By Sharon Crall
For The Catholic Messenger
Oh the stories and the family traditions that still are part of the richness of God’s Portion Weekend at Georgetown Aug. 31-Sept. 1! The church community invites the larger Monroe County community and many parts beyond to celebrate and raise money for the historic church building and needs of St. Patrick Parish.
There is a Christian song, “We Come to Share Our Story” that comes to mind. At this gathering, stories get told about the event, the people and the history of St. Patrick’s. Even preparation for the God’s Portion Weekend reminds people of stories!
A “Code Yellow” is still called out (today via text message) to gather the clan to process the sweet corn. Meghan Crall, Clayton Casady and Tiffany DeMoss could tell you about how they were enticed as children to “fish in the ponds” during corn-blanching time. It took a few years for them to realize that they were actually a crucial part of the process — taking ears of corn from one cold-water bath to another!
Children of the event’s co-chairmen would be lined up in the old hall basement and assigned to chop and grate cabbage for slaw and didn’t stop until the job was finished! Years ago, the green bean snapping and processing was itself a story. Pickers sent a driver with buckets of beans throughout the neighborhood to be snapped at various houses. That was called a “bean drop.” Participants were given two hours to accomplish the job, and the driver would return for pick up. No age or gender stipulation involved in this job. If you could snap, you qualified!
The teens and young adults had their experiences also. The story goes that the priest had to stop the parishioners from doing the “Bunny Hop” in the old hall at the celebration dance because the floor and building were shaking, and he feared it would collapse.
Every generation was part of the “Talent Show.” John P. Judge and Kenan Judge remember being astounded at all ages getting up on stage alongside one another all for the “honor and glory of God and his church.” The stories of having fun producing those outrageously funny shows are frequently told.
Molly Crall Mick made the current cake walk boards as a 4-H project one year and proudly tells her daughters that story. One year, Steve Delaney climbed to the peak of the church roof to get “airborne” pictures of the new hall.
The stories behind some of the auction items are rich. One year, we sold four “nun chairs.” Another year, we tried to sell the old outhouse (wasn’t much market). Well, there’s another one ready for this year.
If you were raised around Georgetown you treasure lots of great memories. If you have married into the Georgetown family, you had no idea what you were getting into! If you visit each year at God’s Portion Day, welcome, enjoy, have fun, and listen. There’s bound to be a story being told somewhere to the next generation.
God’s Portion Weekend at Georgetown
God’s Portion Weekend begins Aug. 31 with the tenth annual Georgetown Open Golf Tournament at Albia Golf. Check in at 8:45 a.m.; shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded. Sign up a four-player team at $35 per person, or sponsor a hole at $30. Call Paige Bradley to participate at (641) 777-9687.
Early in the morning of Sept. 1, the chicken frying crew fire up the stoves to prepare fried chicken for the Country Homegrown Dinner. Thirty-six gallons of homegrown sweet corn have been processed for the dinner. The buffet also features roast beef, green beans, salads, tomatoes, bread and dessert. Cost is $10 for persons 12 and older and $5 for children under 12. Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parish hall.
Carry-outs for pick up may be ordered until 5 p.m. Aug. 31 by calling Linda Marquesen (641) 931-0085, Collette Mahoney (641) 799-6327, or Margie Archibald (641) 891-6130. Delivery is available for those unable to pick up their meal. A team will help visitors with golf cart shuttle rides and parking directions.
Mass will be celebrated Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. This year, all persons baptized at St. Patrick’s Church will be asked to stand to be recognized as a celebration of their gift of faith.
Kids’ games and a Country Store will be available. “A Taste of Georgetown” at the Country Store features items that are homegrown, homemade or home-crafted. Some of the items use recipes from cookbooks that will also be available for sale.
Cindy Rhodes will provide entertainment in front of the church at noon Sept. 1. New to the souvenir booth this year are shirts with a take-off on University of Notre Dame’s theme this year “IRISH WEAR GREEN.” The shirts are imprinted with “God’s Portion Day Georgetown, IA” with a hashtag on back: “It’s a Family Tradition.”
The Grand Live Auction begins at 1 p.m. on the south church grounds. Rain site is the parish hall. Items range from the historic to unique and everything in between. A framed picture of St. Patrick’s with the rainbow appearing over it after last year’s rain blew in has been donated by the Joe and Lorraine Judge family in memory of their parents. Expect a bidding war over one Iowa State University and one University of Iowa wall hanging donated by Krazy Metal Art. Doug Wolfer has also created yard signs with a few names familiar to Georgetown families. Many other items will be auctioned as well. All parishioners have raffle tickets for sale at $2 each.
At 3 p.m. Sept. 1, a Lawn Social celebrates the event’s success. Pork and roast beef sandwiches, brats and hot dogs will be sold as the auction continues and visitors wait for the raffle drawing. Grounds close at 9 p.m.