2006-05-04 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

It's that time of the year again when Boy Scout Troop 1

becomes an Italian restaurant.

For a night, the scouts become cooks, kitchen assistants, waiters, bus boys, greeters, custodians, and whatever else is needed.

The Italian opera music is cranked up and St. Matthew's Parish Hall becomes a quaint bistro.

It's the annual Troop 1 Pasta Supper and it happens this Saturday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. The fare includes pasta with gravy, meatballs, bread and butter, salad, beverages and homemade desserts.

The price is only $8 for adults and $5 for children. Half of the ticket receipts go toward the Scouts' week-long stay at Camp Yawgoog this summer, or if the Scout prefers, goes towards other expenses relating to Scouting.

Last year, the troop served over 250 dinners. In addition, island businesses support the Scouts by buying ads on the place mats and displaying sponsor signs in their windows.

Tickets will be available at the door.

Questions? Call Maryann Carr Toppa, 423-2866, or Diane Archibald, 423-3094. Mangia!

***

BAM! Longtime donors Judy

and Winston Knight of Conanicus Avenue have come through again. "Time to go 'BOOM' again. Many thanks for all your hard work," they wrote. It's not our hard work that makes the annual fireworks display a success, but your money. Send it to us and we'll blow it up. Rocket Dawgz, Box 1776, Jamestown, 02835.

Also donating last week were Robert and Jane Mead of Walcott Avenue, William and Jacqueline Perrett of Seaside Drive, Janet Kirk and Joel Mallett of Bayberry Road and Claire Steggall of Newark, Del., who wrote, "I miss Rhode Island and Jamestown so much but I, thankfully, will be home to see my $$$ go up into the sky and blown up! Thanks for bringing the community together for this fantastic event." KA-BOOM!

*** To the Beav, Happy Birthday,

Me XO XO

***

Nancy Mason of Lugger Street

dropped a note expressing concern over hearing for the first time in her 69-year stay on the island that it is sometimes called "The Rock."

"I suppose it could be considered a pleasurable nickname, as in the gospel hymn 'On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.'"

She went on to say she thought it sounded derogatory. "We do have Dumplings of Rocks around Fort Wetherill. We do have lovely shale rocks at Beavertail that change shape and size with the surf and wind. I suppose we could consider ourselves as being as sturdy as the Rock of Gibraltar."

Nancy then wondered where all this left the people at the north end whose concerned citizens, she said, talk about fractured rock and diminished and contaminated wells.

"I prefer to think of Jamestown as Conanicut the Gem of the Ocean, or, Bay as it may be!

"And there will always be in New England, a green and pleasant land on Conanicut called Jamestown!!"

We always thought of the term as meaning strength, durability and solidity surrounded by a lot of peace. Any other thoughts?

***

The days have gone by when a

stray might wander to your front door and become a member of the family. Today, pet ownership is an expensive commitment, says

Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"Depending on the pet's size and life expectancy costs can very greatly from averages of $10,000 to $20,000 with some cases reaching almost $50,000. Pet foods are typically the largest portion of those costs and can easily cost between $4 and $15 per week for Fluffy's lifetime. Veterinary care usually is onethird of the total cost but can go up greatly if your pet becomes very ill or requires multiple surgeries.

"Other costs include grooming, boarding, and toys. The best advice is to research the breed and expected costs before committing to be their caretakers. Preventative medicine is one of the best ways to avoid disaster. Vaccines, regular exams, and having your pet spayed or neutered can prevent or reduce problems later. Also, putting aside a few dollars each week for a pet fund will help ensure that Fluffy can get the treatment and medicine he or she needs down the line." WOOF!!

***

Spam is king!!

We were one of some 300 people who turned out for the Spam Jam Benefit at the Portuguese American Citizens' Club Sunday afternoon to raise money for Laura Brown and Jim Rocha, both under treatment for cancer.

Laura's daughter, Sara Brown of Newport Beach, Calif., flew east for the event.

When we walked into the Holy Ghost Hall the scene was astounding. Everyone was eating Spam. Spam here, Spam there, Spam everywhere. Finally, the magnificent, miracle meat had become everyone's entrees and hors d'oeuvres. There were skewers of Spam, pineapple and cherries; baked beans and Spam; macoroni and cheese and Spam, and Spam stuffies. Of course there was bread and cake, but who had room for that?

There were six entries in the Springfest Spam Sculptures Contest. Winning first prize was Pogo Pig by Betty Purdum. In second place was a very patriotic Uncle Sam by Karen Raffanelli. Third place went to the Larkin family for its Spam guitar. Fourth prize was won by Laura Brown for her Spam sign, and fifth place went to Juliet Moura for her Spam rendition of the bottom of the sea.

