SOLON & BEYOND, Week of April 6, 2017

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

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

The Solon Congregational Church will be having their annual Spring Inside Yard and Craft Sale on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Solon Elementary School. They are still looking for yard salers and vendors to take part in this popular event featuring many crafters, vendors and second hand tables! New this year is a plant sale, 50/50 Raffle and Spring Themed Guess the Amount Baskets. The kitchen will be open for breakfast and lunch with homemade items. Homemade baked goods table. Spring is here, Don’t Miss Out!!

Much to my horror, when last week’s paper came out, I had failed to put in the date of the very ‘Important Dinner to benefit the Timdall Family! Of course I started to worry that my failure to write the day would keep people away from such an important endeavor! But…when Lief and I arrived for the meal, it was almost impossible to find a place to park, there were so many vehicles! ( Someday, my prayer is that I will stop worrying! Wish me luck!). There had been lots of posters posted around also and there was a huge crowd enjoying the fellowship and wonderful food in abundance. We left before the auction but I hope to find out more about the whole affair before I write this column next week.

Every year when I turn the page on a calendar to April, I start thinking about age. In my dictionary it describes ‘aging’ as “to grow old, to show signs of age. 2 to become mature, heavy wines age slowly. 3 to cause to become old, worry aged him rapidly, 4 to allow to mature. Act your age, behave more sensibly. ( I’ve been told that I don’t act my age, and I totally agree, and I continue to work on that problem!)

But as I get older every year, it impresses me more and more when I find out what other people are still doing in their lives. I can’t say enough about the great job the person who delivers our daily paper does, especially in the winter, (with all the snow storms and blizzards we’ve had this winter!)

Her name is Mary Reed and when I found out last week that she had just had her 80th birthday, my admiration at all she still does was beyond measure. She has been delivering the Morning Sentinel for 37 years. She also delivers the Bangor paper Monday through Saturday and the Portland Sunday paper as well! She said she worked at a shoe shop before starting to deliver papers.

She and her mother found a place to live on Fire Road 15 on the lake, she loved it there, but after her mother died she had to sell the place because the taxes went up. She then bought the place where she now lives in East Madison. She said she made it into a nice house, it was going to be a place to fix cars. She has lived there for 37 years and at one time did do some wood working projects and sold them.

She said she had cancer a couple of years back but was cured. She spends most of her time planting roses, her mother loved them. She wrote on a note to me that, “I love your roses, I watch them grow.”

But again I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate the great job she does in delivering our paper right to our door. (Our driveway curves up a hill and unless there is an ice storm or a blizzard it is there, but if not, it is a tube on South Solon Road. Thanks Mary for a job well done!

I’m sure Percy probably watched Mary’s lights coming up the driveway around 3:30 or 4 a.m. on many a morning, his memoir is to Keep Going: There’s no skill in easy sailing When the skies are clear and blue. There’s no joy in merely doing Things that anyone can do. But there is great satisfaction, That is mighty sweet to take When you reach a destination That you said you couldn’t make.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of March 30, 2017

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

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

The piano concert at the Solon Congregational Church with Alexander Walz playing the piano was held on Saturday night. There was lots of clapping going on after each song. There was an intermission, and wonderful food was provided, and then more songs were enjoyed, it was a most enjoyable evening.

On Saturday, April 1, there will be a Whist Card Party at the North Anson Congregational Church at 4:30 p.m. These parties are a lot of fun, and it is always a mystery waiting to be solved, as to who wins the big prize! If you don’t know how to play whist come and learn, it’s really easy. This event is held in the Fellowship Hall.

On Sunday, April 16, at 6 a.m., there will be a Sunrise Service and Breakfast at the North Anson Congregational Church. Everyone is invited.

The North Anson Congregational Church’s Senior Companion Program has a new contact person, Rose Hendrix. If you would like to know more about the benefits of this important service contact Rose at 628-3322 or Gail Watson at 474-9622 for more information.

