2006-06-01 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Timing in life is everything. If we hadn't stopped in at

the Jamestown Press office Friday afternoon at the same time the paper's historian was there, we may have missed out last weekend on a great trip back in time.

Sue Maden said there was something at the Jamestown Museum she thought we should see. She said they had found a packet filled with official papers from WorldWar-II era that belonged to James M. Munro.

Mystified, we asked when we could see it. Sue called the museum and informed intern Lauren Thacker that we'd be stopping by shortly.

When we got to the museum, Lauren had the packet ready for us to examine. The 21-year-old East Providence resident is

interning for the summer at the museum before entering her senior year at Holy Cross.

She told us she had found the small leather case on a shelf in the back of the room. We determined later that because of its size and shape the case probably had been designed to carry and protect War Ration Books. Because there was so much material in the packet, we asked Lauren if we could borrow it for the weekend so we could thoroughly examine it.

Saturday morning, we sat down with a cup of coffee and proceded to go through the papers. It contains examples of wartime memorabilia from 1942 through 1945 with one 1938 pass thrown in. During those dates, our family lived in Newport, Teaneck, N.J., and Wickford.

There is a Gasoline Ration Card with two tabs remaining that should have been used by June of '42. Several Selective Service notices classify my father as II-B and later as 4-A. A door pass from the U.S. Naval Air Station at Quonset allowed Badge #1833 entry to the building and a Milage Rationing Card on Nov. 27, 1944, issued 10 gallons of gas to a l936 Chevrolet Coach due to a hardship. My father had to attend a funeral.

The 1938 item is a pass from the Newport Police Department allowing my father "to go to the Ocean Drive and adjacent streets." The date was four days after the "Great Hurricane."

There were War Ration Books for all four members of the family. In 1943, one was issued to my little brother Bruce, who according to the book weighed 46 pounds and his occupation was "school child." Our ration book in 1942 read that we were 11 years old and a "school boy" who weighed 70 pounds.

There are four tickets for "passenger autos & light trucks" to cross the Jamestown Bridge. A book of tickets costs $1.50.

Wow, the memories that packet brought back! The places we lived. Tomato and noodle soup that lasted for days and horse meat that lasted longer. My father pouring gallons of Renuzit cleaning fluid - $1.18 a gallon - into his gas tank to stretch out the gasoline. Putting used razor blades in a slot in the wall. Shoveling coal into the furnaces. Saving rolls of tinfoil and empty coffee cans full of lard.

There wasn't any whining in those days about the price of gas. In fact, there was little whining about anything.

Everybody got behind President Franklin Roosevelt because he was our president and this is our country. We often think of how in 1941 this nation came together to arm and send our military to continents throughout the world and brought three major countries to their knees in just four years.

Now it seems we can get nothing done.

So, how did my father's packet get to the Jamestown Museum? We can only surmise that he read that the museum was requesting donations of World War II memorabilia for one reason or another, and he put the package together and dropped it off. Thanks, Dad.

***

Fifty Jamestown School

eighth-graders accompanied by 11 adults will leave by bus at l p.m. today for a three-day visit to our nation's capital.

After settling into their hotel tonight, the group will begin tomorrow with a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial followed by an interior tour of the Capitol building arranged by Sen. Jack Reed's office, a White House exterior visit, and a viewing of the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and Korean War Veterans Memorial, with much of the latter in a lighted tour at night.

On Saturday, the class travels to the F.D.R. Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, takes a drive-by look at Embassy Row and the National Cathedral, Smithsonian Mall with tours of the National Air and Space Museum, Museum of American History, the Museum of Natural History, and the Daniel's Story portion of the U.S. Holocaust Museum. They'll wind up Saturday with a Moonlight Dinner-Dance cruise on the Potomac.

The group will visit the National Zoo on Sunday, on its way out of town with a stop for lunch at the Delaware House.

Maureen McDermott has coordinated the many difficult aspects of putting a trip like this together.