The three hours of music provided a variety of tunes to match the age levels of all those attending. Jamestown's own Slackmasters got everyone off to a rock and roll beat, the Acapella Trio soothed everyone with the songs of World War II, and the ROMPS' 15 pieces brought back the sounds of the big bands.

Cathryn Jamison of the salon of the same name and her employees organized the fundraiser.

However, Cathryn insisted her sister, Johnna, was the one who really got it done.

Kudos to all!!

***

The "Arts Alive" Student Art

Show featuring the works of Jamestown School kindergarten through fourth-grade students will be displayed and open to the public in the school's Melrose Avenue multipurpose room on Thursday evening, May 11, and all-day Friday, May 12. The opening reception will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday with the artwork shown throughout the day on Friday.

Anyone who would like to help out should contact art teacher Jan Kraus. "Please come and support the creative efforts of our island children," she said. Jan can be reached at 423-7020.

***

It's nice to note that with all

the Hollywood "celebrities" who are worshiped worldwide, it turns out that a gecko and a duck are the hottest commercial properties on television.

***

Did you know there are the

remnants of a graphite mine on the island? It was in operation around the turn of the last century but was closed down by the early 1930s when the land was bought by Alfred J. LeDoux.

His son, Roy, told us that the plot had a 600-foot frontage on the bay at the northern tip of the island and his father cleared it to build a home for his family. He used much of the stone from clearing the land to build his residence. Roy said there are three tunnels on the property, one running under the bay and the other two under land. To eliminate any chance of an accident, Roy's father shoved a tank into the main entrance to the tunnels to block off access.

Roy said he was off the island when most of this activity was going on. He added that he knew nothing about the history of the mine's operation. Another islander who is in his 80s and requested we not use his name said he remembers seeing an oil well on the property and has seen outlines of the mine tunnels in satellite closeups of the island.

***

You have to know that the

quality of life on the island is headed south when garbage Dumpsters and other waste containers are allowed to remain on display all week long close to a busy residential street.

***

Tony Rafanelli extends kudos to the more than 50 volunteers who showed up at the ball fields Saturday to spruce things up during Jamestown Baseball's annual Green-Up Day. He reported that all four fields received a last minute make over in anticipation of Saturday's opening day ceremonies.

The concession stand was cleaned out and received a fresh coat of paint on the inside. Minor repairs were made and new shelving installed. Tony said it's roomier and cleaner now. Even the bathroom got a fresh coat of paint.

"We really want to thank each of these volunteers for their very hard work. Most worked more than six hours and some more than eight hours and we truly appreciate their time and devotion," Tony said.

A rumor on the field is that the concession stand will take on the name, the Dugout Cafe and add some exquisite items to the menu.

The local season officially begins Saturday when the teams step off at 8:45 a.m. from the Community Center and march up Narragansett Avenue to the ball fields on Lawn Avenue. Ceremonies will start at 9:15 a.m. followed by the annual Pitch, Hit, and Run Competition.

Tony asked that spectators at the fields note the new, blue receptacles throughout the area. They are recycling containers with square tops and a hole in the center for bottles and cans only.

They were provided by Jamestown Baseball and two of its benefactors, Island Rubbish Service and Burke Realty.

"It was very disappointing to discover that within hours after putting these out, people had already deposited garbage in them. We really want everyone to co-operate and just place recyclables in them," Tony said. PLAY BALL!!

***

A "Blind Box" art auction will be the highlight of the Conanicut Island Art Association's annual membership meeting Wednesday, May 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Conanicut Yacht Club.

Members' art work will be hidden in 9by 12-inch envelopes and bid on "silently" for work unseen.

CIAA spokesman and board member Kevin A. Somerville said the bidding will start at $5. "The money raised will go toward the CIAA's scholarship and community programs," Kevin said, adding that a list of participating artists will be posted during cocktails and hors d'oeuves.

He went on to say there will be a discussion of the groups upcoming summer events, the CIAA Island Art Show and the CIAA Summer Craft Show. "We know the people of Jamestown look forward to these events each year. What we need, however, is for some eager and enthusiastic members of the CIAA and our arts community to step forward and help to organize and run these events. Those of you who have some time, interest, and energy to spare, please consider volunteering to ensure the continued staging of these events which benefit us all.

"The CIAA has a committed and supportive board and would appreciate working with anyone interested in serving our association in any way . . . be it as a parttime volunteer, a committee chair or even in the capacity as an officer of the board. If interested, please contact Allie Sabalis, Karen Krider, or myself."

***

Today marks Rhode Island

Independence Day.

It is also the National Day of Prayer.

Monday is the day in 1945 that the Allies declared victory in Europe.

*** 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 stuff off at the Jamestown Press.

Return to top