SOLON & BEYOND, Week of March 9, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The second quarter honor roll for Solon Elementary School is as follows: All A’s: Emily Baker, Jayden Cates, Gavyn Easler, Sascha Evans, Courtney Grunder, Cody James, William Lawrence, Macie Plourde, Desmond Robinson, William Rogers, Hailey Wyman and Dystany Young. All A’s & B’s: Karen Baker, Sarah Craig, Michael Crane, Cooper Dellarma, Reid Golden, Riley Graham, Zachary Hemond, Nevaeh Holmes, Summer Lindblom , Madyson McKenny, Aiden McLaughlin, Clara Myers-Sleeper, Abigail Parent, Cailin Priest, Paige Reichert, Mylee Roderick, Thomas Roderick, Gerald Rollins, Alyssa Schinzel, Aaron Soosman, Brooks Sousa, Fisher Tewksbury and Lucas Vicneire.

Again this year Solon Elementary School held some fun Valentine activities to brighten the winter season. The Solon Kids Who Care sponsored a Secret Cupid activity in which each of them decorated a heart with some kind words for another person in the school. The hearts are displayed on the bulletin board in the lobby.

Mrs. Keenan made red hearts in the new-fallen snow all around the school for Valentine’s Day week. There was a Hearts game held at the school on February 17. Students played the game (which is like Yahtzee) in multi-age groups in the gym. The winning team was Mrs. Hines’s team, made up of Brooks Sousa, Fisher Tewksbury, Isabella Atwood, Kaylynn Clark, Cooper Dellarma, and Paige Reichert. Winning the hearts drawing were Charlie Golden and Desmond Robinson.

It’s time to begin the preschool application process for the fall of 2017. If your child will be four years old by October 15, 2017, you can apply for enrollment into the RSU #74, 2017-18 preschool program. The program is open to all four-year-olds regardless of family income.

Applications can be picked up at any of the elementary schools. You can have one mailed to your home by calling the school at 643-2491, or you can download one from the district website.

You will need to provide income verification and a copy of your child’s birth certificate, MaineCare card, and immunization record.

If you have any questions about the preschool program, please contact Family Services Coordinator Jennifer Hebert at 696-3753 (office) or 649-2347 (cell).

The PTO Father-Daughter Dance will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 6 – 8 p.m., at the Solon Elementary School. Open to all district PreK-5 students and their dads or another significant man in their lives. A $10 donation per family suggested.

Must apologies for not attending the annual town meeting on Saturday, it is only one of a very few that I have missed over the years. It didn’t seem to me there was much that some people might vote against, (if you read this column last week, I had reported on most of the articles). The ones on the ballot for return to office had no competition and were re-elected. There were 46 people in attendance. Lief and I did attend and enjoy the dinner and good company which preceded the business meeting on town meeting day. There were only 16 of us who supported the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club members efforts to put on this dinner every year. I’m very proud of them and their leader Eleanor Pooler.

Received an e-mail from the Hannaford store at 100 Fairgrounds Marketplace, in Skowhegan, about their Hannaford Cause Bag program. This started on March 1 and it will be focusing on supporting the Margaret Chase Smith Library. It is called The Hannaford- Bags 4 My Cause Team where you can find out more about it at

Percy’s memoir is titled “Be Calm My Soul:” Be calm my soul – Tho’ all around, Nations may fall – Thrones tumble down. E’en in the midst Of life’s troubled sea – Have faith in God, And know he keeps thee. Be calm my soul – Be firm and stand fast! He’ll keep thee now He has in the past. He rules the wind – And calms the great sea; Be calm my soul – God will keep thee. (words by JoAnn Carlson.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of March 2, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The Solon 2017 annual town meeting will be held at the Solon Elementary School on Saturday, March 4, with voting for the following nominated candidates from 8 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Candidates are Selectman, three-year term: Sarah Davis; Road Commissioner: Michael Foster; Town Clerk/Tax Collector: Leslie Giroux and MSAD # 74 School Board Director, three-year term: Laura Layman.

The annual Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club bake sale is from 8 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. The 4-H Club’s luncheon is 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Hope you will join them for lunch and support this club.

The town meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. In 2017 the selectmen and budget committee are again each recommending budgets that are under the state mandated cap. The selectmen’s recommended municipal budget needed to be raised by taxation, after reducing this budget by loan, reserve funds, State Revenue Sharing and available surplus, is $103 less than last year and the budget committee’s is $22 more than last year.

