2007-10-25 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

"It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to be working with 'old friends' and 'new faces.' It also gives me a feeling of accomplishment to see some of the young people who started out as timid children now being featured in starring roles," Patty Vandal said about being cast as Cinderella's stepmother in "Into the Woods," her 17th appearance on stage for the Jamestown Community Theatre.

She and Mary Wright founded the JCT in 1990, just after Patty had retired from 30 years of teaching music in the Jamestown school. "It gave me an ideal way to still be involved with music and children. We agreed from the start that it should involve children as well as adults. I don't think that either of us thought it would continue as long as it has."

Patty was music director for 18 productions, missing only two that were staged in the spring when she was in Florida. Her favorite of them all was "Fiddler on the Roof."

She took a hiatus when her husband, Mo, could no longer take part due to illness. Her last play was "Honk."

A year after the passing of her husband she decided to audition for "Into the Woods" and won the role of Cinderella's stepmother. "It's a change not to worry about all the music and just be concerned with my part. I'm enjoying the change of pace," she said.

What about "Into the Woods?" "It's very deep, there's a lot there," she said. As for her character, Patty said the stepmother, who is vain and pompous, keeps pushing her daughters forward. The girls are much like their self-centered stepmother but wind up getting their comeuppance.

"I'm glad I'm doing it," she said.

"Into the Woods" will be presented at the Jamestown Community Center on November 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and November 11 and 18 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available on the island at Baker's Pharmacy, Conanicut Ship Store and The Secret Garden. In Wickford, you can buy them at Midnight Sun and in Newport at Pleasant Surprise.

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It was a day to remember for Dalton Brownell. He was 80 on Oct. 11 and was surprised with a chauffeured Lincoln town car that took him and Ellen to a birthday lunch at the Old Canteen restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence.

The lunch ended with the happy birthday song being sung by the patrons of the restaurant, which included the former mayor, Buddy Cianci.

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Carol Weremay e-mailed and Mary Ellen Coleman called to also confirm that Fang was Phyllis Diller's husband in her comedy routines.

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A Halloween lyric: I ain't got no body.............

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His goal was to raise $5,000 for the "Tomorrow Fund" in honor of Payton Watson who has leukemia. After a somewhat slow start, he ended up with $9,647.

And on Oct. 7, during the 23rd mile of the The Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA, Jim Pementell decided it would be his last run.

"It was 66 degrees and 77-percent humidity at the start of the marathon. Over 1,800 runners started and 1,500 finished. My wife, Ann Marie, and grandson, Marc, drove down with me. My son, Jamie, and his wife, Jenn, came up from Philadelphia. Although it didn't feel like I was really having fun on the hill at mile 23, I enjoyed the race and ended up running almost a half hour faster than last year (not that it was a fast time)."

At age 69, it was Jim's 42nd marathon and tenth fund-raiser. During those ten he has taken in over $75,000.

"Most of that was donated by the same people," Jim explained. "Their generosity has been unbelievable and I can't thank everyone enough."

Is it really his last marathon?

"Now that I have had time to think about it, it probably wasn't. I received one donation with a note that only said, "you are nuts," and you know, they might be right.

Thanks again to all of you for the donations, kind notes and support."

And, lotsa kudos to you, Jim.

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Keep those Halloween goodies away from Fluffy says Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"With Halloween coming up next Wednesday, we tend to see a few dogs each year that get into their family's stockpile of candy and need treatment to recover from stomach issues. Although small amounts of milk chocolate are not likely to cause anything more than a little loose stool, some dogs manage to eat enough chocolate to really make them sick and may require hospitalization.

"Also, dogs do not tend to open each piece of candy and eating all those wrappers and tinfoil can cause more of a problem than the candy itself. So, if your pets are around this Halloween and if your children are going to be bringing home bags of candy, make sure to keep the candy out of Fluffy's reach before, during, and after the holiday.

If your dog does get into a bag of candy then please contact your veterinarian for further advice and monitor Fluffy closely for vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia."

ARF!!

Pets get treats for their tricks all year round.

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Gloria Conley of Elizabeth City, NC, e-mailed with the lyrics for Bongo, Bongo, Bongo. "Don't know who sang it though. It was a fun song like Mairsy Doats."

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Kicking off their annual Scouting for Food drive, members of Boy Scout Troop 1 will be dropping off collection bags to your house this weekend.

They will pick up your food donations next Saturday, Nov. 3.

All collected items go to the food pantry at St. Mark Church.

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Flu shot clinics from Blue Cross, sponsored by the Friends of the Jamestown Library, will be held Monday, Oct. 29, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 3 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

If you are not sure whether you should get a flu shot, talk to your physician or call the Rhode Island Department of Health Immunization Hotline at 1-800-555-7858.

If you have medical insurance, please bring your insurance card with you to the clinic.

OUCH!

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I don't know whether or not I should be writing about this. I'm OK with it, but I don't want to offend my guests. But if I'm going to write about it, this is the time of year to do it. My guess is that they will never read this, but I know so little about them I can't be sure of it.

It all started a little over a year ago. I was sound asleep alone in my bedroom when I sensed a presence. When I opened my eyes there were two women in colonial dress sitting on top of a dresser watching me. To their left stood a man in wilderness clothes. He was rough and dangerous looking and it scared the bejesus out of me. I sat up and shouted to them to "get out of here, go away," which they did.

A couple of nights later, it happened again. This time there was a mixture of period dress. Again, they stared at me as if studying a species they had never seen before. There were smiles and they were communicating with each other but I heard nothing.

As the months went by they showed up from time to time. Some alone, some in groups and all behaving in the same way. Dogs visited and put their paws up on the bed. When I reached for them they would just vanish.

By now I was quite comfortable with what was happening. The only time I felt threatened was when a very thin man with hatred on his ugly face and dressed in what looked like red velvet 17th century clothing lunged at me with his arm and a long finger extended as if accusing me of something horrid.

Whenever I reached the point of touching one of the visitors he or she would disappear in a flourish of disturbed air. Keep in mind, they are all strangers, people I have never seen before.

My guests haven't been back in over a month. Sometimes when I'm sitting in my living room I'll catch a movement out of the corner of my eye. But I don't think this has anything to do with my nocturnal visitors, and I'm overdue for an eye exam anyway. But, I don't know.

I am wondering though if they might be back Wednesday.

Probably not, that's amateur night and my guests are the real thing.

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Have a happy and safe Halloween! WOOOOOOOO!

*** Be true!

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

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