Neighborhood Pizza Party
By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
What is better than a pizza party? Answer is, add the entire neighborhood to the mix. Since we moved to Pawson Park, apart from everything that the area has to offer, the annual Pawson Park Day is one of the highlights. The first six years for us being the newbies to the neighborhood, Pawson Park Day was more of a traditional barbecue with burgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. The rest of the meal was potluck where everyone would bring side dishes and desserts to round out the meal. Coolers were in abundance with beverages of all types. Resolute volunteers took on the responsibility of coordinating the renting of the large tent and gas grills, buying the meat, rolls, corn, condiments and all the paper goods. Each year, as soon as the tent was set up for the event, people would scurry down to the beach with their tables and chairs to claim their piece of real estate under the tent. Neighbors decorated their tables with tablecloths, centerpieces of flowers, candles, and other items. It was an informal competition to see who had the best-looking table.
Come the actual day, standing in front of a hot grill and cooking hotdogs and hamburgers for one hundred people was a daunting and hot task. A band was always at Pawson Park Day playing songs to please the old and youthful and the dance floor, or should I say dance grass, was continually active. Neighbors would donate raffle items or funds to purchase items. It added a little excitement to listen for your raffle ticket number for a gift certificate to an area restaurant, a gas firepit, tickets to a theater or whatever the next raffle prize was. Then after all the festivities, there was the monumental cleanup. It was strenuous work for a dedicated small group to benefit a much larger group. Last year, a neighbor suggested at the annual board meeting that instead of the traditional barbecue we switch to a pizza truck. Motion passed.
The last two years have been the pizza truck and personally, it was a smart decision. Volunteers still needed to coordinate the rental of the large tent, schedule the band, and purchase the raffle prizes. Everything else was coordinated by the pizza truck and its crew, including the salad, appetizers, pizza, dessert and all the paper goods as well as the cleanup was the responsibility of that crew. It is a beautiful thing. There was more time for everyone to just have fun. The chatter of conversation, bursts of laughter, hugs and kisses, libation, and dancing. There was a corn hole competition in one area and our front lawn was the official bocce court and cigar smoking area. As the sun went down and the sunset began to take shape, the only sad thing was the mosquitoes. There was not even a breath of breeze to keep those critters away but oh well, it is summer. All the ingredients for a wonderful time were in abundance and everyone enjoyed the evening. If someone did not have fun it was their own fault. Any outdoor event is weather dependent. In years past, we had weather that had the three H’s, hazy hot and humid. Even thinking too hard your sweat glands would be active. This year, Mother Nature delivered us a beautiful evening, it was warm but there was zero percent chance of rain. The finale for a fabulous evening was a breathtaking sunset.
The best part of Pawson Park Day is not the food, not the music that the band plays, not the raffle prizes and not even the weather. The best part is the people! Hanging out with neighbors is what makes the day special and memorable.
Already looking forward to Pawson Park Day 2024. Life is Good!
Until the Next Tom’s Take………