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Old Fashioned Clam Bake West Island Style

Long time island residents, Jeff and Elaine Vercellone hosted their bi-annual clambake. on Saturday, July 23, 2011. This all out traditional event is a lot of work, preparation and fun. The bake started off with the gathering of fresh seaweed in the morning by guests an friends. The pit is ready for the firewood and heated stones, then the seaweed, followed by canvas bags of clams, onions, sweet potato, corn, sausage, hot dogs, fish and more. The pit gets so hot it radiates heat for a 25 foot radius. The lobster is boiled separately. Then there's the desserts you don't dare think about calories. Ice Cream with dripping hot fudge is served after the main desserts! The night is still young here at The West Island Weather Station South Point......A message from Jeff Vercellone: ML, I thought you'd appreciate the following comments from my brother Joe who could not attend the clambake due to health complications with his wife. What makes his comments significant in my mind is that Joe served for 25 years in the US Army Signal Corp at the rank of Colonel. He served tours in Germany (2), Korea, Vietnam. Also, 2 Pentagon assignments and perhaps the most fascinating in my memory was his stint as base commander at Ft. Detrick, MD, where the US/Soviet Hotline was based back in the Cold War era. "I guess great minds run in the same family. Last night I got to thinking about your Clambake and I got this bright idea to check Mr. Baron's Website thinking you probably had invited him and if he came he would probably take some good pictures of the Clambake. Within a few minutes I found his link to the bake and 72 or so great pictures. I spent a couple of hours looking at them and the other great stuff he has on his site. The history of Hurricanes and their impact on New Bedford brought back many memories. I remember Daddy buying the Standard Times magazine on the hurricane that hit coast in the mid-fifties. I remember it hitting the Island real hard. There's one picture of people hauling their belongings across the steel beams of what remained of the causeway bridge. We did the same thing and it scared the hell out me of since I could not swim (and still can't). The next time you see Mr. Baron tell him that I've looked at a lot of websites and his is the best I've ever seen." Best Regards, Jeff
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