Saturday, August 5, 2006

Ice Cream Party

GANA Ice Cream Party
2-4 p.m., August 5, 2006
213 S. Bryan

Our “second annual” ice cream social drew at least 50 people, and what struck Georgia Schaich, who was there the whole time, signing people in and talking with whoever sat next to her, was the variety. Life-long residents, IU students, young families, adult children and grandchildren of long-time residents — all of us swirling about or sitting on lawn chairs with our cups of ice cream softened in the heat.

Georgia and I felt particularly happy to see students arrive, and mingle, and discover that they live in a location that is not just a a temporary dive from which they commute to and from classes, but one that is beginning to remember itself as an old-fashioned neighborhood and beginning to envision itself long-term as a sustainable village.

Actually, we were lucky; the heat wasn’t all that bad that day, and in the shade of Tom and Charlotte Zietlow’s side yard next to their large gracious, two-story house I could almost imagine us as at a garden party in the south. Or, taking a slightly different angle of view, the occasion felt like an extended family reunion, with people of different ages, interests, occupations, and so on, some of whom know each other well, some don’t; some of whom met for the first time at our Solstice party six weeks earlier, others regulars at GANA meetings.

Lots of us greet each other by name now, genuinely eager to say hello, and catch up on each other’s lives. Nathan Harman and Maggie Jesseph came with their quiet, vibrant little one, Laurelynn, as they have brought her to monthly GANA meetings since her birth four months ago — and she, with electric black hair and startled, intense, calm gaze, was passed from hand to hand, with us old ones amazed, as usual, at just how fast these young ones grow.

At around three o’clock, we announced that the new GANA tee-shirts, piled on the table next to the ice cream, were FREE — so of course, there was a general movement in that direction, sticky fingers pawing through small, medium, large, and extra-large.

I didn’t stay for the whole event, but was there long enough to note that, in comparison to last year’s first ice cream social, I sense an increased level of relaxation in each other's company that reflects our increasing sense of connectedness. I hope there will be a “third annual” — and, if we are to continue the tradition, it will depend on whether or not we win next year’s “Two Scoop Salute” contest from Edy’s Ice Cream. (Thank you Edy!) Last year, Diane Dormant penned the winning essay; this year, we basked in Charlotte Zietlow’s eloquence (thank you Charlotte!), and next year? Who will rise to the occasion, for we certainly like the ice cream, and the company, not to mention being the-neighborhood-that-won-the-prize-two-times-in-a-row on a hot, humid, leafy, summer Indiana day.

Ann Kreilkamp
GANA scribe

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