2007-05-24 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

An event in Jamestown Saturday, June 2, should be of interest to all islanders.

That day is Tick Control Awareness Day and a tick research team from URI will be at 11 America Way (at the entrance to East Passage Estates, off East Shore Rd.) to help islanders learn how best to control ticks in their yards and on pets and to prevent tick bites and disease.

A brochure announcing the event invites everyone to take steps now to keep from being bitten. "Tick-transmitted diseases like Lyme disease, babesiosis, and anaplasmosis are no little thing. They can be serious...they can dramatically affect your life," the brochure reads.

Last year, URI tick surveillance recorded the second highest level of tick abundance in the past 14 years.

The island's deer population continues to grow after years of talk by the Town Council and a measly effort to reduce the number of animals.

URI recommendations to protect your family include checking yourself thoroughly each day for ticks; applying repellent containing Permethrin to clothing and wearing treated clothing whenever going outdoors; keeping the edges of the yard clear of leaf litter because that is where exposure to ticks is most likely to occur; and hiring a trained professional pestcontrol expert or arborist to apply an appropriate tick treatment around your yard.

Be aware!

***

Welcome Poppy to Jamestown.

Poppy was adopted from the Potter League for Animals and joins three other Potter rabbits, Thumper, Stanley and Foofa, at the O'Farrell residence on Ft. Getty Road. The rabbits get lots of TLC from Liam, 14, Fergus, 13, Aidan, 11 and Finn, 9.

In addition to his fellow rabbits, Poppy will share his new home with 10 head of cattle and Sam, a flat coat retriever.

***

At this time of year when we pay homage to our servicemen and women past and present, congratulations go to islander Emmet E. Turley who on May 7 received his military medals at a reception in the office of Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

Born in Detroit, Mich., Emmet was raised in England and Northern Ireland. At the age of 21, while working in London, he received his "greetings" from Uncle Sam. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, trained in Bavaria and was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, as an engineer working on top secret material for Colonel A.G. Haemer. Emmet served 2 1/2 years and then returned to the United States.

He received the National Defense Service Medal and the Army of Occupation Germany ribbon.

***

Jamestown was on the list of stops for Priscilla and Morton Houliston who are on a 16,000- mile bicycle ride around the country. We caught up with them on Martha's Vineyard on Saturday and Priscilla told us of their experience here.

On May 10, they were coming on to the island via the Jamestown Bridge when they were stopped by a state trooper checking to see if they were all right. They had called ahead asking permission to cross with their bikes.

When they reached the bottom, they were greeted by islanders Dan Alexander and Lynn Sisson who offered them water and invited them for dinner at Dan's Narragansett Cafe. "They were the most delicious chicken and steak quesadillas that we've ever had," Priscilla said. The couple spent the night at Dan's house and Priscilla said she will never forget the beautiful strains of "The Fiddler's Dream" that was playing while they retired. The next morning Dan borrowed a pickup and drove them over the Newport Bridge.

"He is an incredibly wonderful person," Priscilla said.

The couple is making the trip to bring attention to obesity. Priscilla weighed 400 pounds when they started out and, as of Saturday, was down to 260. "Thirty minutes of exercise every day will change your life," she said.

"Hopefully we'll come back to Jamestown," they said. Pictures of the couple's visit to the island can be seen on their Website, www.littlechanges. com.

***

Pets need ID's, too, says Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"You can never know when Fluffy might escape out the front door, slip his leash, or bolt out of the car and get lost before you can grab him or her. Always make sure your pets, even indoor pets, have some identification on them. Either a small tag with your phone number on it, a collar with your number stitched into it, or at least take a permanent marker and write your number on the inside of the collar," he said. "Another recommended idea is to get your pet microchipped. A small, permanent microchip is implanted under the skin and is linked to a unique ID number for your pet. If your animal is picked up by animal control, a shelter, or a veterinary hospital they should be able to read the chip with a special scanner and contact the company to let them know that Fluffy has been found and increase the chances of you getting your loved one back quickly."

ARF!!

***

In last week's column we put in "Hubba Hubba" as just an exclamation.

