Country Road, take me home…
Lein’s Delicatessen had set up their catering service in a large tent and was ready to serve bratwurst, chicken, sauerkraut and potato salad to the visitors, while the bar served gallons of Hacker-Pschorr and Löwenbräu beer, plus delicious red and white wines, and a variety of soft drinks.
The weather couldn’t have been better that day for the many hundreds who visited. Of course, since Joe Stritzl, our very hospitable host, knows almost everybody that’s anybody, he probably has some connections in the Weather Office as well. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised, since the Stritzl’s also celebrated their 50’s anniversary in Canada on this occasion.
This annual event is the only opportunity where you can meet people that you rarely ever see, meet or hear about. It is always a wonderful chance to catch up on "news" and interesting gossip. Unfortunately you also learn of friends and acquaintances that have passed on and realize that no one lives forever. But it was also an opportunity to stroll around on the vast property that now also sports a new swimming pool that had just been completed, and a small lake with a fountain in the centre, reminiscent of Geneva, Switzerland, behind the fabulous mansion.
However, the highlight of this event was the visit of the "evergreen" German singer and songwriter Patrizius and the fantastic show he put on for the guests. "He’s still got it," someone said and most would agree. (Read also: Musik-Musik-Musik)
Almost all of the guests had gathered around the elevated stage to be as close as possible to this fabulous artist and the many songs he sang that reminded the audience of the places they had left behind, those many, many years ago.
When he sang the song about the "Kleine Kneipe in unserer Straße…" I noticed quite a few people surreptitiously wiping a few tears out of their eyes. Patrizius had struck a nerve, even after all these years, he is still that good!
Our hosts, Joe and Maria Stritzl had the seats of honour on the stage, during his performance – that’s almost like sitting at the 50-yard line, where all the action is. They didn’t want to miss a thing!
After Patrizius finished his gig, the guests were treated to coffee and fabulous strudels in a breathtaking variety. Of course this caused a bit of a stampede, since by that time – almost 8:00 p.m. – everyone was hungry again. At least that is what it looked like because there was nothing left over, according to the caterers.
A number of the guests started to leave by that time and I overheard one of them remark, "I am already waiting for next year"! Thanks, Joe and Maria!
This time the annual picnic took place at the convention centre of the Petro Chemical Plant near the refinery. It was a wonderful location with lots of shady trees and plenty of room – inside and out, and the weather was perfect.
One of the annual highlights was of course the delicious potato-pancake fry, or ‘Reibekuchen’, traditionally donated by Trudy and Gilbert Steyer. Gilbert had shredded 70 pounds of potatoes for the occasion and Trudy and Andrea spent almost the whole afternoon frying them on-site. Believe it or not, they were all consumed!
Guests had arrived also from other carnival societies including Timothy and Karen – the ‘Royals’ from Downriver, Detroit, but unfortunately there were not as many children this year.
Wilfried Küsters, president and host, remarked that this was the smallest contingent of children ever. Maybe we will do better next year.
Kudos to the many volunteers that year after year spent their time making sure that these picnics are as successful as they always are. It couldn’t be done without them.
The next event on the carnival scene to look forward to is the "Prinzenkrönung" – the proclamation of the new royal couple – on November 1st. It will be an event such as we haven’t seen in many years and it will be full of surprises, I can guarantee this.
It will take place at the Continental Austrian Club in Burlington. See you there!
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