Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a good Summer day

Here in Central Jersey you know when Summer is in full swing when our PBA hosts our annual picnic. After months of preparation on the part of the co-chairman, several days of hard labor in the spacious kitchen at the Knights of Columbus and a 0700 set up time for a one o'clock event it always turns out to be a great day. Our members and families do all of the cooking and a few thousand of our friends and supporters stop by for an afternoon of hot dogs, ribs, corn and the obligatory golden nectar that flows forth from the big white refrigerated truck.

The event has grown larger each of the thirty five or so years we have hosted. Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, generous town folk and die hard attendees we do a good amount of fund raising for ourselves and many deserving local organizations.

There were dozens of kids with painted faces running from the rock climb to the mechanical bull, the Red Knights opting to have their picnic at ours to help with the cause, and friends and family just taking the time to connect, relax in the shade and enjoy a great Summer day.

Of course what would any event be without a little freaking out. As a rookie I can remember my first picnic with our PBA twenty five years ago. Newly married, no kids. Now as I walked around to say hello to different pockets of people hear and there instead of congratulating them on the arrival of a new son or daughter I found myself wishing them well on the arrival of a first grandchild. This when I can remember their children at the same age.

Instead of wistfully mourning my lost youth however I took refuge with our Pit Crew over at the rib pit. After some lengthy exposure to 400 degree coals, 34 degree beer and good company I finally landed at home. Sober as a judge, covered in grease from head to toe and already looking forward to my twenty sixth year under the trees at the park enjoying a Summer day the way is was meant to be spent.

I remember some years ago a guy running for public office made some deriding comments about our department being a lot like Mayberry PD unlike the large urban department he worked for. At the time I took a great deal of offense to the remark. But you know, there is really nothing like life here. So Mayberry it is. I like it here, warts and all.

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