed his brothers and their families with a warm smile and fire!

Situated in a valley next to a beautiful, but cold, stream, the kids as well as their moms & dads enjoyed exploring and hunting frogs and salamanders. Kathy Gantzer Thompson provided fun and entertainment for all with the sure to be repeated "paper plate game"! Although a few of the seniors took early retirement, most of the kids and adults played quite competitively for over an hour before the game was called in order to fuel up with a great catered lunch. Only one casualty ocurred....and Leslie has recovered just fine!

The food was fantastic...provided by Wonderland Lodge (Bob and Sharon's HQ for this year's reunion)...Barbecued pork and chicken, baked beans, corn, potato salad, slaw, and desserts for everyone including brownies and two kinds of cobbler!  The pork and cobbler were gone at the end of the day, and most of the leftovers found a home also.

Many of the families took advantage of the opportunity to visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge before and after the Reunion. Stops at the Ripley Museum and Aquarium were highlights, as well as was Nascar racing for others. Some of the lucky ones will also remember a leisurely hike to Laurel Falls - a beautiful location if there ever was one - but, unfortunately, it poured down rain during most of the two-mile round trip!

In summary, it was another memorable opportunity for this Gantzer Clan to become reacquainted with distant relatives and renew ties with each other. Watching our kids and grandkids grow so fast also reminds us of just how fast time passes, and how precious these opportunities really are. Thanks, Bob, for helping make the 2001 Reunion a success!