2010-05-27 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro
Sunday is Memorial Day, but by an act of Congress, it will be observed on Monday. The day commemorates the men and women who have died while serving in the American military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was officially proclaimed in 1868 and became a federal holiday in 1971.

In 1915, poet Moina Michael, inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” wrote:

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on field where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

Michael conceived the idea to wear poppies on Memorial Day, and sold them to friends and coworkers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.

The poppies have gone and with the date of the holiday changing from year to year, many Americans have forgotten the true meanings and traditions of Memorial Day – to honor the men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms.

On Monday, families will gather at cookouts and celebrate the day that has become the unofficial beginning of summer.

We are fortunate in Jamestown, thanks to the Arnold Zweir Post 22, American Legion and the Jamestown Memorial Post 9447, Veterans of Foreign Wars, to be able to continue to observe and participate in one of the long-held traditions of the day – the march down Narragansett Avenue.

As we watch the parade from the sidelines on Monday, cheer on the marchers and particularly, the declining number of veterans of America’s wars.

Then, silently say a prayer for all those who didn’t make it home.

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Last week, at the Motif Magazine awards, Caellum Kerr won best child actor for his performance in the Jamestown Community Theatre’s “Willy Wonka.” The competition included nominees from professional and non-professional categories. We congratulate Caellum, and kudos also go to the other nominees: Dana Larkin, Lee White, Mary Wright, Tot Wright, and to the entire cast and crew of “Willy Wonka,” who worked hard to help JCT earn the nomination of best community theater play.

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Ziva, a 10-month-old island bloodhound, has passed her test and is now certified as a basic mantrailer. Her handler, Luann Botelho, said that master trainer Dave Wheeler worked with Ziva on her shyness, and she is doing great.

The other bloodhound in the household, Abby, who is 5, is now certified as a distinguished expert mantrailer. Luann said that there are only two bloodhounds in the American Mantrailer Academy with that title. The other is a bloodhound from Missouri named Bumber. “Abby now holds two certifi- cations, I am so proud of her!”

During a search, Luann’s husband, Bill, is backup to the team, coordinating activities while Luann stays with the dogs and observes their progress.

If you haven’t guessed, both dogs are named after characters in the television hit “NCIS.”

We wonder if Bill calls Luann “boss?”

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Where else could you enjoy the refreshing breeze and breathtaking vistas of Beavertail this time of year and at the same time, contribute to a most worthwhile endeavor?

The Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association has received a $2,500 grant awarded by the Newport Restoration Foundation to convert a 13-foot by 17-foot structure adjacent to the keeper’s buildings, which was formerly used as an oil-storage shed. It will become a mini-museum dedicated to the display of historic artifacts and storyboards that will relate the evolutionary development of materials and fuels used in lighthouses.

Guy Archambault says the project is not complicated and does not require professional expertise, “only the willing participation of volunteers to devote a few hours of sweat equity.”

Work will begin about June 10 and a flexible work schedule will be established. Call Guy at 423-2823 or email him at GAACH@cox.net to sign up or ask questions.

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Guests staying at the old Bay Voyage Inn on the first floor facing the Bay would sometimes sleep where on very warm nights?

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Kudos to island postal workers, who collected some 1,700 pounds of food items from mailboxes on May 8 for the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Postmaster Charlie Burns praised the carriers for their efforts in collecting the food stuffs. They are Mary Morrissey, Scott Godfrey, Debbie Keech, Natalie Byrne and T.J. Short. Paul Brunell, Peter Mullen and Bob Moran transported the donations to the St. Mark food pantry and arranged the food items on their proper shelves.

***

Good response to B.J.’s poser. Ed Silvia, Carol Fuquea Weremay of Coventry, Lauren Biddle Plummer, Mim and Elizabeth Mancini all came forth with “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. Kathy Brownell sang it to me on the phone.

Thanks, guys.

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Let’s see – the feds are working to put a man on Mars. Can we take a day or so of all that rocket science stuff and shift the heavy thinking in the other direction to plug an oil leak in the ocean’s floor?

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A poser from Peter Pemantell: Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro. What’s the name of the song and who sang it?

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Tonight’s full moon is the Planting Moon, Milk Moon and Flower Moon.

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A Snapple cap moment: Spiny lobsters migrate in groups of 50 or more, forming a conga line on the ocean floor.

*** 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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