Ryan Leckey's live reports from the Northeast Fair in Pittston Township yesterday morning brought back a lot of memories.
There were two yearly church picnics and two yearly fireman's picnics within easy walking distance of my house when I was growing up. Hitting all four was not unusual. They weren't as big as the Northeast Fair, but they were just as much fun. You can't beat small town life.
As years passed, the picnics in town dwindled. I think there's still at least one around. One fire company dumped the picnic in favor of a couple chicken barbecues. This was my favorite-- the priest who ran one of the churches thought the summer picnic was too much work. He replaced it with a special Sunday collection at church. The priest suggested we take the money we would have spent at the picnic, and put it in an envelope for the collection basket. I can see the reasoning, but what's the fun in that? A picnic is more than a place to eat, drink, buy raffle tickets and play a few games. It's a community event. Maybe if we had more things that brought us together as a community, we'd have fewer problems. End of sermon.
Working weekends takes me out of the church picnic mix. A few in adjacent towns begin on Thursdays, so I try to visit at least one a year. It's the same thing every time-- grab a couple hot dogs and a drink, hide in a corner, and people watch for a while. That's summer.