Mondays with Melitas – August 20, 2012


ANNUAL HERITAGE BARBECUE                                      AUGUST  20,  2012

Well here it is September which means the 2nd weekend will be spent in San Juan Capistrano.  The 26th Annual Heritage Barbecue will take place on Sunday, the 9th, starting at 3:00 PM.  I intend to be there again if the old bod’ allows.  I somehow HAVE to get there.  After all, I AM the oldest living representative of the Forster family, last of the 5th generation inCalifornia.

The barbecue takes place about 15 miles out ofSan Juanjust off theOrtega Highwayat the Rancho Mission Viejo Amantes Camp, where the cattle were gathered in the old days for branding.  The Ranch was one the many holdings belonging to my great grandfather, Don Juan Forster until he passed away in 1878.

The Amantes Camp is a perfect setting for a huge barbecue.  The present day owners have made it a beautiful spot in this little valley.  There is a huge barbecue pit, there are several dozen lengthy tables with attached benches, serving tables;  all of this surrounded by huge old oak trees.  There is a cement slab for dancing, and a concrete stage about 4 feet in height for a band, or for someone to expound their little heart out to all the guests.  Several years there have been 600 people served.

My second cousin Tony Forster was President of the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society which presents this barbecue and the Rancho Mission Viejo are involved by furnishing the venue.  Tony, I think, was a huge spark in getting this barbecue going in a big way. He served as President for 17 years.  He loved the part he did for the barbecue.  He would go buy a whole bunch of tri-tip roasts and chicken, then would marinate all this for a couple of days in the famous Forster marinade.

He would assemble his crew early on Sunday, and he had some fine helpers:  among them, his younger brother Pat,  2 of my nephews, John and Mickey, then other fellows from the area who were there year after year.  Tony is no longer with us for several years now, but his crew still takes care of the barbecue.  The women are in charge of the balance of the menu;  salad, frijoles, Spanish rice, tortillas, and then cookies for dessert.  Beer is for sale, or BYOB — which we definitely do.

Out in the middle of this area, it is one big grassy area, so the kids can go there and play football, or baseball, or soccer.  Some of the big guys are allowed to play.  It’s a beautiful setting.

The food is served, and our family group has had a couple of floaters, while visiting around with the old friends; all is well with the world, and after everyone has eaten, the music group starts playing, so one can dance some of that barbecue off.

Then there is a big raffle, and you know what? — all these years I have NEVER won a darn thing.  I used to hope I would win the 2 bicycles, but that’s too late for now.

So the Warden and I will be moseying over to the coast on Thursday, and then return on Monday after the barbecue.  If anything of  note takes place, I will report back.  If nothing of note takes place, I will just make up some wild story.




5 Comments to “Mondays with Melitas – August 20, 2012”

  1. So happy to hear you’ll feeling good and plan to mosey over for the BBQ. Looking forward to seeing you.

    Love, Roberta

  2. Oh boy – I got hungry just reading of all the wonderful food usually prepared for your family barbeque. Fit for a king! And some for the Queens as well, not to mention all the little ones. I’ll bet there aren’t a lot of left-overs after this meal! I’m sure there is at least one, if not several toasts to Tony for encouraging and carrying on this great family tradition. Tell the Warden she must drive with extra care for she is transporting precious cargo. Not everyone can claim to be the Family Antique! Love your stories, love you, xoxoxox. DD

  3. Melitas – I have finally found you and your beautiful stories. It’s great to read another one and glad you are still writing great stories.

    Digale el jefe Alba – Gracias por no renuncio a mi!


  4. Dear Mena,

    I just talked with Anita; and she was so happy that you would be there. I wish I could have gone to just one. Have a great time; and revel in your exaulted position in the family.

    Love, Maxine

  5. I’m glad I was able to meet you today and look forward to seeing you again. Who knows, maybe San Juan Capistrano next month. Until then, Vikki

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