Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oktoberfest

The German American Society of Central Florida (381 Orange Lane, Casselberry) holds an annual Oktoberfest. This fall I have attended a plethora of "fests" but this is the real deal not some homogenized commercial knock off. We knew we were getting close when we saw cars parked on lawns and every business parking lot was full. A tiny Smart car managed to find a parking spot by driving on the grass around some SUV's his tight turning radius was enviable. Women and men walked the sidewalks in authentic Tyrolean outfits. The German Society building resembled an authentic Alpine lodge. I could hear the German music out back and the place looked packed. We had to buy five dollar tickets to get inside. We both realized at the same time that we had no cash. I pulled the change out of my pocket and started counting pennies. We had to leave and find a cash machine. We found an ATM at a 7-11 and went back. This time we got in and I started sketching the musicians immediately.

Germans are strict disciplinarians. Children were crowded on the dance floor running, screaming and dancing. The German singer kept shouting, "All children off the dance floor! We will stop playing if the children do not get off the dance floor." In time, order was restored. Terry was nice enough to bring me a cup of beer which I sipped while I worked. Lesley Silvia had suggested that I had to get some potato pancakes. With my sketch finished, I got some food tickets and sought out my pancakes.

We stood in line to get potato pancakes for one and a half hours. In the line in front of us a tattoo artist was trying to talk a chipper blond out of getting a tattoo on the inside of her index finger that looked like a mustache. She wanted to be able to raise her finger to her face at parties as a joke. He told her he would never do such a tattoo and that it would make her look trashy. By the time we got to the front of the line, Terry was getting annoyed. My plate had been served yet she still had to wait. I gave her a taste of my pancakes and she calmed down. I tasted several beers but many people were staggering drunk. I was told that this was the largest crowd they ever had for Oktoberfest.


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