2006-01-26 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Many readers responded with the names of these island teachers. See their responses below. Many readers responded with the names of these island teachers. See their responses below. Islander Claire Ferguson is going to the Winter Olympics

in Torino next month with a whole different outlook than she had at previous Olympics.

She’s going to relax and enjoy it, just like any other fan of winter sports.

Claire has devoted much of her life to the United States Figure Skating Association. Now after 28 years of judging or being involved behind the scenes at skating competitions, including seven Winter Olympics, she is an official honorary member of the association. Her first international judging assignment was at the Calgary Olympics in 1988, where she judged the pairs.

We were wondering about her activities at next month’s games, so we tracked her down in San Diego, where she is visiting with friends after attending the national competition of the U.S. Figure Skating Assoc. in St. Louis. It was there that skater Michele Kwan injured her groin and didn’t compete, yet was still allowed to go on to the Olympics. “There was no precedent in that decision. It was similar to the Nancy Kerrigan incident,” Claire said. The St. Louis competition was the last before the Olympics. “It would have been Michele’s ninth senior ladies’ event,” Claire added, justifying the skater’s qualifications to go to Torino.

Claire Ferguson Claire Ferguson Claire earned her honorary title after many years of working long hours for the association, including serving from 1992 to 1995 as the first women president of the U.S. Figure Skating Assoc. in its 75-year history.

She was then elected to and served for eight years as one of the 11 members of the International Skating Union that oversees speed skating, short track, and figure skating. She was the first woman from the United States to be elected to that post.

“It used to be that girls skate and men run the organization. Things are changing now,” Claire said.

A lot happened during Claire’s long tenure with the association. There was the incident with the French judge in Salt Lake City. On a more positive note, she helped to build the new marking system. She was also the first American to judge under the new system in this country and the first American to judge under it in International competition. “I don’t think the 6.0 system was appropriate,” Claire noted.

She said that she can no longer judge internationally because of her age. Although she won’t tell her age, she did say, “When a judge reaches 70 he or she can no longer judge internationally but can still judge nationally.”

Speaking of her time with the association, Claire said the traveling “wore me out,” adding, “I judged or worked behind the scenes for seven Olympics.”

Since the last Olympics, she did find time to serve a term on the Jamestown Town Council.

She said she’s excited about going to Torino. She explained that it’s an industrial city with mountains about an hour away. She’s staying at a Coca-Cola sponsored hotel and has tickets to watch hockey, women’s dancing and figure skating, and curling.

In the meantime, she’s on the warmer coast “swimming and getting a tan.”

But what’s even better, “I don’t have to solve all the problems that pop up,” Claire said.

*** The Chinese New Year begins Sunday. It is the year of the dog.

Qian at the Peking Garden told us the Chinese newspapers are predicting a bad year because of the lineup of the stars.

But, Qian says, the newspapers are wrong, and it’s going to be a good year.

We’re with Qian. Happy New Year!!! Woof!!


The 1944 picture of the island teachers in last week’s column drew some good replies regarding identifications.

Ellen Brownell e-mailed that the front row from the left consists of Clara Lewis, grade 7; Elizabeth Murrary, grade 2 or principal; Florence Andrade Brazil, grade 1; and Marguerite Drury Murphy, grade 8.

The second row is Alice Gladding, home economics; Miss Campbell, grade 3; Isabel Zweir, grade 4; Violet Drury, kindergarten??; Hannah Caswell, grade 5; unknown; Mrs Von Schade, grade 6.

Jane Bentley identified Elizabeth Murray and said she was a teacher and then principal at the old Carr Schoo,l and she lives in the white house on the corner of Narragansett Avenue and Howland Avenue. Jane said the one next to Mrs. Murry, third on the left, is Florence Brazil, who died recently.

In the second row, Alice Gladding is the first on the left and the fourth from the left is Violet Drury, Jane’s kindergarten teacher at the Carr School.

Shirley Hull called, naming Clara Lewis, Elizabeth Murray, Florence Andrade Brazil, Marguerite Drury Murphy, Alice Gladding, Isabel Zweir (Shirley’s favorite), and Hannah Caswell.

Patty Vandal e-mailed to say she has a copy of the picture and confirmed Ellen’s identifications, plus she had the first names for Florence Campbell and Louise Von Schade.

Mary Webster weighed in with the names and also grade affiliation which we’ve added to Ellen’s list.

