Cuzzin’ lip syncing

by Sharon Menk

Hibschman Family Reunions regularly include a Cuzzin’ Lip Sync Contest. “The Blues Brothers,” “Dolly Parton” and even “Elvis” have visited the reunion. There is a $10.00 penalty (deposited in the reunion treasury) for those who do not enter. The trophy for winning this contest, according to Sharon Menk, Delavan, Illinois, is “something to be desired.” It is the back end of a horse attached to a wooden plaque made by a cousin. Winners are expected to have their names engraved on the brass tag and hang it proudly in their home until the next reunion. It’s called “The Horse’s A___ Award.”

The reunion started in 1929 in Kansas, Illinois, and now rotates between Delavan, Illinois, and Hobart, Indiana. They usually have a three to four day event. The family has done a cookbook dedicated to Menk’s husband’s grandparents. Every year they ask everyone to bring new recipes to add to the cookbook. One year Menk scanned pictures of her husband’s mother and sisters on t-shirts and put their names on the shoulders and titled the picture “The Golden Girls.” It was such a hit, for a second year she used pictures of sisters and brothers and titled it “Guys and Dolls.”

“Reunions,” Sharon Menk observes, “are a lot of work but the most enjoyable time of the year for us. Probably after we are gone the reunion will not carry on as this generation and the ones before us have because life is just too busy. That is sad.”