2005-11-24 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Thanksgiving is a time to go home. A time to hug family

and old friends and talk of shared happy happenings in times that will never be again.

Phyllis (Bradley) Anderson came a little early this year from her home in Wilmington, Ohio, but her thoughts and feelings echo the spirit of thanksgiving for the things that were.

Following a visit here at the end of October she dropped us a line.

“The island means so much to me as I grew up there back in the 30s and early 40s. Those were the good ole days, the days of ferry boats, everyone knew everyone else (and their business too), where we were free of wondering if something bad was going to happen to us kids.

“I have just spent a wonderful week on the island in spite of the rainy week. My hostess, Regina (Littlefield) Gagne, took me all over the island my what a change!! As in years past I met with those I’ve known since the 4th grade for lunch and a ‘do you remember’ Regina, Lily (Cabral) Costa, Annie (Vieria) Busse. We all graduated from Rogers High School ‘42. I was able to attend the Baptist Church and actually met Nancy (Caswell) Mason and her brother Chet who I babysat when they were children.

“Our high school days had some excitement too the 1938 hurricane, a Valentine Day blizzard when the ferry stopped running and the Jamestowners were left in Newport. My dad, Clifton E. Bradley, was Supt. of Schools in Jamestown and made arrangements for us to stay overnight at the Viking Hotel. We also had to leave Rogers in a hurry as supposedly a German sub had been spotted in the bay. We certainly made haste and of course made believe we were brave spotters. I don’t really know if there had been a sub, but there were some scared kids!! During the winter months we found plenty to do all over the island, known only to those who lived there ‘back then’!!

“I am looking forward to going back in May 2006.”

Thanks Phyllis, we look forward to your return.

Have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas.

***

Barbara Pritchard is in a tranquil mood. She writes: “Don’t you love to see the leaves dancing along a country road on a breezy autumn day; the leaves that bank the sides of the road making the whole scene look so-o-o soft?”

***

If it’s true that the Indians brought lobsters to the first Thanksgiving dinner, we’ll eat with the Indians.

***

Since school began in September a group of eighth graders from the Jamestown School have been meeting each weekday morning at the East Ferry Deli.

Starting around 7 the parents drop them off out front and students gather for breakfast sandwiches and beverages. While the adult Deli regulars at other tables go about their grown-up banter, the young friends put the finishing touches on homework and plan their strategies for the upcoming school day.

The members of this unique breakfast club are Tommy Stacom, Ethan Flynn, Eloise Heath, Grandson Tom, Clay McKenna and Kelly Scully.

You’ll see them walking up Narragansett Avenue in time for 8:20 classes.

***

Narragansett Avenue is one of the island streets that the PTO hopes to light up on December 3.

The group is sponsoring Jamestown’s first “Starry Night” on the evening of the tree lighting at East Ferry.

Liz Byrne said at 5 p.m. businesses and residents will be asked to light rows of luminaries available from the PTO. “The result will be a beautiful, magical winter scene for pedestrians and other passers-by. A coordinated lighting of luminaries is a longstanding tradition in other small communities,” Liz advised us.

Residents can buy their own luminary kits at The Village Hearth Bakery, Cathryn Jamieson Salon, Slice of Heaven, The Purple Door, and the offices at the Jamestown Schools. Each kit contains the makings for 10 luminaries that will safely burn for up to four hours and then self-extinguish.

Each kit is $10 and proceeds go to support the school. Questions, call Liz at 423-1768.

***

All those fixin’s taste real good this time of year. They taste good also to your critters but might just ruin your day according to Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week.

“Good food, family, friends, and pets. What better way to spend the holidays? But, you should not let the good food and the good pets parts mix too much or else you may be spending a good amount of time at your local veterinarian’s place. Every year lots of pets manage to sneak some ham and turkey off the table or out of the trash, or else some of those friends and family feed Fluffy under the table. All that rich food can make your pet sick and a bad case of pancreatitis can become life threatening or at least require days in the hospital. So, please, ask your guests not to feed the animals and make an extra effort to keep the food and trash out of reach of Fluffy this holiday. If you want to give Fluffy a special dinner pick up some Pet Gravy to add to their food or get them an extra large rawhide bone to gnaw on while you and your family are celebrating the holidays.” Thanks, Doctor.

***

Lotsa hugs are due John Rafanelli who celebrated his 14th birthday Saturday with 14 friends at his house. The group went to URI and watched the Rams basketball team beat Sacred Heart and then returned home to hang out with music and food.

