2008-09-25 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

One of our delights during the summer months is sitting on our deck observing the antics of the hundreds of birds flying in and out of the feeders and later watching in wonder as the night sky evolves into millions of tiny lights.

Add to that visual delight the quiet sounds of a banjo and singing emanating from my neighbor's backyard. We have never seen the performance because the property line is lush with honeysuckle and other clingy plants blocking the view. After a little investigation we discovered that that the source of these sounds is not a novice.

Cindy Peloquin, for more than 20 years, was a member of the highly acclaimed Wickford Express and in addition to being a vocalist, plays a 100-year-old 5-string banjo, double bones, concertina, guitar, pennywhistle, spoons and the bodhran.

Several years ago she suffered a life-altering onset of rheumatoid arthritis, which ended forever her performing career and any thoughts of returning to the rigors of touring. "Devastated, I sought refuge and healing - I moved to Jamestown," she told us.

Her ailment doesn't seem to have slowed her down much. We asked Cindy what she has been doing since leaving Wickford Express. This is what she told us:

"That was four years ago. Since moving to the island, I've kept a pretty low profile, enjoyed living the quiet life. Which is, of course, to say that I've been busy exploring new pursuits, fulfilling dreams and realizing new directions for my creative forces. As a photographer, I have enjoyed successful exhibitions with the island's art association. As a writer, I am completing a project on New England Lighthouses and serve as a docent at Beavertail Light. As a lay-historian, I have spent over 30 years researching and documenting New England's fishing industry, worked as a commercial fisherman, and am now working on the manuscript that will bring it all together. As a musician and singer, my struggle with RA has put me into semi-retirement. The banjo gets a little dusty, the fingers don't move as quickly or accurately as they used to, and the vocal chords can get a little scratchy - all of that is true. So now I sing and play for me, for my own pleasure, for my grandchildren, for the impromptu backyard soiree, and for the kindly neighbors who listen quietly and even, occasionally, applaud and call out requests."

This past summer, on some evenings, all the stars weren't in the heavens.

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Where did Lucky Strike Green go?

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Rosemary Enright of the Jamestown Historical Society says that this coming weekend is the last that the Jamestown Museum will be open before closing for the winter. It's the last chance for islanders to see the "School Days!" exhibit. "We have lots of photographs from the Clarke School and would love help in identifying the children in the pictures," Rosemary said.

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Dave Volpe has resigned as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 1 and the troop's committee is searching for someone to replace him. Jim Archibald, chairman of the troop's committee, said the action was due to "new developments with his business which will make it impossible to commit to the time necessary to satisfy the responsibilities as scoutmaster."

Dave has been scoutmaster for the past four years and spent the previous four years as a member of the troop committeee, most of the time as chairman. "We should all step up and give three cheers for Dave. His leadership and continued assistance with our scouts, past and present, will not go unnoticed," Jim said. Anyone who feels he would like to work with these great kids can e-mail Jim at jim@jby.com or jamesarch@ cox.net. You can reach him by phone at 423-3094 or on his cell, 265-2698.

Dave will continue to serve as scoutmaster until his replacement is found and then work with him to ease the transition.

On that note, the newly elected and appointed troop leaders with whom the new scoutmaster will be working are:

Senior Patrol Leader, Danny Bailey; Asst. Senior Patrol Leaders, Hayden Maclean and Tom Munro; Patrol Leaders, Michael Brendlinger and Jimmy Perry; Scribe, Nathaniel Hopkins; Quartermaster, Eric Archibald; Historian/Librarian, Cam Toppa; Chaplin Aide, Ben Normand; Instructor, Josh Nolan; Den Chief, Chris Waterman; and Junior Asst. Scoutmaster Brian Volpe.

This from Bob and Sue Harvey - What was the name of the husband and wife duo who were regulars on the Garry Moore Show in the mid-50s?

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And, a poser from Priscilla Brogie, "Enjoy your column especially the bits of long-ago songs. They haunt me all week and at any given time you could hear me hum trying to get the rest of the lyrics. What about.... treat me like a worn out shoe."

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Kudos to the highway department for the new crosswalk in front of the Hunt Block. It replaces the one in front of the Rec Center that was dangerously too close to the curve carrying north bound traffic on Conanicus Avenue. The only down side is we lose another parking space at East Ferry. Are handicap ramps on order for the new crossing?

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Today is the 60th wedding anniversary of Ed and Irene Silvia of Walcott Avenue. Their son, Ed, reports that his sister, Charleen Waters of Washington, Georgia, is on the island to join in this very special occassion. Ed said, "It's certainly a milestone in life that not too many couples get to experience and I'm so grateful that we'll all be together as a family to celebrate it!"

Congratulations!

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A Snapple cap moment - Before mercury, brandy was used to fill thermometers.

*** Be true!

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Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760 or e-mail us at jtnwalrus@hotmail. com.

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