Last night, we went to the ice cream social at Liberty Church. The parking lot was full when we arrived just before 6 PM. The tables were pretty full with people and food, even up on the stage, where I saw Pastor Swigart. It was a great turnout of old (there were a few walkers and canes) and new (there were a few baby carriers and toddlers) Liberty Church ice cream social fans.
Right away, I spotted Jim Ney the "Ice Cream Master" and Wanda, "Mrs. Ice Cream Master" at the ice cream station then read the list of flavors: vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter, lemon, raspberry, peach, pineapple. Continuing along the south wall of the dining area/rec room/reception room, etc., I noticed Peggy Alread and sister Donna, who make a habit of working at the ice cream socials. Donna was cutting pies and cakes and suggested the Texas sheet cake made by her sister. We opted to go for the main courses first, getting a serving of potato salad, chicken noodle soup, 2 baked beans, barbecue sandwich (for Rebecca) and turkey sandwich (for me) for a grand total of $7.50. Jean Ney collected the money and we looked for 3 seats somewhere, finding the last 3 just next to the ice cream station.
Looking around, I saw Joy and Glen Weaver, then Ginger Weaver and Aunt Crock. Ruth Strader was walking by. Mark and Mary Jo Spitler were cleaning tables as people finished, making room for the next wave of eaters. Rick Gaver (Peggy's son) was another eater/ helper with clearing away trays and dishes, too. I assume he had a piece of the Texas sheet cake, but didn't see him eat.
My brother Mike, his wife Paddy and granddaughter Katie were just ahead of us in line. As the food disappeared, the ice cream beckoned, but the dessert table beckoned louder. I went for a piece of blackberry pie, fighting the guilt about not getting Peggy's Texas sheet cake. Then to the ice cream corner where Randy Ney was the scoop master. I went for the raspberry, which should merge well with the pie. It was perfect.
Sandy Lodge waved, David Schenck and Margaret spoke with us a bit, and Lowell Schenck was as energized as ever. Paula Whitaker came over to give regards from cousin Bobby who now lives in Chattanooga, TN. She was connecting emails from Bob and Sylvia Lodge Jacobs. Next year is their 50th Jefferson High School Reunion, along with my brother, Mike.
Patty Newsock (I'm using everyone's almost oldest last names, as I relate over several decades) and Dean Foust engaged me in conversation, about the "old" Liberty and the good old times initially. I knew Walt Newsock from hanging out around the corner station. When I was 10-12 years old, I remember him pumping gas and being a good talker. He had an amusing response to many different situations by saying, "Oh, my coddu" that probably had many layers of meanings.
Patty was in the Jefferson class of '51 who just had a reunion. She reflected on the town pump, Adam Becker and his impact on the stability of the school system, the current state of the old school building, Louie Speidel and his daughters, the Liberty store and Mrs. Lucas, Ollie Webb and his sense of humor, my dad-Scud Jonas, and life in Liberty when it had a barber shop and telephone exchange. Each era has its own memories as Liberty changed over time. What are yours?
Dean had strong opinions about pills, doctors, America and China as we had a good conversion and even shared several differences of opinion about those issues. I love discussions about core beliefs and the challenges in America and the world. It's great that people talk with each other and share their perspectives. That was a fun part of life in Liberty, too. A lot of different opinions were comfortably, sometimes intensely, expressed about lots of issues. People learned from each other as citizens of a small town and large nation.
More than a hundred other folks were there and may get mention after the Harvest Home social in November if I'm able to attend. One way of telling that you're still alive is to attend the socials at Liberty Church. Everyone sort of takes note of the oldest people who are there and wonders about the elders who aren't.
Emmert and Kathryn (Baker) Michael (my in-laws) came in at the end of the line with son Gary, daughter in-law Renee and grandchildren Makayla and Wesley. Needing some time to chat with them forced me to check out the desserts again, suddenly noticing a piece of lemon cake (sorry, Peggy, I'll get the Texas sheet cake next time) that seemed to be calling my name, I headed for the ice cream corner for a dip of lemon ice cream to complement it. It was perfect.
What do you remember most about Liberty church ice cream socials?