Legion a place for camaraderie
To the editor:
Growing up in South China there were 2 places I would hang out with my parents. Church, of course, (most of the time with just mom) and the Legion Hall. You never know how good you have it until you look back at those times at the hall.
I never got close to my dad growing up. He always felt distant and strong. All I ever wanted to do is copy that behavior to be just like him. He’s been gone 26 years now and I’m finally understanding his behavior. It was the war. He went in as an innocent boy of 19 and returned a hardened man filled with nightmares of seeing his friends die in front of him. We seem to learn to connect with people who have also experienced the same things.
This brings me back to one of dad’s safe places. The American Legion was like a 12-step program for many of the veterans returning from combat. Their PTSD was called battle fatigue or shell shocked. Their nightmares could be shared with others at the Post. They all recognized when they returned how safe and secure our little town was compared to war torn areas they saw overseas. They also didn’t want to get too close to people who wouldn’t understand.
Today’s legion has the same mission its had for the last 100 years. To bring veterans together to heal the wounds of war. We also use our membership dues to pay the Washington lobbyist to fight for veterans in Congress. This is why we will have a membership drive during the Windsor Fair sponsored by The Town Line. We welcome and encourage all eligible veterans to join. So, all you veterans, stop sitting on the bench, put your glove on and get in the game.
By the way, your spouse can join the Ladies Auxiliary, too!
American Legion Post 179
Ideas for local development
To the editor:
I was pleased to see that my suggestion of a South China Village/Shops & retirement community made it into the August 18 edition. As a member of the TIF committee, this is a suggestion that I would like the folks in China to consider and also, to offer their opinions. Route 3 is a busy road, as is Lakeview Drive, and I believe the town’s people should look into developing this area, as the most commercially-viable location in China. It’s only a matter of time before someone sees the full value of this location, whether it be in five years or 20 years.
We have the rare opportunity to specifically put something in place that the town wants, vs. someone putting ‘whatever’ in place, which we’d have to live with and have little say on its use. I don’t know if this is the best use of the TIF funds, which can only be used for economic development, but I think it’s a good way to start some chit-chat mill in China.
In regards to the retirement community, I’d like to see a group of houses, specifically made for ease of access and maintenance, within walking distance of the proposed South China shops and Hannaford.
I also wouldn’t mind a central lodge, similar to the Granite Hill Estates, in Augusta. Not only will this help with the inevitable increasing taxes in town, I strongly believe that when folks get to the last year’s of their life, when a new car or gadget has lost its appeal — the most important thing is to have, is a safe and comfortable retirement with the one you love. If one needs more care than the other can provide, a central assisted-living will provide the extra care they need, while the more self-sufficient person can still be independent, close by and most importantly, continue to be the love of their life.
There are some really cool things China can do with five million TIF Simoleons over 20 years. Progress has been – and will continue on Rte. 3. We can be on the organizing side of it or on the ‘live with it’ side. I’d much rather see an area where we can get a Green Bean coffee and muffin on their patio, (where someone’s playing Jim Croce and The Eagles songs on an acoustic guitar) then walk to a Reny’s, maybe a pet store, kitchen store, Sweet Frog, chocolate shop, etc., because I personally don’t think we need another large, heavily-lighted business with a big red circle and a ‘K’ in the middle of it. Let’s think big and do something remarkable with that TIF cheddar, shall we?