2006-03-09 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

If you wrote for information about enrollment in Florida

Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., that request would be forwarded immediately to Fred Bartlett's desk on Columbia Avenue.

Fred is the New England Regional Director of Admissions for the college. He is one of some 20 area directors of admission from various schools living in the New England area. They are seasoned admission people hired to manage an entire area.

Fred's is a full-time position. He has been with Florida Southern College since 1997. Information from the school crosses his desk all day long. All the files from New England inquiries are sent to Fred, who sets up communications with families by phone and personal meetings to exchange information and establish a relationship between the families and the school. He is part sales, counselor, marketer, and higher education professional. He serves a diverse client base.

Well known in the admissions field, Fred has a bachelor's in psychology and a master's in student personnel administration from Springfield College. He worked in the college's admissions office for 24 years and spent 12 as its director.

He is routinely requested as a speaker or panelist on the topics of higher education, counseling, and admissions. He travels to meetings, schools, and receptions throughout New England.

He is currently working closely with high school seniors in the process of going to Florida Southern next fall. At the same time, he's talking with juniors who have expressed interest in the school. "The nice part about my job is that it brings me back to basic work with families. I'm the parent of two daughters who graduated from Springfield College, so I continue to relate to the students as they come through this process and work to build a nice transition as they enter this time in their lives," Fred explained.

He also becomes involved in the review process of an applicant recommending or opposing admission based on the candidate's strengths and credentials.

In the fall, Fred takes to the road, visiting schools and families and attending receptions from Stamford, Conn., to Orono, Maine, covering some 1,000 miles a week. He is also in the process of setting up "mini organizations" of parents and alumni who can arrange receptions for prospective students in their areas.

Four times a year Fred goes on campus in Florida for meetings and receptions. He said Florida Southern College is in the top 10 in the Southeast in comprehensive small bachelor-degree colleges.

It is also the site of the world's largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. There are 12 of his buildings on campus.

In his nine years on the job, Fred has processed about 1,500 applicants. Each year, some 300 apply with 60 to 70 actually enrolling.

Fred and his wife, Joyce Hooley Bartlett, have been coming to the island part time since 1987 and living here full time since 1999. Joyce is a science teacher at Moses Brown.

In the summer, the Bartletts sail their Tartan 30, Entropy, and Fred works part time as a launch captain for Conanicut Marine Services, Inc.

The two have been busy for the last few years restoring their 1905 home on Columbia Avenue.

In addition, Fred is an avid collector of American Indian basketry, and relaxes with his guitar, which he's played since his college undergraduate days.

***

"There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting." - John Millington Synge 1871-1909

***

Kudos to Jamestown fifth-grader John Ragland who finished in the top 15 out of 38 contestants in the 2006 Rhode Island Statewide Spelling Bee Saturday in Providence at the University of Rhode Island's Feinstein Campus.

John went to the second round but was tripped up by the word "Bolshevize."

"I spelled it with a U instead of an O," he told us Sunday, and then went on to spell it correctly for us. He said the word is "kind of tricky," a lot depending on how it's pronounced. We offered that he'd never misspell it again to which he replied "Hopefully not!"

He said he found the experience entertaining and maybe he'll be back next year.

The competition is open to students in grades 4 through 8 so John has three more cracks at it. He appeared on television and was in a photo in the ProJo's Sunday edition under Local News. You did great, John.

***

Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic has put together an assortment of pet owners' tips for his Pet Tip of the Week.

"If your pets dislike having their ears cleaned, try warming up the ear cleaners by running the bottle under warm water first. Cold liquid in the ear canals must feel weird and the warmer fluid may be less alarming and your pet may let you clean more easily.

"As spring is around the corner, lots of pets will start to come home with little burrs stuck into their fur. An easy way to get those out is to crush them with pliers - making sure you don't pinch Fluffy's skin! - and then comb them out as the crushed burrs lose their sticking power.

And, finally, if you have to give Fluffy a bath, placing a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub for a more secure footing may help him relax and putting a tea strainer over the drain will help keep fur from clogging your pipes." WOOF!

***

KABOOM! P.O.Box 1776, Jamestown 02835.

*** It was a horrible drive at 4 p.m. from Davisville to the island last Thursday during the snowfall, with cars slip sliding away. There were no plows on Routes 1 and 1A in North Kingstown and none on the bridge or North Road.

