Another event I looked forward to as a kid and junior high school-er was the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. A still wintery Saturday in February or March set the time for this annual event. When I was small, it lasted twelve hours from seven in the morning till seven at night. You could go for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with that delicious grange sausage.They prepared the meal in the high school kitchen and served it in the cafeteria.
I believed that is what thrilled me the most, eating with my parents in the room where I ate every day in first and second grade, then again in seventh grade, and up. Seeing the adults gathering around and visiting at tables where usually kids sat. Oh, there was the principal, smiling with his family causing me to suddenly feel shy. Everyone supported the Kiwanis. Neighbors, friends and their parents, teachers, and business men filled up the cafeteria. Sometimes they were behind the counter, flipping the pancakes, turning those sausage links.
The adults drank coffee from Styrofoam cups. The kids had a choice of milk or orange juice in cartons. We never had orange juice during school. Our territory changed for a day. The landscape scattered with different faces and definitely better food. I don't think we even had to return our trays. Volunteers cleared our tables.
I love community events. The getting out and seeing neighbors, especially at the end of winter, when we used to be cooped up for months. Times have changed from those days of Pancake Breakfasts. They still have them, but people eat out so much more than when I was a child. Now you see your neighbors at Eat-N-Park or Giant Eagle. We miss something, though, when we don't sit at common metal tables in an old cafeteria.