REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Schumann; Movie: Boys’ Night Out; Band Leader: Ralph Flanagan

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Schumann

Symphonies and various works for piano and orchestra and solo piano

Robert Schumann

Heidrun Holtmann and Denes Varjon, pianists; Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra; Stefan Soltesz conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony; Capriccio- LC 08748, 5 CDs, released 2006.

This very generously filled package of five CDs contains some of the most lovable classical music in the world by Robert Schumann, 1810-1856; very nicely performed and blessed with vibrant digital sound; and priced in a range very close to ten bucks.

I especially recommend the sweeping, swash-buckling 3rd Symphony, known as the Rhenish, for its grand depiction of the Rhine River or maybe the Kinderszenen, or Scenes of Childhood, with its fountains of melody. But I will state that every piece of music will reward attentive listeners. An unquestionable recommendation for beginning classical listeners !

Boys’ Night Out

starring James Garner, Howard Duff, Howard Morris, Tony Randall, Kim Novak, Patti Page, etc.; directed by Michael Gordon; MGM films, 1962, 115 minutes.

James Garner

Howard Duff

Four businessmen, three of them married, commute together on the Greenwich to New York City train every day. The husbands persuade the bachelor to find a cheap yet swanky apartment, complete with a gorgeous “housekeeper,” to entertain each of them on their respective nights out. Due to an inscrutable set of coincidences, the digs are found, along with a woman, Cathy, played with fetching allure by Kim Novak, who is doing graduate work on male sexuality and agrees to the deal, fully intending to, using her wiles, avoid the bed.

Kim Novak

Patti Page

One choice example of humor is when Cathy’s professor asks, “Can you look like yes but act like no? This is what a nice girl hasn’t learnt!” To which Cathy replies, “This is what a nice girl has learnt best!”

The comedy is superbly done, as the story builds up to a truly farcical conclusion. Garner as the bachelor and the rest of the cast give a true ensemble performance.

Ralph Flanagan

1001 Nighters
RCA Victor, LPM-1274, mono LP, recorded 1956.

Ralph Flanagan

Ralph Flanagan (1914-1995) began his career in 1935, just as the Big Band era was getting started, and worked for Sammy Kaye, Horace Heidt and Blue Barron; after World War II, he did arrangements for Perry Como, Tony Martin, etc.

However, it wasn’t until 1949 that he really hit the big time with the formation of his own band with its very danceable sound, quite similar to Glenn Miller. He discovered traveling on the road was the real cash cow, although record sales were a close second, and he loved every minute of it. The title of the album refers to the minimal number of evenings chalked up by these journeys over a six-year period.

The selections to be heard here include such oldies as Indiana, Stars Fell On Alabama, Moon Over Miami, etc., with a group of singers joining in for a few titles. Glenn Miller fans would especially enjoy this very pleasant record.

IF WALLS COULD TALK: Practice of bridal showers began in 1890s

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, y’know, I’m having a hard time believing that 2018 is our year already, but I have had a lot of reminiscing to do, as I’ve been cleaning out a lot of papers that I’ve been saving for ideas to write about for you.

I came across a write-up about shower parties. Yes, I’m sure there are marriages being planned and, frankly, so many young folks are having outdoor weddings these days. In fact, there is a ‘wedding spot’ created just up the road from our house here in East Madison. Well, I had saved a clipping-from-something about the origin of shower parties. Can you believe the author said that it all started in the 1890s. Read on for a shocker! It seems that a shower party was first planned by the bride, who filled an umbrella with wrapped gifts that she would need as she started her marriage. Now, the husband was to have a dowry, but time wore on and the custom became what it is today. Now, I am thinking of an advertisement that appears on our television these days. “Life doesn’t get better by chance. It gets better by change.” Well, weddings and shower parties sure have changed!

Y’know, WALLS, we’ve promised our faithful readers something old, something new and something different. Well, the only thing that is different here is a column that I wrote before The Town Line became a part of my life. The newspaper was called Hometown Newspaper, but you were talking even back then, WALLS! A snippet from that article may find you thinking back. Yes, it isn’t summer yet, but you do remember when the boat used to bring folks from their cottages to the Trolley at Lakewood. It seems that when Lloyd Bridges was at Lakewood Theatre, he became curious about the Margaret B. blown up as a July 4 celebration event. So, Lloyd decided to take a dive. No luck! Wrong place! What’s more, no one has ever found the boat, but it has made for good conversation!