During half-time at the game, John’s father, Tony, and younger brother, Matt, 10, were selected to compete in a tricycle-ride competition. We don’t know what that is, but it had nothing to do with John’s party, so we don’t care. Happy birthday, John!

***

Remember when report cards had A, B, C, D, F and everybody understood them? Things were simpler then, and kids knew how to read and write.

***

The Northern Lights were spectacular Saturday night.

***

It was the same night the Jamestown Community Theatre closed its production of “Honk!” There is always a feeling of loss among everybody involved when a play closes.

But in this case the greatest loss is the departure of Patty Vandal as music director.

Back in 1990 Patty and Mary S. Wright co-founded the JCT and Patty has, with the exception of two shows, been music director for all the wonderful musicals presented by the theater group since.

Music has been Patty’s life. She started out her academic career teaching grades 1,3,4,5, and 6 in the Jamestown School. She was then asked to teach music, which she did for 20 years. She also taught in Newport and Narragansett. Patty retired in 1989.

This last play has been tough on Patty. In addition to working with the whole cast and an unfamiliar score, she was cast as Queenie The Cat and was losing a battle with an allergy bug that was affecting many of the actors.

Having worked with Patty on other musicals, we always found her to be that special light in the crowd, always optimistic, pleasant and able to take you one step further than you thought you were able to go. Then there was the candy and appropos notations she handed out to everyone. Asked if she was having any second thoughts, she said, no. She didn’t rule out being in a future cast but the music director’s job ended Saturday for Patty. “A play is a long time period to volunteer for. I’ll miss it, but it’s time to step down and let someone else do it. It’s time to concentrate on growing older.”

As she grows older, she’ll stay warm. After the curtain on Saturday, Patty was presented with a quilt with some 75 patches each made by a member of the cast and crew of “Honk!”

She was quipping during the last week of the show that a play about the ugly duckling was a good one for her swan song.

When we asked if her stepping down was an indication that she and her husband, Mo, were contemplating moving year round to Florida, she replied, “Never, I love Jamestown too much!”

Thanks, Patty, for some wonderful moments.

***

The fun for the “Honk!”participants didn’t end when the show ended. A cast party was held Sunday afternoon at the Reis residence on Ft. Wetherill Road.

It was pizza, beverages and cookies. No wings!

***

Bob Kinder picked up on last week’s lyrics: “An old Harry James favorite: I can’t begin to tell you how much you mean to me, my world would end if ever we were through.”

OK Bob, how about, I may hate myself in the morning ?????

***

Jamestown science teacher Jim Kaczynski wasn’t here last week for the scheduled student conferences. He was in Charlotte, NC, appearing before the National Urban Ecosystem Conference. His topic? “I will be detailing the connections Jamestown students make with the environment and their community. This conference is attended by town planners, state and federal government officials, and educators. It is an honor to be able to share the things that we in Jamestown recognize and value,” he said in a note sent home to eighth-grade parents. Kudos, Mr. K!

***

It was a full day for the members of Jamestown Boy Scout Troop 1 Saturday. They traveled to the airport at Quonset in the morning and were given a tour of the Air National Guard’s C130 military transport plane.

In the afternoon, following lunch at the Hodgkiss Farm, the scouts worked on their advancement skills around a campfire.

***

The weekend before, the Cub Scouts of Pack 1 journeyed to Battleship Cove in Fall River for an overnight campout. A total of 44 Cub Scouts and parents under the leadership of Cubmaster Greg DiGasper, Assistant Cubmaster Al Hansen, Committee Member Jack Christie and Webelos 2 Leader Tony Rafanelli toured four ships and two museums.

The scouts checked out the battleship USS Massachusets, destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, submarine USS Lionfish and the Russian corvette Hiddensee. The museums are the Marine Museum and the P.T. Boat Museum.

The scouts bunked aboard the battleship and listened to true tales of the sea from veterans who served aboard her. They also ended their day with taps and awoke the next morning to the sounds of reveille.

Tony said that it was the last Cub Scout trip for Webelos 2 Cub Scouts. Nathan Lambert, Brian Page and Matthew Rafanelli will be earning their Arrow of Light award in March and moving up to the Boy Scouts.

***

Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll bet you’ll still slip a little taste of turkey to Fluffy.

*** Stay true!

***

We welcome your contributions to this column birthdays, anniversaries and other good stuff.

Call 423-0383 or 829-2760, email jtnwalrus@hotmail.com, or drop the item off at the Jamestown Press office, 42 Narragansett Ave.

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