The following are some of the articles that will be on the agenda this year:

  • Art. 3: In 2016 we were overdrawn in Town Charges by $1,563.62 and we need the authorization to use surplus to cover the overage. Articles 5 through 12: Articles to raise money for various purposes. Our budget worksheet will be available at the town office and at the town meeting;
  • Art. 11-4: The Library Trustees are asking for a $5,000 increase by taxation. The selectmen and budget committee are recommending no increase. They have reserve funds invested and the yearly income is available to be used when needed.
  • Art. 14: This article is to repair and repave the sidewalks on South Main Street, School St, Pleasant St. and the southerly portion of North Main St. Funding for the project will be $9,700 from the sidewalk Repair Reserve and $45,000 from the Road Paving Reserve.
  • Art.17: This will give the selectmen the authority to trade in our 1991 Ford L900 Roll Off Truck and to purchase a used roll off truck for the transfer station using up to $56,000 from the transfer station truck and Tub Reserve Account Funds and taking out a loan for up to $21,000. The loan will be paid back over three years.
  • Article 19: The town foreclosed on the Goldhamer property on Wentworth (Ironbound) Pond in 2012. The lot’s depth does not allow for development. We need to discuss what to do with this property.
  • Article 20 & 21: This gives the selectmen authority and direction on disposing of tax acquired property. There are two separate pieces of property that were foreclosed on for nonpayment of 2014 property taxes. One property belonged to Steve Carey who died in 2014. The other property is a camp belonging to Louis Vallee.
  • Articles 22 through 28 are articles either required by Maine law every year or are articles included every year for the reasons stated in the articles.

I received the above information from Leslie Giroux where they are available at the Solon Corner Store and perhaps at other stores in Solon and you can get the total articles at the town office also.

I have got to get on the ball and try and get the yearly booklets from organizations in the area so I can share what is going on there with you, and when their meetings are going to be. .

And now what you’ve been waiting for, Percy’s memoir: I’ll count the kind of deeds done today Instead of hurts that come my way. I’ll catch the sunbeams on my sill And let the clouds move as they will. I’ll listen to a trilling note And lift the one caught in my throat. I’ll nod and smile at passerby And not give in to thoughts that cry. I’ll smell the flowers as they bloom Within, without my living room. I’ll watch the children near the gate And let their freedom compensate. I’ll count the health I know today And find tomorrow – as it may… Because my hope and joy shall be the love of Christ, who strengthens me. (words by Roxie Lusk Smith).

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of February 23, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Another week has gone by since I sat writing this column, and what a week it was! With the many snowstorms, blizzard conditions and trials and tribulations!

And…now it’s one of those weeks when I sit here wondering what I can write about for recent news, wracking my brain, and can’t think of anything new to share.

However, in going through some old papers I found what I thought was very interesting. It is an old letter from Bill and Mary Rowe dated 1988 and was sent out to local residents with a business in Solon. It states, “Dear Businessperson, If you have looked around Town lately, you will have noticed the increase in the number of businesses now operating. As a matter of fact, we are sending out 30 of these letters and I’m sure we have missed someone.

“The purpose of this letter is to explore the possibility of forming a Solon Business Association. There are many benefits to organizing and the main one is to concentrate our efforts and use our combined group to attract people into Solon and into our respective business. If we act as a Town and a group, we have all kinds of State support available plus we can do things such as signs that we are unable to do individually.

We would like to invite you to an exploratory meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 1988, at 8:00 a.m. to be held on the second floor of the fire hall.

“If you are unable to come, but would like to give your input, please telephone one of us and we will let you know how this meeting turned out. Sincerely, Bill and Mary Rowe.”

I received one of these letters because at that time I had my GRAMS Shop on North Main Street. And yes, the Solon Business Association was formed.

We mustn’t forget Percy’s memoir for this week entitled Press Onward: Keep a brave spirit, and never despair; Hope brings you messages through the keen air – Good is victorious – God everywhere. Grand are the battles which you have to fight, Be not downhearted, but valiant for right; Hope, and press forward, your face to the light.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of February 16, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on Saturday, February 11, with President Michaela Marden presiding.

The members are planning to attend an officer training and record workshop in Skowhegan on February 20, at 10 a.m. One member is planning to take some of her sled dogs and do a demonstration with them.

On Saturday, March 4, the club will be doing a food sale to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard and a dinner at the Solon Elementary School on the annual Solon town meeting day to benefit the club’s activities. Hope more of you will go to these events to support them.

As one of their community projects 17 food trays with lots of homemade goodies and two fruit trays were made and delivered.