There will be a community dinner for Jim Tindall and family at the Embden Community Center from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Jim is the owner of Timdall’s Store and the Dam Diner, in North New Portland. He has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Will you join us to help relieve a portion of the monetary stress to his family. The menu for this event is very varied for this meal, so you will have lots to chouse from. There will be a Silent Auction starting at 6:15 p.m., and again, many different items. It is truly a worthy cause.

Lief and I have eaten at the Dam Diner on many occasions and we really like the good food we have partaken of there and the wonderful, friendly atmosphere in this place. We always stop there on our way up to camp, but for some reason on a stormy drizzling day last week, we decided to go to the Dam Diner for lunch. We hadn’t heard of Jim’s illness, but Annette told us about it and we were so sorry. Hope everything works out for them.

Since the above is the only real news I have this week, I turned to my old Old Farmer’s Almanac Sampler which has some words about the seasons. It says, “Our poet remembers spring and sings of it when his hot summers are on him or frosts and winter– and then he does so by true remembrance and in contrast to the world about him in other seasons at that time he finds the true meaning of cloud and clod and bud and freshet and just what the bird had sung to him. 1931 March is a boisterous fellow, And undetered by fear, With many pranks proclaims himself The tomboy of the year! (That has surely been true this March of 2017, wouldn’t you say?) Now we have April coming up… ‘Tis April still, but April wrapt in cloud – Month of sweet promise and of Nature’s bliss, When earth leaps up at heaven’s reviving kiss, And flouts at Winter lingering in her shroud. (It is dark and freezing rain and snow outside my window as I write these pleasing and happy thoughts of Spring, hope it cheered you up!)

And now for Percy’s memoir: Life without purpose is barren indeed – There can’t be a harvest unless you plant a seed, There can’t be attainment unless there is a goal, And man’s but a robot unless there’s a soul…. If we send no ships out, no ships will come in, And unless there’s a contest, nobody can win… For games can’t be won unless they are played, And prayers can’t be answered unless they are prayed… So what ever is wrong with your life today, You’ll find a solution if you kneel down and pray Not just for pleasure, enjoyment and health, Not just for honors and prestige and wealth… But pray for a purpose to make worth living.And pray for the joy of unselfish giving, For great is your gladness and rich your reward When you make your life’s purpose the choice of your Lord. (words by Helen Steiner Rice.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of March 23, 2017

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

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

Was so pleased when I sat down at my computer to find some e-mails to share. This one is from Jennifer Hebert: We are planning our annual Spring Inside Sale for April 29 this year. Hoping that you will write about us in your column and also that you will want to book a space at it as well. Thank you as always for helping us get the word out! Jen. I’ll be writing more about this event as it draws near.

Also received an e-mail from Marsha Lagasse, a volunteer at the new thrift shop in Bingham. It is called St. Peter’s Thrift Store & Food Pantry and it is located in the old Jimmy’s Market on Main Street. The thrift shop is open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food pantry is open on this March 22, then every first Wednesday and third Wednesday of every month. The thrift store accepts donations of housewares and clean and unstained clothing on the days they are open. No electronics accepted! The money they make at the thrift store pays the rent of the space and keeps the food pantry going.

Monetary donations are welcome as well. If you need to get in touch with Marsha you may call 672-4026 or email: Northwestmarsha@gmail.com.

The Anson/North Anson Snowmobile Club will be having their annual Maine Maple Syrup breakfast on Sunday, March 26, at the Garrett Schenk School from 6:30 to 10 a.m.

Last Saturday, March 18, we celebrated Clarence Jones 98th birthday with a lunch at Thompson’s Restaurant. There were 26 of us in attendance to help him celebrate a long and good life. His son Tom was also there and he was born on his father’s birthday, so birthday cards were given out to him, also. There were guests from far and near, four of Clarence’s grandchildren were there, Chistael, Kenny, Peter and Mary.

Clarence is my step-father; he and my mother moved down to Bingham from Eustis years ago. My brother Steve Jones and his wife Liz moved to Bingham to be with his father a few years after my mother died, they were the ones who hosted the party at Thompson’s and then we went to Clarence’s home for cake and ice cream. It was a good day.

