All in the family

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

My family met for a reunion in Paso Robles, Calif., this past weekend. I don’t get to see my extended family often—uncles, aunts, parents, cousins, what-have-yous—but I’m always amazed at how similar we are.

The Burgharts —even though we range in height, age and socioeconomic spectrum—are as alike as peas in pods. I’m serious. It was like talking to a mirror with some of my uncles—and since most of them are around 80 and wearing hearing aids, a mirror into the future.

We came from all over the country—heck, the world with my niece and her partner traveling from New Zealand, and my cousins Susan and Mikael from London. Most of us were from the Midwest and West.

I can’t even begin to count precisely how many family members were there—60 or thereabouts. Among other things I can’t count: The pounds of eggs, tri-tip and pasta consumed; the gallons of beer, wine and vodka consumed; the number of names misremembered; and the number of off-color jokes told.

The wine country near Paso Robles is beautiful, quite unlike the area around Napa and Sonoma that I’m more familiar with. We didn’t have much time for exploration, but we did make time to visit the grossly overpriced Hearst Castle and the beach.

No familial arguments to speak of, no sudden medical emergencies, and no car problems made this one of the most successful family reunions I can recall—massive amounts of work on the part of the Ruder branch of the family tree.

But every time I leave one of these, I’m struck by bittersweet feelings of regret. There’s never enough time to visit everyone, and some of these people may not be making the next reunion in three years.

Sheesh, and here it is, time to dive into tabulating results of our annual readers’ poll the Biggest Little Best Of Northern Nevada—not a moment to wish for a few more hours.