2010-01-14 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro
After many years as a summer visitor at her family’s cottage on Beavertail, Dorothy Strang moved to the island two years ago as a yearround resident with her husband, three cats and a friendly yellow Lab named Lyla.

She is the one who came up with the clever questions for the scavenger hunt conducted by the Jamestown Community Chorus following its 60th anniversary concert in December.

We asked Dorothy if she would put together some of her astute observations since returning to Jamestown on a full-time basis. She agreed and said that the New Year seems a fitting time to ask fellow islanders some questions about their familiar surroundings.

“I have discovered many gems and quirks in and around town. All of the questions I submit rise out of everyday walking and shopping and living in Jamestown. Certainly you oldtimers will catch me out on some things, but I may surprise you by seeing things that have become invisible through familiarity. My questions are not researched in any arcane way, though I do pick up information from chats with business owners, and Lyla and I do walk extensively every day. While I look, she sniffs and can tell you Jamestown lore of a very different order!”

Questions this week and next concern Narragansett Avenue, from the waterfront to the flashing light.

1. Three public clocks help us stay on schedule. Where are they? Which one is not integrated into its building? Which clock face uses Roman numerals?

2. At the lower end of Narragansett Avenue sit three historic houses identified with original residents’ names. What are the historic names? What businesses or other enterprises occupy these houses now? Two of the houses are dated the same date. What is that date? Which two former citizens, therefore, might well have conversed with each other across the avenue?

Thanks, Dorothy!

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Welcome May to the island. She is a 5-year-old female brown mix cat adopted by John Lawless from the Potter League for Animals. John brought May home for his two sons, James, 11, and David, 10, the latter reaching that age Jan. 7. Happy Birthday, David, and hello, May.

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Peter Pemantell asks, Who was Jingle Jones?

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History buffs will want to be at the library Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. when Larry Mc- Donald will discuss the Battle of Rhode Island as related by Captain Thomas Cole, commander of the Third Company 1st Rhode Island.

The battle took place on Aug. 29, 1778, and was the largest land battle fought in New England during the American Revolution. McDonald will tell of the efforts of Generals Sullivan, Greene and Lafayette to combine forces with the French fleet under Admiral d’Estaing to drive the British, Hessian and loyalist forces from the bases they had established in Newport and Jamestown in 1776.

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A recent mystery novel sent me to my Funk & Wagnalls:

Etiolated: To cause a plant to whiten or grow pale by excluding light.

Effulgent: Shining forth brightly, radiant.

Coruscating: To emit vivid flashes of light.

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Speaking of which, Ian Rankin fans shouldn’t miss “Exit Music” as Inspector Rebus finds himself a week away from retirement. The paperback is available at McQuade’s.

*** In case you missed Judy Knight’s letter to the editor in last week’s Press, she is stewing up a “crazy project” and looking for others to join her. It involves a scarecrow competition that is a part of an annual fete that she was introduced to in her native England while visiting her sister. Concern about people in Rhode Island who are having a tough time making financial ends meet prompted the idea of bringing the scarecrow competition to America. Judy says it could be “a bit like a land-based, tiny version of the Fool’s Rules Regatta.” She added that participants could pay an entry fee in the neighborhood of $25 and the money would go to the food bank or the community farm.

“There are such amazing people in Jamestown and we could do all sorts of things with scarecrows,” Judy wrote.

Interested in learning more about the “crazy project”? Email Judy at wknight30@cox.net.

*** I really can’t stay...

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Sunday marks the 1706 birthday of Benjamin Franklin. Robert E. Lee was born on the 19th in 1807.

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A Snapple cap moment: Children grow faster during springtime.

*** Be true!

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

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