2009-08-20 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro
Tonight’s the night. The island’s entertainment event of the summer happens at 7:30 p.m. on the stage at the community center.

Among the wide range of talents, “Bad Habits” will make its world debut at the 20th annual talent show presented by the Jamestown Community Chorus. B.J. Whitehouse, chorus director, told us the group has been working hard at the arrangement of “Hail Holy Queen” from the film “Sister Act,” starring Whoopi Goldberg. B.J. says, “It turns out that not only will they be singing and clapping and grooving to the music, but they have a costume committee, thus, the name “Bad Habits.” So, when you see a dozen women in habits you’re either in a road show of the “Sound of Music” or at the Jamestown Community Chorus talent show! So, get thee to a funnery.”

Other talent will include the Jamestown Community Band; the Men’s Chorus of Jamestown; Summer Song, whose members in the past have included Cheryl Rebecchi, Evelyn Rhodes, Terry Horsley, Joanne Taddei and others, and the Kathy Brownell Follies.

Frank Darigan and his hats return to the role of master of ceremonies and Janet Grant, the Chorus’ stellar accompanist during the year, will also play for some of the show’s acts.

Admission and raffle tickets will be available at the door.

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Debra Vierra Murphy has B.J.’s poser correct. “You make everything groovy” is from “Wild Thing” by the Troggs.

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When Shawn Ouellette was about 14, he took his first ride on the Jamestown-Newport ferry out of the Conanicut Marina and when he came ashore, he told his mom that that was what he wanted to do with his life. This summer, Shawn – now 23 and on an 8-week leave as third officer on the “APL Japan” – was back at the marina, this time running the ferry on her daily rounds. Since that first day on the launch, he has graduated from La Salle Academy and last year was awarded a degree in marine transportation at Texas A&M.

On Sept. 4, Shawn, who has lived on the island since he was 2 years old, will leave Narragansett Bay behind and travel to New York Harbor to rejoin the “APL Japan” for a passage to Singapore. We asked him about his duties and his ship:

“She’s a 66,000-ton, 905-foot container ship. Our ports of call are New York, Charleston, S.C, Norfolk, Va., Dubai, Sri Lanka and Singapore, in that order. The round trip is 56 days, with 18 days at sea underway in each direction. My term on the vessel is three round trips, with a “relief trip” (vacation in the middle of my contract, which I am on now). We sail east from our east coast across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden (off of Somalia) and into the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Malacca Straits. There are 22 people onboard the ship. My job is two-fold. While we are underway, I stand eight hours of watch on the bridge daily, as well as conduct any inspections of equipment that may be necessary. My watch is 0800-1200, and then 2000-2400. As the officer on watch, I am responsible for the safety of the vessel, the accurate and safe navigation of the ship, and any and all communications had with her. In port, I stand eight hours of cargo watch. This basically entails noting any important times in the operation (i.e., “first discharge: 1430”...) and ensuring that operation is conducted safely. Additionally, when we arrive and leave a dock, I am in charge of the line handling operation on the stern. I supervise a crew of four handling six lines and, again, there’s an emphasis on ensuring the operation is carried out safely.”

Shawn said he loves his job. “It’s an absolute blast. Where else could I turn off my cell phone for 56 days. Then, come home on vacation and run the launch.”

In nine years, he’s fulfilled his dreams, and more.

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Islander Kaitlin Morton-Bentley, formerly Morton-Ranney, urges Jamestowners to cross the bridge and visit the Newport Historical Society’s newest exhibit, “Homespun to High Fashion” featuring late 18th century clothing. Kaitlin says, “ I have been an intern with the Newport Historical Society this summer and worked on this exhibit with the rest of the talented staff. The gowns are beautiful and most have never been put on display before.”

The exhibit is open Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon through December in the restored Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House at 82 Touro St.

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Kudos to the Newport Gulls as the franchise won the 2009 New England Collegiate Baseball League championship. There’s a lot of great baseball to be seen at Cardines Field.

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We note that our Congressional delegation will not be holding town meetings during its summer break. Shouldn’t it be reporting back to its constituents?

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In answer to Peter C. Pemantell’s question, Barbara-Ann McIntosh says that the color of the old St. Mark church was brown shingles.

John A. Murphy writes, “The old Saint Mark church, being clad in weathered red cedar shingles, was basically a blackish-brown mix in color. It was an architecturally distinguished structure, having been designed by Bevins. It was quite handsome, and fit well within what some might call ‘the Jamestown vernacular.’ The new church is, of course, what it is. Someone very infl uential with the Bishop must have had a lot of buff colored bricks to sell, because many churches built in this Diocese in the 1950s and 60s are clad in that material.”

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This week’s missive from Peter: What was the name of the nursing home on East Shore Road that was torn down years ago and who were the owners?

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This poser from Justus C. Pease in Jarrat, Va. - This song topped the charts at the number two position on Jan. 28, 1984. The lyrics are, I don’t know anymore, are the neighbors watch’in me, well is the mailman watchin’ me. I don’t feel safe anymore, oh what a mess, I wonder who’s watchin’ me, now who? The IRS?

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A proofreader at one of our local newspapers was having a bad day - “Tonight, mostly cludy with a cance of showers and thunderstorms.”

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In reference to the controversial fishing pier on the Saunderstown side of the old Jamestown Bridge, if the state DOT had properly maintained it when the old structure came down, there would be people fishing on it today.

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A Snapple moment: The only jointless bone in the body is in the throat.

*** Stay true!

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

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