2021 sounds far away. But not if you belong to the Black Rock Fish & Game Club. Members are thinking ahead to their centennial that year. “It’s going to be big,” President Tommy Moriarty promises, “with fire works and a whole lot more.”
It undoubtedly will be big. Based in Mountainville, Black Rock attracts hunters and fishermen from all over the county.
On March 25, the club held a fund-raiser for their upcoming celebration. A chili cookoff in the clubhouse drew 15 participants and close to 100 samplers.
The idea isn’t original. Mr. Moriarty claims it started when he left the clubhouse one day to attend a cookoff at Loughran’s in Salisbury Mills. When he told people where he was going, someone suggested that the club should hold its own event.
The idea took root. The recent competition was billed as the sixth annual cookoff. To be a judge, you just had to ask for a score sheet. The samples came out of the kitchen in small paper cups — with a few minutes separating each batch.
Anna Marie Forsyth carried the sampling tray and identified each batch by shouting out its number (1 to 15). The name of the chef was kept a secret.
The judges used letter grades A through F to rate each sample, and turned in their score sheets when the competition was done. The organizers calculated the results (behind the scenes) and announced three winners.
Besides adding to the kitty for the centennial celebration, the event brought people together before the start of another season. April 1 is opening day for fishermen. Many of them will line the banks of Woodbury Creek before the sun comes up on Saturday morning. On May 20, Black Rock will host a National Rifle Association training course. And the following day is the youth fishing derby — a huge event that is open to kids whether their families are members or not.
The club has an archery and shooting range in Black Rock Forest in addition to hunting properties in Goshen and the Town of Crawford. Members are keeping busy while they look ahead to the big bash in 2021.