For very close to the last 30 years, Memorial Day Weekend Sunday has been reserved for the most special event, besides birthdays and anniversaries, on the calendar: the annual Shad Bake at my dear friends Frank and Monica's house. Frank, my late-friend and sometimes running partner Bill were die-hard anglers for an anadromous fish known to science as Alosa sapidissima, and because they often came home with quite a haul, they enlisted the help of a food historian and cook named Sandy to put together one of the most traditional feasts in New England foodways—a cookout that features shad fillets tacked to wooden planks, basted with butter and the drippings of salt pork, and slow roasted by an open fire. There's also shad roe, along with incredible fare brought by the attendees, who also bring desserts that supplement a giant cake in the shape of a Shad. This bake, which the founders believe is number 31—I wasn't at the first one, but I'm pretty sure I've attended every Bake since then—started in threatening and chilly weather, but the crowd wouldn't be deterred by a minor shower or two. Neither would the fish.