Mary thinks the picture was taken in front of what is now McQuade’s market and wonders if the houses in the background are still there.

She added, “Miss Murray lives at 71 Narragansett Ave. on the corner of Howland and Narragansett. She will be 100 years old this fall. “I visited with her last month and she indicated she would be pleased if her students were to visit,” Mary said.

Our thanks to everyone who responded to and to former islander Phyllis (Bradley) Anderson for sending the picture.

The only mystery person is the second from the right in the second row. Everyone please take another look.


“I want to be loved by you, just you and nobody else but you. I want to be loved by you, ???.


Those sniffles we get may not be from the island’s ocean mold. Maybe it’s from Fluffy. Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic explains in his Pet Tip of the Week:

“Many pet owners suffer from pet allergies. There are no truly hypoallergenic pets, and all animals, even hairless ones, produce allergens. There are low-allergenic pets like the hairless breeds of dogs with no undercoat, like poodles, schnauzers, and some terriers, but even these can cause allergies.

“The best advice for people with pet allergies is to limit their exposure and keep certain areas of the home, like the bedroom, as dander free as possible. This means not allowing your cat or dog on your bed or pillow at all, frequently washing your sheets, and vacuuming the floors and carpets.

“Bathing your pet regularly or using a product like Allerpets Low-Shed may help as well. Definitely washing your hands after playing with your pet is a must. Investing in a good HEPA filter for the air in your home may help to make your reactions as minor as possible.”

Thank you, DraaaaaAAAAACHOOO!!


St. Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and it’s time to think of . . . well, you know. What would make islanders happy on Feb. 14?

Johnna Jamieson’s heart will be in Oban, Scotland.

“A nice quiet evening at home with my boyfriend,” said Monica Foster.

Cathy Jamieson would like a building of her own, painted red, of course.

“An hour alone with my husband,” said Barbara Palumbo.

“A tank full of gas,” said Liza Kurt.

Pat Holtzman responded, “Always dark chocolate.”


While talking to Shirley Hull about the picture of the teachers she told us of a recent pleasant experience she had.

She drove down to Beavertail to watch the sun set. When she got to the lighthouse, she noticed her billfold was not on the seat next to her, where she usually keeps it. She then remembered she had put it on the roof of the car while she opened the door.

The billfold contained over $100 and all her cards. She retraced her route searching the roads for her wallet. No luck!

Just as she pulled into her parking place on Pemberton Avenue, a truck stopped and the driver asked if she was Shirley Hull. “My boss found your billfold and asked me to bring it to you,” he said.

Shirley told us, “I’m so grateful to the people who found it.”

Kudos to the mystery driver and his boss.


John A. Murphy was the first one in “with the goo goo googly, goo goo googly, goo goo googly eyes!”

He was followed by Charlie Masso, Betty and Bob Kinder, Ellen Brownell and Chet Caswell. Barbara-Ann Mac Intosh sent in more lyrics:

“Barney Google with the goo, goo, googley eyes,

Barney Google had a wife three times his size,

She sued Barney for divorce now he’s living with his horse,

Barney Google with the goo, goo, googley eyes.”

“How romantic is that?” Barbara-Ann exclaimed.

Dot Dexter sang “Barney Google” for us over the phone, including the second verse:

“Barney Google with the goo, goo, googley eyes,

Bet his horse would win the prize,

When the horses ran that day Spark Plug ran the other way.

Barney Google with the goo, goo, googley eyes.”

Dot questioned our lyrics for “If I could be with you one hour tonight.”

She said it should be, “If I could be with you I’d love you strong. If I could be with you, I’d love you long.”

She said that was one of the first songs she played on the piano with her “fake book” when she was in the third grade. Dot is 88 and still playing.


Kudos to Jamestown School fourth-grader Ben Lee, who was last week’s Student of the Week in the Newport Daily News. Ben was praised for being a great role model and a well-rounded student who excels in every subject. He is currently engaged in his favorite sport, basketball.


Former islander Sheila Mooney has launched an internet business offering her artwork, both as greeting cards and fine art wall hangings.

Her talents can be seen at www.swmooney.com. She and her husband, David, and their three cats, are now living in Lincoln.

*** Be true!!


We welcome your contributions to this column. Call us at 423-0383 or 829-2760, e-mail us at jtnwalrus@hotmail.com, or drop the item off at the Jamestown Press.

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