WALLS will be back next week, faithful readers!

SOLON & BEYOND: Today’s world could benefit from old newspaper clipping on good manners

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Have been sitting here at my computer desk cleaning out cubbyholes to see what I can find to write about this week. It’s an awful feeling not to have any real news to share with you, especially after coming across an old yellowed clipping that I had saved with many names telling of who had been visiting who in those long ago times. Now-a-days, people prefer their privacy.

Anyway, my being old-fashioned, I feel that this modern world could benefit by reading the words of this old yellowed clipping (no date on it, or what newspaper printed it) called, Ten Commandments for Good Manners. It starts with, “Good manners is not a typical subject students study in school, yet it may well be the most important skill they can learn for getting a job and succeeding in life.”

For parents who feel that their kids need better manners, Larry Evans may be able to help. He has surveyed the good manners and traits of successful people from Confucius to Emerson to modern times, and distilled the essence into the Ten Commandments for Good Manners. The key to these principles is their simplicity, yet they deal with the most important aspects of life.

Thou shalt be thyself: (my modern computer would not accept the t instead of an L at first) Good manners begin with a good sense of self. Unless you are true to yourself, you can never be true to others. You are unique. Don’t try to shape your personality to meet circumstances. Be natural, and the world will respect you for what you are.

Thou shalt say “Thank You.” Thanking others is a way of praising them and is one of the keys to having good manners. Send thank-you notes whenever someone does something nice for you, or telephone to express your gratitude. This simple act will help build lasting relationships. When someone gives you a compliment, the best response is a simple “thank you.”

And don’t forget “Please,” “Excuse me,” and “You’re welcome,” which are other marks of good manners.

Thou shalt give compliments: A fundamental rule of good manners is to give. Think about what you can give to others, and remember that the most precious gifts cost nothing, When you meet someone, you can always think of a genuine compliment to give. A “Hello” or “How are You?” is not enough. You can also give your undivided attention and interest to others. You can be generous with words of praise, warm greetings, sympathy, love, or other good news.

Thou shalt not be boastful: Always exercise restraint and good taste. Your voice, your behavior and even your clothing should reflect understated elegance. Only a small person brags about accomplishments; a well-mannered person has no need for self-advertisement. Let your deeds speak for themselves.

Thou shalt listen before speaking: Respect for others is a pre-requisite of good manners. Listening to others is a way to show respect. There is no worse company than a person that does not listen. Be genuinely interested in others; learn their names, and encourage them to talk about themselves. Never interrupt. Look them in the eye, and listen carefully. The listener learns and gains.

Thou shalt speak with kindness: Before speaking to others, consider what effect your words will have. Pause and weigh your words carefully and say them with a quality of softness. A slip of the tongue can inflict needless hurt. Also, remember the language of the body ( your posture and your mannerisms) is as important as the language of words.

Thou shalt not criticize: A person with good manners is above criticizing others or complaining about circumstances. Negativity in any form is to be avoided. If you hear gossip, don’t join in, be indifferent to it.

If you disagree with others, do so respectfully. Don’t verbally attack or condemn them. You may win the argument, but lose a valued friend.

If there is room next week I will print more; but I’m hoping I’ll be deluged with real news.

Now for Percy’s memoir; it is an Irish Blessing: “May God grant you always… A sunbeam to warm you’ a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”

Weather doesn’t bother this hunter

Undeterred by any kind of weather, this bald eagle was captured in this photograph by Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, as it swept down to grab a fish. What makes this photo special is that this moment was over in the blink of an eye.
Photo by Michael Bilinsky

A look at the top stories in The Town Line in 2017

by Eric W Austin

We’ve published a lot of stories over the past year, but which ones stood out from the crowd?

More than 20,000 people visited townline.org in 2017, with pages on the site viewed more than 70,000 times.

One of the advantages of a website over a traditional newspaper is the ability to track which stories are being read the most. Here I’d like to highlight those stories from The Town Line that attracted the most interest over the past year.

