The Westport Fishermen's Association cast a wide net and scooped up a catch of over 200 people for their 22nd annual clambake held last Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Sportsmen Club on John Dyer Road in Little Compton.
From noon till 2:30, the capacity crowd ate clam chowder, watched men in firemen's gear heat up the white granite rocks and rockweed for the "bake", and socialized under a clear blue sky. Live music was provided by guitarist John Campbell and fiddler Everett Brown of Charlestown. The bake produced heaping portions of corn on the cob, hot dogs, chourico, sausage, sweet and white baked potatoes, steamed fish, savory stuffing, and onions, accompanied by either clams or lobster.
When asked if he was the bake master, Raymond Davoll replied, "If it comes out good, I am." Suffice it to say, Davoll's reputation remained intact.
Many had come in hopes of winning the hand-crafted canoe made mainly by WFA members Tom Perkins and association president Jack Reynolds. The winner, whose name on the ticket stub was not decipherable, has not been reached via cell phone but was envied by many who had dreamed of paddling it down the Westport River themselves.
Plenty of others, however, left with one of dozens of gift certificates and merchandise donated by local businesses and raffled off after the bake. Lees Supermarket donated all the meat and 30 pounds of butter.
The annual fund raiser provides scholarship money in the form of $500 grants toward college tuition for the children and grandchildren of WFA members. A unique feature of these scholarships is that they last for a four-year college education, as long as the recipients keep up their grades.
The event also helps fund the WFA's shellfish propagation program at Westport High School and Durfee Regional in which students raise quahog seeds to donate to the Westport Shellfish Department facility at the Point.
By Paul Tamburello
Copyright © 2003, The East Bay Newspapers