2011-02-24 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

There is an islander who has missed few, if any, musical presentations in Jamestown in the past 20 years. And, when she attended the productions, she made her own wonderful music.

In 1989, the newly hired director of the Jamestown Community Chorus, B.J.Whitehouse, asked Janet Grant to be the accompanist for the group. She has played every concert since and as the chorus rehearses for its concert version of the operetta “The Pirates of Penzance,” Janet has now participated in more than 550 rehearsals with the chorus. She has also played almost all of the 20 annual talent show fundraisers.

In addition, Janet teaches piano privately, is the music director at Newport’s Channing Memorial Church, plays with the instrumentalist group Tres Moutard and is a prominent member of the Jamestown Community Piano Asssociation. She has also played for most of the musicals that the Jamestown Community Theatre has produced since its inception in 1991 and leads Summersong, a group of local singers that gets together in the summer.

“It is obvious that Jamestown is a much richer place because of Jan’s formidable piano skills,” B.J. said.

The chorus will present the music of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 6, at 3 p.m. Both shows will be held at the Central Baptist Church. Janet will be there.


Wanna buy a duck? Marion Pierce and Cheryl Fernstrom, remembering “The Groucho Marx Show,” were thinking about the duck that came down from the overhead with a note in its beak and thought that Groucho had originated the phrase.

But, Bill Sprague, Bob Kinder and Sam Bari know the truth. Sam explains, “’Wanna buy a duck?’ was coined by radio comedian Joe Penner in 1934 on his radio show, The Baker’s Broadcast. Penner was the first radio funnyman to get national attention. He commanded a salary of $7,000 a week, which was a substantial sum in those days, particularly since the world was in the middle of the Great Depression.”

Incidentally, the duck’s name was Goo Goo.


What’s everybody doing on weekends without football?


Kudos to island unions and the town administration for working out fair and equitable contract agreements.

*** Adding to the violence around these days are the TV commercials and TV program promotions. Hey, who knew that with a bite of cheese you could be thrown through a fence.


Poser: “Deeper than any forest primeval I am in love with you.”


Liz Dunphy has weighed in on the serger. She said, “It’s a specialized sewing machine utilizing overcast stitching, sort of a microwave of sewing machines.”


I went over the bridge to the AAA office in Newport last week to renew my driver’s license. I’m the last one to advocate higher state fees, so this is a rare exception. In these economic times, we can certainly afford more than just $9.50 for the privilege of driving for two years.


Wayne Brown of Houlton, Maine, is 58, and last month for the first time visited a place on the island that he has wanted to visit since he was 8.

Wayne writes, “Back in the days of my youth, I spent summers on the island with my grandparents, Bill and Marguerite Eddy on High Street. I always walked by the Narragansett with great interest, sometimes on hot days when the door was open even sticking my head in just a little to see what was going on.

“The stale beer and cigarette smoke smells still hang strongly in my mind, along with the clack of pool balls. There was even one time during old jazz festival days when I loitered too long near the door, failing to follow my mother’s bidding to move away. A town police officer actually stopped and told me to obey my mother. Ya gotta love small towns.

“Over the years I’ve been back to the island scores of times, but for one reason or another was never able to get the chance to go to the ‘Ganny. In latter years, my brother Elliott always supplied me with Narragansett beer when I was down – I can’t get it in Houlton – and I therefore never got to the ‘Ganny.

“But over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend last month I got my chance and finally made it – 50 years later. My brother and I had some food, talked, looked around, and just had a good time. I can promise too, that I will not wait another 50 years.”

Sounds like its time for a Wayne Brown Day.


There’s been more than enough talk about the coyote problem, now it’s time to do something about it. The state DEM should move on this matter ASAP. It would be great to see rabbits in the yard again.


Students in grades 5 through 8 will transform discarded books into works of art at free workshops next month at the Jamestown Arts Center. The resulting artwork from the series of three-session workshops will be eligible to be hung in the upcoming Collaboration ‘11 Show.

Participants are invited to create the art by painting the book, ripping it, drilling it, drawing or writing in it. The only requirement is it must fit onto a 12-inch square. All materials will be provided.

Fifth and sixth graders will meet Tuesdays: March 1, 8 and 15. Seventh and eighth graders will meet on Thursdays: March 3, 10, and 17. All sessions are from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Space is limited. Sign up at jamestownartscenter@gmail.com. The center is at 18 Valley St. across from the library.


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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