All reports of previous tourneys, however, exonerate the bulk of the 150 true fishermen who participated in the tournament, pointing the finger instead at the rum-swilling landlubbers who come to gawk at the fearsome predators being hauled aloft and weighed at the dock during the competition. The only question that P&J pose to those anglers is, “Just how many sharks caught are then released, versus those brought back to shore?” One would hope that unless you caught a shark with a legitimate chance of winning a prize, every other shark would be handled on a catch-and-release basis.

Here in Vo Dilun, the Monster Shark Tournament should certainly enhance Newport’s reputation as a cultural and historic tourism destination, with scores of hammer(head)ed men and women lurching through the streets wearing artificial fin hats and screaming.

Take that, Doris Duke.

More From The Obituary Beat

Your superior correspondents are never happy to be an alternative obituary source because it means that someone of note — usually someone we know — has passed away. This week, we mourn the loss of David Lamb, 36, who, along with his life partner, MorganEve Swain, performed as the magnificent band, Brown Bird. David succumbed from leukemia.

Not only was Brown Bird greatly loved and appreciated in the Rhode Island musical community, but they were building a solid reputation nationally and in Europe, with lauded appearances at such prestigious events as the Newport Folk Festival. Their frequently dark and mystical music was informed by a wide variety of roots music: folk, blues, and country, as well as ethnic European sources.

Since news of David Lamb’s passing was announced over the weekend, there has been an outpouring of grief from the RI music community as well as the national press (read more on pages 8 and 9). P&J send their condolences to the Swain and Lamb families. Very sad news, indeed.

Mickey Rooney is, of course, an entirely different story. Born Joe Yule Jr. in Brooklyn, Rooney had a long and storied career on stage and in films and television. His parents were vaudevillians, so he was virtually born into the business.

We’re sure you all have your favorite Mickey Rooney moments, be they from the Andy Hardy movies or his performances with his close friend, Judy Garland. Jorge has an odd favorite moment: the 1959 film The Last Mile, where Mickey plays “Killer” John Mears. While this was during one of the lowest periods of Rooney’s career, he was still powerful and mesmerizing.

Many will also remember Rooney’s moving performance in the 1981 made-for-TV movie, Bill — another outstanding performance where he was able to turn down his natural energy to portray a man with intellectual disabilities who spent 40 years in a Minnesota state institution.

But way up there on our list of favorite “Mickey moments” was the time he appeared on Tom Snyder’s TomorrowShow on NBC. Mickey apparently needed money at the time and was marketing some sort of “Learn to Act at Home” package. One word comes to mind to describe this performance: surreal.

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