The Gun Club Clambake Mixes Red and Blue

Yesterday we joined 300 other locals at the Millers Falls Rod and Gun club’s annual clambake. I had procured the expensive tickets in advance; available only at the club and in other places I rarely go, like downtown Millers Falls.

It was an overcast day but the pick up trucks were out in force. We were joined by our friends Tom and Cathie from Westchester, who chuckled at this assemblage of Nascar Faithful and hunters who were not much like the rest of us. Not that it’s a bad thing…but I felt like I was partying with a bunch of strangers from a red state. Not cafe customers, not over educated types as I often consort with. Just a few folks with bad teeth, tacky t-shirts and big ole guts.

The big day started with a giant fire, that looked like a funeral bier, logs all set up around a 6 foot mound of rocks. Men with baseball caps stoked the flames with a portable leaf blower. After a few hours the men pulled the logs off, hosed them down and arranged the hot rocks, covering it all with seaweed. Then they dumped in mountains of cheesecloth-wrapped steamer clams and lobsters and covered it with wet tarps. The glorious pile baked for about 15 minutes, until the men donned rubber gloves and hauled off the tarps and the feed was upon us: chicken, corn, steamers, lobsters, potatoes, slaw and watermelon.

Francisco and I wished we had brought cigars, the atmosphere was fun with the country band twanging, and kids excitedly dug through sawdust in which hundreds of dollars worth of change had been dumped for them to find.