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Grimes breakfast draws a crowd
Grand Island Firefighters Association helped make the New Year's morning hangover a bit more tolerable for around 200 people in Grimes on Wednesday, serving up a hearty breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, country potatoes, pancakes, and the like — with a healthy amount of coffee and orange juice to wash it all down.
If you were looking for a little hair of the dog — well, they might have had something for that, too. All they asked for were some donations in return.
Those in attendance, many of them locals, sat at long tables talking among themselves. Some milled around from group to group, exchanging pleasantries with those sitting, who would look up to acknowledge a familiar face and offer something along the lines of a "Hey, there. How is the family?" and "What did you end up doing last night for the New Year?" and "Did you end up eating too much like I did?"
The small community vibe was palpable.
"It's good. It's very good," said one Grimes resident who has been attending the breakfast at the firehouse for all 17 years of its existence. "These guys work their tails off. It's very generous of them. This fire department — oh, man. They put a couple meals on a year. They're really good people. They're really good firemen, too."
The crew at the Grand Island Firefighters Association spent six hours on a holiday — New Year's Eve — in preparation before arriving at the station again at 5 a.m. to get ready for the feast.
Joe Garofalo, a lieutenant at the Colusa County Sheriff's Office, was there for the first time this year with almost his entire family.
"I'm missing my oldest (kid). The food was fantastic. ... My eyes were bigger than my stomach. It's a great gathering for a small community. It's good to see people having the opportunity to get together and catch up," he said.
Just after 9:30 a.m., Gold Country Street Rods — a car club based out of Marysville — rolled in with their classic cars and significantly boosted the attendance number.
"We started coming two years ago. It's a good cause. We've had a good time here," said "Lew" Lewis, a member of the club.
The breakfast is a new feature in an old tradition for the members of the Gold Country Street Rods.
"This is the 40th year of our 'Freeze Your Fanny Off' New Year's Day rod run. ... Good friends and good food," Lewis said.