It’s an ageless Thanksgiving tradition, one that Oakland Beach Firemen’s Club President Ron Manfredo will tell you, “Has been around for a long, long time and I’ve been here …
It’s an ageless Thanksgiving tradition, one that Oakland Beach Firemen’s Club President Ron Manfredo will tell you, “Has been around for a long, long time and I’ve been here 55 years.”
It’s also an extraordinary example of sharing and caring – which has been an OBVF trademark since its incorporation back in 1913 -- replete with specially prepared food and desserts that last Thursday was highlighted by a special sense of family.
Take Manfredo and his daughter Keri Colombo and her children, for example, who again joined hands and continued their tradition of making what many people called “fantastic stuffing” for the annual OBVF Thanksgiving Dinner.
“They made it with love and from scratch,” severed people who sat at one of the well-placed round tables related. “This stuffing tastes terrific, too”
Manfredo was also the day’s host and keeper of the bar when people wanted a glass of wine, cocktail or beer to go along with the turkey and trimmings foodfest.
Likewise, the father and son team of Bill and Chris Justice were up extra early last Thursday morning putting the finishing touches on a dinner they prepared and cooked and included roast turkey breast, mashed potatoes, squash, stuffing, gravy, green-bean casserole, cranberry and thick slices of ham.
Add to that a display of caloric creations like apple pie, parfaits and whipped cream covered tarts and other desserts made by ladies like Robin Bellows who made special cinnamon nut bread which was displayed on a long banquet table that looked as though it was a 5-star bakery and included sweet treats courtesy of Melissa Justice and Kahlan Erskine, just to name a few.
The entire Thanksgiving dinner was served buffet style and people were offered seconds if they wanted them but above all else doggy boxes and bags were commonplace late in the afternoon.
Perhaps the most unique of all was that no one needed a reservation and there was absolutely no cost – none whatsoever – as has been the case for many, many years.
As Al Caldarone, who lives in Warwick and related that he went to school with Manfredo many moons ago and was also joined by his son Al Caldarone Jr. who came from his home in Glocester offered: “This has always been a special Thanksgiving dinner; it’s hospitality at its very best here at the Fire Barn. And the food’s delicious too.”
To which Vin Bellows added: “This club gives a lot to the community. They open the doors – and their hearts -- to make sure people have a great Thanksgiving dinner especially if they don’t have family or a place to go.”
It’s no wonder Bellows, who is a OBVF member, works at Electric Boat and is a veteran, offered: “I can remember (Thanksgivings) when this place used to be packed. This is always special for everyone. I’m looking forwards to being here again next year, too!”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here