Texas, larger in size than most European nations, stands out because of the people and the immense pride Texans have in their state.
According to the dictionary, the use of the word pride can be used when referring to a group. This is what the dictionary has to say about cultural pride:
“confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group… on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.”
On September 7, 2019, this beautiful cultural phenomenon of Texas Pride manifested itself in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas in the guise of an inaugural Texan picnic. And true to the nature of Texas and the staunch and steady Texans, this maiden event was more than memorable. As the saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” And while admittedly, I am not a Texan, I can see the truth in this statement.
A job well done
Preparation for the Texan Grillin’ n Chillin’ Roundup began many months ago, culminating in a huge blowout of Texan proportions. The day began early for these workers as they arrived at the Cortez Pavillion in the morning for setup and decoration.
Vicky Didion along with Karen Lundberg provided decorations. Vicky planned and oversaw the decorating with assistance from Melinda Noble, Linda Rivera, Coleen Hill Curtis, and Pamela VanRsyk. Most of these wonderful women also manned the welcome table.
Over 175 picnickers participated in an afternoon of feasting, frivolity, and fun. Hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs were grilled, with all the usual condiments. Enormous thanks to the “Elect Lloyd Sherman” campaign that donated all of the meat, buns, and condiments. (An article is coming soon about Lloyd’s HSVPOA Board of Directors’ Candidacy Announcement at the picnic.)
In addition, many banquet tables groaned under the weight of the various dishes of Texan deliciousness. A large variety of salads, beans, salsas and chips, desserts, drinks and much more was offered.
Additionally, we would like to show our immense appreciation to Toni Hays who provided the band. Having the band was like the icing on top of the Texas sheet cake!
Picnickers were treated to the melodies of a very talented instrumental and vocal group called “ShugaBeatz.” This duo is comprised of Bill and Laura Sorrells who are from Royce City, Texas. The band featured Laura on the keyboard, Bill on electronic drums, while both performers sang the vocals. This team knows how to artfully sing a melody and set the tone of a gathering. It wasn’t long before picnickers were interacting with these two very charismatic and charming entertainers and dancing to the beat of Texan country music.
This all began with Karen
Special thanks go to Karen Daigle Lundberg who was the mother of this brilliant brainchild. Karen conceived the idea of having a Texan picnic and began putting the word out about this event many months ago. She also started the “Texan Picnic” Facebook Group.
Furthermore, Karen worked closely with Linda Sherman, a skilled and professional event planner. Linda, with her tremendous organizational skills, was in charge of the overall planning and pulling everything together. This event would not have been the success that it was without Linda and her expertise and talent.
Also, a great big hearty Texas-sized thank you to Bill and Bertha Gianulis who donated all paper goods – more than enough plates, saucers, drinking cups, utensils enclosed with napkins, dessert plates, and dessert forks.
When it came time to clean up, many hands helped to make lighter work of the task.
Special mention to Gene McMeans who reserved the venue and to Frank and Anne Shears who finalized the arrangements, in addition to many other tasks.
Last but not least, we would also like to thank everyone who attended this shindig and also those who helped with setup, greeting, grilling, music, photography, teardown, clean up and so much more. (I am sorry, I don’t know all the names of those Texans who manned the grill or performed other tasks, but they all deserve much kudos.)
Texan Picnic Photography by H. David Moore
Y’all come back now
Texas connections and friendships were forged and this event will go down in the annals of history as a huge success. As Anne Shears so aptly said, “and a good time was had by all.”
by Cheryl Dowden, September 10, 2019
Photography by H. David Moore
Cover photography by Joseph Dowden
Note: I realize there are some folks I have probably left out, and if so, I apologize. This was a huge event with many contributions from many people. Please forgive me if I lacked mentioning something or someone important and feel free to comment below on any omissions or other comments. Thank you!