THURSTON, NE (KTIV) -
Thurston, NE: "I'm here in the heart of Thurston, Nebraska, for the 130th Frey family reunion. And while that number may seem impressive, and it is, numbers aren't all that matter to this family. What matters is just that... family."
"I was asked one time, 'how do you think that happened, the hundred and thirty?' If you were on the committee and had to be in charge of that year's reunion, you sure didn't want it to end with you," said 93-year-old Elaine Frey.
It all started with the family of Charles H. Frey back in 1884. Charles and wife, Mary, had eleven children, 10 of which survived into adulthood. The reunions were originally held between Christmas and New Years, and back in the late 1800's, the horse and buggy get-togethers could get pretty chilly.
"The children of Charles H. and Mary, would load their buckboards with blankets and pillows and food and away they'd go, and they did it in leaps and bounds," said Elaine Frey.
As the years go by, the Frey family's biggest challenge lies in the hands of its younger generations to keep the tradition alive.
"Well, you hold your authority and you make them come," said Elaine Frey.
"You have to have some interest in it, and you've got to have some family ties. The original group that started this thing 130 years ago, they were a very close, tight-knit group of people, and that has just carried on down through the generations," said Tom Frey, son of Elaine Frey.
And it wouldn't be a family reunion without good old-fashioned home cooking.
"They always have brought good food, that's for sure. I don't know if you noticed, but there are smiles everywhere. It's been really exciting to be from a family this large and have something that's lasted this many years. It's pretty rare," said Barbara Frey-Rickett.
For a family that remains so close, the Frey's plan to do everything they can to ensure that this tradition never dies.