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.


Bernard Flood 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.


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!


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.



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.


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.


On Saturday May 12, 2012 the six members of Girl Scout Troop #869 put on a pancake breakfast at AES. It was to raise funds for their planned trip to Washington DC to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts in the USA. Besides pancakes, the menu included eggs, bacon and sausage, along with toast with homemade jam. Coffee, tea, orange juice or apple juice was available. It was a good breakfast with a good crowd of neighbors, friends and relatives supporting the girls.

Scout workers were Anna and Faith Johnson, Prue Maxwell, Tianna Bacon, Ashleigh Pyles and Willow Newman. Troop leaders Michelle McVicar, Paula Johnson and Elizabeth McVicar helped the girls.



The budget town meeting was held at AES on June 25, 2012. Before the 6:30 meeting Friends of the Grange served up a traditional supper, baked beans and casseroles like macaroni & cheese, chop suey along with cake and pie for dessert.



On July 7 2012, a Saturday, Alexander celebrated! From 6 until 10 the Breakneck Mountain Snowmobile Club had a public breakfast at their clubhouse on Gooch Hill. The menu included baked beans, scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage and biscuits. A steady crowd kept the cooks busy all morning. Games for kids started at the Grange Hall at 9:00. Friends of the Grange were about worn out by 11:00 when the parade started up Townsend Hill from the Municipal Building parking lot. Remember that we are a town of 500, so our parade reflects that; we had our three fire trucks and first responder unit, plus a contract ambulance. Audrey Frost Rood’s riding stable had a float and horses and the Rainbow Girls marched and had a float. Several locals drove their antique cars. Food was available and the celebration ended with a Chocolate Cake Walk at 1:00. These events give community members a good opportunity to visit. Click here to hear Richard Olson sing the Chocolate Cake Walk song.



For years the Grange held Hunters Lunches on Mondays of November. Monday was chosen because Carl Perkins of Alexander didn’t open his restaurant in Baileyville that day; and Carl and Vivian always patronized the Grange lunches. More recently the Grange and Grange Friends have held the lunches on the two fall Monday holidays. On October 8, 2012 a small group enjoyed quite an array of foods. Hamburg soup and chicken soup were at the top of the table along with baked yellow eye beans. Next came the casseroles, chicken & rice, American chop suey, shepherds pie and chili. Cole slaw applesauce and homemade rolls were at the end of the food line. Now some of the young people started at the other end of the line, the sweets table. Here were cookies, cakes (at least two with no eggs for this writer), squares and pies. We thank the visible workers of the day, Rhonda, Susan, Emma, Elizabeth and Linda. And we thank those invisible workers who cooked and left the good food for community members to enjoy.


On October 20, the Parents – Teacher Group at Alexander Elementary School sponsored a craft fair. Despite the rainy day, a good crowd came out. PTG members served lunch that included hot dogs, beef stew, seafood chowder, rolls and drinks. Sweets included a variety of homemade cookies. For those who like a late breakfast donuts, coffee and breakfast sandwiches were available.



Years ago most every city, town and village had a celebration on July 4th, Independence Day. With the coming of automobiles, people around here started attending activities at Pembroke, Calais or Eastport. Alexander folks knew they couldn’t put on a parade like Eastport so changed the date of their summer celebration.

Food was always part of these celebrations. We read about the Grange putting on chicken pie dinners and bean suppers. Home made rolls and pies along with coffee and cold water were standards.

This image is maybe of a July 4th celebration. The building is the Methodist – Episcopalian Church. We know the picture was taken after 1907 when Oklahoma was admitted to the Union. Oklahoma was the 46th state, New Mexico, the 47th, was admitted in 1910, but Alexander may have used the old flag beyond 1910.

By the 1980s soda was the drink of choice. Hot dogs and dynamites (a sausage in a bun), potato chips were the common fare. The big attraction food was the Chocolate Cake! After the parade, after the games for the kids and after the adults had lots of time to visit, everyone tried to get a ticket for the Chocolate CakeWalk. Upstairs in the Grange Hall, places had been marked on the floor. One place for each home baked Chocolate Cake. Most years Beckery Knowles or Irene McKain play a march on the piano, ticket holders march on in the circle and when the music stops, the one on the pre-chosen number gets to select a cake to take home. The music starts again and the process continues until the cakes are all gone.

Jane Dudley’s son Richard Olson, a songwriter and singer provided the music one-year in the early 80s. Jane was president of the historical society at the time. Click on the SPEAKER to hear his cake walk song.