From The Pigpen - "Homecoming"

Saturday, October 1, 2016


I send greetings to all of you good citizens of Wayne County and Buzz followers. It is the first of October and fall is in the air. The leaves are changing colors before our very eyes. High school, college, and pro football reigns supreme. The Wayne Regional Fair will soon be history and the N. C. State Fair is just around the corner. Fall festivals, Halloween carnivals, fire department fundraisers, homecomings, and church bazaars make this a very busy season. In addition to all of these activities, the upcoming elections, campaign rhetoric, debates, and finally voting day itself makes this fall even more hectic that normal.  Story continues below......





I attend Nahunta Friends Meeting, which is a small Quaker church. We always observe homecoming on the second Sunday in October. I am looking forward to the worship experience, the fellowship, and the fine array of food. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that no one will go home hungry. Even the pickiest of eaters should be able to find plenty of food pleasing to their palate.


As this festive occasion draws near, I am continually drawn to those homecomings of my youth. We always ate outside. The food was spread on a long wire table underneath the trees behind the meeting-house. There was baked ham, meat loaf, and countless platters of fried chicken. More often than not, it was fried in lard. There were no chicken tenders and chicken nuggets. No one stopped by KYC or BJs on the way the church. There would be huge pots of chicken pastry, barbequed pork, and plenty of cold slaw and fried cornbread. Who can forget the collard greens and ham hocks, sweet corn, butterbeans, field peas, potato salad, pickled beets and cucumbers, and sweet pepper relish? There was no shortage of cakes, pies, freshly baked cookies, apple jacks, and an occasionally a jelly roll. And it would not have been homecoming without an ample supply of hot dogs. I’m talking about red weenies, as in “Bright Leaf Hot Dogs”, not those modern day imposters. Casseroles were scarce in those days and the Nixon era had not yet ushered in water gate salad. Everybody drank sweet tea or lemonade and a grand time was enjoyed by all.


            I’m sure this year’s homecoming at Nahunta will be a memorable occasion. But from my perspective, nothing ever seems quite like it did during those early childhood years. With that being said, as always, until we next meet, be of good cheer!

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