When the fire truck arrived, there were 85 people standing on our beach side. As Engine #2 stopped in front of the clubhouse, youngsters screamed," Hurry up. We want to go into the pool."
What did you say?
Just after six o'clock last night, as Pot Luck Thursday began, a member placed a piece of garlic bread into the oven. Five minutes later, bam, smoke filled our new kitchen and the fire alarm went off!
How could that happen?
It wasn't the newly purchased garlic bread. There was a pan with sauce, that had been left in the oven by the last person to use the kitchen!
"I was so scared," Claire, the steward said. "I'm glad it was only smoke."
For the past three summers, members have used the ovens either at the Thursday parties or a small social event. Each person is responsible to maintain and clean up after their event. After tonight's episode, I'm sure, the white glove treatment will be applied to all who use the ovens in the future.
As the fire truck left our premises, members and guests raced up the stairs and into the first-floor room where the smell of chowder delighted us..
It was the Chowder Cookoff, a competition where members brought their home-made chowders to be judged and eaten by those who delight in the taste of chowder Twelve big pots and crock pots lined the deep blue tablecloths on the buffet tables.
There was New England Chowder, Manhattan Chowder, RI Clam Chowder, Fish Chowder, Shrimp Chowder, Scallop Chowder, clear broth chowder and even Corn Chowder. Piles of Oyster crackers were placed between the steaming pots. Jeff Caron shucked his weekly five dozen little necks to the delight of all who stood near him and watched his splendid use of his special knife.
Desserts were delicious, especially the homemade blueberry pie and the fruit kabobs.
Jan Fairbairn and Diana Craft were co-chairs of this event. They made sure that clam shells were strewn all over the tables.
A 3D figure handcrafted by Diana featured all the ingredients in a chowder. Shapes of clams, potatoes and onions were sketched in charcoal and used as the center piece on the serving table.
A handwritten message on a board near the table read, "Keep Calm and Chowder Off."
Lori Boivin, TYC social chair, announced the winners in two categories. The seafood winner was the Jim Hilton family and their guests, the Pelletier family. Cheryl Rachupka took top honors with her gourmet chowder.
The pool was humming tonight as over ten kids stood in line to shoot hoops and get a prize. Eight youngsters participated in the Big Splash won by Owen, 11, the Little Splash, won by Lydia, 7, and the cross-pool race won by Lucas who just turned 10 this week.
On her second try, 8-year-old Bianca had the straightest hand stand among the seven participants.
Golf was active and there were a few members tossing a football on the south lawn.
It was nice to see Mimi Mutty there tonight. Her late husband, Lou, was the TYC secretary for many years. Mimi helped me with the TYC garden as she gave many of her perennials to the garden.
And we were honored with a rare appearance of the illustrious Sully Wully!
It was a happy night but also a melancholy night. As this was the last Thursday Pot Luck Supper, many of the 125 members and guests reminisced about all the good times that were had here during the summer. High praises for these weekly events which gave all members the chance to socialize with their friends.
Emotions ran high as members talked about their children now in college and the tonight's stewards, Natalie now a junior at LaSalle Academy in Providence, and Claire, a senior at Stang in Dartmouth.
"I'm leaving on Saturday," Tova smile as she waked toward me. "My last day here to work." We embraced in a warm and lasting hug. My late wife, Dee, and I had watched her grow up. Phyllis had told her that we were her East Coast grandparents.
"I only wish you the best," I whispered into her ear. "I know you'll do well at Brown." Tears came down our cheeks.
"We'll email," I said. "I'm always here for you." Tova shook her head and we hugged again.
Ralph Padilla did colors with the shooting off of the cannon and the lowering and raising of the flags.
But, the evening was far from over!
It was dance time for the youngsters! While the "older" set occupied the second-floor chairs, twelve youngsters took over the first floor of the club. Craig Rachupka brought out our loud speakers and my assistant, Callie, using her new Apple 8 phone, provided the music for the dancers. Callie chose the most popular songs which made the youngsters jump with joy.
Prior to this impromptu dance, I had given each neon bracelets which they wore around their necks or simple tossed around as they dance. And, Commodore Phyllis gave each (including me) a large popsicle.
So, each of the dancers were "lit" and Juiced: and, boy, did they have fun!
A special thank you to Callie Moran. Dee and I were also a part of her life as she matured through the grades. This summer she has played a very important role in the club for me. Callie has taken very important notes each week that has allowed me to write better reports. She is taking a leadership role as she brings new ideas to ou planning. She is entering her sophomore year at Tiverton High School and, I am sure, will continue to be a part of our activities next year and for many years to come. Thanks, Callie.
It's not over yet!
Labor Day will have an array of activities for all youngsters beginning with swim races at 2:30 pm, sack races, limbo contests and sand castle contests throughout the afternoon. A festive pot luck supper will be held about 5:15 pm and all are welcomed to attend.
The Charlie LaRoue Memorial Race will also take place that afternoon. Their participants will join all of us at the Pot Luck.
Callie and I hope that we see you on Monday for our traditional Labor Day celebration. I'll even bring my historic TYC photos!