2006-05-18 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Last July, Katherine O'Neill and her family moved into

the late Ed Connolly's house. Ed was a founder and one of the most active supporters of the Jamestown Community Band.

On Memorial Day, Katherine will march down Narragansett Avenue as director of the Band.

After moving to the island from East Greenwich, she wanted to find a way to participate in the community. She is band director at Toll Gate High School in Warwick and caught a notice on the Music Education Nework about the director's vacancy at the community band.

"They like me and I like them, and it's working out very well," she said.

Katherine plays the French horn professionally with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bell Canto Opera Orchestra, the American Band, Rhode Island Brass Quintet, and she is a guest musician with the New England Navy Band.

She sings and plays flute with Celtic music groups.

The new director lives in Ed's house with her husband, Joe, and two daughters. Michaela, 19, who plays bass and attends Hartwick College, Brianna, 18, a cellist who will begin studies at Fairfield University in the fall. She is an accomplished musician and played in Carnegie Hall last spring.

Commenting on the island band, Katherine said it has a marvelous core of talented people. "We need more musicians from throughout the area and from all ability levels." She also urges people to donate unused instruments to the band.

Give Katherine and the band a big cheer on Memorial Day.

For additional information about the JCB, call Tom Wiggin, president,

at 423-2538.

***

Kudos to Tom and Dorrie Linn of Hamilton Avenue, Fred and Dottie Clarke of Longfellow Road and Joseph and Catherine Bettancourt of Howland Avenue for their donations to the Rocket Dawgz for the July 4 pyrotechnics. The quality of the shoot is dependent on your generosity. We are $3,539 behind what we were this time last year.

Send your money to P.O. Box 1776, Jamestown, 02835, and watch it being blown up on Independence Day. KA-BOOM!

***

Five Cub Scouts of Pack 1 became Boy Scouts of Troop 1 in special ceremonies Saturday at Fort Getty.

Earning their Arrow of Light awards are Jack Tregenza, Drew McIntyre, Brian Page, Nico Rienzo, and Matt Rafanelli. All completed the requirements for the Arrow of Light award, Cub Scouting's highest honor. Tony Rafanelli, Webelos leader, said the award is to Cub Scouting as the Eagle Badge is to Boy Scouting. The ceremony was part of Pack 1's annual camporee, and cubmaster Al Hansen provided each scout with a special arrow as part of the commemorative event.

Following the Arrow of Light ceremonies, Troop 1 scoutmaster David Volpe and Senior Patrol Leader Brian Volpe and other members of the troop conducted the Cross-over ritual welcoming the five to the Boy Scouts and Troop 1.

Lots of cake and soft drinks lightened up an otherwise cold and rainy day.

Kudos to all!

***

Former islander Chris Smyth of Louisville, Ky., in an e-mail, corrected a statement we made last week.

He wrote,"This is not the first year of a Jamestown team participating in Babe Ruth. I know because I played Babe Ruth baseball right there on the Rock. Matter of fact, we won the league. We were sponsored by Meredith & Clark insurance. But you are right. The town should be embarrassed that the ball fields are in bad shape." Thanks, Chris.

***

Dr. Joshua Hatch of the

Jamestown Animal Clinic dispels some common pet myths and old wives' tales in his Pet Tip of the Week."

"First up, unfortunately for owners and veterinarians, the temperature and feel of a dog's nose does not tell us if they are sick or not. The only reliable temperature gauge is a thermometer, and many things will affect how wet a dog's nose feels.

"Another myth is that dogs will keep their wounds clean by licking them. Contrary to another story, dogs' mouths are not actually cleaner than human's mouths and any excessive licking of wounds will just irritate them and potentially contaminate them more.

"Another dog myth that really has no good answer is that dogs eat grass when they are sick. It is true that some dogs will eat grass and then throw up while others just seem to like eating grass. The concern when a dog eats grass is whether or not the grass has been treated with pesticides or fertilizers which could actually make the pet sick and cause it to vomit." WOOF! Gag!

***

The Friends of the Jamestown

Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services will be selling red geraniums at the Memorial Day parade.

Joan McCauley e-mailed that the cost will be $5 and help the group continue its support of the JFC and JEMS.

Joan said, "The friends were organized to help increase awareness, recruitment, and support of the men and women who work so hard to help Jamestowners and their visitors in emergency situations. Save some room in your window boxes! We'll be set up in front of the Fire Department Museum." ***

We goofed on our query last week. The sentence should have read "I love the wide, open spaces, out where the cacti grow."

Charlie Masso reported in with "How 'bout Arthur Godfrey? There was a female vocalist on his show who sometimes sang it with him but I can't recall her name."

Sorry, Charlie, it wasn't a song. Anybody else?

***

Congratulations to islander

Thomas Shevlin who has been appointed senior vice president of business development at Fiduciary Trust.

Prior to joining the firm, he worked for Haven Capital Management as an equity partner.

***

With the Jamestown Bridge

about to receive its coup de grace this week, the structure will always be a part of islanders' memories.

Former Jamestowner Phyllis (Bradley) Anderson wrote from her Wilmington, Ohio, home: "The day before it (the old bridge) was opened for travel the ferryboat Hammonton made her last run to Saunderstown. I don't remember any cars being aboard, but I know for sure Jamestown kids were allowed for free! My sister Cynthia and myself were among the last to board.

"The following day with town officials, including my dad (superintendent of schools)and my mother, were aboard the Hammonton when she left the West Ferry dock, rounded the north end of the island and slipped into her dock at East Ferry. Summers she and the Governor Carr ran the trip to Newport.

"That weekend Jamestowners held a big celebration. I certainly remember my sister and I riding the ferris wheel. Since we were the only ones on it at the time, we went around and around begging the operator to let us off. Finally, I guess my dad heard us yelling and had the operator stop.

"On the last evening of the celebration there was a large display of fireworks - I believe over on Shoreby Hill. They ended with a display of the new bridge and a ferryboat going underneath it. And never in my 80 years have I ever seen such a display and it remains firmly in my mind.

"As to the toll collector on the bridge, I can tell you a little known fact - I don't know if my folks ever found out! I was a freshman at what was called Rhode Island State College and many a weekend in groups of two or three - never alone - we would hitchhike rides to the bridge. The toll collector would wait until someone he knew would come along and ask them to take us across. One time I was with another girl, a car went by us, stopped and backed up! Was I ever surprised - and I'm sure my face was red as a beet. As it was Colonel Datson of Fort Getty and his wife who I knew very well as their daughter Janet was a friend of mine!

"Some of the best years of my life were on the island, and I still go back every year to visit with old friends, some of whom have lived there all of their lives!"

Phyllis was staying with friends on the island last week. We told her that her visit from Ohio brought with it relief from our impending drought.

***

Saturday is Armed Forces

Day. Fly the flag and hug a serviceman or woman or both. 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.

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