The cozy, fenced, inviting backyard of the American Legion Post 1 was once again the venue. What a delight! Trees were in bloom, grass so fresh and green. The flora found in the "secret garden" towards the back was nearly identical to a meadow in the Czech Republic. Pampelišky (dandelions), konvalinky (lilies-of-the-valley), poměnky (forget-me-nots), šeřík (lilac), pažitka (chives), rozkvětlá jabloň (blossoming apple tree), ...
This year we had for the first time guláš (goulash) made with local moose meat, compliments of Jarek, our Social Media Director who was the only board member missing the event due to work. We may want to postpone the date of our 12th Annual Picnic & Potluck to the fall so he can join the fun; that way we will have the chance to get the cooking process and recipe directly from him. What a delicious combination of the Alaskan and Czech spirit! No wonder we were going for seconds, thirds, ...
Segedínský guláš (sauerkraut goulash) was once more a hit. Excellent job Bernie. Naturally, with all that Czech food the keg of King Street Pilsner was the perfect compliment. So we ate, we drank, we visited with each other. We laughed, we spoke Czech, we joked. We bonded.
When the few raindrops came, we all gathered around the fire pit and practiced the art of roasting buřty (sausages) on sticks fashioned from tree branches. Thumps up to Andy our chief fire, wood and stick provider.
No guitar and campfire songs this time - Pavel and Marcela were out of town. We missed them; something to look forward to next time. On the subject of music - should any of you feel like showcasing your talent, skills, or know-how, Czech-Alaska Society encourages you to do so. Collect your musical instruments and bring them along. When the mood strikes you can share with all. Our very own performers will be such a nice addition to the entertainment during our time together.
This year's gathering wasn't very large by numbers. Fifty or so kind, interesting, accomplished society members and their families, heritage Czechs, Czechs and friends. All unique, all young at heart (8 months old to 88 years old). All with the desire to learn, enjoy and celebrate the culture we came from and are surrounded by.
To the ones who were able to join with us, thank you for truly being present, thank you for contributing, thank you for sharing the bounty of your stories.
To the ones who were unable to come, allow this mini-report along with selected pictures to transport you to the place where you feel connected, included, appreciated, where you feel at home.
To the ones who might want to join us next time, the Czech-Alaska Society extends their invitation.
Potluck tables were overloded with different creations. To mention a few: buchty (filled sweet buns), chlebíčky (open face sandwiches), křupky (chips), okurkový salát (cucumber salad), domací chléb ( homemade rye bread), pomazánky (dips), koláče (poppyseed and other tarts),....
All that beauty alongside fresh air, long-time glowing faces and brand new friends brought out heartfelt memories of time spent in the countryside of our motherlands. The inner child was awoken to a certain degree in all of us. The playground became the main attraction to our youngest and the lawn hosted the bean bag competition. Our official "referee" and artist Sue Zajac generated lots of excitement. Thank you Sue.
Czech-Alaska Society President
May this summer be the best one yet. May you explore Alaska, Czechia,... May you rediscover what makes life amazing.