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By KELLY RICHARDSON
CUSTER — The Fourth of July usually brings fireworks, but for the Hoskinsons, it brings family. Lots of family.
The Hoskinson family held its 53rd annual reunion Friday, a Fourth of July tradition since the first family gathering.
Custer Lodge was adorned with family pictures. One white poster board after another were taped to the walls, that laid out the Hoskinson family tree. And, to honor America, the room featured flags and red, white and blue decorations.
The location varies from year to year, depending on who is hosting the event, just as it rotated from home to home when it first began, said Bernice Allen of Garfield.
Allen, 80, has attended every reunion since the first in 1955. Her grandfather, Henry H. Hoskinson, helped organize the first events. The first reunion was held at Ella Hoskinson Board’s home in Brandenburg.
It was Henry Hoskinson who selected the Fourth as the day to hold the event. The only exception to that rule is if Independence Day falls on a Sunday, Allen said.
Allen said holding the reunions on the Fourth of July gives a little more meaning to the events. It’s a tradition, she said, and “in families, it’s very important to set traditions.”
“You just mention the Hoskinson Homecoming and everybody knows it’s the Fourth of July,” she said.
Alan Hoskinson of Elizabethtown was one of the family members responsible for the family tree. He said he has been working on it since about 1980. He has attended about eight reunions because he “just wanted to start meeting parts of the family.”
Last year, 68 people attended the reunion, Allen said. It usually ranges somewhere between 75 and 100 people.
Most live in Breckinridge or Meade counties, but some family members at the reunion Friday had traveled from Illinois and Missouri. Everyone wore name tags and there was a lot of discussion about how one was related to another.
Betty Milburn of Dry Ridge is Allen’s daughter, and she has attended several reunions as well. While she hasn’t been to as many as Allen, the reunions are an institution in the family. It gives them a chance to celebrate their family and their country.
“Kind of a double holiday, if you will,” Milburn said.
Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.