This article is based on statistics supplied by Google’s Analytics website tracking service, which monitors activity on townline.org.

Managing editor Roland Hallee’s November story, “China baseball player working to crack lineup at Newbury College,” about Dylan Presby’s impressive scholastic baseball career, claimed the top spot with more than 1,000 views. Presby, of China, went to Erskine Academy where he was named the Kennebec Journal’s Baseball Player of the Year, before being accepted by Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts. There he competes in the Division III New England Collegiate Conference (NECC). Roland writes, “But, that was high school. He has now moved on to a higher level of competition.” Read the entire article on townline.org.

Roland captured the second spot on this list as well, with his terrific (and prescient) column on the lack of birds in 2017. Appropriately titled, “Where have all the birds gone?”, Roland explores that very question and looks at some of the reasons behind the phenomenon. He writes, “The loss of bird populations in the Western Mountains of Maine includes three major causes.”

National Geographic magazine recently declared 2018 the “Year of the Bird,” putting a spotlight on the importance of our avian neighbors. I’m glad to see NatGeo has been reading The Town Line! Be sure to read Roland’s follow-ups as well, including “Update on birds” and “Bird disappearance is a phenomenon that exists nationwide.”

The 2017 Windsor Fair was a rousing success by all accounts and evidently people appreciated that we posted a ‘Schedule of Events’ for the festivities on townline.org. It was the third most visited page on the site this year. Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to do the same thing in 2018!

We began posting the China Police Log on townline.org back in 2016, but this past September’s police log was one of the first stories we posted to our new Facebook page, and it garnered so much interest it came in fourth in our list of 2017’s top pages, being viewed nearly 1,000 times. Big thanks to Tracey Frost, one of China’s part-time police officers who sends it to us every month!

The opioid crisis is often thought of as an epidemic of the big cities, but many rural areas of Central Maine have been affected deeply as well. My article exploring the issue and how it’s impacting our local communities, “Opiates in Central Maine: Not just a national issue,” was viewed close to 700 times. I write, “The solutions we need require not just a change in policy, but a shift in attitude as well.” This is the first article in a continuing series, so look for future installments from The Town Line in the months ahead.

Picking just five stories from 2017 is difficult in a year with so much great writing. Honorable mentions go to the multiple articles — primarily written by guest contributors from the local community — on the question of alewives in our local lakes and streams.

Emily Cates also has had a number of popular articles this year with highlights like: “Wrap your trees in tin foil – The Sure-fire way to protect your trees in wintertime…and puzzle your neighborhood!” Check out more of her great writing in “Garden Works” on townline.org.

The Town Line also launched its new Facebook page in 2017. As of today, more than 400 of you have followed us on Facebook! Like or follow us to see new local stories appear as updates in your Facebook feed. You can find us at facebook.com/townline.org.

This week on townline.org, we’ve set up a special page to highlight the best articles in The Town Line from the past year. Find easy links to the great stories mentioned above, as well as other popular stories from 2017. Look for the ‘Best of 2017’ graphic on the homepage at townline.org.

<– Return to “The Best of The Town Line in 2017″ page

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Statistics show decline in cancer related deaths

FOR YOUR HEALTH

The American Cancer Society has announced updated cancer statistics, facts and figures which show a decline in the cancer death rate in recent years.

The main takeaway is, the cancer death rate dropped 1.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, continuing a drop that began in 1991 and has reached 26 percent, resulting in nearly 2.4 million fewer cancer deaths during that time.

The data is reported in Cancer Statistics 2018, the American Cancer Society’s comprehensive annual report on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. It is published in California: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and is accompanied by its consumer version: Cancer Facts and Figures 2018.

The report estimates that there will be 1,735,350 new cancer cases and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States in 2018*. The cancer death rate dropped 26 percent from its peak of 215.1 per 100,000 population in 1991 to 158.6 per 100,000 in 2015. A significant proportion of the drop is due to steady reductions in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. The overall decline is driven by decreasing death rates for the four major cancer sites: Lung (declined 45 percent from 1990 to 2015 among men and 19 percent from 2002 to 2015 among women); female breast (down 39 percent from 1989 to 2015), prostate (down 52 percent from 1993 to 2015), and colorectal (down 52 percent from 1970 to 2015).

