2006-12-14 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Jamestown’s annual re-creation of the nativity scene on Christmas Eve is missing a very important participant. There is no donkey.

Hopefully, in the days leading up to this wonderful event, a donkey will be located and join the sheep and an ox in the manger scene. Others taking part will be angels, shepherds, wisemen, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

The pageant, which begins at 5 p.m. on Shoreby Hill, has been a Jamestown tradition since 1975.

Susan Lutes, pageant director, said the event “is a very meaningful way to embrace the Christmas holiday.” Re-creators include members of the Girl Scouts; Boy Scouts; members of the Arnold Zweir Post 22, American Legion; Jamestown Memorial Post 9447, Veterans of Foreign Wars; and the Jamestown Rotary Club and the Lions Club.

Susan urges everyone “to enjoy the readings and blessings and join in with carol singing while the participants in the nativity scene re-create the events of that sacred night.”

A tree lighting will conclude the 20-minute event. Observers should dress warmly and bring flashlights to follow along with the Christmas carols. Song sheets will be distributed.

If it rains, stay home.

If you have questions or locate a donkey, call Susan at 423-7435.

*** Barbara Szepatowski is druming

up excitement for the big dog parade this weekend.

“Hey, pups and all mutts, come one, come all, to the Jamestown Fire Station on Sunday, Dec. 17 for the sixth annual Jamestown Chamber of Commerce Holiday Dog Parade to benefit the Paws & Claws Senior Citizen’s Pet Fund and the Jamestown Animal Shelter.

“Since December of 2000, at least 100 dogs and their owners have shown up each year decked in their holiday best, to bark, sing dog holiday carols, and vote for the best costume in the parade. With hot cocoa and Christmas cookies for both the owners and their pets, the parade has become a great way to relieve holiday stress while helping Jamestown’s senior citizens with their pet’s vet bills and care.

“The Jamestown Community Band will accompany us as we stroll down Narragansett Avenue, providing musical support for the carols. A table will also be set up at the fire department for people to sign up to volunteer to work on the animal shelter or make donations of supplies. Have you noticed the new roof on the shelter building?

“This year there will be a new feature with Linda Wallace and her associates at REMAX Bayview offering pet photos with Santa on the porch of their office located right across from the fire station. We hear Charlie Petit will be doing the honors. Both registration at the fire station; and photos with Santa will start at 1 p.m., with the parade moving down the “Av” at 2. There is a $5 entry fee for the parade and a donation for the pictures. And remember no cats allowed! “Woof, Woof!!!”

***

Donations are low this year and the deadline is looming to deliver the contents of the Town Hall Mitten Basket to the Newport County Women’s Resource Center, which services Jamestown residents.

The basket contains donated mittens, gloves, scarves, and hats. Items must be newly purchased or handmade.

Kim Turcone, deputy town clerk, suggests that donations may be low this year due to the Town Hall’s temporary change in location. It is now in the golf course building at 245 Conanicus Ave., across from the police station.

Kim added that “the resource center is always appreciative of the island’s generosity.”

***

A reader called to say that every time he drives by the beach at Mackerel Cove he feels warmer remembering the days of summer.

It’s not the beach that makes him feel that way, it’s the pair of sneakers hanging from the wires.

Bet somebody’s mom is still looking for them.

***

We received a special request from teacher Beth Weibust. “My sixth-grade class would like to know what is the highest point of elevation on Conanicut Island? Our two top guesses are Top of the Mark and Beavertail. Any information on this?”

We consulted our island elevation expert, Al Bates, who lives on the north end.

Al writes, “There appears to be a Geological Survey benchmark about 400’ west of North Main Road and 100’ or so south of Frigate Street. There is an outcropping of ledge starting on the south side of the road and it’s a good bet the benchmark, the high point, is at the top of the ledge.

“I don’t know whose property it’s on so I never looked for it. The elevation according to one map is 142’.”

Al said that because the land at the high point has not been developed there’s a good chance the benchmark, a brass plate placed there by the Geological Survey, is still there. “Locating it might make a good field trip for some sixth-graders,” Al said, adding, “I was once in the sixth grade myself, during the Coolidge administration.”

He’s not kidding, Al turned 89 in July.

***

When making out your Christmas checks, remember 10-year-old Payton Watson who’s in Hasbro Children’s Hospital with leukemia (AMI).

She is the daughter of Sergeant Frank Watson of the Jamestown Police Department and Elizabeth (Goode) Watson.

If you feel you’d like to help Payton and her family with their financial needs, make your check out to the Payton Watson Medical Fund and send it to the IBPO Local 305, 250 Conanicus Ave., Jamestown 02835.

***

Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic tells us in his Pet Tip of the Week that as we look out for ourselves in cold weather we must look out for our pets as well.

“As the cold weather arrives and rain turns to snow and ice, there are some pet precautions we should all take. Be careful with all the road salt and de-icers that we tend to use on steps and sidewalks. Some pets will hurt their footpads walking on this stuff and you should either clean their feet off after every walk or else consider buying doggie booties to keep their feet safe. “Also, if your pet has long hair around his or her feet consider having it trimmed so they will not get snow and ice between their toes, which can be painful or contribute to frostbite. Active outdoor pets can become dehydrated even when the temperature is low, so make sure they have an un-frozen source of clean water to quench their thirst at all times. If they must be outside during the cold weather, make sure they have a clean, dry shelter available at all times.”

***

Christmas means an upturn in correspondence between Jamestown and the North Pole. Postmaster Charlie Burns intercepts those letters and puts them in a special satchel that goes directly to Santa so he’ll have time to reply.

Each December Postmaster Burns shares some of those communiques with us, and we thus share them with you. Here goes:

A young man writes, “I will kiss you Santa when I see you. I have been doing good behavior. Can you bring me some of these toys for Christmas please? 1 - A race track 2 - The ‘Cars’ movie 3 - Cars for my race track 4 - Fire trucks

5 - new coloring books

Thank you Santa! I will give you cookies and milk.

A young lady asks for a field hockey stick, goggles for field hockey, arts and crafts, some clothes for her and her American Girl Doll Samantha Parkington so they’ll match.

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