The Hales, as I know them, are centered in Lancaster, Ohio and like as not they celebrate their Haleness annually at a reunion wrapped around a Pigroast at Alan’s farm, Hale Hollow. A pig wasn’t actually roasted this year, but as a celebration – and it was a celebration – Pigroast is such a better name than picnic.
Picnic: A basket brought to a field somewhere, maybe under a tree… booooorrrrring. Pigroast: A rollicking good time by a bunch of folks churning around farm-like terrain. Flames and smoke are involved.
Pigs made a contribution by way of two of the meats of choice – keilbasa and pork tenderloin: “the other meat” in this case was brisket, and all were expertly smoked over the preceding 24 hours by Alan with an assist from Eric and Tillie.
This year was special. In addition to filling up on pig parts and other goodies, we were celebrating the life of Edward E. (Bus) Hale, the patriarch of the family who died in March. A service was held at Grace Church where scores of friends and family gathered to pay their respect. Son Mark spoke a tribute called “Dad” and grandson Brian read “Ode to Bus.”
For me, the highlight of the celebration was all those folks mingling in the church lobby before and after the service.
For more pictures of the service, click here.
And so, we were off to the Pigroast. The main order of business was consuming all that food. Aside from Alan’s smoked meats, there were Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and folks had brought three kinds of potato salad – including my Mom’s German potato salad, recreated by my sister Amy – green bean salad, vegetable salad, tossed salad, macaroni salad, two kinds of baked beans, fruit salad, deviled eggs and more corn-on-the-cob than Hales have relatives. Desserts included a bundt cake, cherry pie, Jannie’s blackberry pie (all that was left when I got there: juice), cupcakes and cookies.
The day was milder than preceding days – thank the Lord – but still, hot enough. I helped myself to a slice of brisket and a slice of pork and laid them across a squishy bun and slathered on the barbeque sauce. I took slices of kielbasa – silver dollar size – along with green bean salad, potato salad and German potato salad. All great! I was getting full and ready to quit by the time I got to the squishy bun with Alan’s smoked meats. Oh… I’ll just take a bite of this pork that’s sticking out of the bun. OH MY GOD… SO good and SO tender… I cast caution aside and ate the whole sandwich. Now for some fruit salad to calm the tummy; AND I’ve gotta have an ear of corn slathered with melted butter – mouthpopping fresh and wonderful. WOW.
During and after the food, everybody visited one another and Jannie organized groups for pictures, an annual delight.
And finally, since this is the Rector website,
More talk with those and them and soon enough, we were collecting Mom to go back to the compound… errr… Primrose. DeeDee and Ed followed us with the walker, as well as Brian and Natasza, who stayed at Primrose to shoot the breeze and hang out with Liz.
Meanwhile, Carol and her mother went into the annual counting routine – WHO WAS THERE? – Liz reciting names and Carol making a list. Let’s see, 58 family plus others makes 65… a few more than last year.
For more pictures, click here.