2006-06-08 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Scenes of Jamestown as seen through the camera lens of the

Potter family in the 1920s have been packaged into sets of five greeting cards that capture the feel of the island in those years.

Upon Tom Potter's death last fall, his son Andrew came across a series of familiar Jamestown scenes in the family photo albums of pictures taken during the early 1920s.

Tom spent his summers on the island since 1914 and moved here permanently in 1981. His grandfather built the large home on the hill above Fort Wetherill in 1885. "I have memories of visiting my grandmother there from about 1960 until 1981, " Andrew said.

While going through the albums, Andrew, who is a photographer and video producer, decided the photos would make lovely cards. He scanned them into his computer, cleaned them up and added a little color to the scenes.

"The result is a collection of beautiful old images that are very familiar, yet different from present day Jamestown," he said.

The pictures include a young Tom Potter sailing a wooden sloop, two ferries at the old ferry landing, and Andrew's grandfather T. Albert Potter (father of longtime island resident Joan Taft) standing at the Jamestown Boat Yard. Andrew's other works about

Jamestown include a video on display at the Beavertail Lighthouse entitled "Stories from the Beavertail Light." Andrew resides in Lexington, Mass., but also has a home in Jamestown. The "Jamestown in the 1920s" greeting cards may be purchased at Jamestown Designs and Jamestown Hardware, or by mail order by calling 781-696-3387.

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Watching the ceremonies at the Four Corners Cemetery during the Memorial Day parade, Sue Clarke's niece, 9-year-old Mackenzie Kidder of Maine, asked why they have 21gun salutes.

When Jamestown Press photograper Andrea von Hohenleiten passed by, she was asked if she knew the significance of the ceremony.

She did not, but set upon finding out. As she walked around Narragansett Avenue looking for picture possibilities, she asked some dozen knowledgable-looking bystanders if they knew why they fire 21-gun salutes.

Nobody knew until she came upon retired U.S. Marines Colonel Bruce Livingston. He said that during the days of wooden ships and iron men, gunboats carried 21 cannons. When a ship entered a harbor, the crew would fire a blank from each gun. This signaled to people on shore that the vessel's guns were empty and the ship was friendly.

There you go Mackenzie, try that one on your history teacher.

***

A Rocket Dawg giant salute to the Jamestown Early Learning Center, North Main Road; Claire Ferguson of Bayview Drive; the R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority; Frank and Donna Pensa of Newport Street; Jill and David Dolce, Keel Avenue; Heidi Keller Moon, Conanicus Avenue; Jeanne Bunkley of Columbia Avenue; Robert Fuller, Howland Avenue; James Wright of Clinton Avenue; George and Virginia Berglund, North Main Road; Dick and Julie Gallagher, Whittier Road; and Thomas and Anne Tighe of West Street, all contributors last week to the Fireworks Fund.

We're at $5,100 with $10,000 to raise in three weeks.

For anyone who may have run out of stamps, the Dawgz now are able to accept donations through our web site and PayPal. Check it out at http://www.jamestownri.com/fireworks/.

If you have a stamp send your check to the Fireworks Fund, Box 1776, Jamestown 02835. WE'LL BLOW YOUR MONEY UP! KA-BOOM!

***

Just so we don't lose any vehicles near the dump, Jim McLoughlin says he's going to take up a collection for more traffic cones for North Road.

***

Now to the topic of poops. Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic says in his Pet Tip of the Week, "Few things are more frustrating than cats that stop using their litter box. Many cats will go on strike if their boxes are too dirty, so make sure they are cleaned regularly. Stress is another common cause and if there are new pets, renovations, or a recent move, then it may take time for the cat to adjust.

"If your cat is going to one particular spot, then clean it very well to eliminate the smell, and sometimes just closing cat out of that room or feeding the cat in that area will work. Cats can also be picky about their litter and any changes to the type, brand, or smell may make a cat avoid the box.

"Finally, if the cat seems to be having any trouble urinating or pooping or if it is going small amounts all over the house then please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away to rule out medical causes for the problem." Thanks, Doctor. Where's Fluffy?

***

And, in a like vein, Dotti Farrington e-mailed "When the plumber completed an installation on May 25 at Steve and Maria Liebhauser's Slice of Heaven Restaurant, Steve rushed to tell his friends (all his customers are friends) about his new waterless urinal - only the second known such installation on the island. (The Fitness Center was the first.)

"Such a topic might seem a stretch for a world-class baker, but it is just one more challenge he masters to maintain his quest to conserve the island's limited water supply. The device will save thousands of gallons of water, he is promised by the manufacturer, who also boasts it makes maintenance easier and more sanitary."

Kudos Steve! Just try not to look across the street where they're washing cars.

***

Has everyone seen the cute "Geese Crossing" sign on East Shore Road behind the bridge office?

***

The Jamestown Community Theatre lost one of its biggest fans recently when Bill Krach, Mary Wright's stepfather and professional singer died.

Bill sang in the quartet in the original production of "My Fair Lady" on Broadway. Three years ago when the JCT presented "My Fair Lady," Bill entertained in front of the audience at two performances. Accompanied by Janet Grant on the piano, he sang "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face." It was the last time he performed in public before losing his ability to sing.

Mary said, "He treasured the moments he sang here, and spoke of it often before he died. I have a VCR tape of him singing at the Community Center that was recorded one of those nights. It is the only musical memory my mom and I have that we can watch."

Bill came to Jamestown often before becoming completely wheelchair bound.

He attended every play that the JCT performed.

Thanks, Bill, for the great moments you gave us on our stage. R.I.P.

***

Patty Vandal said that after the parade on May 29 she was reminiscing about past parades in Jamestown.

"When I was in elementary school all the school children who marched in the parade got a ticket for a free ice cream cone redeemable at Pitcher's Drugstore, Hunt's Drugstore or Westall's. Back then that was a real incentive." Welcome home Patty and Mo.

***

Dagmar is back. Barbara-Ann MacIntosh reported that she didn't respond to our first column about the big blonde because she remembered the phrase as a song and not the TV show.

"Like Charlie, I think it was a song. 'I like the wide open spaces, out where the cacti grow, where two guns beat four aces, I like the wide open spaces.'

"That's all the lyrics I can remember and have a tune running around in my head.

"I remember the Jerry Lester Show and Dagmar. I was allowed to stay up late on Friday nights to watch the show with my grandpa. I also use to watch the Arthur Godfrey Show with Grandpa. I remember Milton Delug, Holly Loki and the Chordettes. I know Margie and Walter Latzko. Margie sang with the Chordettes and Walter did all the arrangements for the Godfrey show and the Chordettes. Walter is also one of the finest arrangers in the Barbershop Harmony Society. As you can see, I have a bunch of useless information."

Heck, Barbara-Ann, we used it! Thanks!

***

All islanders are invited to the Jamestown Community Theatre's annual meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the large meeting room of the Jamestown library.

***

Sunday is the Rose Moon.

Wednesday is Flag Day. Let's make the whole island red, white and blue.

*** Be true!

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Send your good stuff for this column to the Jamestown Press or jtnwalrus@hotmail.com, call us at 423-0383 or 829-2760. If you can't find us, you're not really trying.

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