Financial support has come from the Ali Dunn Packer Memorial Fund, the Jamestown Rotary Club, the Jametown PTO, the Jamestown Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, the Jamestown Education Fund, a grant through Rep. Bruce Long's office, and a series of class fundraising efforts.

Great job! Enjoy your country!

***

The Central Baptist Church is

gearing up once again for its annual June Festival to be held Saturday, June 24. The church is in need of donations for the flea market, kids' mart, live auction, and used clothing.

The church will accept the contributions Saturdays at the church from 9 a.m. to noon through June 10. If you need assistance with delivering your donation, please call Dave Dolce at 423-2241 or Deb Hentschell, 792-0166.

***

For the second Sunday in a

row, Jamestown's Babe Ruth League team Ali's Run was victorious at Cardines Field in Newport. The island guys beat O'Bs 3-2 in extra innings.

***

Whoops! We said in our May

18 column that Jamestown Community Band's new director, Katherine O'Neill, is also a member of other musical groups. Those were all past activities.

It is our error and we vow never more to interview anyone with a low cell phone signal.

***

Joyce Hooley Bartlett celebrated

a "big" (husband's quotes) birthday on May 24. Fred said, "Let's just say the 40s were a great run!"

***

Big kudos to Martha Milot of

Highland Drive, Avenue B residents Baxter and Patricia Venable, Joe Tiexiera of Brook Street, Dorothy Norton of Howland Avenue, Joseph Tamburini and Erica Gregg of Meadow Lane, Rep. Bruce Long, Ed and Mary Thacker of Conanicus Avenue, and BankNewport for their donations to the Fireworks Fund.

Only four weeks to go. The more you send, the more we can blow up. Fill up Box 1776, Jamestown 02835 with checks and the Rocket Dawgz will fill the sky with glory on Independence Day.

Hallelujah and KA-BOOM!

We just passed $4,000, $11,000 to go!

*** Dr. Joshua Hatch of the

Jamestown Animal Clinic is in a rabbit mood this week. Let's see what the sage has to say in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"House rabbits can make great pets but do have some common isssues. Both ear mites and ear infections are common as are overgown incisors that cause trouble eating. Both diarrhea and respiratory disease can be life threatening but are usually treatable if addressed early.

"Overfeeding rabbits with pellets and not enough fiber in the diet is probably the number one rabbit issue. Rabbits should be fed mostly quality timothy hay and an assortment of green vegetables with only a small amount of pellets as a treat. Avoid fruits and be careful with foods like spinach, mustard greens, and kale, which have a lot of oxalates and can cause kidney stones. Beans, potatoes, and rhubarb are toxic to rabbits and should never be given to them.

"See www.rabbit.org for more great rabbit tips and feeding guidelines."

A wiggle of the nose to the good doctor.

***

Congratulations to former resident

Elvis Seth who graduated from Johnson and Wales May 20 summa cum laude/Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society in information sciences.

***

Last Tuesday at 7 a.m., a deer

passed by our kitchen window in the same part of the yard our watch dog Joshua hangs out on his leash and where our grandchildren play when they come to visit. This isn't the north end or Beavertail. This is Pembertown Avenue near the school and senior apartments. Anyone listening?

***

Don't let the feds upset you

about hurricanes. They have no idea what is going to occur next week. What happens, happens!

***

Stacey Martin #52 e-mailed to chastise us for our remark last week about the MLB's pink bats. "The players were using them (and wearing pink wristbands) in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness and the Susan G. Komen Foundation." She added that this push for donations occur around Mother's Day each year. "So, please applaud the Pink Bats and don't despise them."

OK, we apologize, but what were the green and blue bats for and how do you explain the pink ones to an 8-year-old star shortstop?

Stacey, that #52 is her player number, reports that her football team the Intensity is into full-contact outdoor practices three times a week. She urges fans to check out the team's schedule and directions to their facilities on the team's Web site, www.newenglandintensity. com, or call Stacey at 374-4775. HUT, HUT, HUT

***

It was 62 years ago next

Tuesday, June 6, that the allies invaded the beaches of Normandy. *** 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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