May 2009

Family Reunion - Schedule of Events

Bobbi Conley looks forward to attending the family reunion for the first time in years. Reunion schedule is confirmed.

By Bobbi Spiker-Conley & Mike Spiker

As a child growing up in West Virginia, there were three activities I could always count on during our annual trek to the Spiker Family Reunion each May.  Mother would FINALLY allow me to remove my flip-flops to go outside barefoot.  I would catch crawdads from the creek, even though they weren’t good for much more than fish bait or for scaring my sister.  Daddy and I would compete to see which of us could spot the largest Box Turtle crossing the road; we were not impressed unless the turtle was wider than my hand.

As an adult now living in Florida, the three activities I counted on as a child have lost some of their appeal.  Although I now wear flip-flops year-round, I never go outside barefoot in Florida because even flip-flops can’t protect me from the fire ants.  Crawdads found in Florida are better for feeding my family than for baiting fish, but I imagine they can still scare my sister.  The Gopher Tortoises I see crossing the roads in Florida are not only wider than my hand, they’re wider than my BUTT.  And I think Daddy would be impressed with ANYTHING that is wider than my butt. 

I will be attending the upcoming reunion – my first in ten years – and am happy to learn that there will be plenty of activities to replace those of my childhood.  Mike Spiker provided the following tentative schedule of events.


Subject to the weather conditions, (This means Paula does not bring rain with her.  If she does, we will still forgive her.) we plan on having a campfire Saturday evening where conversation is welcome.  This is in conjunction with a grill-out of hamburgers, etc. along with whatever people bring to eat.  In other words, we do not have a formal menu.

Camping is optional.  John is bringing his new camper and Paula is camping in Pennsboro at the bed and breakfast (which is her type of camping.) Anyone else who has a camper can hook up to a new electric setup we have.  Boots and Coon are returning after a year’s absence and are staying with us in the farm house.

We will be at the farm all day on Saturday so feel free to bring your four-wheelers to explore the trail ride or to just stop by to visit.

SUNDAY – May 24

As chief chef, COL./DR. John Spiker decides when we start grilling the chicken (usually around 9:30 -10:00 AM) and decides when it is done (usually around 12:30 – 1:00 PM.)  He needs assistance, so volunteers should be on hand early in the day.

Before lunch is served, we will gather in front of the house for opening comments, prayer, photos and anything else anyone wants to bring up.  I would like to have the family gather for the annual photo BEFORE we eat so that we do not lose so many people to the river/pond, to walks, etc.  Again, this is dependent upon the weather.

Dr. Mark Spiker will conduct a Raffle for all who sign up.  A few lucky winners will receive camo hats, coupons to White Trail Café in Pullman, or one of many other prizes.

The Auction, conducted by Dr. John Spiker, will follow the drawing (see last month’s edition of the Spiker Gazette for ideas of items you can contribute to this event.)  All proceeds from the sale are donated to the South Fork Cemetery Association. 

Weather permitting, we want to have a Fishing Rodeo from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM (time approximate) at the pond and river.  Entry into the contest is limited to those under 18 (Age limitation is due to Mark wanting to enter.)  Prizes may be awarded for the Smallest Fish, the Largest Fish and the Most Fish.  We WILL NEED VOLUNTEERS to help.  Bring your own bait or use some of the worms we will have on hand.  Parents/guardians can help their family members.

Some people will be riding four-wheelers on the trail ride and there are traditional yard games if anyone wants to participate. 

Bring a covered dish to accompany the grilled chicken.  We have yet to assign types of food but somehow we manage to get a good variety (Aunt Dean is required to bring her noodles.)

We are open to any suggestions on how to improve this and future years.  Do not be bashful about giving us your comments because this is for everyone.


  • Submitted by Jean Spiker – Grandson Alexander Douglas was born on May 11.  He weighed seven pounds and was 19 1/2” long.  Mommy Rikki and baby are doing fine.

  • Submitted by Mike Spiker – The guys saw a big black bear on the farm while turkey hunting. A neighbor did not see it but has photo of it on trail camera. The area is really going back to the Indian times.  (Willa Dean Spiker added that this was how Bear Run got its name – this isn’t the first time black bears have been spotted in that area.)

  • Submitted by Mark Spiker– There will be no regular church services at the South Fork Church on May 24.  However, Sunday School is scheduled for 10:00 AM.