Members of Center Moriches Fire Department’s Engine Company No. 3 were fired up and ready to serve an estimated 300 hungry community members when they arrived on Nov. 7 to take part in an election night tradition: the annual spaghetti dinner at the firehouse.
With lots of energy and good-natured kibitzing, they’d started the night before, setting the stage, as well as the tables, for the event to follow.
While no one will lay claim to the recipe for the vulcanized meatballs of yore—some say a departed member kept secret the source of their bounce—recent dinners have featured Greek salad from the Moriches Gateway Diner, sauce courtesy of the Sea Cove restaurant, and bread provided by King Kullen, all donated to reduce work for the firefighters.
Their reputed culinary skills aside, company members concentrated on creating a welcoming environment where they could entertain their guests, and each other.
The ribbing and camaraderie gave their efficiency a light touch suited to the occasion: a gathering of friends, family, and community supporters.
The recent loss of longtime company member Pat Caputo added a somber note, however, especially since it was he, along with Artie Rumph and Mike Montecalvo, who started the dinner in 1972.
Assisted by the Ladies Auxiliary and the Explorers, these dedicated volunteer firefighters carry on that tradition, another opportunity to serve their community.
Capt. Peter Reimann is especially proud of his company and grateful to Tony Rezza and his committee for their hard work to make it another successful event.
“I got here at 11 p.m. last night,” he said. “They’d all been here since 7, setting up, getting things ready.”
Later, time would be spent cleaning up. Emergency alarms would continue to sound, calling for ambulances, and more. But for a few hours, these hosts would enjoy their assembled gathering of fortunate, and grateful, community members whom they serve throughout the year.