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German-American Journal

October / November 2008

Pittsburgh Celebrates Summer With A Picnic! By: Chris Decker

August 3rd dawned bright and cool but we all know that weather plays a big part in the day’s activities. By the time the folks in the Pittsburgh DANK Chapter assembled for our annual picnic, the clear skies reflected the hot summer sun and the members attending made it ‘still hotter’!   They do know how to have a great picnic!  Some came for the Gemütlichkeit that abounds at these gatherings; others came for the great food and/or the free German Beer. Of course I would be prodigious if I said they came only to hear

the music provided by the Augsburg German Band of Uniontown. George & Carol Steiner are the leaders in dancing the Polka and all of the folks sang and swayed along with some of the songs. The realization that many could not come because of the high gas prices and for what ever other reason, made the time spent enjoyable with those who could attend. Many attending renewed acquaintances and brought along prospective  members who had never experienced a German family picnic, with all of the styles of food and desserts provided by the members. Wunderbar! aptly describes the food and desserts that were shared by all!  Overall, it provided a nice time to gather and share in our common bond, our Germanic heritage.   To all those who could not, for various reasons, attend some of the functions provided by the Chapter, I can only say that you really don’t know what

you are missing. The reason for our club is to enjoy and promote things Germanic and DANK is the way to do it!  Vielen Dank to all of the members and guests who attended this summer’s event. We look forward to seeing you at the Sub Chapter Picnic in Hopwood on September 13, 2008. If not, we look forward to seeing you at the Oktoberfest in Canonsburg on September 19,20,or 21, 2008, or perhaps at the Christmas Party held at the Teutonia Männerchor on December 5, 2008. Let’s all attend and make the DANK Chapter successful.

Mason-Dixon Preservers By: Chris Decker

Well, the Fayette County Fair is now history and the Mason-Dixon Chapter made it through! This information vigil was accomplished in spite of the heat, the tremendous thunder & lightning storms and down pouring of rain on our little tent! The tent was set up and with the aid of members Ernst Jung & Ernst Braun, the St. Peter Lutheran Church’s tables & chairs. All the members who were involved through the ten days we were able to accomplish at least one of our goals, which was information about DANK and our club.

The majority of people who stopped at the booth were happy and surprised that there was a German Club in Uniontown that taught language classes and all the members were very friendly. On the middle Sunday, George& Carol Steiner, of Ch # 58 along with Lois Henke & Chris Decker, of Mason-Dixon and other members, were in German Tracht and were a big hit, while the Augsburg German Band played to bring in the curious and polka lovers to the booth. It was commented that the music could be heard from the main gate and that it was ‘refreshing to hear that kind of music.’ One man also indicated that he lived in Germany, worked in Uniontown, and thought

that it was wunderbar to see an appreciation of things Germanic in our county. The Mason-Dixon Sub Chapter learned many things at the fair this year and would like to go again next year, loaded with many new ideas and experiences. As leader for the Sub Chapter, I would like to thank all of the members who dedicated time from their lives to sit at the fair and talk about things Germanic to people in the tri-county areas, as they stopped by the booth. You know who you are! It was thrilling to see the leadership in the club, develop through this activity.   Vielen Dank!

Erie’s Germans Celebrate Their Heritage cook the food. Bob Hamilton (the Mad Bavarian) was a mentor and helped us start growing.  We The German Heritage Festival was originally have remained committed to present our heritage; organized by  DANK Chapter 71 in 1996.  be family oriented and supportive of various local Coordinators Beverly Pochatko and Bill Matheis organizations and not become just another carnivalhad a plan to showcase their German heritage based like festival. on the Bavarian Fest in Barnesboro, PA. which Ms.   The Festival is geared toward family. We Pochatko and her family had visited in 1976.  This encourage the vendors to keep prices down, so was when the seed was planted. The Erie Chapter families can come and enjoy the day.  We have a of DANK was founded in 1989 and in 1996 almost Kinderplatz that features Granny’s Ark Petting 20 years later; the dream of a local German festival Zoo, a Castle Bounce and a Trackless Train for became a reality. the youngsters.  All this is free for the youngsters At our first festival, members of DANK did while Mom, Pop and grandparents are enjoying the everything - cook the brats, knackwurst, sauerkraut, continuous entertainment in the Fest Hall.  German potato salad and hot dogs.  We had 385 Everything was in place early Saturday morning visitors that day! As the visitors grew over the next and the sky was a clear blue with temperatures in few years, we started looking for local vendors to the mid 80’s. The opening ceremonies began with a “Parade of Flags” – 16 German State Flags, the US, German and Austrian national flags, and the singing of the German, Austrian and American national anthems, followed by the tapping of the keg. This officially opened the Festival.   Describing the scene one could only say “Wunderbar” and “Gemütlichkeit” reigned.  A wide variety of German foods was prepared by Sabella’s Kitchen, the Lake Erie Fanfare, the Shrine Club, Helmut’s Strudel, and more.  The Fanfare group has a hit with their Limburger Cheese or Braunschweiger sandwiches. Erie Brewing Company brews beer special for the festival including German Alt and Sunshine Wit.  Heritage Winery brings a nice Opening Toast - Beverly Pochatko & Fred Huttel, Jr. selection of their craft. Vendors in the Marktplatz By: Beverly Pochatko

DANK Oct/Nov 08.indd 8

(Left to Right) Ann & Fred Sipple, Brigitte, Jeffrey, and Don Chase

are hand picked for their offerings of German related items. Community organizations were there too...the Erie Society for Genealogy Research, St. Joseph’s RC Church, and Voter Registration Center. A portion of the festival earnings are donated to the Erie Public Library, the Erie Historical Society, the Erie Genealogy Society, and WMCE radio for the German Show, which airs on Sunday from 1-5 pm.  The proceeds are also used to support the DANK Chapter’s Education Program. For the second year in a row, a discount of $1 was taken off the admission fee ($5/person - Under 12 years are free) with the donation of canned goods for the Second Harvest Food Bank. We topped last year’s collection of 1,826 lbs with the generosity of festival attendee’s donations of canned goods.

9/17/08 12:13:37 PM

German-American Journal | October/November 2008  

Volume 56, Issue 5

German-American Journal | October/November 2008  

Volume 56, Issue 5