|photo by Jeff Green|
Understanding that gratitude, a day of rest, and community outreach can all happen at the same time, the Occupy Poughkeepsie Moms & Dads got together to organize and host a community potluck and meal. We invited people by word of mouth, by making announcements at general assemblies and rallies, by posting it on the Occupy Poughkeepsie website and Facebook, and with a cardboard sign at the side of the road. As is the case in events like this, when the day arrived, we had no idea if anyone would come, if we'd have enough food, or if the weather would cooperate. At the end of the day, plenty of people came, we had more than enough food, and a beautiful sunny day.
When we arrived and started to set up, there was even a reporter there from YNN. He spent the day with us and enjoyed a plate of food. Click the picture below to watch his report:
As food arrived, we set it up on long tables. Volunteers, like Nikki & Russell (below), made sure that hot food stayed hot and cold food stayed cold by setting it up on wire frames with cans of sterno below.
We covered the tables with white paper and laid out crayons so that kids of all ages could decorate for us.
Lots of neighborhood kids joined us for dinner. After shooting hoops, their motto turned out to be 'Eat dessert first'. After they sampled the pies, some did actually try the mashed potatoes and I may have even seen one young boy try the green beans. We had enough food left over that some of the kids made up plates to take home to family members who weren't able to be in the park with us.
People brought turkey, Tofurkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, collard greens, green bean casserole, mushroom salad, green salad, cranberry salad, lasagna, macaroni & cheese, oh my! Marina brought her signature rice & peas and a small friend.
And then there was dessert. I made pumpkin bread pudding. We also had pumpkin pie, apple pie, apple cake, homemade chocolates, crumb cake, cheese cake, blueberry crumble, and even the kids couldn't eat it all.
We sat on the bleachers next to the basketball court and enjoyed our meal together. Our conversation turned to gratitude and we discussed what we are grateful for in our personal lives. Many of us talked about the Occupy movement as a focus of gratitude and change. For me, it is a celebration of the death of apathy. Cars drove by just a few feet away. Many beeped and waved, a few shouted 'Get a job' and one yelled 'Happy Thanksgiving, Hippies' in a not-nice way. None of that put a damper on our spirits.
|photo by Jeff Green|