October 11, 2007 at 6:54 a.m.
Leasing a school bus to visit the places grandma and grandpa grew up might do the trick. Forming a family band could also foster togetherness. In this case the Glenna-Reylek families have done both.
Late in September the "Glenna Family Band" a locally-known 10 piece group, hit the road bound for Floodwood, Minnesota, packing their musical instruments.
Their itinerary involved seeing as many of the places of grandparents' Steve and Martha Reylek's childhood as possible. But band and family are one in the same, so they also played at a cafe in Floodwood to a crowd of 53, according to Kim Glenna.
Steve and Martha Reylek, now living in Shafer, owned the hardware store in Lindstrom from 1946 to about 1966. They were founding members of St. Bridget's Church. They had three kids-- Bob, Joyce and Fred. Joyce married a guitar player, Gene, whose presence at family gatherings with his guitar motivated others to either learn or dust-off their instruments so they could join in. Three generations now play in the band.
With grandma and grandpa in their 90s now, the family figured they'd better get up north and show everybody the sights from their growing-up days soon.
Kim Glenna added that she home-schools her children and they often visit the Reyleks and hear of the olden days and times spent on the banks of the St. Louis River west of Duluth. The youngsters were looking forward to seeing where the homestead was built into the riverbank, and where grandpa shot his first deer.
A family member drives school bus for Hunts Transportation and was qualified to operate the bus, so the Glenna Family Band leased one and packed it with food and all the other things you might need on a 300 mile trip. The gear also included guitars, mandolin, upright bass, fiddle, accordian and other instruments of the bluegrass and gospel persuasion the Glenna Family Band enjoys.
The Glenna Family Band appears at community functions, perform at senior housing sites, class reunions, all sorts of places. They aren't looking to promote themselves, Kim Glenna says they've got as many public performances as they can handle, but she just thought this was a neat story. We thought so to.