COMMUNITY FOOD - COMMUNITY LIFE
Food may be one of the three necessities for life, but it also is a necessary part of social sustenance. Let’s look at a few examples of community food here in Alexander in the twenty-first century. Readers may compare or contrast these foods with what is served at public gatherings in their hometowns.
was 85 when he died on December 14, 2011. He was born here in Alexander and been
a lifelong resident. He had a good life excepting the loss of two young sons and
the last four years after his wife Barbara died. On Saturday the 17th
the Church of the Open Bible was packed with family and friends as Pastor Chip
Howell and Bernard’s nephew Terry Dinkins gave the official good-bye. The
committal at the Alexander Cemetery was brief and the wind was cold as Bernard
was lowered into the ground next to Barbara.
But then we adjourned to the
dining room on the lower level of the church. It was here that dozen or more
conversations remembered Bernard. Bernard told great stories, all of them true
and just a few were repeated that afternoon. And like so many small towns,
Bernard was related to most people there, uncle and cousin. Fletcher Perkins
told me that his great grandparents were also Bernard’s. Lois and Fern Strout
and Bernard share great-great grandparents. What kind of cousins are they?
Stories and relationships were shared over food prepared by friends, family and members of the church. Richard Flood likes to cook and for his Uncle Bernard’s sharing time, he made sandwiches, roast beef, ham, and chicken. His wife Mary sings in the quire. The Strout sisters brought sweets, cookies, squares and cakes. They are both widows and also sing in the choir. Thursa (Cousins) Sawyer, Bernard’s cousin, made a potato salad. Chips and a vegetable tray were part of the finger food section. Someone had made big lasagna. Coffee tea and soda were on the counter by the kitchen.
Others not here named
contributed to the food that fed the memories. Maybe the observer will get all
the names and list all the foods next time.
THE COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS
On December 10, 2011 this Christmas Party sponsored by Alexander Grange #304 was held from four to seven in the afternoon at the Grange Hall on Cooper Road. Some girls in grades five through eight at Alexander Elementary School had a Decorating Party at the Grange during which they decorated three inside trees and the stairs landing. They and Friends of the Grange enjoyed pizza and refreshments. Carl Oakes plowed so all has access to the hall. David Davis had put up a tree between the hall and Roger Holst’s house and Linda Richardson and Fred Olson had decorated it. Grange members and Friends of the Grange also had decorated both levels of the hall.
When we arrived, the lower level was filled with eager children and their parents, young and young at heart. Many with joy and awe on their faces were busy at the tables writing letters to Santa while others worked at the craft table. Some were sampling the treats of cookies, cakes, fudge, cupcakes, decorated gingerbread men and candy. All were waiting for Santa, some with bit of fear. After Santa arrived on the new fire truck and was escorted inside, he met with each of the seventy children, took the letters and gave each a gift bag. The gift bags had two books, a game and toy, crayons and a coloring book plus more candy. Santa and his lovely wife were presented a wreath. Then games and more sweets, closing with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Upstairs were three long tables loaded with food and a couple dozen decorated tables for four. Linda Richardson made the decorations from native fir. One of the long tables held sweets like those being devoured downstairs, The second table held an assortment of cold foods, chicken, seafood & tuna sandwiches, cheese, pepperoni & crackers, chips, pickles, plus tea and coffee. The third table was marked Crock-Pot Alley. Here’s some of what we found: Ellie Sanford’s corn chowder, Mary Casey’s cocktail meat balls, Frances Holst’s tortellini soup, Emma Hill’s baked beans and Rhonda Oakes’ cheese soup
The food even came
unsolicited, any worries about running out were for not. Many brought
non-perishable food for the local food pantry. Left over gift bags also were
passed on to the food pantry.
The place was packed and it
sounded that everyone was talking and looked like everyone was eating, but many
were listening to local musicians on stage; Joey Wallace & his sister Tracey
Brazier, Pat Cormier & Crystal McCaslin, Jim Moffatt and the Sanford Family.
Door prizes drawn after the
music were the pretty wreaths and centerpieces. A special wreath was presented
to Pike and Maxine Seavey for their dedication and generosity toward the Grange.
The entire party was funded by local businesses, Friends of the Grange and community members. Next year the Alexander Volunteer Fire Department will be an official partner.
It was a time of visiting with neighbors, a time for sustaining and strengthening community. And food was an important part of the Christmas Party!
GRADE EIGHT SPAGHETTI SUPPER
Alexander Elementary School has just four students in grade eight this year, but just three are working to raise money to go on a class trip. On February 18th these children with help from their parents held a spaghetti supper at the school. The menu was spaghetti pasta served with either homemade hot or sweet sauce, tossed salad and rolls. Dessert consisted of various squares and cakes. Kool-aide and coffee were available. A Chinese auction and 50/50 draw helped bring in money for their planned trip to a New Hampshire water park. This entire operation was repeated on Saturday, May 5th.
LOOPY LEPRECHAUN SHOW
On March 17, 2012 a shindig
was held at AES sponsored by the Grange. Music was by Joey Wallace & Dan Daley,
Dana Howland, Ron & Linda McArthur, and Pat Cormier & Crystal McCaslin aka
Rarefield. That list is incomplete. Finger food was available through the
evening included a veggie tray, cup cakes, chocolate cake, squares, many kinds
of cookies, finger rolls, date bread and cherry squares. About a quarter of the
food choices appeared to be store bought. Soda, water and coffee were available.
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
On March 26, 2012 about 70 Alexander folks met
at AES for our Town Meeting. Those who arrived early were greeted by two tables
of dessert sweets plus coffee, tea and ice water, Friends visited while enjoying
lemon cheese cake, carrot cake or chocolate chip cookies. During the time
ballots were being counted others visited the tables for raspberry squares,
cherry cheesecake and brownies. The good food (with its sugar) kept everyone
awake until adjournment at nine o’clock.
GIRL SCOUT BREAKFAST