2009-10-15 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro
Finally, Patty Vandal gets to lie down on the job. Patty has been with the Jamestown Community Theatre since 1990, when she founded it with Mary S. Wright. Patty is musical director of “Willy Wonka,” but also plays one of the two grandmothers, Grandma Josephine. The grandmothers and grandfathers have been in bed for 17 years and because the family is so poor, they must eat cabbage soup every day.

But wait – first, someone has to construct their beds. And, that’s where A.O. (Tony) Gutierrez, set designer, comes in. Tony explained to us the intricacies and special effort that is involved in this production.

“‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ presents a number of technical challenges: Rivers of chocolate, a pink candy boat, a boy getting sucked up a tube, little girls turning into blueberries and falling down chutes. All against a background that appears to be built entirely of candy, which arises out of a rundown street in a factory town. And that’s the easy stuff.

“Most of the structural background will be mounted on a series of rolling or rotating platforms and dressed to resemble the various machines of the chocolate factory. Lighting will be crucial to drawing focus and setting the tone of each scene while helping to provide a sense of movement through the factory. We have been very fortunate to have acquired some 1970s-style psychedelic lighting effects originally produced for the Fillmore East concert hall in Long Island to enhance some of the more mystical and bizarre transitions.

“The construction and props crews are working diligently to get the show up, but, as always, could benefit from a little assistance. We are currently looking for people to help out as lightboard and follow spot operators. These jobs require a commitment to be available for the last two weeks of rehearsal and all performances. Anyone who would like to get involved and doesn’t mind getting a little dirty or gooey (we’ll be using a lot of foam and glue) or can help run the show, please contact me at 423-0851 or at aogutierrez@cox.net.”


Lenore MacLeish of Philadelphia says she remembers Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko. Our neighbor, Jim Anderson, sent along an old yellowed newspaper clipping of a recipe for Frosty Mandarin Dessert. While trying to figure out why he would do that, I turned over the recipe and there was a picture of Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilko. Jim wrote, “As I do not believe in coincidences, I’m sending this little clip. After reading the Jamestown Press, I began culling a box of books to make some space. While going through some cookbooks (which had not been opened in many years ‘inherited’) this recipe, one of dozens tucked into the books, fell out.

“Enjoyed the show very much as a kid. Remember Col. Hall, Doberman and Bilko’s right hand man ‘Ricco’? Think Phil Silvers’ character was the inspiration for Jackie Gleason’s (with Steve McQueen) in ‘Soldier In the Rain.’ Early 1960s.”


Bob Kinder says that “Seems like old times, dinner dates and flowers, seems like old times, staying up for hours,” was Rosemary Clooney’s theme song. We thought it was Arthur Godfrey’s. Maybe both?


Peter C. Pemantell writes, “The Spa, better known as the Theatre Spa, was where else but right next door to the Bomes Theatre. It was a very popular hangout in the 1950s and someone was always playing the pinball machine. As I remember it, Virginia Stillman worked behind the counter and there were always a lot of kids around.”

And, from Nancy Richardson McDermott, “The Spa was across the street from my father’s garage – Central Garage. It was a small soda fountain to the right of the movie theater. It had a few stools that swiveled at the counter and a few booths. I remember ice cream cones for 15 cents! But the big kids [teenagers] hung out there and sipped vanilla cokes!


Nine-year-old Lila Chace will shake her fourth-grade image and become a vampire on Halloween.



The Jamestown Community Chorus will sing these lyrics during its 60th anniversary concert in December “We can try to understand the New York Times’ effect on man.” What is the song?


The Potter League for Animals is holding a yard sale full of treasures at its Potter League Animal Care & Education Center at 87 Oliphant Lane in Middletown on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can get in early Saturday from 8 to 9 a.m. for a $10 donation. Questions about item donations or other information, call 841-8777 or e-mail Bootsiep@potterleague. org.



A Snapple cap moment: Butterfl ies taste with their hind feet.

*** Be true!


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

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