2006-04-27 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Whatever you do, be sure and snack well before

working on your Spam sculpture.

That is just one tip in several offered by Cathyrn Jamieson for preparing your entry into the Springfest Spam Sculptures Contest at the Spam Bam Benefit Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Portuguese American Citizens' Club.

Other suggestions include refrigerating your Spam before carving and do not leave it unattended and at the mercy of your domestic pets. The reason for the snack in advance is obvious - it's to prevent you from being tempted to eat your entry. Put your final touches on the morning of the contest and store it covered in the fridge. You are limited to six cans of the miracle meat for your creation. As far as subjects go, Cathryn says, "Use your crazy imaginations. Animals and people make great carvings."

Sculptures must be completed when you bring them for judging, and no last minute poking or scratching once you bring it in to the Holy Ghost Hall. You must also pay a $10 entry fee and obtain a permit from the Cathryn Jamieson Salon on Narragansett Avenue. Security will be tight.

Silent auction items added to last week's list are a two-hour cruise for 30 on the Jamestown Ferry, a hickory-smoked Spam lunch with Channel 10 investigative reporter Jim Taricani at Capitol Grille, a four-series Aveda resurfacing facial with Nessa Ferriera, acupuncture treatments with Beth Quinn, a massage with Robin Lee, an Evelyn Rhodes print of the old bridge, a 60-yearold original salty sketch by Paule Loring, a Bella's gift basket with silver necklaces and bracelets, and more to come this week.

The benefit, celebrating the magnificent, miracle meat has been organized by the staff of the salon to raise funds for Laura Brown and Jim Rocha, both under treatment for cancer. Tickets were still available at this writing, but demand is growing. Call the salon,

423-0905, to reserve ducats. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Make checks payable to Spam Jam Benefit. Hurry, there may be scalpers working the East Ferry by the weekend.

Clip and bring the special drawing coupon in the ad in this issue of the Press.

Masters of ceremonies for the afternoon will be political columnists Phillipe and Jorge, famous for their Cool, Cool World column in the Providence Phoenix. We anxiously await their praises for Spam.

Three exceptional musical groups will be on hand for your listening and dancing pleasure. The opening band will be the island's own Slackmasters, followed by the Acapella Trio, singing World War II songs. The ROMPS (retired old musicians playing swing) and their 15-member band will bring everyone to their feet.

All this will demand new energy and guests can fuel up on macaroni and cheese and Spam plus assorted Spam hors d'oeuvres created by island restaurants.

The three Spamsters who will be spending a lot of time staring at the sculpture entries are its judges, Mary Frances Byerly, a cancer survivor and Queen of Spam; Michael Rembijas, creator of Spam Wellington; and the Walrus, who when asked what he wanted first after coming out of surgery, responded, "Spam."

If you are unable to attend the Spam Jam but would like to help Laura and Jim, make your check out to Bank of America and send it to the salon at 16 Narragansett Ave. Spam for ever!

***

Staunch supporters of the Independence Day fireworks over the past 10 years have once more sent in their contributions to the Rocket Dawgz. Kudos to the East Ferry Deli, Andrea and Chris vonHohenleiten of Intrepid Lane, and De and Arthur Christman of Windser Street. Let us blow up your money. Send your check made out to the Fireworks Fund to Box 1776, Jamestown, 02835. This year's shoot will be on the Fourth on the Mackerel Cove beach. KABOOM!

***

A couple of months ago we received a letter from Jim Pemantell asking for our help in raising $3,000 for the Adeline LaPlante Memorial Center that provides in-home therapy for children afflicted with autism and other disabilities.

At that time, we called Jim and the 67-year-old islander said he was going to run in the Boston Marathon, his 40th marathon, this one on behalf of the center. We did a couple of items in the column and the next thing we knew it was Patriots' Day. We checked the finishers of the marathon in the paper the next day. No Jim. Was he hurt? Had he pulled a muscle?

The answers were in my computer. Best he tell you in his own words what happened.

"Well, it is all over. I finished the Boston Marathon but my results do not show up anywhere. The reason being that we all wear an electronic chip on our shoe that electronically records our times at the start and finish. Sad to say I lost my chip the morning of the race. I did get another prior to the start but evidently it did not get into their computers in time to record my finish time. It was certainly not a fast time but I did finish and I have my medal to show for my effort.

