Trip home to visit Johnson City Day 2

Happy Pirohi Day!

We slept as if it was Christmas Eve and woke up excited for Pirohi day. The holiday we’d all been waiting for had finally arrived and it was glorious! Just so that you know, Mrs. T’s Pirohi’s (the ones in the freezer section anywhere in the country) declared today Pirohi Day in Binghamton because of the delicious nature of the local variety and of course the community support behind them – the triple cities doesn’t fool around with their starchy snacks! We eagerly got ready and drove the half-mile to the Boscov’s plaza in downtown Binghamton. Mom works right near there so we had special people parking in her office lot. With pirohi essence on the breeze, in the distance we saw extraordinary event taking place and hurriedly walked toward the excitement.

While we strolled down Court Street to discover the vendors and their wares, we took a moment to watch a chalk artist who had roped off a large section of street and was creating a large something-or-other. As we were trying to figure out what he was making, he looked up and said “Long time no see, where the heck have you been?” As I wondered how folks still recognize me even though I’m missing 18 inches of hair and am at least 15 pounds lighter than when I last lived here, I racked my brain to figure out who exactly this was he said “It’s me Eric, from Kinko’s” and I remembered (I can only keep so much information in my head – sometimes I need a little prod). He also didn’t wear a jaunty hat or kneepads when we worked together, so understandably, the prod helped. Anyway, Eric used to work with me at Kinko’s (obviously) but he worked in the graphic design and resume building area and truthfully, taught me more than all of college did about how to use a computer. He told me that he’d been doing this sort of thing for a while and showed us a few of his other creations which included the Hulk, Indiana Jones, Batman, Iron Man and a really cool one where it looked like he was falling down a brick hole – very cool! He also told us that his current work was Yoda, so needless to say, Frank was pretty psyched. We popped back a few times and watched it turn into an incredible picture.

You can check out the completed version and more of his work at

While we were chatting Mom saw a booth for Antique Road Show (because sometimes things get crazy in downtown Binghamton) and got very excited because her best friend Mal had been willed something she was hoping to have appraised. We continued down the street for the main event while we waited for Mal. Yes, the pirohi line was already forming! We got in line with the other hungry folks and were informed that there were so many pirohi day celebrators that they’d run out and had to bring in another carload and turn away to-go orders so that they could feed their hungry masses. We were just thankful that they were willing to feed us so we got out our $8 in cash so that we could buy pirogues and drinks for 4 (yes everything is a wonderful bargain in Binghamton). We sat down with our plates covered in glossy and beautiful pirogues handmade by little old Ukrainian ladies from St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. Delicious!

Mal had her locket and chain appraised and found that if she wanted to be, she would be just about 100 dollars richer, which of course she didn’t want to do but it was nice to find out. We did a bit more walking around, window shopping, and actual shopping and headed home for an afternoon nap – the afternoon sun and fun tuckered us right out!

My sister Chrissy and her family (Ron, Kayla, Jessica, Joshua, Pinkie, Floyd and Bones) invited us (Little Frank, Mom, Big Frank and me) to their house for a barbeque that night so after changing into non-sweaty clothes, we brought our empty bellies to Casa de Bates. Ron tended to the grill while Chrissy put out vegetables, chips, and a delicious fruit-yogurt-granola parfait, which was wonderful (don’t worry, I’ll make it for you guys next week when we have spiedies). We played with their new dog Bones, who was super cute and the kids showed us how to use the wii – and even made wii mii’s! The gang thoughtfully surprised me with early birthday cake and early birthday presents as well.

We’d had a very full day and evening when on our way home, my friend Katie called. She had had a bit of a week from h-e-double-hockey-sticks and found herself in Johnson City for the weekend even though she lives about an hour away in beautiful Ithaca so though we were sad that she’d had a crappy week, we were thrilled to be able to do some proper cheering and distracting without the long drive! We stopped at Wegman’s to pick up all the Ben and Jerry’s they had, a can of spray cool whip along with a box each of 2-bite brownies and chocolate chip peanut butter cookies – with that amount of sugar, the resultant smiles are always immediate!

We had a great visit with Katie, her mom, Big Ed, and Richard (who couldn’t be cuter if he tried) and at midnight realized that it was inappropriately late and headed home.

Wow – quite a full Pirohi Day over all! More to come!

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