2008-02-14 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Monroe

On this St. Valentine's Day, one Jamestown couple attributes a shared love for music as an important aspect of the two's love for each other as they approach their 63rd wedding anniversary on Aug. 4.

Whit Brown, 85, told us, "Music has been a large part of our lives."

He and his wife, Leonora, better known as Leo, 88, have sung together throughout their married life. In fact, they met in an elevator at Riverside Church in New York City where they were both members of the choir. Their musical journey has brought them to now being the senior couple in the Jamestown Community Chorus. Along the way they sang around the world including a choir in Guam and a chorus in Needham, Mass.

They have sung with the JCC for some 20 years and with the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church choir since the 1960s.

The couple first came to Jamestown in 1949 as summer residents. They moved permanently to the island in 1975. Whit is a family physician who went on to teach at Harvard, Tufts, and Boston University. Leo has a master's in nursery education and worked for the Institute for International Education.

In addition to sharing their love for music, the union brought forth four children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Whit has a great love for the chorus. He touts the fellowship and the wonderful people. "It's a wonderful experience. It's something that singles and couples of any age can do together."

He said that he and Leo have tried to quit twice, but Director B.J. Whitehouse always let them back in.

He credits B.J. with the success of the chorus that is now up to 60 members. "He helped both of us improve the quality of our singing."

Whit is a tenor and Leo an alto. "She's the best," he said diplomatically, adding that the chorus is a great place to re-kindle a romance.

***

Kudos to islander Brett Uttley, who for the second consecutive year has been named the Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Brett had 13 goals and 16 assists, leading his North Kingstown High School team (19-0-2) to the Division I state championship. The 5-foot 8, 160-pound midfielder finished his high school career with 33 goals and 39 assists.

We asked him how he felt being named player of the year for the second time, and he replied that all he really wanted was for the team to be state champs.

He said the award was "icing on the cake and made the year all the better."

Brett has not decided yet where he'll be playing soccer next fall.

***

It's that time of the year again when moms wonder what to do with their kids on school vacation in the middle of winter. Well, for those of you not going to Aspen, the Jamestown Philomenian Library on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 1 to 2 p.m.will bring in the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. The society will present "Seasonal Sensations" for children in kindergarten through second grade. Children will learn about their five senses while investigating the changing seasons.

The next day, Feb. 21, at the same time, the society will offer "Animals in Winter" for children grades 3 through 8. They will hear about the strategies that animals use to survive this challenging and stressful time of year.

Registration is required for both of these Friends of the Jamestown Library-sponsored programs and attendance is limited.

***

Liza Kurt went to the movies in Newport last week and came home with a gem she found in the gutter.

She was walking to her car on Spring Street when she noticed a broken coffee table along the curb that had been put out for rubbish pickup.

Upon quick examination, Liza determined it wasn't too badly damaged, picked it up and put it in her car. She was in need of such a table.

The next day she ran it over to the Strip Joint in Saunderstown to see about repairs. It turned out that the table has a black walnut top and was built in the 1870s.

The man at the Strip Joint commented, "I wish I'd found it."

***

In his Pet Tip of the Week, Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic addresses a problem that all animal owners share. "Unless you have a Sphynx cat, a Mexican hairless dog, or a goldfish then you are likely battling the buildup of pet hair in your house. Nothing will stop a pet from shedding but there are ways to reduce the extent of the shedding. Daily brushing is the most effective way to reduce shedding and keep your pet's coat clean. Supplements like omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E will also help to keep the hair strong and reduce shedding.

"Regular bathing about every two weeks also helps to keep your pet's skin clean, remove allergens, and keep your pet's coat shiny. And finally, feeding a good quality pet food and not constantly changing your pet's diet will ensure proper nutrition and a better coat.

"If you feel that Fluffy is shedding abnormally or losing too much hair then get him a check up because endocrine disorders, parasites, and illnesses will affect your pet's coat and can be an early sign of disease."

WOOF!

***

Barbara-Ann Mac Intosh emailed,

"That old black magic has me in it's spell, that old black magic that you weave so well,

Those icy fingers up and down my spine, the same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine....etc. "I know it was a hit for Frank Sinatra."

Bob Kinder had the answer, as did John A. Murphy adding that at the time Frank was singing with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. And, from down south, Corey and Sandy Hanson wrote, "That Old Black Magic has Sandy and Corey in its South Carolina spell. Wow! That one's been recorded by almost everyone. "Not long after A. Lincoln's b-day is Sandy Lareau Hanson's on Feb. 22. Miss all of the Jamestowners."

But Corey, why don't you just say Sandy was born on George Washington's birthday?

What was the name of the motel and restaurant that was located at the base of the old Jamestown Bridge?

***

Kudos to Jamestown School seventh and eighth graders who made the 2nd quarter honor roll.

Great job, guys!

*** Hey, there, you with the............

***

No one came up with the answer to Matt Winton's question, Who sang the National Anthem at the opening of the Newport Bridge on June 28, 1969?

Matt said the answer is Dick Crane, "the blind man who ran the news stand at the Newport Post Office."

Matt dropped off the book, "A Wonderful Journey, the autobiography of Dick Crane," and on page 116, Dick writes, "I sang the National Anthem for the opening of the Newport Bridge on June 28, 1969, which was a great honor. I asked to do it and they let me. I sang with the 88th Artillery Band of Woonsocket. It wasn't in my key, but they rolled the drums and I started singing. I sing it straight: I don't sing it slow or jazz it up. I just belted it our over the microphone. I'm glad I didn't do more than one verse; one verse was enough to sing in that key. Normally, I do a cappella in my key and it works out very well."

***

It's St. Valentine's Day. Love someone!

*** 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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