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Amity ice cream social

August 18, 2017
Reinbeck Courier

It seems like Amity Church as always had an ice cream social, although the first one was probably held sometime during the 1960's with only a brief lapse a few years ago, Amity's summer social has been an anticipated fixture since its inception. Large crowds have always been the norm, with ice cream being only one of the reasons for its popularity. The fellowship of present members and all those who somehow have a tie to Amity seems to be a recipe for continued success.

For the first thirty-some years, Amityites cranked out homemade ice cream from a handed down blueprint...hand cranked at first, and then with an increasing number of electric freezers. The combination of wet, salty ground underfoot, electric cords, patch boards, wet tables and trusting bare hands sounds like a recipe for disaster. The fact that nobody ever got electrocuted is proof that God must surely love those who manufacture ice cream in his name!

It took 70 gallons of ice cream to satisfy everyone who showed up on social night, and that required thirty or forty people and several hours to manufacture that much ice cream. One year the group made 90 gallons, and it all disappeared. They amity men worked outside, crushing ice, operating 18 or 20 freezers, and dodging all that alternating current! The ladies labored in the church kitchen, mixing, measuring, packing and taste testing. If a batch was too soupy, they would send it back out for some more turns. The whole process was also of social significance.

Eventually, as Amity's membership declined and became more socially and job diverse, the making of all that ice cream became too big of a challenge. About ten years ago, it was decided to drop the whole thing, and for a year or so, no social was held. There seemed to be a hole in Amity's calendar and the loss of all that fellowship was insupportable. Happily, Amity still possesses a few take charge members.

Some members proposed a new slant on things, they did the planning and most of the logistics, and the rest bought in! Now, the ice cream is soft serve, made on the spot by others, who bring a machine that seems to be able to keep up with a crowd of several hundred. Roger Greve barbeques pork loins out where all that electrical mayhem used to take place, the Amity ladies make beef burgers and bake pies and the men bus tables, wash dishes and stay current free.

Like everything else in this world, change rules in so far as Amity's social is concerned. But the end result stays the same, as evidenced by the packed tables, the hum of conversation, the smiling faces and the re-connection of a community that is much smaller, yet more far flung than it used to be. Ice cream is the catalyst and on August 20 Amity will do it again!



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