While the new report also finds that death rates were not statistically significantly different between whites and blacks in 13 states, a lack of racial disparity is not always indicative of progress. For example, cancer death rates in Kentucky and West Virginia were not statistically different by race, but are the highest of all states for whites.
Prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers account for 42 percent of all cases in men, with prostate cancer alone accounting for almost one in five new diagnoses.

For women, the three most common cancers are breast, lung, and colorectal, which collectively represent one-half of all cases; breast cancer alone accounts for 30 percent all new cancer diagnoses in women.

The lifetime probability of being diagnosed with cancer is slightly higher for men (39.7 percent) than for women (37.6 percent). Adult height has been estimated to account for one-third of the difference.

Liver cancer incidence continues to increase rapidly in women, but appears to be plateauing in men. The long-term, rapid rise in melanoma incidence appears to be slowing, particularly among younger age groups. Incidence rates for thyroid cancer also may have begun to stabilize in recent years, particularly among whites, in the wake of changes in clinical practice guidelines.

The decline in cancer mortality, which is larger in men (32 percent since 1990) than in women (23 percent since 1991), translates to approximately 2,378,600 fewer cancer deaths (1,639,100 in men and 739,500 in women) than what would have occurred if peak rates had persisted.

“This new report reiterates where cancer control efforts have worked, particularly the impact of tobacco control,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “A decline in consumption of cigarettes is credited with being the most important factor in the drop in cancer death rates. Strikingly though, tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for nearly three in ten cancer deaths.”

*Estimated cases and deaths should not be compared year-to-year identify trends.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Was it a Sharp-shinned hawk or a Cooper’s hawk? Hard to tell

Sharp-shinned hawk, left, and Cooper’s hawk, right. Note the square tail of the Sharp-shinned hawk, compared to the rounded tail of the Cooper’s hawk.

Roland D. HalleeSCORES & OUTDOORS

by Roland D. Hallee

I have seen some interesting acts of Mother Nature during my travels, but what happened last week probably tops most of them.

The first was somewhat insignificant because I had seen it one time before. Arriving home from work late last Wednesday, I noticed a dead crow in my backyard. Not knowing quite what to do, I called the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and was told it was OK for me to dispose of the bird. I feared that because they were vulnerable to West Nile disease, I should report it. I wasn’t sure I should touch it.

But what I saw on Saturday, topped that without a contest. After picking up my granddaughter at a basketball game to take her home (they live in a condo village in Waterville), I turned around in my daughter’s driveway. In front of her garage, I noticed a rather large bird obviously plucking the feathers of the prey it had taken down. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the unfortunate fowl was a male mallard duck.

The hunter was a rather smallish hawk that sat there almost motionless once it spotted me. It began to look uncomfortable with my presence, and flew into a nearby tree. I made a mental picture of the raptor and would try to identify it. Immediately, I ruled out broad winged hawk and redtail hawk, both of which I am familiar.

My research indicated to me that it was either a Sharp-shinned hawk, or a Cooper’s hawk. They had similarities that I couldn’t quiet determine which was which.

Sharp-shinned hawks are small, long-tailed (this one had a long tail) hawks with short rounded wings. Again, a match. Adults are slaty blue-gray above, with narrow, horizontal red-orange bars on the breast. Again, that was what it had. However, Sharp-shinned hawks breed in deep forests. This was in the center of Waterville.

The Sharp-shinned hawk is a woodland raptor, skilled at capturing birds on the wing. Its short, rounded wings permit it to snake through brushy areas. Its long, narrow tail serves as a rudder. They will surprise their prey with their speed, and prefer the ease of taking down birds weakened by disease or injury.

Now, the Cooper’s hawk resembles the Sharp-shinned hawk so much that even experts are often fooled. That didn’t leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling about identifying the right culprit.

The Cooper’s hawk, however, has one real distinction: it is larger, more powerful, and able to kill larger prey. This particular hawk had taken down a mallard duck. Not quite the size of a chickadee which the Sharp-shinned hawk would prefer.