The only plow we saw was on Tashtassuc Road. He was doing a great job.

Winter isn't over until the 20th, and the towns might consider keeping the plows around for a couple of weeks after that.

***

The ospreys' old nest is down. A new pole and platform is up. The camera is in place and ready as is the solar plate. It's SHOWTIME!

***

Erin Brown, who with her twin sister Danielle began "Operation Share Bear," told us on Sunday as of that day they had collected 801 stuffed animals to be sent to the children in Iraq.

She told of two kids showing up at her door last week with five bags of the animals they had collected from their classmates at school.

On another occasion, while sending off two boxes to Iraq at the post office, Postmaster Charles Burns insisted upon paying for the heaviest box. A customer waiting in line paid for the other.

"All the shipping has been paid for by Jamestowners," Erin said, adding that they had even received a check in the mail for $50 for mailing costs.

In addition to washing all the donations, Erin said they've been sewing up minor fabric tears, replacing broken noses, and purchasing new clothes for some.

Donations of the stuffed animals can be dropped off at the Jamestown Press office on Narragansett Avenue or taken to the Brown residence at 5 Buoy St. If necessary, call 560-0285 and someone will pick them up.

So, dig out those old stuffed animals that aren't getting any love and put a big smile on young Iraqi faces. There's a lot of sharing going on.

***

Jamestown's Deb Ruggiero, host of WPRO's radio and television shows "American Women," will moderate a panel on Women Running for Political Office at the Operation Clean Governments Candidates' School Saturday at the Crown Plaza in Warwick.

Her panel will include state Sen. Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport. It will discuss what women need to do to win, including fund-raising.

***

We have never been able to understand the celebrity worship that goes on in our country. Beginning with the time players the ilk of Manny Ramirez, who the team owners seem to fear, were selected by the Red Sox, this fan of some 50 years stopped following the game.

And, how about the boorish antics by athletes sent to the Winter Olympics to represent the United States.

In Hollywood, "stars" are being fawned over and making newspaper headlines for their sexual prowess and outlandish behavior.

Of course, in the past there have been those titillating stories from the West Coast, like the time Errol Flynn took someone much younger than himself to Mexico on his yacht. Big scandal!!!

But you never heard any unruly scuttlebutt about one of our favorite actors.

Dennis Weaver died last week at the age of 81.

We met Dennis in the mid-60s when he flew into Cleveland to cohost "The Mike Douglas Show" for a week. Only his wife was with him, and he insisted upon carrying their luggage. He was there to promote his new role as McCloud in the NBC series of that name after years as Chester on "Gunsmoke."

It was a very comfortable week on the set. Dennis went along with anything the producers came up with.

At that time, "The Mike Douglas Show" was being telecast from a studio in the KYW-TV building in downtown Cleveland.

On the day after Dennis was scheduled to return home, the station was doing a promotional gig for one of the children's shows called "Barnaby." It was an invisible animal parade through the downtown area on a Saturday morning. Thousands of children were expected to show up with invisible animals in cages and on the ends of leashes. There was even an elephant that no one could see unloaded from a boxcar at the railroad station. (We had a lot of fun in those days.)

Dennis offered to stay an extra day and be the judge.

That left it up to us to arrange for Dennis' and his wife's accommodations for the Friday evening. We made reservations at the best steak house on Cleveland's East Side, and arranged to meet him at 7 o'clock at his hotel. In the course of the conversation, he invited Mim to join us and sent his limo to pick her up at our home in Bay Village, about a 30-minute drive west of Cleveland.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we received VIP treatment, the table surrounded with waiters to serve our every need.

We all read our menus. The choices of steaks were phenomenal, a meat lovers dream.

When it came time to order, the ladies announced their decisions.

Dennis ordered a salad. He was a vegetarian.

After our embarrassment subsided (We were supposed to know those things.) we all had a good laugh and thankfully his wife enjoyed her steak.

The next day Dennis stayed on the grandstand until the last youngster passed in front of him.

He returned to Hollywood and was a highly respected actor for the rest of his life.

His favorite expression was "There you go."

***

Sunday marks the date of the founding of the Girl Scouts in 1912. Tuesday is the Sap Moon.

*** Be true!

***

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

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