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A Fun Easter in Lulawissie

Updated on June 26, 2011

It was a nice day for Easter Sunday this year. There was a ton of people out at Lakeshore Park and around the picnic area at the south end Marina. The weekend was kicked off on Saturday by an all town barbecue at the park with plenty of ribs, burgers hot dogs and steaks on hand for all. The meat was graciously donated by Nick Gilmore, the local butcher and merchant. Tak Ishiro, our only Asian American resident brought lots of fresh fruit from his produce farm. He is well known here for his black skinned watermelons which usually ripen around the Fourth of July. He sells them for $10 a piece from a stand in front of his home (well worth the price!). He claims to have brought the seeds from his homeland of Hokkaido, Japan many years ago.

A lot of families brought their own grills out to the park and joined in all of the fun. Many grills were lined up along the ball field to watch the softball game between the Sheriff’s Deputies and the Volunteer Firemen. The game was a regulation 7-inning game, but lasted 13 innings because of an ongoing and ever increasing tie score. The deputies finally won 11-10, but only after the volunteers ran out of steam due to their lack of physical conditioning and an over indulgence of beer. A few barbecues were knocked over in the course of the game, but there were no worries or hostilities over the mishaps, as Mr. Gilmore was always ready to help out with more meat.

Mildred Shoop and Vincent “Itchy” Leeds had their picnic and barbecue set up along the left field fence, not too far from the beer tent (not surprising), and they actually drew a lot of distant spectators who watched them through binoculars. It seems that Vincent brought both of his old dogs with him to the park, and it became apparent that unbeknownst to the elderly couple, the dogs were urinating relentlessly on their bag of charcoal. The bag eventually got soaked to the point where the paper burst open and the briquettes spilled out on the ground, only to be soaked some more. It was obvious that the reason that the two did not notice this activity was because they were pretty well soaked themselves from numerous trips to the beer tent. When the time came for Itchy to light to barbecue, he had difficulty getting it to ignite. So consequently he poured nearly half a gallon of lighter fluid on it before tossing a match to it.

Luckily the volunteer firemen were nearby. Aside from the inferno that ensued, Itchy lost a few whiskers and eyebrows and Mildred’s handbag caught fire. Once all had calmed down, and the coals were ready, Mildred carefully lined the barbecue grill with hotdogs. Being the goodhearted old cranky woman that she is, she always made enough hotdogs for all the kids that came around. She became irritated though when the moms decided to keep the kids away from her weenies this year. She resigned herself to sitting in her folding chair and grumbling profanities.

The Firemen were a little busier this year than usual. There were a lot of yellow jacket stings and stubbed toes, but the worst call came when little Timmy Carter hid the Easter Eggs in the fire ant mounds for his disabled sister to find. Though Timmy found a lot of humor in his actions, his parents did not, and were admonished by the firemen.

The evening ended with a concert in the Lulawissie Amphitheater put on by the Lulawissie Philharmonic Orchestra. The sounds were sweet and mellow save for an occasional blurting out of “What’s wrong with my hot dogs?!” by Mildred Shoop. Vincent eventually took her home.

We began Easter Sunday with a special Easter mass out at the Catholic Church. Father Fahy led the service, as cold and stone-faced as a hung-over priest could be. He allegedly had been observed dipping into the sacramental wine before the service in an attempt to find “the hair of the dog”. I don’t think it worked. For those that avoid church religiously, there was a pancake breakfast underway down at the marina.

The Lion’s Club and the Boy Scouts put on a good breakfast at the picnic shelter and boathouse. The early birds got plenty of pancakes, bacon, ham and sausage while the ones that waited until after 9am ended up with just pancakes. The syrup ran out at about 10:30.

After the pancake breakfast, there was an Easter egg hunt at North Beach on Fahy’s Island. Karl Schnitzel donated his small fleet of rental patio boats to ferry the egg hunters and spectators from the marina out to the island. The kids had a blast, (barring sunburn) and the parents were completely worn out by the time it was over.

While the Easter egg hunt was underway, Father Mike kicked off the Sunday festivities with a benediction in the beer tent as he began to nurse his hangover. Sister Veronica shed her habit and donned the now popular Fahy’s Pub T-Shirt and began serving the beer to all the “parishioners”. As soon as the boats got back in from the Easter egg hunt, the tent filled up even more, mostly with over-heated dads, and the day quietly wound down until the moms and dads carried their sleepy children back home.

But as usual, the town had a great time in the park regardless of the occasion. Though the routine here may seem boring to some and inviting to others, it is home to us. It is the warmth and homespun friendliness that keeps us around. But unfortunately for this episode, I have to cut it short. The tornado sirens are being sounded and I have to take cover with my family.

Thanks for stopping by.

©2011 By Del Banks

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