2011-02-17 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

I slander Robert Morton-Ranney is from Canada where, he told us, he grew up listening to Gilbert and Sullivan. The music has stayed with him all these years and when the Jamestown Community Chorus announced auditions for its concert version of the operetta “The Pirates of Penzance,” Robert was there.

He will be singing the role of the Major General. In the operetta, the Major General is the father of Mabel with whom the apprentice falls in love with after he turns 21 years old and ends his apprenticeship as a pirate. A hard-of-hearing nurse had placed him there and he thought all along that he had been training as a pilot.

After a series of unbelievable events, everything turns out well. The pirates are found to be respectable individuals and the Major General is thrilled because, not only Mabel, but also all of his daughters could then marry.

Robert and his wife, Sonia, former members of the chorus, have returned to the JCC for the production. Robert has sung in the Jamestown Community Theatre’s productions of “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Music Man” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Robert said, “After having listened to Gilbert and Sullivan many years ago in Canada, it’s fun to now sing it and at the same time work with a great director, B.J. Whitehouse.”


Teddy and John Leyon down in Florida say last week’s poser, “All The Things You Are,” is a great Valentine’s song. Bob Kinder says it was sung by Ella Fitzgerald, and added, “Hope we have the promise kiss of springtime real soon.” B.J. says the song is by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein and sung by many artists. It was introduced in the 1939 musical “Very Warm for May.”


Wanna buy a duck? Lawn Avenue School eighth-grade students will be selling 1,000 of them to help defray the cost of their Washington, D.C. trip. Susan Baccari-Varrecchione reports that the students have decided to have the first ever Great Duck Derby at Mackerel Cove Town Beach on April 30.

Robb Roach and Christopher Varrecchione will dump rubber ducks into the water. The ducks will travel down a lane to shore where they will come down a chute and be collected. The first 25 ducks to finish will win a prize. Ticket holders for the first three finishes will be awarded cash, and if you’re lucky enough to hold the ticket for the last duck to finish, you’ll get a prize, too. There will be music, face painting, duck games and goodies to add to the day’s festivities. The ducks will go into the cove at 3 p.m. and take about 30 minutes to finish.

“You can find students outside of McQuade’s every weekend selling tickets for this event,” Susan said. “They can also be purchased from any eighth grader or you can e-mail sbaccari@cox.net and I will gladly drop them off. Please help support the eighth-grade trip and purchase a raffle ticket for the race. Your duck number will be on the ticket and you do not have to be present the day of the event to collect your prize. Help support the students at Lawn school and come join us for the first Great Duck Derby Race at Mackerel Cove Beach.”

Stay tuned!

What comedian introduced the question, “Wanna buy a duck?”


John A. Murphy’s question last week asking who coined the phrase “That’s all she wrote!” brought this reply from Sam Bari:

“The statement ‘That’s all she wrote’ has been used for everything from song lyrics to movie scripts. However, the most significant use, as I understand it, came from a practice that dates back to WWII when GIs would be away from home fighting in war zones for as long as three to five years.

“If any of them received a Dear John letter that said ‘Dear John’ (or whatever his name was) and nothing more, it meant the relationship was over. The woman who sent the letter didn’t want to give an explanation. It meant that she was not going to wait for the soldier, sailor, or Marine to come home. Apparently, those cold ‘Dear John’ letters received by men in the heat of battle on the front lines resulted in many suicides. I heard this story from a couple of reliable sources who were there.

“Whenever a man would receive one and tell his buddies “… and that’s all she wrote,’ they would watch him closely for a few days to make sure he didn’t do something foolish. Sometimes they didn’t watch closely enough.”


David Urban, owner of the Secret Garden, reports that this year’s Valentine’s favorites were the traditional red roses and mixed bouquets with roses added.


Tuesday is George Washington’s birthday when all the big sales, particularly linen, take place.

Monday is Presidents’ Day. We could never quite figure out what the day means. So this year, we are recognizing Andrew Jackson, our seventh president (1829 -1837). Kudos, President Jackson!


Be true!


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

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