For decades during the 19th century, Cooper’s hawks were referred to as “chicken hawks” for their preference to taking chickens from backyards. So, for many years, they were hunted and slaughtered by the thousands. Fortunately, people came to understand the role that predators play in nature, and hawks are now protected by federal law. But, the Cooper’s hawk is its own worse enemy. They are woodland birds, so when they see a window, they see whatever the glass reflects, be it sky or trees. They think they can just fly through it. Sadly, they sometimes even succeed, but the price of success is still a broken neck.

Cooper’s hawks tend to be more common in suburban areas, where Sharp-shinned hawks nest in conifers and heavily wooded areas. The Cooper’s hawk has a rounded tail, that when folded, the outer feathers are shorter than the inner ones. The Sharp-shinned hawk’s tail is square, and both species have broad dark bands across their long tails. The hawk I saw had those bars.

So, what did I see. I’m going to have to say it was a Cooper’s hawk only because of the tail. The bird I saw had a tail that had shorter tail feathers on the outside and longer ones inside. That was probably the only thing I noticed that was significant. It was definitely the tail of the Cooper’s hawk. So, I guess I’m going to have to go with that.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Name the four NFL teams that have never made a Super Bowl appearance.

Answer here.

I’m Just Curious: It’s that time again

by Debbie Walker

Happy New Year! Oh yeah, it is that time again. The time of year when we once again are reminded we are not perfect! The magazines developed for women are going to give us the answers to improve us, yet again!

The magazines I am looking at now do not have very much information geared towards men; in all fairness I don’t remember seeing any magazines for men. I’ll have to pay closer attention next week and really look over the magazine rack.

I have three magazines in front of me now. The covers are always a hoot to read as long as you have the right attitude; the one where you don’t take any of it seriously.

One magazine cover has you “Drop 10 pounds in seven days,” and that is shown just below the picture of “Cranberry mmmm.” Another magazine: “Food Lovers Secret to Suddenly Slim! Hint: You can find it at Dunkin’ Donuts!” (Something slimming at Dunkin’ Donuts, not the first place I would look). There are also several pictures of food, goodies, and calories galore! Then, of course, there is “Forever Young!”, and “Stress Enders!” Stress, why would any woman feel stress?

While yet another magazine we can lose 10 pounds in 48 hours, that magazine cover is promoting champagne cupcakes. On the same cover they tell you a tea that will reduce worrying, placed just above a Happy New Year and a bottle of champagne! Maybe that champagne might reduce the worrying better! And each magazine is full of recipes.

Although I dislike the magazine covers and the message of “you need to improve ….” There is usually some information I find useful.

For the time being none of us are ever going to be perfect, sorry, but true. If I actually got my weight where it “should” be I still have big feet with problems and I’d just have more flopping skin! We don’t all do well with champagne and wine. I think the magazines I have been looking at are sort of like “… in a perfect world….”

Truthfully, I think we look at certain magazines for information we need, such as the ones that give me useful tips. I pick up the magazines, go through them for the ideas I like and then I pass the magazines on to Mom or Patsy. Patsy says she is always curious about what I pulled out before she got it.

Well, we will have to put up with the information we don’t care about to get the info we do care about. As for improving me, I pick and choose.

I’m just curious what you will find useful from my rambling or some of the magazines this month. Let me know. I am at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading and don’t forget, we are online! Bye!

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Singer: Elvis Presley; Movie: Gangster Story; Composer: Brahms

Peter CatesREVIEW POTPOURRI

by Peter Cates

Elvis Presley

Loving You; Teddy Bear
RCA Victor 47-7000, seven-inch picture sleeve 45 rpm, recorded 1957.

Elvis Presley

Teddy Bear was a huge number one hit on the rock, country and rhythm and blues charts for the great Elvis (1935-1977). Both songs here were also part of the 1957 film, with the same name, and its soundtrack LP, consisting totally of Presley performances. Teddy Bear’s lyricist Bernie Lowe (1917-2001) was also a businessman who established Cameo records in 1956, which later expanded to Cameo/Parkway. He would sign an unknown singer, Ernest Evans, to the label, who himself later changed his name to Chubby Checker!

