by Patricia Webster Stewart
I first became aware of Webster family toes when my mother said my dad’s brother Uncle Tom Webster’s “toes are so long they look like fingers.” Uncle Tom lived far away, so I never saw his toes. Imagine an eight-year-old asking her uncle to see his toes. Not in my family.
When the Websters had their first reunion, I planned a contest to find the longest toe. Everyone with Webster blood in his/her veins shed a shoe and presented his/her longest toe. I got my chance to see Uncle Tom’s toes.
I can’t deny I set up the contest with some hope of winning. My dad wore size 13 shoes. Since I wasn’t sure just how big Uncle Tom’s feet were, I fantasized how the brothers played as children. Did they have contests with their feet? Did they toss a basketball back and forth with toes as long as fingers? Sadly Dad died before he could be a contestant. Uncle Tom won that first contest, toes down, two and a half inches long. I was not even close. By the next reunion we had lost Uncle Tom.
After losing the first contest, I resolved to come back and win. But fate was not on my side, when a “resection of metatarsals in the right foot” (taking the heads off bones) actually made my toes shorter.
Now the longest toe contest at Webster-Hafner family reunions is in the hands — oops — toes of the younger generation.
About the author
Pat Stewart, Taylors, South Carolina, mother of seven and grandmother of nine, loves to write about the fun at Webster-Hafner Family Reunions. She is writing a family history based on old photos from her mother’s album and plans to write about photos taken at family reunions where the longest toe contest continues.