The Block Island Times

In Case You Haven't Heard

By Fran Migliaccio | Sep 18, 2012

About town

Everett Littlefield returned to the island September 5, following open heart surgery. He is making a splendid recovery from the replacement of an aortic valve and bypass surgery. The aortic valve was replaced with a cow’s valve, something that Everett now has in common with Lew Fagan, who had similar surgery some years ago.

The Littlefields have been having fun with it. Kirk Littlefield gave his father a cowbell, which Everett rings when watching sports on television or whenever the mood to ring a bell happens to strike. And, when Everett was in rehab from the surgery, son Russell took Everett’s granddaughter, Dakota, for a visit. Everett saw her coming in the door but played possum, and Russell encouraged her to go and “wake up” her granddad. Which she did, and was greeted by a loud and decisive, “Mo-o-o-o-o-o!” from the recipient of the cow’s aortic valve.

Everett has been seen around town on a golf cart, given to him by Russell because Everett’s moped has been deemed a bit risky for someone recovering from surgery. When I observed Everett on his golf cart, holding court in front of Washington Trust one morning, he looked absolutely terrific and was wearing his customary large smile. As of this writing, he was taking three seven-minute walks a day, following doctors’ orders.

Peter Lensing, who celebrated his 21st birthday on August 30, ran in the 37th Annual Run Around the Block 15K race on September 8. His time was 1 hour, 29 minutes. “It was okay for no training beforehand,” he said modestly.

Jim Hinthorn, who spent decades as a human resources executive, was recently interviewed by Anne Fisher, a columnist for Fortune magazine, on the topic of how a candidate can determine whether she or he is a good fit when interviewing for a job. Jim’s comments for the prospective candidate were: “You don’t want to end up in just any new job. You want one where you’re going to thrive — and that means finding the best ‘fit’ possible.”

He added, “You might also seek out current employees on LinkedIn and ask them what it’s like to work there. You’re far more likely to find the right fit if you know exactly what you’re looking for.” Jim is now is now a coach for the national career-counseling network Five O’Clock Club.

A link that will find the article for interested readers is:

Block Island everywhere

Joan Dolan is now at the Westerly Health Care Center, recovering from a broken hip sustained in a fall at her home. She would enjoy visits and cards. Her address is: Westerly Health Care Center, 280 High Street, Westerly, RI 02891. The phone number of the center is (401) 315-4292.

I was delighted when George Dodge offered further information about Dr. Harold H. Vandersluis, who piloted the airplane that made the first official landing at Block Island’s airport with Evan Dodge as a passenger.

“The name of Dr. Vandersluis’s plane was Mama’s Mink,” said George, who added, “The Vandersluises were good friends of my parents, and Dr. Vandersluis used to fly my father up from New Jersey to vote on Block Island. I was just a little kid, and they used to take me out of school so I could go along for the ride.” He added further, “That first landing was the day of the dedication of the airport.”

A tease

The last time this column appeared, it contained a question from Bob Smith, author of the book “Block Island Trivia.”

The fun question from years of yore was: “In an advertisement around 1890, the grand Ocean View Hotel listed what it did not have, before it listed what it did have, for tourists. What did it not have?”

The answer: “No malaria.” “No mosquitos.”

On the other hand, the Ocean View did have “Good livery,” “Hotel physician,” and “Splendid class of people.”

This week’s trivia question is, in Bob’s words, “A trivia question for the vault” at Town Hall, of course, in an election year.

The question: “The Town Manager, the First Warden, the State Senator, the State Representative, and the chief executive of the boat line. What do they all have in common?”

Answers and guesses are welcome, emailed to your columnist at the address below, and best guesses or winners will be published.


Roberta and Jim McCormick are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Darren, to Marie Snyder of Michigan. Darren is currently teaching grade 7 and 8 science in Sedona, Ariz.

Congratulations to Cara Willi and Nathaniel Tripler, who celebrate their third wedding anniversary September 19; Roberta and Rob Closter, who celebrate their third wedding anniversary September 25; Martha and Bill Wilson, celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary September 27; Melanie and Burt King, whose wedding anniversary falls on September 28.

Of cakes and candles

Happy birthdays to Karla Sargent, Jayden Smith and Scott Cooper on September 14, the day this paper comes out; and Joe Kunz, September 15, the date on this paper.

Happy upcoming birthdays to: Stevie Papa, September 16; Michael Hundt and Savannah Brown, September 19; James Hartigan, who celebrates his 65th birthday on September 20; Michele Phelan and Judy Fucci, September 21; Jean Crawford,  who celebrates her 90th birthday September 22; Susie Wright, September 26; Stephanie Turaj, September 27, and Jeanie Payne, September 28.

Let us know what’s happening! Visiting relatives, special occasions, updates on friends near and far, projects… Deadline is Tuesday morning, and Fran can be reached at 466-2892 or



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