Both are superb songs, performed in a first rate manner.

Gangster Story

directed by and starring Walter Matthau and Carol Grace; 68 minutes; released December, 1959.

Walter Matthau

Carol Grace

Walter Matthau portrays a bank robber, Jack Martin, fleeing the police and needing cash. He then pulls a cleverly staged heist of a local bank in the town where he is hiding out, lays low at the library and becomes involved with a librarian, Carol Logan, played by his real life wife, Carol Grace; in fact, the couple married during the production of this film.

The main conflict is not only hiding from the cops but also from the local crime boss who wants a share of the loot.

I liked Matthau’s skilled acting, and directing, along with the shaping and development of the story. The obviously low budget cinematography brought out its own ‘50s small town ambiance – especially the beachside romance .

There are two delightful moments. When Jack is first scoping out the library, he asks Carol the rules. “No talking!” When sparks begin flying during their oceanside tryst, he asks again. “No talking!”

The DVD copy that I own was rather shabby but serviceable and part of an el cheapo three-movie package yet, despite these faults, the film was 68 minutes of captivating escapism.

Brahms

Symphony No. 2
Bruno Walter conducting the New York Philharmonic; Columbia, ML 5125, 12-inch mono LP, recorded December 28, 1953.

As I get older, I find it impossible to pick my favorite of the four Brahms Symphonies. They are all magnificent creations, each with a distinct quality that contributes to the number of times I listen to them again (not to mention the number of different recordings I own and to which I add).

Unlike the 1st Symphony which took ten years of effort before its 1876 premiere, the 2nd Symphony took final shape during a summer lakeside vacation a year later. The music is serene and comforting overall, although it too has its darker and more melancholy moments.

Bruno Walter (1876-1962) recorded it twice, the remake in stereo with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and free lancers grouped together as the Columbia Symphony and released during the very early ‘60s. It was a poetic approach but lacking a bit too much in muscle and bite.

This week’s record is a different matter. Walter not only communicated the singing qualities throughout but brought to life the lights and shadows of the orchestration that was a major part of Brahms’s genius.He would also impose tempos that might seem too fast but worked in helping the music to sing even more beautifully.

And, despite the New York Philharmonic’s fearsome reputation for chewing up conductors they didn’t like with bad playing and snarky attitudes, they responded totally to Walter’s conducting with their best.

Recommended totally!

IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of January 11, 2018

by Katie Ouilette

WALLS, you and our faithful readers haven’t had me to read for awhile, so, first I must say Happy 2018 to all my friends at The Town Line and to the friends I haven’t met yet!

Frankly, WALLS, you know fell well that conversations and subjects can change and change they did when Lew came home with the mail and there was Dr. Victoria Stenmard pictured on the front page of Redington-Fairview General Hospital’s Newsletter. You know that I have much to be thankful for to Dr. Stennard, the RFGH staff and the ambulance staff that braved our driveway on Lake Wesserunsett, in East Madison, to get me to RFGH. About a month later, I was to praise Dr. Henry and her expertise as a surgeon. Maybe this is the time to thank RFGH President “Dick” Willette for his expertise in guaranteeing such great expertise as Dr.Stemmard and Dr. Henry even extend to their follow-up after the surgery.

pileated woodpeckers (wikimedia commons)

Hmm, must call attention to our monthly National Geographic magazine which arrived recently. On the cover was the feature inside entitled The Importance of Birds. That publication made me aware of birds that even come to our feeder all year long. Yes, we’ve had everything from pileated woodpeckers to, now, Snow Birds….and we surely have the snow for them now! Y’know, I wrote a book entitled Two Birds in a Box, which is a true-to-the-word story, but the publishers in New York City that I was encouraged to send it to wrote back that the book was too unbelievable to be true! Well, the folks who had Polar Bear Publishing in Solon, Maine, believed and not only is it dedicated to Landon, our great-grandson, but the dedication reads:

“To Landon and all the children in hospitals who are waiting for their time fly.” Landon is well, thanks to the people at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital who got rid of his Wilm’s Cancer in the seven years that he was at the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He had his 20th birthday in December and is a student at Culinary Arts College, in Oregon. Yes, WALLS, we are happy, too.