How It All Began:
With having such a close bond between the families of North Michigan Park, a deep burden fell on the heart of Jeanette “Russell” Harris to bring everyone back together again, and thus was birthed “The First Annual Neighborhood Reunion”. With its host growing up on 10th Street, NE it was to include all those from 8th Street down to Sargeant Road.
Many had already kept in contact with each other and those who hadn’t were given the assignment to scout them out. The very first reunion was held at Watkins Regional Park, in Bowie, MD, August 1992. Throughout the early part of the 90’s the reunions were funded by Jeanette “Russell” Harris. In the latter part of the 90’s donations were given and by the 2000’s a small committee was formed. Word began to spread and in 1993 the second reunion was held at North Michigan Park Recreation Center, which attracted many of those who still lived in the area. This reunion boasted a basketball tournament, swimming and outdoor games. We returned to the park again in 1995 and 1996, after skipping a year. In August 2001 there was a miscommunication on the part of the park services with the location, so that when we arrived our spot was already taken. We began immediately scouting out another location, then pulled out the reunion phone list contacting everyone about the change and had another successful event. In 2002 we stepped it up a notch and felt it was time for some live entertainment, to which we began to hire renowned musician Johnnie Steele every year. Also, because there were many musicians birthed out of Michigan Park we decided to throw “Jam Sessions”, which also began the cycle to start having entertainment like “back in the day” when we had the Show Mobile. This reunion was at Langdon Park for a few years, until it became infested with bees. In 2005 we stepped it up another notch and had the reunion on a private yacht with live entertainment, food and a cruise on the Potomac. In 2006 we took the reunions to the home of Linda Clowe who hosted the event for the next three years. The children enjoyed Moon bounce, dance contests, and games. In 2009 we had a 70’s theme and groups from all around came to participate in the “Jam Session”. In our audience were singer Gene Chandler “Duke of Earl” and Joe of The Winstons “Color Him Father”. The singing group “The Honeybeez” which consisted of our host; Linda, Jeanette and LaCreta was also birthed from this 70’s theme. These reunions, as we are still told today were some of the most memorable reunions we have had.
In 2010, Jeanette was approached by Fred Stanback to combine these reunions with the reunions held by Tony Peters and to bring it back to North Michigan Park. We all met, shared stories and thoughts, found we all had the same vision and thus was birthed the North Michigan Park Neighborhood Reunion. It has since been called The Michigan Park Neighborhood Reunion to include the entire area. In recent years, these reunions have grown so extensively it has succumb to placing itself under the helm of the Michigan Park Alumni Association. Many other nick names are given such as, i.e., the reunion picnic, the cookout, the neighborhood gathering, but nevertheless it will always remain the Michigan Park Neighborhood Reunion with emphasis that stem back to its’ roots of a gathering of people who grew up together and who have now expanded to the entire community. Welcome aboard!