East Crystal Drive annual progressive dinner

The Progressive Dinner brings out smiles as Crystal Drive neighbors gather for friendship, fun and food!

The Progressive Dinner brings out smiles as Crystal Drive neighbors gather for friendship, fun and food!

Jo Shenk and Ann Rounthwaite

On April 19 the denizens of East Crystal Drive (from Jadecrest to Agate) rocked the block with their 13th annual Progressive Dinner. A conglomeration of neighbors and friends gathered together to traipse from house to house to share in good food, good fun and friendship. The group ranged from singles to half-century weds, snowbirds to transplants from all three coasts, visiting granddaughters to great grandparents – it didn’t matter. We all mingled together in one beautiful happening. The weather was perfect and so was the company.

Kudos to Nancy Annen who managed to coordinate eight appetizers, 11 salads and entrees, and four dessert offerings into one simply marvelous feast. She does it for the neighborhood Crystal Ladies group every year and we marvel at her skill in creatively managing the menu. Kudos as well to Crystal Ladies president Joyce Spartonos for getting the word out so well that three new move-ins (some just the night before!) were able to join us and be welcomed into this congenial group.

Hosts Terry and Terry Harrison-Herbeck began the festivities with appetizers at their home. They applied their creativity and design skills to arranging beautifully decorated tableaux displaying yummy hors d’oeuvres and comfortable seating areas that encouraged mingling. We segued into the home of Tom and Judy Smith who defied logistical odds and managed to seat 50 people comfortably for the entree portion of the feast. Guests were greeted with chairs and tables bearing candles and cloth napkins – oh, my! Then we made a very short trip next door to Mike and Rita Speranza’s house for dessert. Mike caused gasps of shock and awe with a striking display of landscape lighting while we enjoyed some of the sweetest things to share, and no one left early!

By about 8:30 p.m. people tripped off down the street leaving the volunteer hosts to heave a deep sigh as they went about picking up the debris. Rumors that next year’s event will include a conga line down the middle of the street escorted by decorated golf carts are unsubstantiated.

The Crystal Ladies group began 13 years ago when Elaine Tull invited her neighbors for coffee in an effort to get to know them. Her initiative led to monthly coffee get-togethers for women on the street. Although the composition of the group has changed as people move in and out of the neighborhood, the coffee mornings have continued and been supplemented by monthly dinners including partners and friends at Oakwood’s Sunsets Restaurant and by the annual progressive dinner.