A District K-8 Talent Show will be held at Carrabec Community School on Wednesday, March 29, at 6 p.m.

Earlier this winter, three fifth grade students at Solon Elementary School organized a penny drive to raise money for school activities. They collected $100 in their drive. When Alyssa Schinzel, Summer Lindbloom, and Hailey Wyman found out that fourth grader Braden Wheeler needed a medical procedure that would be very expensive, the students decided to donate the money from their penny drive to him.

This week Percy’s memoirs are about love:

Kindness in words creates confidence, Kindness in thinking creates profoundness, Kindness in giving creates love. – Lao- Tse.

I would not live without the love of my friends, John Keats. A friend is a present you give yourself. – Robert Louis Stevenson.

It is the nature of love to work in a thousand different ways. – St. Teresa.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of March 16, 2017

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

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

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on March 11, for their sixth meeting with Hunter Soucer as president. The club raised $170 on the bake sale on town meeting day to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard.

The members voted to donate $50 to the benefit for Zack Corson. Zack was a past member of the club. Linda French invited the 4-H club to visit the Solon Food Cupboard. The members voted to do this after the April meeting.

The Evergreen Campground will host the 4-H club and leaders to a camping weekend this summer. The members voted to do this, and Cliff Stevens, of Moxie Outdoors, has offered to take the members on a rafting trip on the Kennebec River and to do a water safety meeting.

Desmond Robinson, Tehya Caplin, Laci Dickey, Sarah Craig and Dystony Young did demonstrations. Laci Dickey is planning to do hers on March 25 at the County Demonstration tournament. The next meeting will be on Saturday, April 8, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. Members not giving their demonstrations at the March meeting will do theirs in April.

The Solon Congregational Church will be hosting a solo piano concert on Saturday, March 25, at 6 p.m. This will be featuring Alexander Walz, of North Anson. Refreshments will be served. Donations will be accepted.

I know bragging is not nice, but I’m going to do it anyway! Alex, or most people call him Zander, is my grandson and he is a very special guy,. When he plays the piano you can feel how much he loves music. I highly recommend this event and it will benefit the church as well.

The grades 3-5 students at Solon Elementary School are getting ready to take the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA), which will start the week of March 20. Students in all three grades will take tests in reading, writing/language, and math. Later the fifth graders will take a test in science. Then all three grades will do a writing assessment in May.

This year’s test will be taken on thye computer. The test will be administered over multiple days so that students do not get too tired. Teachers are using practice items and teaching test-taking strategies with students to help prepare them.

The spring exhibit at the Margaret Chase Smith Library, in Skowhegan, is open for viewing. “Encore! Walking the Red Carpet with Margaret,” focuses on Senator Smith’s many connections to Tinseltown. Come see Margaret hobnob with Hollywood royalty like Jimmy Stewart, Esther Williams, Bob Hope, Marlene Dietrich, and Ronald Reagan.

This also introduces the first Margaret Chase Smith Research Scholarship recipient; highlights other researchers; and indicates the enormity of snowfall in Maine .

But spring is just around the corner and they welcome visitors, school groups, and friends to this remarkable tribute to one of Maine’s most beloved political figures.

I’m always glad when I have space to print such goings on in this area. I would still welcome any news I might receive from the Solon Coolidge Library, but I hate to keep bugging people.

And now for Percy’s memoir: I may not pass this way again, Lord let me stop awhile; To help some stranger on the way; And make somebody smile! I may not pass this way again. Lord, let me find the poor, And give them food and show them love; And lead them to Thy door! I may not pass this way again, Lord, let me love and give; And do according to Thy will While on this earth I live! (words by Marion Schoeberlein.)

I’m going to put in two of his memoirs this week, hope you like his choices: “We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.” (words by St. Francis de Sales.)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of March 9, 2017

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
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 info@bags4mycause.com.

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
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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 jbutler@carrabec.org. (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!