"I enjoyed the race much more than two years ago. I took my time and got to enjoy the large crowds especialy in Wellesley. Although it was not a sight seeing tour by any means, I did get to see Fenway when I went by. I ran with different people, including a man from Mass. who visits Jamestown in the summer. I took the time to stay with a few different people who were running their first marathon to encourage them not to quit and all in all enoyed the whole experience. I feel just a little stiff but do not feel that I ran 26.2 miles.

"The fund-raising went much, much better than I ever expected. As you probably know, Channel 10 and 6 each did a segment on my running and fund-raising. I was hoping to raise $3,000 when I started and Friday I was $235 short of $10,000. During the Channel 10 segment, the phone rang and a friend pledged $50 and it took off from there. By the end of the weekend I had over $10,000.

"But in my opinion the best fund-raising story is this one. Channel 10 displayed pictures of children that I had previously run for. One of them was little Riley Sprague. Riley is a friend of Jack and Connor Barry, ages 5 and 3, who are the children of Kevin and Judy Barry of Top of the Mark. When they saw Riley they got excited and Judy explained why the picture was on TV. They went to their piggy bank and each took out 20 dollars and donated it to my fund-raiser. For me, that made my whole fund-raising effort worthwhile.

"Running a marathon at any pace is not easy and at about 20 miles you start wondering what you are doing out there. Fund-raising is also not easy. After a few of them (that was probably my tenth) my friends do not want to open letters with my return address.

"But to tell you the truth, I would not have it any other way."

Great job, Jim. We await your next letter.

***

Page's Liquors is scheduled to change hands today. Best wishes to the staff and canines who were always so friendly and accommodating. Good luck; see you around.

Two thoughts for the new owners. Welcome to Jamestown, and never run out of Bass Ale.

***

If you don't want people to begin saying that your pets are fat, too, then read what Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic has to say in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"Some studies say that up to 40 percent of cats and dogs are clinically obese. Heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis are linked to obesity in people and pets. Obese cats have a higher incidence of lower urinary disease and when sick are more likely to develop a hepatic lipidosis (or fatty liver), which can be fatal without aggressive treatment.

"Over feeding and lack of exercise are the primary causes of obesity in pets. Finding out how much your pet is actually eating during the day (including treats) and then taking steps to reduce their calorie intake is the first step. Your veterinarian and clinic staff can help you decide what is right for your pet. Lifestyle changes including eliminating table scraps, increasing exercise and play time, and, for dogs, taking longer walks will help Fluffy feel better, lose weight, and may help you burn some extra calories yourself."

Thanks, Doctor. How about some before and after photos?

***

The sound of Italian arias is in the air and the sweet odor of pasta and tomato sauce will soon be upon the island. The chefs from Boy Scout

Troop 1 are warming up for their big night, Saturday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Matthew's church.

The annual Pasta Supper officially kicks off the summer season as hungry islanders flock to the Parish Hall. Tickets are only $8 for adults and $5 for children.

Last year, the troop served more than 250 dinners.

If you do not have a Scout in the neighborhood, call Maryann Carr Toppa, 423-2866, or Diane Archibald, 423-3094, to have tickets delivered.

***

We listened to the radio coverage of the bridge dropping and were particularly intrigued by the reporter who, after the explosions, described how the steel girders were "bobbing up and down in the water." Wait, we'll call Superman!

***

Ann Deffley looked everywhere for her son Will's baseball windbreaker. The school team's practices had started and the jacket could not be found anywhere.

One night she had a dream. In the dream, she and her late father were at the golf course. He brought her down to the cellar in the clubhouse, to his golf clubs and bag. He unzipped the bottom of the bag, and Will's windbreaker fell out.

Upon awakening, the dream stayed with Mary Ann. Finally, she told Will and they went down in the cellar to his golf bag, where they found Will's jacket in one of the pockets.

Grandson Tom had also "misplaced" his team windbreaker. It had been the object of a long search over several days.Then Will told him about his mother's dream and the discovery of his jacket.

Tom went to his golf bag and unzipped the bottom pocket.

Now both Tom and Will have their windbreakers back. And, it isn't a dream.

***

Island resident the Rev. James Keller joined some 20 lay and clergy representatives last Thursday on a nine-day information gathering tour of Venezuela at the invitation of the Ecumenical Council of that country.

The representatives from four neighboring Northeast states will meet with government officials, opposition leaders, community and grass roots representatives, church congregations, and see community-based programs that serve the poor.

The tour will include visits to programs in literacy, health care, food and nutrition, land reform, and empowerment of the poor who make up 80 percent of the population.

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