The Meriwether Historical Society met to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and colors at the home of Winston and Sally Neal in Mountville on Saturday, October 16th, 2010 and dined on a German meal celebrating Oktoberfest. Many members wore some piece of traditional German or Bavarian or alpine clothing with items like felt hats, vests, embroidered blouses, aprons, dirndls, or brought for display beer steins or walking sticks.
Recognition was given to those attending who were born in Germany (Dr. Werner Linz), lived longest in Germany (Toots and Ed Hobson-22 years), and the most recent to visit Germany(Chris Sinotte).
The Hobsons presented a short program based on their experiences in Germany. The Germans enjoy a fest, Toots said, be it a small village fest or the mega fests in Munich that celebrate their love for music, singing, dancing, good food, wine and beer. They are held for no reason other than to enjoy fun and friendship or to uphold a tradition.
Germans enjoy participating in Volkswanderings and both Ed and Toots wore the traditional hiking outfits they often used in Germany. Volkswanderings are organized walks through sponsoring areas of beautiful scenery like vineyards, forests, castle ruins or historical parks or flower covered fields. It is not a competitive race but a fun activity with several thousand clubs in Germany. There are start and end points as well as at checkpoints along the way always with good food and drink stands and sometimes music. Souvenir medals are available and are highly collected by dedicated wanderers who keep a log book of places and distances walked.
The Hobsons also brought some pieces of wood carving and Bauermalerei or folk art painting. Wood carving is a hobby and a vocation throughout Germany. The woodcarvers ofOberammergau-the village of the Passion Play-produce some of the world's finest carvings with many of a religious nature. The carvers of the Erzgebirge Mountain region produce woodcrafts of the highest quality and are best known for their Nuss Knacker (nutcrackers) and Rauchen mannchen, little smoking men which can burn incense. Equally as prized are the myriad of Christmas items and toys.
Bauernmalerei is the art of folk painting on wood pieces like anything from furniture to umbrella stands, trays, or furniture. Bavaria is especially noted for it using Bauernmalerei to decorate utilitarian objects.
A business meeting was held while guests and members snacked on German cheese (gruyere) and breads (pumpernickel, rye and homemade pretzels) and enjoyed a variety of German beer. President Sallie Mabon announced the society would be selling Honey Baked Hams again at Thanksgiving.
Members Dee Garrett, Diana Norris, and Angie Williams volunteered to make up a committee to plan the Christmas dinner. On a sad note, Mabon announced that James and Shari Triche at the Georgian Inn would be leaving the community as the bed and breakfast and catering business has not been profitable this last year. The club had originally scheduled their second Christmas dinner at their inn, and members who have enjoyed the Triche’s superb cuisine and service will miss them. It is quite a loss to the community.
Sally Estes reported on the recent and exciting news about the streetscape construction inGreenville, and Linda Wilburn described the engraved pavers that can be purchased for the sidewalks. Wilburn was congratulated for purchasing the Jones’ Print Shop on the east side of the square and announced plans to have an artists’ consignment shop there. She said the art show last November proved to her that Meriwether was full of artistic talent and many needed a place to display and showcase their talents.
After announcements and the business report the group dined on grilled bratwurst and sausages, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and finished with Black Forest Cake, apple strudels and apple walnut cake.