Just for Fun, No Strings Community Dinner wins 5-star raves

  • Rachel Close, Austen Green and Melanie Duncan with A.J. and Ashton Duncan, both 5, as they enjoy the feast. [photo by Patric Hedlund]

    Rachel Close, Austen Green and Melanie Duncan with A.J. and Ashton Duncan, both 5, as they enjoy the feast. [photo by Patric Hedlund]

By Patric Hedlund

It was what they promised it would be, and much more. It was a “just for fun, no strings” spaghetti dinner at the Frazier Mountain Park Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 22.

First and foremost, it was delicious. The variety of spaghetti sauces, pastas, old-fashioned garlic bread and salad were a real homemade  dinner. There was no fundraiser, nothing to sell. Nothing but “Hi, Neighbor!” greetings between old friends and new ones. A lot of hugs were exchanged between people who hadn’t seen each other for quite awhile.

Vickie Durst and her husband have enjoyed Frazier Park for 42 years, she said. She works at the post office. Karen Maxwell, pastor at The Vineyard Church, who is also an art and special education teacher, joined them to chat.

Lora Villalobos and Jerrod Twomey are moving to Frazier Park from Santa Paula. They and Wyatt, 5; Luis, 8; Claira and Leo, 7 had spent the day stacking wood, “Because it is cold in the mountains,” Leo said. Kevin Lundin invited them in for a warm meal.

Aurora Parker, 7 was dining with her dad Scotty, brother Damon,  8, and  Zackari Read, 7. Aurora found the only ‘strings attached’ we saw were to the delicious spaghetti dinner.

On this page in silhouette are the couple who came up with the idea to hold the dinner. They want to be known as “anonymous” but 50 of their friends pitched in. All said they were thrilled with the way the dinner turned out.

The shift of servers we met were Rose Mathis and Sharon Vergini of Frazier Park, Crystal Wada of Lake of the Woods, and Susie Yarbrough of Piñon Pines.

Richard Read used his secret family recipe to make fat meatballs for a terrific tomato sauce.

“It takes two hours to make them,” he said, refusing to divulge his mom’s meatball secret. His children, Zurich, 2 and Zander, 2 months were there with their mom Zida Read. She baked the strawberry shortcake cupcakes and the rainbow muffins.

Drew Lesso enjoyed the feast. He is a piano technician, in the process of moving up from Los Angeles to Frazier Park (he wanted to mention his number, 213.617.1800, in case readers need a piano tuned).

“This whole night is a blessing. This is so wonderful,” one woman said, hugging an old friend.

The turnout was in the hundreds. No one was officially counting. The couple who were the sparkplugs for the idea has decided to try to do the same thing, or something similar, every three months or so. To volunteer to help, call 661.245.3417.

Photo captions:

Lora Villalobos and Claira, 7; Wyatt, 5; Luis, 8; and Leo, 7 thank the servers

Cliff and Judith Brunk with below, Bill Hopper, Charlie Hurst and fiancée

The Dursts and Karen Maxwell

‘Anonymous’ were grinning

Aurora Parker found the only ‘strings’ we saw at the ‘no-strings’ spaghetti feast.

Zaden Pohl, 2 with rainbow muffin; Scott Langer

Luis Villalobos, 8 in from a cold day of stacking wood as his family moves to the mountain.

The Read Family

Margie and Charles Turner

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This is part of the February 28, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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