2008-04-17 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

There were no bridges then. A little over a year later, the island would be slammed by The Great Hurricane, but in 1937 things seemed serene. Everyone knew everyone else and the only daily contact with the outside world was the youngsters attending high school via ferry to Newport.

But now, school was out and the "summer folk" were arriving for their seasonal stay in the "cottages" and the Bay Voyage was taking reservations from the daily and weekly tourists.

In this setting, Leon C. Hull and I.K. Hull decided to publish a weekly paper, the Jamestown Gazette, that sold for 10 cents a copy.

On June 10, the first issue came out with the note, "We welcome all news contributions, but we cannot guarantee the publication of all matter received." It was a rather thin issue feeling its way to acceptance.

It declared itself non-political, stating, "If a proposal is in the interest of the town as a whole, we shall do all in our power to assist." The issue editorialized in favor of the elimination of a speaker at the school's graduation, called for the need of a pier at East Ferry, and decried the rubbish along side North Road on the way to the dump.

In a section entitled "Ruralisms from the North End," we learn that it was a good year for hay.

Advertisers included Central Garage, Bowen's White Nook, Westall's Ice Cream and Fruit Ices, Pitchers, and Tefft's Restaurant. Coffee was 35 cents a pound at Santos Market and you could buy three cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup at the Midway Market for 19 cents.

The issue's contents also included church news, historical notes and a column, "Heard Around Town," increased in popularity in future issues.

In the July 1 paper, Lyons Market had a full-page ad featuring, among other items, "Koma" Crab Meat, two cans for 25 cents; and a 1-pound jar of Melton Peanut Butter for 15 cents. Ralph Hull was advertising baby chicks for $10 a hundred and it was announced that a 1-year subscription would cost $4.

The editors derided the WPA's decision to disband a group of musicians that made up the WPA Band of Newport that entertained in Jamestown Monday evenings. "The talkies and radio have wiped out any chance of a musician finding steady employment." They also praised the Town Council for "finally starting to practice economy." In a baseball game, Jamestown lost 5-4 against the Fifth Ward A.C. from Newport and Mrs. James Finley of Bronxville, N.Y. was in her summer home on Conanicus Avenue.

Advertising increased in the July 15 issue and the editors noted the number of empty summer cottages - 56. Residents blamed it on the loss of the fleet and the need for a bridge.

Chief Green, Harry Locke and Bill Thireaux fried an egg on the asphalt on Ferry Wharf. At the Country Club there was a buffet that night at 6:30 followed by a series of sessions devoted to duplicate bridge. Admiral and Mrs. Neelstrom of Washington, D.C., and Mrs. Henry Morris of Philadelphia were at the Bay View. Mrs. Sydney Wright and her family of Philadelphia were at their cottage on the Wharton Farm, Beavertail Road

There were ads for Armbrust Plumbing and Heating and for Pyrofax, "it cooks, heats and freezes." "Porkie" West built a new chicken house and the Palace Theatre was showing "History is Made At Night," with Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur.

Next week we'll take a look at some of what was going on the end of July 1937. Our thanks to Gracie Sisson for sharing this bit of history with us.

***

More than $400 in water and sewer charges for a three-member family for three months. Go figure!

***

A Snapple cap moment: The starfish is the only animal that can turn its stomach inside out.

***

Last week's poser brought a response from Charlie Masso who e-mailed "Ah, what a charming name, 'Linda'.... an old Buddy Clark tune going back to the 40s- -great memories. Patty Vandal had the right answer and talent and wrote, "Good to be home and reading the Press again. I read it in Florida but it was always a week late." And, Barbara-Ann Mac Intosh wrote, "You have caused me to sing this song over and over since I opened the Press to your column on Thursday."

Judy Garlick checked in with a note that read, "I was a very young girl in the late 1940s when this song 'Linda' was popular. If I recall correctly the singer was Buddy Clark who teamed up with Dinah Shore on some recordings.

"I left out a verse or two:

"When I go to sleep, I never count sheep, I count all the charms about Linda.

And lately it seems, in all of my dreams, I walk with my arms around Linda.

It ends: "But miracles still happen and when my lucky star begins to shine,

with one lucky break I'll make Linda mine.

"I decided to give it a go because I found it amusing that both my cousin 'Archie' Clarke and his dad, Arthur S. Clarke Jr. were always called 'Bud' or 'Buddy' by our family and of course Archie is married to Linda Tiexiera."

Thanks, Judy.

***

Why is North Main Road at the entrance to the dump allowed to remain in such deplorable condition? With the road getting wider as people go around the holes, we'll soon have a view of the West Passage.

***

And, speaking of North Main Road, a few No Parking signs should be put up on the east side of the road at the water plant before a birdwatcher gets badly hurt.

***

If your quadruped looks like he is trying to put his paw in his ear, maybe he needs a little attention. Here's what Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic suggests.

"Cleaning your pet's ears is smelly, messy, and your pet just runs away from you. However, regular ear cleanings help avoid ear infections, reduce itching and scratching, and may prevent hearing loss.

"A dog or cat's ear canal is a long "L" shaped canal. Properly cleaning that canal involves using a good amount of ear cleaning solution and pouring enough cleaner into the ear that it fills up the canal. Then, by gently massaging that ear canal you will break up any debris and let it float to the top of the ear canal.

"Finally, take a cotton ball and gently swab the opening of the ear canal to collect all that debris. If you are just wiping the surface of the ear or only using a few drops of a cleaner then you are only cleaning a small part of your pet's ears and are missing a lot of what should be removed. As always, see your veterinarian with any questions regarding proper cleaning and proper products for your pet."

***

Joshua's new dog tag number is 277.

***

Does your mother know you're out...

***

Frank Meyer says if you want to relive a three minute ride over the old Jamestown Bridge log on to: http://video. google.com/videoplay?docid=- 1217163763397210520 or visit Fort Greble for 13 minutes without getting a $200 fine, go to:http:// video.google.com/videoplay?doci d=1065455862344838218.

Three minutes? We heard there were still people on it when they tore it down.

Thanks, Frank.

*** Has anyone seen Kilroy?

***

Sunday's full moon is the Grass Moon or Egg Moon.

*** 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.

Return to top