Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum’s 26th annual Chicken and Ravioli Dinner at the Sons of Italy Hall drew a crowd of 255 on Saturday, March 12, 2011.

Eat well. Have fun and laugh often. Make social connections. Doctors from the largest urban areas to the tiniest rural ones universally recommend cultivating the three good habits of eating well, laughing heartily, and interacting with others often. Why? Because those habits promote heart health and memory, enhance the immune system, relax body and mind, provide a sense of belonging, and beat the signs of aging! March 12th, everyone at the Weed Museum’s Chicken and Ravioli Dinner had a great time practicing the ‘big three.’

Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum’s 26th annual Chicken and Ravioli Dinner at the Sons of Italy Hall drew a crowd of 255. “We have a good turnout tonight,” Docent and Board Member Harold Orcutt, smiled. “As many as we can put in here, I think.” March 5th was the cut-off date for tickets, but at least a hundred more called, hoping for tickets, Orcutt noted.

“The dinner’s always a popular event,” Nan Mazzier, co-chair for the Sons of Italy group that provided the hall and the meal, said. Proceeds benefited the Weed Museum and also the Sons of Italy. “The dinner’s a win-win for everyone. People come, have a great meal and lots of fun. The community support benefits both the Sons of Italy and the Museum.”

Sixteen members of the Sons of Italy cooked and served the feast. Lave Mazzier, the group’s president, supervised the cooking of the chicken; 84 year old Tee Messina and 80 year old Rose Guerra, members of the Sons since their teens, cooked the raviolis. “We prepare the food with lots of love and have a great time doing it. We play with each other; we love what we’re doing. I’m sure that’s part of the secret in how delicious everything tastes,” Nan Mazzier laughed.

“We came to support the museum and to have good food,” Sandy Duchi, manager of Tri Counties Bank in Weed said. Duchi brought her two children and her daughter’s friend to the event. “We came for the good friends and food,” 13 year old Mikayla Duchi and 13 year old Siena Garrett said. “I’m here for the root beer,” seven year old Jackson Duchi said. “It’s the best!”

“I like chicken and raviolis,” eight year old Kasia Skeen said. “I came with my parents and grandparents ‘cause they always come. This time, my best friend is here, too, so we can have fun.”

“I like the food, especially the raviolis,” seven year old Jocelyn Blankenship said. “I’ve been to the museum with my class from school and I really loved it.” Both girls were happy the meal helped support the museum.

“Another night of great food and no dishes! Yahoo! All for a great cause — that’s a winning combo,” Mary Haynie, who attended the Sons of Italy Crab Feed in February, laughed.

“We’re here for the raviolis and to support the museum,” John LaManna said. “Plus it was a free meal since our friends David and Janine bought tickets for my wife, Linda, and me!” “We do all we can to support the museum and what it does for the community,” Janine smiled.

“Of course I’m here tonight to support the museum,” James Langford, co-producer of “From the Quarters to Lincoln Heights and former teacher,” said. “A museum is just as important as a library. All of us need to support our libraries, museums, and schools. That’s why all of us are here tonight.”

“If we lose our libraries and museums, we’re headed down a long lonesome road,” Langford added.
“Great nations cease to exist when they fail to provide for and enrich their heritage and resources. The Roman Empire is a great example. We need to support these valuable institutions because they support the best in us.”

94 year old Weed resident Alford Linville has attended all 26 dinners. This year he brought his son and great grandsons to the dinner. “It’s one of those good habits that’s hard to break,” he laughed.

“We always have a good time at these meals,” Gary Linville, Alford’s son, agreed. “The family gets together and we get to see people that we only see once a year.”

Over a half dozen school and lumber photos from the early 1900’s provided special interest to the gathering. “We hope people will identify the people in the photos. We want to know who these people were,” Board member Linda Freeman noted. “We’ll keep the pictures at the museum, so people can come in to see ‘who’s who’.”

Membership to the Museum’s Historical Society costs $20 a year ( $10 for those 55 or older) and entitles subscribers to newsletters sharing historic pictures, anecdotes, and true stories. Write the Weed Museum at 303 Gilman Avenue, Weed, 96094 for information.