The Three Stooges are icons of the entertainment industry. Who among us hasn’t taken a moment to laugh like Curly or to quip “Hey, Moe!” in an attempt to make someone chuckle. The familiar refrain of Larry, Moe and Curly is as prevalent in our American cultural lexicon as Fred & Wilma, Felix & Oscar, and Bert & Ernie.
It was equipped with that cultural intelligence background that I excitedly approached a table at the second annual “Chowda Madness” charity event and chowder making contest at the Police Athletic League (PAL) Center on Brick Kiln Road on Saturday. I was unable to enter a chowder in the newly created amateur chowder category because my partner from last year, Raymond “Tito” Marks, was out of town and unable to help me burn another batch. So, I attended with an empty belly and open mind (and mouth), ready to engage in some delicious discernment about the best chowder in town. My first stop was at a table manned by old friend Marty Miller, a proud representative of the aforementioned Three Stooges. Marty bears more of a resemblance to Shemp than any of the other traditional three, but he was nonetheless proudly serving up generous portions of his amateur entry, hand crafted and ready for copious consumption. I later learned that the Falmouth and PAL version of the Three Stooges, in addition to Marty, who has been a steadfast supporter of PAL for many years, includes local charitable stalwarts “Dutch” Drollette and Phil Miller. As the sole entry in the amateur category, the Stooges chances of winning were pretty solid, but they nevertheless put in an outstanding effort with Dutch and Phil offering up the $50 entry fee as their contribution, and Marty agreeing to purchase the materials and make the chowder. In a comical display reminiscent of an actual Three Stooges episode, Marty wound up spending well over $100 on the ingredients for his entry, then cooked, prepared, and served up his culinary creation, clearly bearing the brunt in true Curly fashion – but all for a great local cause.
The room at the PAL center was teeming with locals, all gathered to celebrate one of Falmouth’s many non-profits, and one of its finest core of volunteers. Perennially smiling and ever-present, PAL’s go-to matriarch, Veronica Zylinski, was manning the door and greeting hungry Falmouthites looking for a delicious mid-day treat. Arnie Medeiros was keeping everyone refreshed, and Executive Director Shelley Farrar was, as always, running the event with ease and aplomb – a skill that she brings to each of PAL’s multiple events. The kids who benefit from PAL’s daily good works and indeed our entire community are blessed to have such a caring and skilled leader. A quick visit with a wonderfully tanned Paula Kapulka and Davisville long-timers Susie Palanza and Paul & Ginny Brodeur made the afternoon even brighter.
I was able to share a story and a smile with PAL supporter and State Rep. David Vieira and my smile broadened as David shared the wonderful news that he is embarking on the toughest and best job of all – that of parent. Warmest and hearty congrats to the Representative and his lovely wife Rebecca for their impending gift. David had to leave our conversation and brief visit to attend a trifecta of good news event – the Eagle Scout induction ceremony of young Falmouthites Spencer Dick, Ian Weishar, and Christopher Donahue – making the day filled with good news, good stuff, and good eats.
It was no surprise that gastronomic master Bob Jarvis wound up in the top three in the professional category, with his entry from the Quarterdeck, and Chowderfest newcomer Stone L’Oven took the first place trophy with their outstanding bisque/chowder combo. This entry was crafted by chef Jonathan Joyce, a self-proclaimed expatriate from Barnstable. I’ll look forward to seeing him in maroon & white on Thanksgiving.
Another great Falmouth day, another great Falmouth event, filled with fine Falmouth people.