by Don Audette
This year’s picnic was highly successful, and it may have set a new precedence. At the suggestion of Lions Club member Tom Tepper, the picnic was shifted from the pavilion at the Rappahannock County Park to the Sperryville Fire Hall were there were some very obvious advantages. Instead of sweltering outside in 90-degree heat, with the threat of a possible thunderstorm, and away from mosquitoes, ticks, bees, and other noxious insects, and no longer under a dark pavilion roof with its poor lighting and dicey rest rooms, the Fire Hall was indeed a major step up. There was air conditioning, bright lighting, clean tables and chairs, tidy rest rooms, a real kitchen, a sound system, and other facilities that facilitated a smooth operation.
We start with a photo of Dave Shiff, bartender for the evening, with Lions Club President, Larry Grove, contemplating part of the set-up, a table ready for hotdog and hamburgers, with a large array of condiments and fixins in place.
Larry then moved outside to man the grill with Rick Kohler in preparing the hot dogs and hamburgers for the picnic. In the photo below they are toasting the event before getting back to their labors. The tipping point for bringing in the hot dogs and hamburgers appeared to be when approximately 80 Lions Club members and guests had filled the Fire Hall.
It is also to be noticed that a stick of wood is still being used to hold up the heavy metal cover of the grill, the stick being seen over Rick Kohler’s right shoulder. A better and safer solution is needed.
Inside the Fire Hall socializing went apace, with all sorts of topics being discussed. Below, we have a table with Gordon Axelson, Roger Andrews, and Bob Anderson. Bob is reviewing his notes, as he would be swearing in the new officers later in the evening.
At another table were Peter Hornbostel, Joel Daczewitz, Mike Mahoney, and Bill Pragluski. A point seems to have been made and now some thought is being given to it.
Drinks were free during the evening and a new beer was introduced, Modelo, seen on the table in the foreground on the right. It is doubtful if Dave Schiff and Jim Manwaring were discussing its merits, but the appearance of a new item at the Lions Club bar must have had a story. The story is that Jim Blubaugh tried the beer, liked it, and so a dozen or so bottles were brought to the picnic. It is a Mexican beer from a company founded in 1925. A connoisseur of beers described it as follows: “The aroma is sweet with hints of apple. The impression at the first sip is sweet. This gives way only a bit to some bitterness from hops, which gives it a nice balance. However, the bitter is not enough to break this beer from firmly being categorized as sweet. [The beer] has no real lager snap at the end, just lingering hops. This actually makes the second sip more balanced than the first. It’s as if the beer gets better with each sip. You will find some complexity and depth here but the flavors are very delicate.” Of course Lions Club members just drink it.
Below we have the food line in full swing. With hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments and fixins in place, people were starting through the line. On the left we have Roberta Anderson, Scott Wells, Bill Gadino in the background, circling around to get in line, Dick Redinger in the center checking things out, Bill Nenninger on the right making his selection, and Dave Schiff in the background sampling some wine.
Nearby, at another table, were veggies and desserts. The line-up of desserts is shown below, a tasty variety. It should be noted that the picnic atmosphere was enhanced by the creative drawings of ants and other bugs on the table cloths, and this might in the future lead to more picnic simulations inside the Fire Hall.