But, much to our delight, alert poser participant Bob Kinder emailed, "Hubba Hubba was a Perry Como WW2 favorite. It started off: Well a hubba hubba hubba, I'm all right, etc."

We also remember it as, Well a hubba hubba hubba hello Jack, a hubba hubba hubba I just got back......

*** How about the eastern half of the wood pile pier for the fishermen, and the western half for commercial boats.

***

The new stamps may be "forever" but you can bet the price won't be.

***

The Press sells. We ran an ad in classified last week and the item was gone by 6:30 p.m. the day the paper came out.

***

However, we still have the free riding mower. Mooring, anyone?

***

Members of Boy Scout Troop 1 attended a meeting of the school committee last Thursday night at the Lawn Avenue library as a requirement for their Citizenship in the Community merit badge. Asst. Scoutmaster Glen Hopkins led the delegation.

***

Martin Hellewell reports that in addition to himself, Jeff Hunter and Fred Pease participating in the Tubaphonia May 12, Jamestown Community Band's Mike Jackson, played drums and bugle, the first non-lower conical brass player ever.

Proudly displayed on stage were the Navy SeaBees newly crafted Fighting Bee mascot, while a display of service caps, including Korean War era USMC fore and aft caps belonging to Joe Littlefield and John Ragland, Ira Murphy's USA and USN caps, as well as several hats borrowed from the Naval War College by Eric Archer, representing all service members.

On Saturday, the Tubaphonia musicians were joined by additional band members Grafton Bucklin, Bob Vacca, Lorne Palmer, Kathy O'Neil and Ed Kurtz for the World Wide Echotaps at the Rhode Island Veterans' Cemetery in Exeter. Leslie Kurtz and Dee Hellewell handled logistics for the local participants.

***

"Arts Alive," the Jamestown school's 6th annual student art show for grades K to 4 will have its opening reception Thursday, May 31, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the school on Melrose Avenue.

The room will be open for viewing exhibits all day on Friday, June 1, and families may take home their children's artwork between 2:30 and 5 p.m.

***

Islander and former governor Bruce Sundlun was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot during World War II and was based at Grafton-Underwood, England, from which he flew bombing missions over Germany.

Recently a professor at URI sent him a story from the BBC website that the governor had never heard before. Finding it extraordinary, he passed it on to us, and with Memorial Day coming up next week we pass it on to you.

The governor tells about Charlie Brown who like himself was also a B-17 pilot but with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His plane was called "Ye Old Pub" and while on a mission got badly beat up by flak and machine gun and cannon fire from German fighters. To make matters worse, the compass on the plane was knocked out, and his B- 17 was actually flying deeper into enemy territory instead of heading home to England.

"A German fighter pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off from his airfield and shoot down this crippled B-17. When he got near the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words he, 'had never seen a plane in such a bad state.' The tail and rear section was severely damaged; the left horizontal stabilizer on the tail was completely shot off, as was the top part of the vertical stabilizer. The number two engine was knocked out, and the top gunner's remains were spread over the top of the fuselage. The nose was smashed and there were holes in the fuselage everywhere.

"The German pilot flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at Charlie Brown, the American pilot. Brown was scared and was struggling to control his damaged and bloodstained plane.

"Steigler realized that Charlie Brown had no idea where he was going, and the German pilot waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees, back towards the French Coast and England. Franz Steigler then escorted and guided this stricken plane to slightly over the North Sea towards England. He then hand saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe and his base.

"When Steigler landed he told his commander that the American plane had been shot down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remainder of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it. More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who saved his crew. After much research, Franz Steigler was found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions.

"Charlie Brown and Franz Steigler met at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with other crew members who are alive now, all because the German pilot, Franz Steigler, never fired his guns that day.

"Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle, and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, after the war. When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years!"

Great story, governor, thank you!

***

Sunday is Pentecost.

Monday is Memorial Day observed. Put out your flag, thank a member of the Armed Forces, watch the parade, and remember!

***

Be true!!

Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760. You can e-mail us at jtnwalrus@ hotmail.com, or drop your items off at the Jamestown Press office.

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