2010-07-29 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro
Last week, islander and first-year Maine Maritime Academy midshipman Eric von Hohenleiten told of his experiences at the academy and the preparation for an Atlantic crossing aboard the 500-foot “State of Maine.” We pick up his story as the ship leaves Castine, Maine:

“After we left the gulf of Maine, we headed south until we were around Washington, D.C. Then, we went due east across the Atlantic, hitting 30-foot swells along the way. We went through the Azores, and then the straits of Gibraltar. There were ships all around us in the straits, the radar looked very congested with all of the traffic.

“We made a good impression in Marseille, right off the bat. We needed to take a bus from the port to Viewport, which was where most of the shopping and restaurants are. No one had exact change for the bus, so we created a huge traffic jam of angry Frenchmen trying to figure out how we were going to pay the fare. Once there, it went a lot smoother, especially if you are with someone who speaks the language. We visited a couple of old forts, a lot of cathedrals. A couple of people visited the prison Chateau Dief, which is where the “Count of Monte Cristo” was filmed. One of the cathedrals that we went to was on top of a hill that overlooked the entire city. It offered a gorgeous panorama.

“In order to get to Kiel, Germany, we needed to head north out of the straits, go through the English Channel, up around Denmark and then down into the Baltic Sea. When in Kiel, we visited a restored German Uboat. While at a street bratwurst stand, I saw something called a bier bike. It is like a portable bar that sits eight to a side, where the patrons pedal, and get served beer from a keg.

“On our way to England, we went through the Kiel canal so that we didn’t have to go around Denmark. On the first day there, we stayed in Portsmouth, where we took a tour of the H.M.S. Victory, which was very interesting seeing how sailors of old lived. They had tributes to Lord Nelson on the ship, where he was shot and even the water barrel that contained him after the battle of Trafalgar.

“On our way back across the Atlantic, we were tested on our knowledge of the engine room by having to point out where certain systems on the ship are.

“Our last port was Portland, Maine, where some midshipmen left the ship for visits home. We stayed aboard and some parents joined us for the passage back to Castine.

“On the way, we did a lot of reminiscing about our journey.”

Thanks, Eric. You and your dad may some day ship out together.

***

A sad note with a happy ending from Andrea and Chris Russell:

“You may remember doing a story for the Walrus a few years back about Rusty the Doberman after he was lost at Ft. Getty. It’s with great sadness that I am writing to you now. We lost Rusty Saturday, June 5, at the grand old age of 14. This was quite old for a big dog (90 pounds).

I thought you should know only because so many people knew Rusty – at the post office, Mary would always ask about him. Haven’t been in lately though.

And, of course, there is Charlie Shaffer, who ‘rescued’ him. Maybe now they are ‘chilling’ together.

“We did get another dobe from Doberman rescue. Farrah is a 1-year-old stray from N.Y. The complete opposite of Rusty – a petite young girl. She is bringing us joy after our sadness in losing our great friend!”

WOOF!

***

Mim brought home a bag of books from the library sale last week and as I was thumbing through a paperback, a photo – evidently used as a bookmark – dropped to the floor. It is a delightful picture of a laughing baby in a gray jumper with unreadable letters on the top left side. He (?) is being held by a pretty girl with short dark hair, wearing a gray jacket. The photo was developed by Walgreens on Sept. 12, 2006. If it rings a bell with anyone, call me at 829-2760.

*** Sunday marks the beginning of hurricane season for Rhode Island. With water temperature offshore warmer than in recent years, our chances have improved for some tropical weather during the next two months. Do what you have to do to be ready.

***

Elizabeth Mancini and Peter Pemantell say that last week’s poser is “Summertime Summertime.” Elizabeth adds that the song was originally sung by The Jamies.

***

Tonight’s the night for an evening of music and lots of laughs for the young set. Keith Munslow will be at the Jamestown Philomenian Library from 7 to 8 p.m. Keith combines rock-solid funky piano playing, soulful singing, hilarious stories and lightning-fast cartooning to entertain young and older alike.

And, come back to the library Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. and participate with magician Debbie O’Carroll as she introduces some of the amazing and legendary creatures of children’s literature. Play a game with the elusive Lake Champlain monster, meet Slewfoot Sue – a cowgirl who rides a catfish – and participate in the magic of a weather-predicting groundhog.

Both programs are free and open to the public for school-age children and their older companions.

***

A poser from Peter Pemantell: Tell me more, tell me more, was it love at first sight? What is the song and movie?

***

And, from John A. Murphy: A great song by Johnny Cash with five changes in key?

***

Another of our cherished freedoms has been taken away. Now, in order to fish in the bay or the ocean – which belongs to everybody – we must now purchase a state recreational fishing license or register with the National Saltwater Angler Registry. What’s next, a tax on our catches?

***

Island merchants were mentioned in two magazines last week. The East Ferry Deli was recommended by Yankee, and SO Rhode Island interviewed Victoria Hellewell and Pio Moretti about their Island Animal business on Southwest Avenue, talked with sculptor Jillian Barber about her time at RISD and her early career, and praised Spinnaker’s mixed berry smoothies.

***

Mary Wright, artistic director for the Jamestown Community Theatre, invites you to welcome an Oompa Loompa or other stage luminaries into your home. The JCT is in need of space to store costumes. There is a need for at least 200 square feet, and more would be welcome. If you have space in your home or place of business and can help out, call Annie McIntyre at 474-2140.

Mary reminds everybody to mark their calendars for the JCT’s auditions for its November musical, Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Mary says that this version is not Disney, and requires adults in many roles. In addition, there will be a chorus that will sing some lovely Rogers and Hammerstein music. Large, medium and small roles are available for all ages, and some good roles will require less rehearsal time. Auditions are at the Jamestown Golf Course on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. for seven-year-olds through adults who are auditioning for chorus and/or small roles. Those 7 through 16 must recite a memorized poem or monologue of 8 to12 lines. Those 17 and older have no advanced preparation.

At 7 p.m., auditions will begin for those ages 7 through adult who would like a lead or medium solo singing role. They should prepare one verse of a song and must bring the sheet music to the audition or sing a cappella. Those 7 years old through 16 who are auditioning in this category must also memorize a poem or monologue of 8 to 12 lines in addition to their song. Callbacks will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12. Call Mary at 423-1586 if you have any questions or would like to help out in any capacity.

*** Be true!

***

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

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