2009-01-15 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Congratulations to our new President. May he achieve his many goals and receive the respect of all Americans as he serves as our leader and Commander-in-Chief.

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I used my EZ-Pass for the first time last week. Appproaching the bridge cautiously I picked out a lane and headed for the gate slowly. I was well under the overhead and about to brake when the light turned green and the gate went up.

Returning to the island I again chose a lane and approaced slowly. This time I had to come to a complete stop before hitting the gate. I glanced to the right and there was a guy standing in the booth. He evidently was checking out my transponder and after seeing it on the windshield pushed a handle forward and the gate went up. We guess that's manual technology.

I hope when they get the whole thing straightened out they'll make the two outside lanes EZ-Pass. When Charlotte Richardson was on the Town Council she made sure the two outside lanes were for tokens only. This allowed Jamestowners entering and leaving the bridge to do so without having to cross traffi c lanes.

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If you're a mystery novel fan treat youself to the delightful and quaint writings of M.C. Beaton. We've just finished her "Death of a Dreamer," the latest in her series of stories about Constable Hamish Macbeth and his "beasties."

*** Shirley Hull called to say Mr. Barker's homemade sausage was sold out of a small building next to the ferry landing at East Ferry. She said the building later became a bait shop. She added that there was a well in the middle of Conanicus Avenue near the bottom of Narragansett Avenue which was used to water horses. She said it was stone with a wooden top and there was a bubbler that she often drank out of. Her grandfather, Howard Ellis, drove a horse and buggy taxi from the ferry to the hotel on the north end.

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Andy Brown called from North Kingstown to report that the location of Westall's on the Point in Newport was where the Rhumbline Restaurant is today.

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Catherine (Day) Catala phoned from Miami, Fla., to say Charles Westall was her grandfather. Catherine grew up on Jamestown and moved to Miami in 1978. She said her grandfather first sold ice cream from a horse drawn wagon about 1916 and built the building on Narragansett Avenue in 1918. She worked at that location circa 1964 when it was the Islander Restaurant. Catherine said her grandfather would tell no one the recipe for his ice cream and took it with him to the grave.

*** Brenda Ratcliff asks, "Where was Smith Florist located?"

And, we ask, what was it before and after it was Smith Florist?

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The latest issue of the Rhode Island Home, Living & Design Magazine contains a feature story on the End Zone Militia. The group, deckd out in its Revolutionary-era regalia, appears on the field at Patriots and Revs games and at charity events. In a picture accompanying the story, Jamesstown Post Office's own "Postal Paul" Brunelle is shown in colonial uniform at Gillette Stadium.

Be careful with that musket, Paul.

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Reading last week drove us to our Funk & Wagnalls:

Orotund - voice or speech characterized by strength, fullness, richness and clearness.

Neurasthenia - nervous disability and exhaustion.

Diptych - a hinged two-leaved tablet used in ancient times for writing on with a stylus.

*** To see her is to love her, And love but her forever, For Nature made her what she is,

And, ne'er made anither!(cq)

Wednesday is Robert Burn's birthday.

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Does winter have you down? Do the short days bring only stinging sleet and cold winds? Do you crave salt on your lips, a warm sun and balmy breezes?

Well, tack over to the Jamestown library's first in a series of Sailing Lectures Thursday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The presentation will focus on the 2009 12-Meter Worlds to be held in Newport.

Jan Slee, president of the 12 Meter Association, will discuss that class's upcoming golden year of racing celebrations. Some 35 12-meter yachts from around the world are scheduled to participate. The lecture is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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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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