Delaware resident Frank Welsh displays his skill shucking oysters to an appreciative audience Wednesday nights at Chef Paolino's in downtown Catonsville. (Photo by Maggie Schorr / December 18, 2011)

Frank Welsh started shucking oysters when he was 13 years old.

"My father taught me and my two brothers. He taught me to shuck a 'pretty' oyster," said Welsh, who has taught his son and grandson the craft.

The 68-year-old Welsh shucks oysters and clams every Wednesday night at Chef Paolino's, 726 Frederick Road, for dozens of regulars and first timers. He also shucks at events at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie and at private parties.

He said he makes the weekly drive in from Sussex County Delaware, for his "best friend," Paul Delfico, the owner of the Catonsville restaurant.


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"Shucking oysters is an art," he said. "I make it look like a picture, with no shells and no holes."

The Wednesday evening raw bar features plump, cold, oysters and clams from the Tangier Sound served with cocktail sauce, lemon or hot sauce.

Regulars come from all over the metro area, including Dundalk, Pikesville and Highlandtown.

Welsh recalls one customer who so enjoyed the offerings that he ate 11 dozen oysters in one sitting.

Season of giving

The Hair Cuttery at 19 Melrose Avenue, behind Friendly's on Frederick Road, is collecting new or gently worn coats, scarves, hats, gloves and mittens through Sunday, Jan. 1.

Drop off whatever you can and the donations and winter gear will be picked up and delivered to homeless shelters and charities such as St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Salvation Army.

For information, call the salon at 410-744-9635.

Need a last minute gift idea?

How about a "facial rejuvenation" session by local acupuncturist Sheri DePetro?

The process can be done with, or without, needles and benefits include a more youthful complexion.

Sheri, a Paradise resident for 12 years, recently relocated her Catonsville office to 606 Edmondson Ave., suite 201.

A graduate of TAI–Sophia Institute, she offers a wide variety of herbs and nutritional supplements for health and wellness.

For information, contact her at sheri@AwakenTheSpiritWellness.com.

Start 2012 off on right foot

Start the New Year with a two-mile hike on Jan. 1 at 10 a.m.