Leaders Lois Meader and Eleanor Pooler did demonstrations to show the new members what to do.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, March 11, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. The members will be doing demonstrations.

As I sit writing this week’s column we are in the middle of a very bad blizzard! Have been saving the following information for just the right occasion…and this is certainly it! As I look outside, the snow is almost completely covering some of the windows and the wind is blowing a gale and snow still coming down.

Have been studying an old book that I gave to Frank for Christmas back in 1973. It is called, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Sampler. On the inside cover it states, “Along about Thanksgiving time, when turkey and pumpkin pie are gladdening the inner man, a familiar friend, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, arrives upon the scene as it has each year since 1792. Now more popular than ever before in its long history, it goes into over a million homes throughout the country and in the far corners of the world.

“From its beginning that almanac has played an intrinsic part in our nation’s life. In the homes of countless pioneers, the Almanac and the Bible constituted the entire library. It served as a calendar, weather man, agricultural adviser, medical consultant, and a great many other things. Its miscellaneous information ranged from the signs of the zodiac to the latest gags, and its well-thumbed pages were consulted daily. For The Old Farmer’s Almanac Sampler its editor has brought together for the first time a choice sampling of the wit, wisdom,and entertainment of the almanac in other years. Here, in selections reflecting the times in which they were published, are bits of homely philosophy; anecdotes, comments, and advice on the daily life of a changing America….(And this book was published in 1957.”

There is one thing I’m going to share with you, if it gets past the editor, “A country farmer, not long since, having married a second wife, complained much of the rheumatism in his hips. He asked his wife one day what was the matter with her goose, that she did not hatch; she answered shrewdly that she supposed the gander had the rheumatism in his hips.” (That saying was in a 1796 issue of the Almanac!)

I really enjoyed Debbie Walker’s column in The Town Line issue of February 9 about Old Farmer’s Almanac.

So now for Percy’s words of wisdom memoir: “Only one principle will give you COURAGE—that is the principle that no evil lasts forever nor indeed for very long.” (words by Epicurus, 271 BC).

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of February 9, 2017

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

As part of RSU #74’s participating in a Preschool Expansion Grant from the Maine Department of Education, they are forming a Community Literacy Team. With the increase in literacy demands for today’s job market, communities need to play a role in helping to promote and increase literacy skills in their citizens from birth to adulthood.

They are looking for community members who would like to be part of this team. Their plan is to meet once a month to create a literacy plan for the communities in RSU #74 to promote and expand literacy skills. Their activities need to include connections to early childhood, but they can also target people of all ages.

If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Ms. Butler at school or through e-mail at (The above is from an e-mail I received from Solon Elementary School.

Now for another apology, this time to Bill and Lori Messer… Sometimes I am either rushing to meet my deadline, or I have used up too many words already in a column, anyway… Last week in writing about their wonderful Blue Grass Show I didn’t write that they have Open Mic nights the first, third and fifth Sundays of each month from 1 to 4 p.m.

Lief and I recently traveled to Bangor where we had lunch with a former teacher of his from the “County,” Sam Coco. It was a most enjoyable time, he is a wonderful example, that no mater how old you are life can be exciting! We have been getting together with him several times and I always look forward to our get-togethers. He is a remarkable man…and he always assures me that Lief was a good boy back then.

Again, I would like to invite any of you painters, (in water colors, oils, or other mediums) to join us at Skowhegan Adult Ed for painting on Monday nights, starting on February 27, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. My faithful students and I always welcome new comers to our group of happy artists. Although I am a hard task master who loves peace and the joy of painting so my wishes are that during the few hours we are painting there won’t be any discussions about politics or religion. Please don’t let that stipulation keep you away! Many of these artists have been with me since I started this adventure many years ago, and I am proud to call them friends. You can sign up now at the Skowhegan Adult Ed office or on line, the fee is only $5.

And now for Percy’s memoir, he was a great believer in friendship: Friendship’s Token: Only a little token, Offered for Friendship’s sake – Picture and song together, Here, my greeting, take. What though on brightest pictures Time’s hand at last be lain; What though earth’s songs awaken Only to sleep again?

Voices once loved ring ever In faithful listening ears: The sacred hand of Friendship Gleams through the mist of years. (words by Ellis Walton). And Friends, like all good things in this life, can be had by any one who wants them. There is only one simple rule to follow, it is this; To have a friend, be one yourself. (that one came from my old, falling apart book “Uncle Ben’s Quotebook”. Percy and I studied that book a lot in all our years of writing, it was copyrighted in 1976. )

You guessed it…. I’m rambling, I need real news, I’m waiting to hear from you!