2006-04-06 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Kudos and a big boffo to Ross Bohensky who

passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review last Thursday.

The 18-year-old will appear before the Court of Honor on June 17.

"We're happy for him, he's worked so hard. It's been his goal since he was a Cub Scout," mom Linda Maclean, said.

If you see him in McQuade's or anywhere, hugs, please.

***

In one final attempt to raise money for their class trip to Washington, D.C., in June, members of the Jamestown School eighth grade will clean out their closets and put much of the contents up for sale.

Talk about dedication!

A yard sale will be held this Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot at the school on Melrose Avenue. The rain date is Sunday at the same time.

In conjunction with the sale, the school's sixth-graders will tend a baked goods table to raise money for their Kenya Project (see item below). Ana Rosa, 4233298, is making arrangements for the baked goods.

Likely yard sale items on the block will be CDs, DVDs, books, sporting goods, dolls, household items, and whatever else, all in good condition.

Setup time is 8 a.m. and students are requested to bring along a table or blanket to display their goods. The money earned will be pooled for the whole group. It will be used to help pay for incidentals on the class trip. Whatever is not sold must be removed from the lot by the participants.

Karen Rafanelli is co-ordinator for the event and can be reached at 423-3953 or krafanelli@ cox.net. ***

Dawn Hines called to say she saw two dolphins in the East Passage from her house last Thursday.

She's located just north of the old Jamestown Inn on East Shore Road. She said the two mammals were heading south towards town.

"They weren't seals, I watch seals all the time. These were dolphins, and they were beautiful. I thought people would like to know the critters are in the bay," Dawn said.

***

MaryBeth and Tony Clavenna e-mailed, "Many thanks to the public works department for grading Maple Avenue! It is now a much smoother ride. A little reminder to those who do use the road: there is one house on that road with several small children who like to play outside in this wonderful spring weather, so please watch and slow down!"

***

Last week, we told you about Jamestown School sixth-graders Jacob Gomez and Bruce Page, who set up their own bake sale in front of McQuade's to raise money for the children of Ugunja in Kenya.

Islander Amara Murray and her husband are volunteering there, and Amara wrote the following to the sixth grade:

"Thank you so much for the donation - it is making a big difference here. For posters, you can write that the money will be used for the local clinic near the elementary school (for purchasing malaria nets for young children who are especially susceptible to dying from malaria, and for medicines for patients who cannot afford them and are seriously ill), and for supporting the building of a new pre-school, and for scholarships for eighth-graders to be able to go to secondary school."

If you'd like to help out the sixth-graders, checks can be made out to Amara Murray and sent to her home address, 1053 E. Shore Rd., Jamestown, 02835.

There's a little bit of Jamestown in Ugunja.

***

Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic tells us in his Pet Tip of the Week that there are precautions to be taken before traveling with your pet this season.

"Spring means more travel for you and Fluffy and a few simple steps can save you time and hassle. You can reduce the chance of carsickness by withholding food for eight hours and water for two hours before a long ride. By having less in their stomachs, they are less likely to be ill. Plan to make several bathroom stops along the way and bring water for them to quench their thirst (a spare bowl or upside down Frisbee are useful).

"Other tips for trips are to have your pet up to date on vaccines and to know any medicines they are taking in case they get sick while away from your veterinarian's office. Also, making sure your pet has an ID tag or even a microchip implant in case they get lost while you are in unfamiliar territory will help them get back to you quickly and safely." Thanks, Doctor! WOOF!!

***

Who says the Jamestown Community Chorus is all work and no play?

Director B.J. Whitehouse asked the singers to produce a show telling of individual hidden talents or, at least, wear bedroom slippers to the next rehearsal.

Twenty members opted for the slippers while others displayed legitimate talents, including leading a sing-along, playing two recorders at the same time, and plucking a tune on a bandaged instrument. Others sang old songs their mothers taught them, read poems, told stories, and one displayed a camera and a photo. A new member sang the old Chevrolet commercial tune.

Publicist Marion Gomez told us, "One gal showed us her bare arm in a double jointed position. One told of her adventure in a rodeo, and one gal and her husband of many years made us giggle when they forgot the song they used to sing together!"

A gentleman bent a wire coat hanger into a square shape, bent the wire hook, and balanced a penny on the end of the hook. Then he sent it whirling in circles with the penny being held in place by centrifugal force.

"By far, the most outlandish talent was that of a young woman who apologized for not having a real talent and then proceeded to put her entire fist into her mouth," Marion said.

Of course, this would have been a much better story with names.

However, when you next go to a community chorus concert you can try to guess who did what at the special show and tell rehearsal.

***

The island should brace itself for thousands of gawkers on Tuesday.

***

We hope islanders understand that the state is blowing up your tax money at the bridge, not money sent to the Rocket Dawgs.

***

If you haven't yet contributed to the real KABOOMS in July, send your check to the Fireworks Fund, Box 1776, Jamestown, 02835, and the Rocket Dawgs will blow it up.

Compare and decide - a quickie boom of tax dollars or 30 minutes of spectacular KABOOMS for Independence Day from your generous donations.

*** Where are the alternate routes to North Kingstown that the state tells us we should be seeking while the new bridge is shut down?

***

Other than just plain politics, why is Governor Carcieri pushing the button? Let someone from the island, perhaps someone who was there for the dedication do the job.

***

The Newport Daily News opined last week that finally the old Jamestown Bridge is coming down and it's what everybody wants. Who's everybody? Newporters?

The old Jamestown Bridge was an integral part and a friend to the island since it first went up in 1940. Because of its two narrow lanes many drivers were afraid to cross over and scores of off islanders stayed on the mainland. The bridge kept the island small through fear.

Look what happened when the new span went up with its General Assembly name. The island exploded with new building and Jamestown's unique character was gone.

The old bridge was something special. You didn't speed on it. Driving to the top, particularly at night, you hit the crest praying that no one was passing in your lane on the other side.

Or you got stuck in traffic on the top and as the bridge swayed you could look down through the metal grating to the white-capped water below. The grating caused cars to slide from side to side and was particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. It was always an adventure.

Speaking of motorcycles, we heard that right after World War II, Vic Richardson was returning to the island from the city when after passing over the crest of the bridge he decided to put on a show. He came down the east side of the bridge standing on his Harley with his arms in the air.

We didn't see it but a lot of people did.

There won't be stories like that about the new span. With its four lanes and unrestricted speed, a motorcyclist standing up with his arms in the air would hardly be noticed.

***

Our favorite personal experience with the Jamestown Bridge was a quiet, peaceful one. One August evening in the late 1940s we hitchhiked to the island to visit a relative. It was late when we decided to return home to Wickford. We began walking up North Road. And we walked, and we walked. No cars. There was plenty of wildlife keeping pace with us in the brush along side the road, scaring the heck out of us.

Finally, we came to Eldred Avenue and headed west to the bridge. Still no cars.

It was a beautiful sight at midnight from the top of the old Jamestown Bridge. In complete silence and darkness, we stayed there for quite a while, in complete peace.

We continued on by the toll booth, probably waking up the toll keeper, and up the hill to Boston Neck Road.

It was then that we saw our first car since leaving downtown Jamestown.

*** Who was Gildersleeve??

***

Did you know that some sandals have bottle openers built in to the soles?

*** Nobody wants you ? ? ? ? ?

***

We note that "Oil Can" Boyd is pitching this year for the Nashua (N.H.) Pride, Butch Hobson's team. They say he's 46, but you can probably add 10 years to that. An inspiration to us all.

***

Today is Army Day. Hug a soldier! Fly your flag!

*** Be true!

***

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

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