Old Catonsville: Oyster lovers appreciate shucker's skill Wednesday nights

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.

"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.

Join the Catonsville Rails to Trails Group hiking the newly updated Catonsville Short Line Trail.

The entire family will enjoy the scenery and fresh air and perhaps make some new friends who share your fondness for the outdoors

Meet at the trail opening at Maiden Choice Lane and Garden Ridge Road.

For information, email info@catonsvillerailstotrails.org.

Graduation plans

Andrew Sullivan recently graduated a semester early from the University of South Carolina with cum laude honors.

The 2008 Catonsville High School graduate majored in English with a concentration in music.

"It was really great to watch him cross that stage," said proud mom Teresa Sullivan, of North Rolling Road.

Andrew, who writes music and lyrics and has won several writing awards, is considering graduate school and pursuing opportunities in music performance.

He plays several instruments, sings and was the lead singer in the Catonsville Band DMO (Doug Murphy and the Others).

He also enjoys performing with his friends Christian Curry, Chris Gonzales, Gino Hannah and Shane Tulley.

Jamie Dubyoski committed to the U.S. Naval Academy last week.

The Patapsco Woods resident, a senior at Loyola Blakefield who played soccer for the Dons and also was the kicker for the Loyola football team, will play soccer for Navy.

"I enjoyed touring the campus in Annapolis and learning about all the traditions," said Jamie, who started playing soccer at age 4 with the Christian Athletic Association.

He was captain and leading scorer on a Loyola team that went 12-4-3 this season and lost in the playoffs to eventual conference champ McDonogh, 1-0.

He'll join Dave Arnold, a Mount St. Joseph graduate, who is now a sophomore at the Academy.

Family tradition

Since 1912, the Witzke family has been in the funeral business.

Craig Witzke, the fourth generation of a family that has been served in the funeral business since 1912, recently opened a new funeral business at 9 Newburg Ave.

Russell Craig Witzke — Funerals and Cremations will provide personalized services and arrangements for cremation or burial.

The Catonsville resident said his business will offer value-oriented alternatives to people who need to make final arrangements for their loved ones at prices about half of what some other funeral homes charge.

For information, go to http://www.witzkefh.com, call 443-830-0310 or email craig@witzkefh.com.

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