Saturday, July 23

Social Season

Yesterday as the little man and I drove to my parents house to enjoy a day of geo-thermal air conditioning, we went past the town Fire Hall. All four trucks were outside, lined up outside of the bay doors and the empty wooden racks that hold the metal folding chairs were outside as well.

The is social season.

Yesterday was the Raspberry social in town, where people make deserts and dishes to pass and people sit with the same people they sit with at church on Sunday. I think Mom made baked beans to send down even though we didn't end up going ourselves. Being a fireman's wife, she feels obligated to contribute - attendance or no attendance.

My small town social season was a fixture in my childhood. Although they used to be larger, as they have dwindled in attendance due to generations aging and people moving away, they are still a draw for the town and surrounding area. My Grandmother would work there every season, in the kitchen, which was always hot, steamy and full of older ladies stirring things in large pots. There was always the same crowd of older men talking about whatever old men talk about at socials. As a kid, I did not pay attention. We were there to see the other kids in town and play baseball in the grass lot across the street from the Fire Hall, next to the cemetery.

From this, my social memory can be summed up in one day of one year at one social, I am not sure which. It was a particularly hot afternoon and as we were lounging around waiting for our turn at bat, I looked across the street at the Fire Hall. That year, the trucks had been parked in the lawn behind the hall and the bay doors were open about 3 feet each to let in a breeze. (Not all the way, mind you, since most of the people were older and complaints of "a chill" would have been circulated. The tables were set up in such as way as they ran lengthwise and as I looked across the street at the three feet of open door all i could see was a long row of ladies behinds clad in floral print skirts, sitting on a row of metal folding chairs.

Funny, ok, a little. But I love this memory. I wish I would have had a camera so I could have it blown up poster size and hang it on my wall. That picture, more than all the other memories and photos of socials and the people at them, most reminds me of my small little town and how they did things. For some reason that is how everything should be - a nice line of print dresses sitting on fire hall chairs eating raspberry deserts at the social. the fact that all I could see were the rears is just icing on the raspberry pie.

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