Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Birthday SAAA
SAAA members really know how to party!  The 25th anniversary of the founding of that venerable St. Augustine institution provided the raison d'etre for a rousing good time.  On Saturday afternoon, March 26th, almost 100 current and early members of SAAA gathered at the St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum for a party and old fashioned pig roast.

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

The SAAA was founded by a small group of professional and avocational archaeologist in 1985 to provide the City and County with archaeology volunteers.  At that time, the City was considering an archaeological ordinance to preserve its archaeological heritage from rapid development.

The early years remembered

The 25th celebration guests arrived at the Lighthouse around 4:00pm.  After an initial glass of wine or beer, the party began in earnest in the Keepers House.  Chris Newman chaired a panel of founding members who reminisced about the early days of the SAAA.  Old T-shirts were worn and displayed; old scrap books were perused and tales were told of those early years when parties (proms) happened regularly and trowel carrying/kazoo playing members performed precision marches in the Easter parade.  Dr. Kathleen Deagan presented a slide show with old photos documenting the early fun filled days.  Mary Willis, one of the first SAAA presidents, remembered with fondness, the early volunteers.  Bruce Piatek, our first City archaeologist, spoke of the City Ordinance and early digs. Valerie Bell, one of the original founders, remembered the impetus behind creating an archeological association composed of professional and avocational members.  Pat Griffin spoke of the early professionals such as her husband, John Griffin, who worked at the Oldest House when the organization was founded.  Other members in the audience offered their memories and when the program was over, kazoos were passed out and Charles Tingley led the group in a kazoo march downstairs to the dinner.

Pig on a spit!

Cortney Boran carves the pig

Sam Turner, pig roaster extraordinaire! 
 The dinner was an old fashioned pig roast with all the fixins catered by one of our oldest restaurants, Aunt Kate's on the river.  The wild boar was prepared by LAMP archaeologists Sam Turner and Chuck Meade, and County Archaeologist Robin Moore and his assistant Cortney Boren.  The boar was cooked for 10 hours on a spit over charcoal.  Aunt Kates provided chicken purleu, cheese grits, beans and rice, greens, cole slaw and datel pepper corn bread.    A keg of beer and wine provided ample libations.  The meal ended with a large cake decorated with the SAAA logo and an excavation unit.  The pieces were "excavated" with a trowel.

Lala Smith and Sam Turner, Jr. excavate the cake
People lingered into the night, enjoying old company, reminisicing about the good times and finishing the beer and wine.  Thanks goes to the St. Augustine Lighthouse for providing the perfect venue, the wild boar chefs for their hours of preparation, Aunt Kates for the great fixins and the Program participants for all the memories.  And a good time was had by all!

Phil enjoys a beer!

SAAA looks forward to the next 25 years assisting the City and County to save its archaeological heritage and we will surely have a rousing good time in the process.

The SAAA Board aka party planners

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