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Coolidge Pancake Supper Rich in History

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Bud Smith dons his mother’s apron to cook for the evening. With tears in his eyes, he fondly shares memories of his late mother, Helen Margaret Gerard Smith, also known as Margie or Marge Smith, and their pancake supper history, “This was my first job, breaking eggs for my mom for the pancake supper. They are still  using mom’s skillets.”

At the Coolidge gym on Saturday night, the Coolidge pancake supper drew 150 people and made over $1000.00 for the maintenance of the Coolidge Gymnasium and the Coolidge Education Scholarship fund. 

But the supper was more than that. Tables decorated with chocolate hearts, a cake for Don Gerard’s 92nd birthday, and laughter spilled from the kitchen. 

All who entered to eat left with smiles. Kids of all ages visited and shared their memories. 

Cindy Carson, Bud’s sister, was busy watching her grandson, Ryan, at the Inman Scholar’s Bowl last Saturday night, but she recalls years of working at the pancake supper. “I waited tables, washed dishes and now that you mention it, I remember cooking roasters full of sausages for the supper. My house smelled good!” 

The 11 Smith children  grew up just a half mile north of the Greeley-Hamilton county line by the Colorado border. They attended the C-4 school and later the Coolidge school. Rose was the last graduate in 1969 before the school shut down. 

They all participated in the Hamilton County C-4 4-H Club. She had two sons, John, and Forrest “Bud” Jr., and nine daughters, Mary Jane, Sally, Carol, Jean, Rose, Patty, Cathy, Cindy and Karen.

Back then there were cherry pie contests and they each made one. The winners competed at state.

Marge Smith’s prizewinning legacy of cooking and family culminated with her starring in two 1965 Crisco commercials featuring ribbons from the Hamilton County Fair. One was by herself, as Mrs. Forrest Smith, and the second was with her two daughters, Cathy and Carol, cooking fried chicken and french fries. 

“We didn’t have a television in our home. So my mom watched it at Grandma and Grandpa Gerard’s.”* 

The Gerards were in the kitchen cooking as Don visited with the public.  “We were thrilled with the support,” said Lori Lennen. “The supper has been going on for probably been over 40 years. “

Ruth Schwerdfeger, Evelyn Drew, and the late Mary Hazen spent many years involved in the supper. *A link to the actual Crisco commercials are here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmcjrrYFpG8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgiHQadVo-A

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