The Walrus Says
We called Jim McLoughlin as we do every year at this time to find out if anything out of the usual is scheduled to happen at the Memorial Day Parade this year. He gave me the same answer he always does: “Same parade.” And, that’s good.
Arnold Zweir Post 22, American Legion and Jamestown Memorial Post 9447 will proudly lead groups of more than a dozen island organizations down Narragansett Avenue in honor of our service members who gave their lives so we can have ours.
Marchers will gather at the Lawn Avenue School at 9:30 a.m. and a half hour later will step off for the cemetery at the four corners where Jim McLoughlin will read the roll of 26 Jamestown veterans, and those with Jamestown connections, who died this past year.
The parade will continue down the avenue to the waterfront and Veterans Memorial Square. Jim West, a lifelong Jamestowner who has not missed a parade since 1946 when he returned from World War II, will not be there this year. His will be one of the names read at the cemetery.
In case you were wondering which Memorial Day was my favorite, it was the year the Navy band did not come over from Newport and our Jamestown Community Band marched down the avenue for the first time.
I can’t believe that there were no takers on one of the most beautiful love songs ever written. Folk singer Ewan MacColl wrote “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” in 1957 for his wife, Peggy Seeger. She was in a play and phoned him for suggestions for a song for a romantic scene. MacColl wrote the song on the spot in less that an hour, playing it over the phone for his wife to use in her play. It was the breakout hit for Roberta Flack and was No. 1 in this country for six weeks.
Peter Mullen, our letter carrier for many years, is retiring in June. We wish him many happy years of piping and biking.
Kudos on the great new look of BankNewport.
The old church bell will peal with joy Hurrah! Hurrah! to welcome home our darling boy
The village lads and lassies say
With roses they will strew the way,
And we’ll all feel gay
Looks like we’re safe from a harsh summer season. The experts are predicting three to six major hurricanes this year.
Last week we told you about the Accidental Sisters who will be presenting its spring concert on Sunday, June 5, at 4 p.m. at the Central Baptist Church.
Working through the chain of command, it fell upon Dorothy Strang to give us the straight skinny about this women’s a capella group that is becoming more popular with every appearance.
She said the Jamestown-based group started a year and a half ago when Julie Andrews put a small notice in the Jamestown Press. It called for women to gather on Thursday evenings to sing music from around the world that explores themes of nurture and peace.
Starting with a handful, the group now numbers 20 women drawn not only from Jamestown, but also from Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport and Wickford.
“Our name, brainstormed at an early session, is a gem of many facets,” said Dorothy. “Yes, we are ‘accidental’ sisters because we were drawn from many places and stages of life, from high school to retirement. Yes, we also embody the ‘accidentals’ of music: the sharps and flats of the musical scale. But we are ‘intentional’ sisters too, as we join our many voices and work diligently to be one voice, in the words of a Wailin’ Jennys song that we love: ‘This is the sound of all of us/Singin’ with love and the will to trust/Leave the rest behind, it’ll turn to dust.’”
Dorothy said the June 5 concert is titled Women on a Mission, another richly resonant name. “From the start we have prepared music to sing for others as a way to carry messages of joy and hope to a troubling and troubled world. We have sung in a couple of church services, a gallery opening, several fundraisers, and in more private spaces for friends and family confined to home. ‘Deep Peace,’ a Gaelic song of blessing, ends many of our rehearsals, as we remember one sister’s loss or another’s joy at the birth of a new baby. There’s nothing accidental about that shared singing.
“Lest you think we are a solemn group, let me assure you that laughter reigns on Thursday evenings as we perfect the catchy rhythms of the Shaker revival song, ‘Hop Up and Jump Up,’ or the Estonian song of youth and love in perfect tune called ‘Sulle Mulle,’ or ‘To You and Me.’”
Dorothy wrapped up her comments by saying that we already know that a capella means unaccompanied. But did we know that the phrase, which is Italian, means literally “in the manner of the chapel?”
“Though we like singing in churches, we are decidedly not cloistered.”
On Memorial Day, remember the words of George S. Patton: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
The Independence will anchor off Newport tomorrow – Friday, May 27.
Call in your stuff to 829-2760 or 423-0383, or e-mail us at jtnw firstname.lastname@example.org.