The 4th of July is an American tradition:  family barbecues, fireworks, PBS’ concert in D.C., “Capitol on the Fourth”… Yesterday, friends and I celebrated another tradition:  our annual Pooh Bah reunion. I guess that requires a little background information.

Many years ago, at Kodak where we all met and worked, I had read our morning newspaper in which Queen Elizabeth was pictured with her prerequisite purse.  Since I got to work early–and it was Friday–I sent an email to our group’s collective address, asking what in the world did Queen Elizabeth need a purse for.  The responses–and everyone responded!–ranged from her need to carry everything from tissues to a Colt .45. The banter carried us all through a whacky Friday and provided many laughs.

By popular demand, I had to declare someone else to be my successor for the next Friday. The successor, eventually entitled Grand Pooh Bah, then selected “the winner” of the best answer to her or his question. Then, that person was declared the Grand Pooh Bah, and so on.  Soon someone scanned encyclopedias for serious questions, the winner being the person with the answer that most closely indicated knowledge of the correct answer, but giving the most whimsical and nonsensical version. After all, part of the tradition was whimsy.

So yesterday was our annual reunion. Only Gale and Dave and Gretchen showed because Peg and Don were stashed up in the Adirondacks, Joelle and Tom were out sick (and didn’t even ship the brownies to us!), and Tom and Rena were no-shows without an excuse.  But…that meant we–the ones there–all had extra ice cream!

The beauty of tradition is that it brings family and friends together, in joy and love. Tradition is something we do, and keep doing because it has meaning and works for us. It’s part of the circle of life.


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