Opera

Bell Captain: Chiming in with Walter DuMelle of St. James by-the-Sea Church in La Jolla

Bell Captain: Chiming in with Walter DuMelle of St. James by-the-Sea Church in La Jolla

As he ascends a three-story wrought-iron staircase up the northwest corner of the tower, Walter DuMelle points out the empty square holes in the center of each of the three floors he passes.

“I’ve always wondered what those are for,” he says.

The Quasimodo comparison is irresistible not to apply to the person who climbs to the belfry whenever the bells stop chiming at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church at 743 Prospect St. DuMelle, 52, smiles at the reference, hunches over and proclaims, in a big, booming voice: “Walk this way!”

No more than 100 people have probably ever used the wrought-iron staircase winding inside the bell tower at St. James by-the-Sea...

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