By Eleanor Deckert
All systems are go as the countdown approaches for the fourth Avola reunion, to be held Aug. 1 – 4.
The newly-renovated school house will be open all day and into the evening on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2 and 3. Visitors are invited to please bring “show-and-tell” items (clearly labeled) and photos of departed loved ones.
New playground equipment at the old “Tot-Lot” down the hill from the school is being installed this week and will be ready for the little ones to enjoy. The community garden is flourishing. The book club will have books ready to share.
The Log Inn Pub has agreed to host all the meals. And of course, picnics and bring-your-own meals are each family’s option.
Previous Avola reunions, which were held in 2003 (the year of the McLure forest fire), 2005 (which was a dandy) and 2008 (also well attended), saw old-timers gathering to reminisce, share stories and photos, a display of tools and equipment and a street dance featuring whoever brought their instruments.
As the years pass, these gatherings become increasingly popular as people realize how precious our heritage and friendships are.
Avola seems to be a place where many people have lived for a short time, but it leaves a lasting impression. In such a small community, each person matters to the whole and each contribution to the town of time, ideas, skills and volunteer effort is appreciated.
The year 2014 marks 30 years since the Avola Elementary School closure. Former students who are now in their 30s, 40s and 50s are especially invited this year. Bring your children. Show them where you lived. Remember the Hodge Podge Lodge outings and events? Recall your childhood: exploring the mill pond, skating, Sunday School, trick-or-treat, Christmas concerts and the library. Look though old text books and compare how you were raised with children’s experiences today.
Modern technology has reached Avola, too. Cell coverage, high-speed internet, lap-tops, digital slide shows and GPS locations of memorable places will also be used to bring facts, amusement and memories to participants.
Questions? Ideas? Contact the Avola Reunion Committee: Bob and Colleen Jensen 250-678-5305, or Eleanor Deckert firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch the Times for updates.