A Family Tradition For 44 Years!

In 1973, Tom and Jeannie Baugher decided to have a little get together. Little did they know that 44 years later, the tradition would still be carried on. It became known as “Mauvais,” but more on that later!

Here’s a picture from the 1986 get together —


And from the latest get together in 2017 —

Mauvais 2017

It was my husband’s grandparents who started it all. They decided to name their yearly family gathering (usually in Louisville, Kentucky, where Tom and Jeannie lived) “Mauvais.”

For anyone who knows French — that means “bad.” But, of course, there’s a story behind the name. And, in truly French fashion, it involves wine.

Mauvais 1986

For the gathering, the Baugher clan would make wine with their good friends Lee and Peggie Buser. At the time, one of Tom and Jeannie’s sons, Jeff, was taking French. So, to impress people with their handmade wine — they gave it a French name. And made the mistake of letting Jeff name it. And, know what he picked? Yuuup — Mauvais.

But everyone loved it!

So, “bad wine” was made every year — and the name Mauvais just stuck as the name of family gathering!

And there are old photos galore! Here is my husband on the left in 1990. His big brother, David, on the right.

Mauvais 1990

They grew up pretty cute — David is on the left, and Bryan is on the right in the photo below from 2013.


There are several traditions for Mauvais — one of them is to play golf (mini golf counts, too).


Here is the original scorecard from the 1973 game:


I’m tickled they wrote the weather conditions on the score as well.

Another of Tom and Jeannie’s sons (they had five boys), Dan Baugher (who is also my father-in-law), told me about the golfing tradition:

“We were lucky to have a nice par 3 course nearby at the local college (Bellarmine) that meant everyone could play. Also, in order to make it fair, my dad and Jeff used to provide the less experienced golfers with a handicap to adjust everyone’s score. I think they really used that to make sure someone different won every year.”


“There was a silver bowl that someone found at a yard sale one year that we used as the traveling trophy.”


Two other Baugher brothers, Matt and Lee, would bring prizes. Most of the time it was silly stuff that Matt would get since he was a wine distributor.

Another tradition? Music. But not just listening to music — real instruments are whipped out!

Mauvais 1988

Tom played the banjo. Jim Baugher was on bass. Jeff learned to play ukelele. The rest … well, there were kazoos! Or, you could just sing along!


Now, we’ve added other musical talents to the team, Christie Baugher (Lee’s daughter) plays a mean keyboard [below].

Mauvais 2017

And David and Bryan both play guitar. Although, Bryan is a little out of practice now … he was skippin’ cords all over the place this last Mauvais!

Here is a song in action — you know, put da lime in da coconut.

Mauvais always takes place around the Fourth of July. So, you know, smoke bombs and fireworks are a thing.


One of Bryan’s cousins told him she thought it was common for families to get together and sing horrible songs around the holiday. Buuuuut … then she realized it’s just her family that does that.

I’m glad I married into this fun family!

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