MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The MCLB Albany Single Marine Program hosted a Hawaiian luau at Shooters here Sept. 21.
More than 50 Marines attended the event.
The Hawaiian word luau means feast. Traditionally luaus were elaborate feasts that featured a kaula pig, which is a young pig wrapped in leaves and roasted in a pit.
The feasts honored royalty, foreign dignitaries, powerful chieftains or hundreds of guests at important weddings, christenings or birthdays. During the feast, traditional singing and dancing took place as everyone would sit on mats on the ground with food piled high in bowls in front of them.
Although the SMP event was not a traditional Hawaiian luau, plenty of food and music made the event enjoyable to Marines. Although the pounding bass and vibrating rhythms lured many curious Marines from the barracks, once there, most of them quickly grabbed plates to await for the feast to begin.
A 75-pound roasted pig greeted hungry Marines. The sweet smell of its freshly cooked meat enticed Marines to have a look. The pig lay on a bed of fresh lettuce, surrounded by pineapple slices and complemented with succulent corn on the cob, the vibrant colors adding to the meal's presentation. The amount of pork would have fed a small army, but even more food awaited the hungry leathernecks.
Those who were not in line for a heaping portion of pork enjoyed the company of friends as they eyed steak and chicken sizzling on a nearby grill. The aroma of char-grilled marinated steaks and chicken breasts poured from the large grill. Barbecued beans, potato salad, rolls, cole slaw and corn on the cob accompanied the pork, steak and chicken. The Single Marine Program paid for the free food and the disc jockey who provided music for the event.
According to Sgt. Marsha Stokes, Albany SMP president, the event was held to give Marines something fun to do that was free. But one of the benefits of the luau was the great amount of food that Marines were able to take home when the event was over. Because many of the Marines who attended live in the barracks and have limited cooking equipment, pre-cooked food was ideal.
But some of the Marines who attended, such as Sgt. Peter Henz, telephone technician here, mostly enjoyed hanging out with fellow Marines and friends.
When the luau was over, the buffet line looked as though starving savages had ransacked the place. Some food was left over but all that remained of the pig were a few scattered bones and the head. As the sun went down, the fire in the grill died out and laughter ceased. The luau came to an end, but the leftover food in Marines' refrigerators will remind them of the event.