2009-10-08 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro
In the Jamestown Community Theatre’s production of “Willy Wonka” next month, Anza DiGasper, 8, will make her acting debut as Raisinet. The Melrose School second-grader says she does lots of singing and dancing, and that it’s been “really fun so far.” She added that she has a “really good instructor.”

Abigail Hirsch, 8, a thirdgrader at the island school, is Cotton Candy and has four songs she sings, her favorite being the Oompa Loompa. A veteran of the local stage, she appeared in the JCT’s “Song Man, Dance Man” and “Little Women.”

Abigail’s sister, 10-year-old Madeline, plays Twix. She was busy last Saturday morning helping her dad, Bennet, build stair casings on the play’s set with Set Designer A.G. Gutierrez. She says that in addition to playing Twix, she is the head squirrel in the scene where Veruca is pushed down the chute. Madeline was also in “Song Man, Dance Man” and “Little Women.”

The third Hirsch in the cast is Julia. She is understudy for Veruca, plays Matilda and is Hershey in the Oompa Loompas. She is a veteran of three years of JCT productions. Rounding out the Hirsch family’s participation, Bennet, who is vice president of the JCT board of directors, is helping out with the set, while mom, Dori, is doing props. Dori’s rationale for joining in with the rest of the family: “If one is doing it, we might as well all be doing it.”

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Additions to the cast of “Willy Wonka” are Michelle Gibbs, who is now playing Mrs. Buckett, and Teresa Murray, one of the stage manager’s apprentices.

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Enjoy a beautiful October weekend and bring yourself and your friends out to Beavertail on Saturday or Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11, to admire the beautiful restoration of the light tower. Richard Sullivan, president of the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association, said that an Italian craftsman supervised the removal of 1,400 linear feet of old mortar in the tower. This was replaced with a special blend of new mortar that replicates the historic look of the old.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, the tower, with its brandnew brass railing to assist you in your climb, will be open. In order to obtain the proper bend and twist in the railing as it ascends the tower, Richard said that the workers first had to build a model of the interior.

Publicist Paula Florentino reports that George and Linda Warner will be on hand to help those who want to see the magnifi cent view from the top. In the museum, Lanette Macaruso and her team of docents will share new information about the tower lights, and Dorrie Linn, Joan Vessella and crew will be on hand in the gift shop.

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Now that it’s October, we’ll begin seeing Christmas ads and commercials and hearing holiday music on the radio. Not to be left out, we’d like to wish everyone a big early HO! HO! HO!

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Peter C. Pemantell correctly identified last week’s poser as “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles. He also said that Phil Silvers was Sgt. Bilko.

A more detailed description of “The Phil Silvers Show” came from John A. Murphy, who wrote, “Sgt. Ernest Bilko was in charge of the motor pool at Ft. Baxter. He was assisted by Cpl. Henshaw, Cpl. Rocco Barbella, Private Dwayne Doberman and other notable enlisted men. Another sergeant at Ft. Baxter was Rupert Ritzik. Sgt. Bilko’s favorite foil was the Colonel, who was the commanding officer of the base. The scenes of Bilko effusively flattering Colonel Hall’s wife were so funny that I cannot think about them without laughing. In the greatest sitcom ever, Ernest Bilko was played unforgettably by Phil Silvers.

“P.S.: I think the actor who was cast as Sgt. Rupert Ritzik may later have played Tootie on ‘Car 54, Where Are You?’”

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Personal remembrances of the Harbor View Nursing Home have been sent along by Carol Hopkins. She wrote, “When I moved to Jamestown in 1965, my grandparents, Bill and Ina Dailey, owned and operated the Harbor View Nursing Home. In 1968, my parents took over the business. I have very fond memories of the place. It was like having 21 grandparents. I would bring my cat down there and hang out with them. That brought many of the patients great joy.

“I remember Mrs. Hunt. She took me on the ferry to Newbury’s and bought me plastic high heels and a princess crown. Mrs. Martin introduced me to Harlequin Romances and Mrs. St. Onge liked to sing riddles to me. Mr. Medeiros and I played cards. In fact, the very last night there, he and I stayed up all night playing. He was the last patient.

“My first job, besides unloading all the groceries (we used to have to drive to Providence to get most of them), was carrying trays. There was no elevator and there were three floors. I was 11. When I was 13, I cooked dinner and did all the dishes by hand. I was so happy when they got a dishwasher!

In 1975, we had to close the place because the state of R.I. changed all the codes for nursing/ rest homes. They wanted elevators, sprinkler systems and we couldn’t afford it. So we closed. It was a very sad time for me.

“We ran the place as a bed and breakfast for a short while. No one was there. We lived on Green Lane and whoever wanted a room would call us at home and I’d ride my bike down and check them in. The next morning, I would make breakfast and clean the room.”

Thanks, Carol!

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Peter C. Pemantell asks: Who was the town highway department superintendent in the 1950s?

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Is there no end to the I-way thing? Millions upon millions of dollars, and the DOT is still at it. Meanwhile, the rest of the state’s roads are the worst in the country.

*** First, it was illegal immigrants, then undocumented immigrants. Now, the ProJo gives us non-citizens. What’s next?

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.................dinner dates and flowers. Who’s theme song was it?

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Troop 1 Boy Scouts had a busy week last week. To begin with, Ryan and Burk Teirney, Ryan Geib, Jake Hanna, Tom Munro, John Keavy and Scoutmaster Jim Archibald assisted with the parking at Hey Day.

On Friday evening, the troop left for a camping trip to Camp Greenough in Yarmouth. Scouts toughing it out on a soggy weekend were: Nathanial Hopkins, Eric Archibald, Ian Archibald, Truman Christie, Owen Baertlein, Zach Neronha, Milo DiGasper, Jake Hanna, Mason Kelly, Ryan Geib, John Waddington, Eliot Italiano and Josh Masterson.

Adults accompanying the scouts were Jim Archibald, Glen Hopkins, John Keavy, Greg Di- Gasper and Kevin Masterson.

Great job, guys!

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A Snapple cap moment: A strand from the web of a golden spider is as strong as a steel wire of the same size.

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Monday is Columbus Day. Be Italian.

*** Be 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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