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Friday, August 6, 2010

Party Animals - A HOG Picnic

The annual Mt. Baker H.O.G. picnic was a smashing success. Just ask Monty Brown. It doesn’t take a lot to entertain our group and after everyone threw in a few dollars for charity, Monty wearing his yellow Harley sunglasses for protection took a pie in the face from his daughter Nichole and a little help from Mt. Baker owner Greg Head. Monty only had one request…it had to be Marionberry pie and since Greg had brought about ten pies and half were Marionberry, we all laughed, cheered, took pictures, and congratulated Monty while Nicole whooped and danced with joy seeing her dad’s face covered in pie. Now a little side note to this is that without a little pre-pie conditioning it might not have been quite the display that is was. The quick minds of Dawn and Kaye realized that a scored top pie crust would make sure the filling would ooze out so that we got our money’s worth, so they prepared the pie. What a way to finish the day.

Mike Gilbert did an excellent job of planning the picnic, arranging a year in advance for the reservations for the covered picnic area at Lake Padden and the baseball field. He had a little help from his wife Jeannie who was sent out on a Saturday afternoon to Costco, Wal-Mart, and Fred Meyers to do the shopping--along with everyone else in the county and all the Canadian shoppers. A core group of volunteers, Dave Lahr, Dave and Dawn Johnson, Kaye and Rob Hansen all arrived early Sunday morning to help set up. The ice chests were bulging with cold drinks, the coolers were full of hotdogs and hamburgers waiting to be grilled, and the tables began filling up with side dishes and desserts as the HOG members and shop employees began to arrive.

It was a little chilly and everyone had at least a sweatshirt or two, or a coat that they kept on until early afternoon when that small, tiny, speck of clear sky finally gave way to sunshine and warmth.

Dave Lahr and Larry Marrs were the chefs preparing the burgers and dogs and Kaye Hansen took on the bbq grill cleanup job. With pasta dishes, fresh vegetables, chips, dip, (Shelia Bayne won an award for the best side dish…a seven layer Mexican dip that went so fast a lot of people didn’t even get to sample it), cakes, cookies, pies…lots of pies, (I won the dessert contest with a chocolate trifle renamed “Death by Chocolate" by the group), no one went home hungry.

We had new HOG members attending, one new person who is signing up as a HOG member, long time HOG members, spouses, kids, and shop employees made it was a great day to visit with friends, enjoy the food, desserts, and just relax. Dana Snyder brought a beautiful bouquet of lilies and gladiolus from her garden and this made it seem even more festive and gave the picnic some elegance.

Neither the HOG group nor the shop had a full roster of nine players for a softball game, but both teams took the field and had a great time hitting and fielding the ball. Bob Bayne had the players all spread out when Bill Rodgers took the plate expecting a long hard hit to left field, when I called out to Bill, bunt…and he did…and Bob had to run for the ball. Of course Bob was right and the next ball was way out in left field. Dana Snyder took some amazing photographs of the players as they came to bat and Dana was also teaching a mini photography class to Emily who then took a number of photos herself. Mike Sunderlin was also in attendance with his camera getting some great shots of the players on and off the field and those candid shots we didn’t even know he took until he posted them on the web. Of course, this made it really easy for Dave Lahr, the chapter photographer, who didn’t have to try to be everywhere all the time and he actually got to sit down and relax a little.

Some of the HOG members had several picnics and events to attend: Mike & Patti Hoelze were on their second stop of three for the day, and Roger and Cheryl were also on stop two of three and making the effort to stop in and say hello and stay as long as they could before moving on to the next party. Some of the shop employees were headed to the eastside to warmer weather so they left after lunch. It’s not how long you stayed, but that you came and had a good time. A number of HOG members weren't there because they had commitments to church groups, family visiting from out of town, work related reasons, and some left on extended Harley trips and couldn’t come but they sent their regrets. I’m sure Mike Gilbert will have the date for next year’s picnic posted soon and you can mark your calendar and plan ahead. Dave and Lorie McNeill did return from a two week trip in time to attend the picnic...and we had forgotten the tomatoes.

That is what HOG is all about: owning a Harley, finding friends to ride with, share a meal with, and getting to know each other-- It’s a family. We had a great turn out from the trike riders: Vern, Donna, Jeannie, Harmon, and Larry.

photo by Mike Sunderlin

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