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Johnson Family Reunion:

Table Rock Lake

by Lori McGrath

Coming to Table Rock Lake is a part of our family DNA. In 1974 my Uncle Gene visited Happy Hollow Resort with a friend and that planted a seed that continues to grow to this day.

The following year, 1975, all of my Uncles and my grandfather started a yearly fishing trip to Table Rock Lake.

The years that followed would include one or a few families making vacation visits to TRL, always staying at Happy Hollow Resort. This became our lake home away from home.

Then in 1986 all 6 siblings and their families planned a reunion trip to the lake. Happy Hollow was able to accomodate the group so we all traveled the 8 hour trip in a caravan of cars from Illinois and Indiana.

Although our family is now spread far and wide living in Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Louisiana, we still manage to see each other once a year during our family reunion tour. We are not always ALL together, but we are always at the Happy Hollow Resort.

Over the years we have visited many places around the lake. There are so many activities to experience when you aren’t fishing, swimming or boating. Of course my favorite spot is sitting on the back deck of the cabins or on the dock watching the beautiful lake. The nights are so quiet and peaceful, and the stars always shine so bright.

My absolute favorite thing about visiting TRL is seeing my family. We only get to see each other once a year, on this vacation, at this resort.

Being on vacation with such a large family (a whole resort full) brings so much fun and laughter. We have established traditions we keep up with every year. In 1993 my father passed. So in 1994 we began a horseshoe tournament where the winner gets a trophy in his honor, We even attach their name to it, and its fun to look back at the winners over the years. There is also a biggest bass trophy and a kid’s fishing contest. TRL never disappoints in the fishing department.

I have many fun memories...when you share an entire resort with just one family things can get interesting. On any given night you might find a relative sleeping on your couch or barging into your cabin. We have had huge family cannonballs into the pool and we are always serving up pranks. You might find underwear in the freezer or end up locked in the pool bathroom. I’ve been know to even steal a cake out of my cousins cabin. Most of our best memories are just sitting around the resort (the pool, the dock, the fire pit) and catching up with family.

Over the years we have lost a few members of the first and second generation groups, but we have also added to our third generation group. To see the third generation be just as committed to this vacation time is such a blessing. We know they will carry on the tradition of this reunion no matter how far the trek might be to get there. In addition, there is confirmation of a fourth generation now!

It truly is priceless to watch the kids enjoy the vacations in the same way I did growing up.

Special thanks to Happy Hollow Resort for always hosting our family and making us feel at home on the lake!


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