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Dallas Old-Timers Bash May Be Last One

DALLAS -- For 50 years, past and present Dallas residents have met to share photos and recollections about their hometown at the "Dallas Old-Timers Reunion."

DALLAS -- For 50 years, past and present Dallas residents have met to share photos and recollections about their hometown at the "Dallas Old-Timers Reunion."

That tradition may come to an end this weekend, as co-chairwomen Eileea Bourne and Shirley Kinion will no longer be coordinating the annual gathering, held at the gazebo in Dallas City Park.

Due to health reasons, the pair will step down from the role, but not before one last bash Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gathering will be the same -- with ice cream, lemonade, bring-your-own picnic lunch and lawn chairs, and plenty of photos and memories to be shared.

Bourne and Kinion hope, along with the regular happenings, that someone will be inspired to take over the annual event.

"A tradition will be ending if we can't find new chairpersons," Bourne said.

"It would be nice if it continued and got a different bunch of people to come," Kinion added. "We are losing so many. If we could just let people know that you don't have to be old (to attend)."

Kinion, who began helping with the event 11 years ago, said anyone who has lived in Dallas and has memories to share is welcome.

Attendance has been declining in recent years, with fewer than 100 people last year. In the 1980s and 1990s, attendance would top 200.

Bourne said they have tried to recruit new organizers, with no success.

"We have been mentioning it each year and we've had a sign-up sheet a couple of years ago for people, to spark an interest," Bourne said.

"Guess what? We had no sign ups," Kinion chimed in.

Bourne, whose family has been participating for 45 years, maybe longer, said it would be sad to see the gathering end. She doesn't recall how it started, but knows it's been a tradition, a beloved one, for those coming year after year.

"It needs to continue to keep the ties of friendship for people who have known each other for all these years," she said. "It may be the only time they see each other all year."

They hope to have someone take over, but just in case this is the last year, Bourne wants to see old-timers and not-so-old-timers this Sunday.

"We will hope more people will come and say their goodbyes,"

she said.

Let's Gather

What:

50th Dallas Old-Timers Reunion.

When:

Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where:

Dallas City Park at the gazebo, near the Academy Street entrance.

For more information:

Shirley Kinion, 503-623-5564 or 503-949-6012.

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