Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.
Hardly seems possible, but it's been six years. Six years since the first of what has become an annual neighborhood picnic. We held the sixth one last weekend in our usual spot in the park just off Parkway Drive. And just about everything was picture perfect – the weather, the neighbors, the food. Although we had a great turnout, if anything was lacking, it was the neighbors who couldn’t or didn’t make it.
An interesting sight in the park that day was the diversity. Of course, it’s well known how diverse the ancestry of our picnickers is – Irish, Polish, Swedish, German, Armenian, and more. Added to that was the pleasure of meeting the kids – well, one is 18, so hardly a kid – of African-American neighbors up the street, and seeing two families whose kids came to play on the nearby playground equipment. The parents of two of the kids were Hispanic and, from the sound of it, spoke little to no English. And it appeared that from the attire of the mother of two other kids that they were Muslim.
Karen Jaeger’s traditional offerings of sarma (meat mixture wrapped in grape leaves) and baklava were as scrumptious as ever, Erin Dineen‘s Mexican corn-bread was a hit for the second year in a row (as was her husband, Chuck Olszewski‘s toy rocket launcher), as well as all of the salads, cookies, casseroles and other dishes. It was great seeing all the old-timers (if you can call six years of picnicking in the park together old-timers) and meeting new-bes, which we do every year. It was terrific seeing Elynore Blavat, who turned 90 this year.
Everyone seemed to have a good time. I hope we can all be there again next year.