2006-04-20 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Heralded political columnists Phillipe and Jorge

who write Cool, Cool World in the Providence Phoenix and are described as "political observers on the world" will offer their viewpoints on Spam, and likely other hams, at the Spam Bam Benefit Sunday, April 30, at the Portuguese American Citizens' Club from 2 to 5 in the afternoon.

The celebration of the magnificent, miracle meat is being held to raise money for Laura Brown and Jim Rocha, both under treatment for cancer.

Tickets for the benefit are now available at the Cathryn Jamieson Salon at 16 Narragansett Ave. The event is being co-ordinated by the salon's staff. Admission is $20 each for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. If you're unable to stop by, call Cathy at 423-0905 to reserve tickets or have them mailed out to you.

All ages are invited to enjoy the music, dancing, food, and silent auction.

A feature of the afternoon's activities will be the Springfest Spam Sculptures Contest in which entrants can use from one to six cans of Spam to create their artistic works. Age groups are 14 and under and 15 and up. Reported sculptures already underway are Spamala Sue Anderson, Jean Claude Van Spam, Spambo, Spammy Davis Jr., and Mount Spammor.

It is suggested that contestants freeze the meat first making it easier to work with. It's reported that BJ's is selling Spam in multipacks as a convenience to entrants. All carvings must be completed before bringing them to the PAC. The sculptures contest has a registration fee of $10. Entry forms can be picked up at the salon. Sculpture judges are Michael

Rembijas, creator of Spam Wellington; Mary Frances Byerly, cancer survivor and Queen of Spam; and the Walrus, a longtime fan of the neat meat.

Items for the silent auction are arriving daily. As of last weekend, contributions have included a liquor basket from Page's liquors, an AAA carrying bag filled with all sorts of good stuff and an AAA membership card given by Carl Richardson and Bonnie Jamieson, a framed photograph of the late great Jamestown Bridge from Cathy Jamison, a jewelry set from the Purple Door, a gift certificate from Trattoria Simpatico, and a year's worth of haircuts from the salon.

Live music will be provided by Jamestown's own Slackmasters, the Acappella Trio of North Kingstown High School, and the 15-piece ROMPS (retired old musicians playing swing) orchestra.

All this will make you very hungry. There will be macaroni and cheese and Spam plus assorted Spam hors d'oeuvres prepared by island restaurants.

If you're unable to attend the Spam Jam but would like to donate to Laura and Jim, make your check out to Bank of America and send it to the salon at 16 Narragansett Ave. Spam is grand!

***

Kudos to two 11-year donors who have sent in their contributions for this year's July 4 fireworks blast. Ann Zartler of Juniper Circle and John and Teddy Leyon of Conanicus Avenue will once again have their money blown up at Mackerel Cove.

The Rocket Dawgz can do it for you, too. Send your check made out to Fireworks Fund and mail to Box 1776, Jamestown 02835. KABOOM!

***

As in the past many years, the Easter morning skulker visited our house and left beautiful pansies on our back step. The gift from the mysterious visitor are always the first annuals we plant each year.

A big thank-you to our unknown, thoughtful, bearer of the spirit of life reborn.

***

Two platform tennis teams made up of a family of islanders ended up competing against each other in the finals of the Shoreline Classic Platform Tennis Mixed Doubles Championships April 9 at the Shelter Harbor Club in Westerly.

The brother-in-law/sister-inlaw team of Tim Heath and Mary Heath defeated Steve Heath and Amy Smith 7-5, 6-7, 7-5 in the finals of the classic.

The American Platform Tennis Association sanctioned-event featured players from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.

Tim said, "It was a two-hour, white-knuckle match, but everybody came out smiling in the end."

Congratulations to the Heaths and Smith.

***

A note from islander Amara Murray in Ugunja, Kenya, thanked the Jamestown School sixth-graders for their efforts in raising money for the children of Ugunja. "Please tell the students how much their funds and generosity are appreciated. Twenty desk and chair sets will be built for the school, which is in dire need of them so students can have a place to sit and work.

"Also, malaria nets have been distributed to children in the preschool, and they were all dewormed last week. This is really, really important - with one in five kids dying before age 5, these seemingly little things are really life and death matters! So, thank you profusely from us over here!" And, from us here!

***

Keeping your pets free of ticks may take some work, but it's well worth it, says Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"Despite tick preventatives, you should check your pets for ticks whenever they come in from outside. If you find a small lump, part the fur to see if you have found a tick. If so, use tweezers to grasp it as close as possible to your pet's skin. Having a friend or family member help may make things easier. Then pull back gently and steadily until it releases. Jerking or tugging at the tick may break off the head or irritate your pet's skin.

"Dispose of the tick by squishing it, burning it, or flushing it down the toilet (they are surprisingly hard to squish with bare hands). Apply some antiseptic to the site and monitor it for the next few days for signs of inflammation.

"Finally, clean the tweezers with hot soapy water or alcohol to disinfect them. A little extra vigilance will help keep everybody healthy and tick free this season." Thank you, Doctor. WOOF!

***

Each year at this time the beautiful, blooming daffodils along North Road remind us of the wonderful work the Quononoquott Garden Club does to keep our island special.

***

The firing of Executive Director Ken Bianchi from the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority smacks of a railroading. Ken was always outgoing and generous to the Rocket Dawgz as well as other island organizations.

Our feelings are shared by former town councilor and state representative Bill Murphy who commented, "It's a crying shame. He was always a good friend of Jamestown and Newport."

***

The Scouts of Troop 1 are out and about selling tickets for their annual Pasta Supper Saturday, May 6, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church from 5 to 8 p.m.

The dinner is always a highlight of the spring season.

Tickets will also be available at the door or can be delivered to your home by calling Maryann Carr Toppa, 423-2866, or Diane Archibald, 423-3094. Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for children.

***

Enjoy the celebration of Arbor Day tomorrow, April 21, at the library at 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the Rhode Island Tree Council, the event will feature storyteller Marc Joel Levitt of South Kingstown who will portray John Chapman, the legendary Johnny Appleseed, in a 12-character performance that details the life of the American folklore hero.

There will also be a brief talk on the history of Arbor Day and the work of the Rhode Island Tree Council. Admission is free and open to the public.

Maybe they will even plant a tree. Arbor Day is April 28.

***

Corn beef and cabbage is good, even cabbage served cold is enjoyed. Cole slaw comes to mind.

But when Jamestown Shores resident Nancy Mason brought home some cabbage for Jerry, her 82-year-old husband, and herself, they soon learned there's a big difference between cooked and uncooked cabbage.

Especially when it's skunk cabbage.

Nancy told us when her son was studying science years ago he experimented with such things as seaweed pudding and another delicacy, skunk cabbage, all under the guidance of his teacher.

So, Nancy plucked the tender bud of the skunk cabbage and brought it home where she and Jerry took a bite from it.

"Tender, it was not! It burned the inside of our mouths like fire. Jerry likes hot peppers, but this was hotter than Three Alarm Chili," Nancy explained.

A call was made to a computer wizard who came up with the news that skunk cabbage leaves are poisonous to mammals. The next call was to the Plant Sciences Department at U.R.I., who immediately referred them to the R.I. Poison Center.

"After a few minutes of 'you ate what? and why?', the center explained to us that although toxic to humans the amount we had would amount to only being extremely irritating to the mucus membranes of the mouth, and should not cause any intestinal problems or respiratory distress," Nancy told us.

She admitted, though, that while looking over her son's science report she must have turned two pages at once, missing the first page where it said, "Cook the leaves first before eating."

Hugs for Nancy and Jerry, please.

*** 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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