"So if anybody wants to get me something, get me 60 crabs -- one for each year. I don't want no diamond, I don't want no shoes, I don't want no party. I want some crabs. -- Patti LaBelle

It's winter. Winter usually means rain, an occasional sunny day, the smell of musty wood, cloudy skies, enduring cold weather ... and catching colds. If you love walking in the rain or have an affinity for ducks, it's your kind of weather. Me? I prefer the indoors and a cozy fireplace at times like this.

But there's more than weather to consider during the winter season. There's skiing, the Super Bowl, roasting chestnuts on an open fire and being excused for putting off until tomorrow what should've been done while the sun was out.

For crustacean lovers, the beginning of winter marks the re-emergence of the Dungeness decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura in the showcase of select seafood markets around the Bay Area.

It offers an opportunity once again to get one's fill of the freshly basketed -- or however they're caught -- sweet, succulent Dungeness crab if you're willing to pay the price. My wife and I thought of serving crab for our holiday meal, but after seeing what they charged at local markets for those critters, we opted for a turkey and roast instead.

By the way, did you know there are more than 850 different species of crabs, and for my money, the Dungeness ranks among the tops for taste and looks.

I wonder how the word "crab" ever became synonymous with a crotchety, surely person. I frankly think it's an out-and-out insult to crabs and should raise the dander of crabbers who fish them for a living.

I recently received a flier announcing that the Diablo Valley Hui O'Aloha will host an all-you-can-eat crab feed Jan. 26, at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Concord.

Diablo Hui O'Aloha, if you've never heard of it, is a nonprofit organization, and I believe the only chartered Hawaiian club in central Contra Costa County.

My wife and I have participated in countless crab feeds over the years and support Hui O'Aloha for three worthy reasons: all profits go toward the club's scholarship fund awarded each year to local deserving students; it's a great opportunity for folks to be exposed to the Polynesian culture of our 50th state; and besides enjoying a fabulous meal of seafood and pasta, the price includes an afternoon of live entertainment -- Island style.

The crab feed is open to the public. If you are interested in attending, I suggest you contact Sandy Kaya, president of the organization, or his wife Lois for tickets. They can be reached at 925-228-4525 or by email at sanlokaya@yahoo.com. I'd advise doing it ASAP since seating is limited and a sellout crowd is expected.

The club has been putting on crab feeds for years, and if the next one is anything like those in the past, you can be assured of a lot of good food and a wonderful experience. If you are going for the first time and don't know anyone -- don't worry! The aloha spirit is contagious. If you fail to make friends or have a good time, that's on you!

Like Patti LaBelle sez: "I want some crabs!" and Hui O'Aloha will include all the extras.

Eizo Kobayashi is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Contact him at columns@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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