Delaware Bay, New Jersey, USA - Saturday, May 26, 2007
Last year our banding crew doubled the food budget. Imagine what 20 or so people working hard all day would eat over a month long period. But I'm not complaining. After all, food is a minor cost for all our team does, oftentimes working from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. And these are skilled people, many with PhDs and many years of experience on shorebirds from all over the world. But some have big stomachs.
By chance one day, I mentioned the gargantuan appetites of the banding crew to my friend Jane Galetto, who is exec director of Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River. Over the next few days she sent an appeal to her generous membership and the citizens of Cumberland County to help feed the hungry shorebird biologists. By the time the crew arrived, Jane had arranged for 10 dinners of over 20 people. It started with Jane providing a meal of filet mignon and another of salmon steaks that Clive grilled to perfection, enough to cover two meals for 24 people.
Next we were treated to what we thought was chili con carne that was in fact chili sin carne. Tony and Marsha Klock make vegetarian chili that was so deceptively meaty that our two vegetarians; Philippa and Mike passed it over and ate a different meal! Over the next week Jim Applegate, a recently retired professor from Rutgers and his wife Carole brought delicious lasagna, Sue and Dave Fenili, trustees of Citizen United, brought sloppy joes, Leslie and Tony Ficcaglia brought a generous quantity of tasty roasted chicken, dozens of eggs and four pounds of bacon, Harry Whitelan of the Port of Call Restaurant in Maurice River Township, brought us a lovely lasagna, Scott and Lenore Eves provided five dozen eggs from their chickens and Dot Slack gave us a delicious cake with cream cheese icing. Over the next week we look forward Renee Scagnelli's stuffed peppers and Diane Amico’s fish dinner. Renee is a botanist who has also led our group on a field trip to Bear Swamp and Diane Amico is with the planning office in Vineland and an environment studies student at Stockton.
Every mother knows that cooking is the fastest way to her family’s heart. I think it is fair to say that there is a small crowd from all over the world in love with the Citizens United and the people of Cumberland County!
We are also thankful to Pete and Jane Galetto for their generous invitation to the Millville airshow. I loved it because it brought back fond memories of my father and our family trips to the Willow Grove airshows, Clive also loved it because he saw the planes he knew as a boy in wartime England. Pablo and Victor enjoyed the show because before they had only experienced the thrill of powerful jet fighters flying in movies.
A Horned Lark looking over a Blue Angel at the Millville Airshow
Harry Whitelan's lasagne dinner