A downtown feast

Gilroy’s Pasta Extravaganza lures food-lovers to Monterey Street
dinner
With traffic redirected on Monterey Street between Fourth and
Sixth Streets and furnace-like temperatures, downtown Gilroy took
on the feeling of a ghost town in eastern Nevada on Saturday
afternoon. Sleepy shops had their doors closed, and the place was
eerily quiet.
Gilroy’s Pasta Extravaganza lures food-lovers to Monterey Street dinner

With traffic redirected on Monterey Street between Fourth and Sixth Streets and furnace-like temperatures, downtown Gilroy took on the feeling of a ghost town in eastern Nevada on Saturday afternoon. Sleepy shops had their doors closed, and the place was eerily quiet.

Yet closer inspection revealed that Gilroy was indeed alive.

Despite the heat, a group of approximately 50 students, parents and volunteers were at work preparing for the night’s big event, the Pasta Extravaganza, a dinner to benefit the Brownell School and South Valley Middle School band programs.

“It keeps the arts alive, ” said Gary Caspary, his face covered in sweat as he fed tables and chairs from the back of a truck to waiting hands.

Like a pack of ants, workers moved as a unit, each with a purpose. Chairs were carried two at a time, and the dozens of tables were dressed with red and white tablecloths. Whiffs of cooking food kept taste buds watering amid the hustle.

“This is not your typical potluck,” said Howard Miyata, Band Director of South Valley Middle School. “It will be wonderful.”

Beyond the quality of the food, Miyata noted the financial importance of the event for the two schools, which will use the money to cover band music, instruments and repair.

“It helps tremendously,” said Miyata. “The schools don’t pay a penny for junior high band programs.”

Later in the day, as long shadows cast their shadows across Monterey Street and the first diners made their way down the street, the smell of Italian spices became intoxicating.

Inside a white tent tucked into the Fifth Street lot a group of volunteers cut piles of organic tomatoes. In the middle of another group Jeanne Foisy applied salad dressing to leafy greens with a steel ladle. The salad makers worked with a passion, though none of the crew had kids attending either Brownell or South Valley.

“It’s a community thing to do,” said Foisy, as she dribbled dressing onto salad in a aluminum serving container. “There were kids who did these things when my kids were in school.”

In the distance Miyata could be heard playing with the Central Coast Sax Quartet, piping a mellow version of New York New York throughout the neighborhood. The middle of Monterey Street was never classier.

Spruced up in black slacks and white dress shirts, those same worker ants had returned. The first diners started to fill in and the servers, though worn from the day’s work were restless with excitement.

Gaspary, smiling, turned to his son Tim, a 12 year-old alto saxophone player.

“This is a lot more fun than school work, huh bud?” asked Gaspary.

They laughed for a moment and then went to work.

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