Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Diane Takes on Church Politics - or - The Battle for Bananas


Epicentre of church politics in the 60s

I've been reading about the politics being played out in some organizations in the modern world.
Even churches have their internal power struggles and vying for position.
It reminds me of our church suppers.
Maybe I should explain . . .
In the sixties, we had Church Socials.
Big pot luck dinners.
For any and all occasions.
Christmas.
Easter.
New Years.
Fall.
Thursday.
They were fun.
Everyone would show up with their large families and a huge dish – or dishes - of something delicious to share.
The food would be arranged on a long series of tables.
Everyone would load a plate.
And the visiting would begin.
Good food.
Good friends.
It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening.
Invariably, there would be someone’s Grandma’s recipe for home-fried chicken.
And many, many incarnations of potato/meat casseroles.
Salads by the creative and colourful dozens.
Home-made rolls just begging for a large dollop of freshly churned butter.
And desserts of enough variety and inevitable tastiness, to make decision-making difficult to impossible.
But there was one draw back.
As with all pot lucks, the first in line got the most choices.
Made quickly to avoid ‘pot luck crush’.
What is ‘Pot Luck Crush’, you ask?
Imagine a river, dammed by a small obstruction.
Pressure builds.
Finally, the obstruction is forced out and shoved quickly downstream to oblivion.
Pot Luck Crush.
My cousin, Reed was usually the first in line.
He had made an art of choosing – and heaping - quickly.
His favourites were the salads.
I should mention here, that two of the most popular salad dishes were the green jello salad.
With shredded carrots.
And the yellow jello salad.
With sliced bananas.
The carrots in the carrot salad tended to be suspended throughout.
The bananas, however, inevitably rose to the top.
And that’s where Reed came in.
He would deftly and expertly – and quickly - scrape the entire layer of bananas from the salad.
Then move happily on to the rest of the offered dishes.
His actions weren’t popular.
Usually, from further back in the line, there would be a howl of protest.
Reed would just grin.
The you-should-have-tried-harder-to-be-first-in-line grin.
The rest of the assembly would be stuck with banana-less salad.
Or what amounted to plain lemon jello.
But the sheer volume of other dishes soon silenced any further protest.
And before long, everyone was happily munching.
Until the next time.
When Reed would again slip deftly and expertly to the front of the line.
Yes.
Even in the sixties, we had church politics.
The difference was that they were over bananas.
Maybe not so different after all.

11 comments:

  1. The biggest, fastest, smartest monkey always gets the most bananas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red was definitely the fastest and smartest. And best fed . . .

      Delete
  2. No way!!

    I'm tellin'!!!!

    Reed was naughty.

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heeheeheeheehee! He was naughty, wasn't he? BUT HE STILL GOT ALL THE BANANAS! Sigh.

      Delete
  3. Love that story! Brought back the memories of many church potlucks when I was young-those dinners were so delicious and so was the conversation around the table!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love remembering those times. Peaceful. Yummy. Surrounded by those you love the most. So many of them are gone now. That makes remembering even sweeter.

      Delete
  4. Thats so funny but you know it was a learning experience.
    I remember going way ahead of time to get the chair I liked to see the school play. Then people come in last minute and one woman arrogantly came to ask me if she could have my chair cause she needed to take pictures.
    I told her no. I took my movies the first time they put the play on and I came real early to get the chair to actually see the play without a camera. But other people didn't care enough to do what I did, not to mention the 10w x 20 l prop I drew for the wall so kids could then take pictures with family and friends for memory. She thought I was rude and I thought she was rude lol I worked a heck of a lot for these plays so I should be able to see them...yes?...no?lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were totally in the right! And she was totally in the wrong! Good for you for standing up (so to speak) for yourself! I know the work that goes into plays. I'm so glad you got to see it!

      Delete
  5. I remember Reed scraping the bananas off the salad. And you're right; he was good at it. But you had to remind me of that green jello that was contaminated by the shards of carrots didn't you? I think that green jello salad was a major staple at all church socials in our town no matter what faith you followed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. I still see green jello salad with shredded carrots in my dreams! Brings a whole new meaning to the word, 'staple'!

      Delete
  6. I love this! Yes, there are always the power struggles, no matter where you are. The only thing that changes is the type of spoils involved. But I honestly never thought bananas would enter into it! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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