Sheepscot Lake Association’s first boat parade

The Miller family from Bald Head Island, Eric, Anna, Kyndra and Jenny participated in the Sheepscot Lake Association’s first boat parade on July 4. There was a great turnout as 18 boats took part, all decorated in red, white and blue. (contributed photo)

50 years later: The Town Line staff and volunteer contributors recall July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong’s reflection is seen in Buzz Aldrin’s face mask as the two became the first two men to walk on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy
INside the OUTside columnist

On Sunday Evening, July 20, I was working in the Composing Room as a Linotype Operator at the Morning Sentinel. I persuaded the foreman to let me bring in a small TV set with rabbit ears to watch the spacecraft landing.

We were all amazed to watch Neil Armstrong and Edwin Buzz Aldrin set foot and plant the American Flag on the Moon surface.

I am still amazed and when there is a full Moon, I always wonder if the American Flag is still waving?

by Gerald Day
Volunteer contributor

Where was I on July 20, 1969? Somewhere between Virginia Beach and Augusta, Maine. I was working for Army recruiting at the Norfolk recruiting office and I received my orders to go back to Vietnam for my second tour of duty. With 30 days to get there, clear post then get home and leave by military flight to ‘Nam, I had to many things to clear, which meant going to Richmond and back. While my station commander did that for me, I worked on everything else. Getting my mobile home ready and transportation set up with my station commander’s held, we did it only one day; unheard of in the Army.

To save money I figured I’d make my own tow hitch to haul my car back to Maine, I tested it near my home, and in about 200 feet it broke loose, which meant it had to go to the body shop. So much for saving money. I then left for Maine with our truck loaded and a trailer to haul items we would need right away. Two weeks later I flew back to pick up the car and was told that some mouldings needed to be put on. They told me it would take about eight hours. I told them to put them in the car and I would take care of it. Did it in 15 minutes once I returned home. I left for Vietnam on July 31.

Once I arrived in ‘Nam, everybody was talking about it (the moon landing). They were surprised I hadn’t heard, as I hadn’t seen any TV or listened to any news in weeks. Since I had personal issues to take of, I let the rest of the world take care of itself.

by Mary Grow
Free lance contributor

On July 20, 1969, my mother and I were living in the China Village house. My father was in Thayer Hospital after a stroke; he was to die a week later. Mother and I visited the hospital, spent time with Louise Tracey, Peg Darlow and Peg’s son Paul (friends who lived on Neck Road) and worked in the flower garden. Louise lent us a television set and we watched Aldrin and Armstrong walk on the moon from mid-evening until 2 a.m.

The Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles that day, too. According to Wikipedia, the Sox went on to finish third in the newly-created American League East with an 87-75 record. Baltimore won the division (the Detroit Tigers were second) and defeated the Minnesota Twins to win the American League, then lost the World Series to the New York Mets.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee
managing editor

On July 20, 1969, as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, I was stationed in Southeast Asia, part of a six-member, elite CIA-supported, top secret, special operations unit. Our mission was to observe the troop movements of the North Vietnamese and report back to headquarters, where plans were then formulated for air strikes on the enemy convoys. We were working out of Vientienne, Laos, operating along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, with occasional ventures into western and northwestern Vietnam. Spending lots of time in the field, it was sometimes weeks before we could get caught up on current events.

I had read of the impending moon landing, but lost track of time, not realizing what was taking place on this particular evening. Having been given a couple days of R&R (rest and relaxation), I was strolling down a street in Vientienne when I passed a shop selling outdated black and white television sets. As a way to entice people to consider purchasing a set, they had them lined up in the storefront window, with all of them turned on. A crowd had gathered in front of the store, so I went to see what was so riveting on the TV sets. That is when I saw U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the surface of the moon.

A little sense of pride rushed through me at the time, proud to be an American. We not only beat the Russians to the moon, but fulfilled the dream of the late President John F. Kennedy to put a man on the moon during the decade of the 1960s.

Emily Catesby Emily Cates
Garden Works columnist

Since I wasn’t around in 1969, I thought I’d ask my dad. He said:

“So, as I recall, I was at home in Wrentham Massachusetts, on summer break after my freshman year at Yale University. I was a great fan of the Apollo program, having dreamt about being a space traveler ever since reading Tom Swift novels during my preteen years.

“I was glued to the television set for hours that day, and especially sitting on the edge of my seat as Neil Armstrong guided the lunar lander the last several hundred feet with barely a few pounds of rocket fuel left. I watched every second of live video from the moon and upon return to earth that I could.

“The last time I can recall in my life being so glued to the television set was during the coverage of the Kennedy assassination only 5-1/2 years earlier.

“How ironic in hindsight! President Kennedy had been such an inspirational leader for space exploration and the Apollo landing has to be regarded as a crowning achievement in his legacy.

“And yet, the very same weekend that Apollo 11 landed on the moon was at the same time a terrible stain on the Kennedy family legacy, since younger brother Edward ended up driving his car off the side of the bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, in Cape Cod, and killing his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.”

by Eric W. Austin
The Town Line webmaster, columnist and investigative reporter

Being of the generation born after the moon landing and an avid connoisseur of conspiracy theories, I first delved into this important event with the idea that the whole thing had been mocked up by Stanley Kubrick and Richard Nixon. Like most conspiracy theories, however, it fell apart under further scrutiny, and I was left only with my admiration for the courageous men and women who made it possible. It was an achievement that fueled the imaginations of millions of people from around the world, and I can only hope to be around for mankind’s next giant step, Mars. Onward ho, my fellow Americans. To Mars and beyond!

Free concert set for Windsor Veterans Memorial fundraiser

Downeast Brass Band.

The Windsor Veterans’ Memorial Committee will be holding a fundraiser concert at the Windsor Town Hall on July 25, at 7:00 p.m. Donations will be requested in lieu of a ticket charge. The themed concert will feature the Downeast Brass Band putting on an “informance.” The performance will spotlight music from the 60’s and include stories, taking concert goers behind the scenes of their favorite songs and artists.

Downeast Brass Band founder Dwight Tibbetts said, “The narrative will discuss the top ten songs from each year and will explain why the music is the way that it is.” Refreshments will be provided by the Windsor Ladies Aide and be served after the hour and a half of entertainment.

The Veterans’ Memorial Committee will also be offering concrete and granite pavers to be purchased by the public as an additional way to help support the monument. Information on the pavers will be available the night of the concert or at the Windsor town office.

The Windsor Veterans’ Memorial will be located on Ridge and Reed roads and incorporate the existing monument. Original cost estimates for the project were over $45,000. Since 2017, over $14,500 have been raised through Veteran’s Beano games at the Windsor Fair, flower sales, pie auctions, public supers, other concerts and private donations. The citizens of Windsor also voted to give the Memorial $19,000 from the last two budgets. In addition, J.C.Stone Inc. from Jefferson has also donated 2 stone benches for the site. However, the committee still needs to raise over $11,000 to complete the project.

Once completed, the memorial will list the names of Windsor residents who have served our nation. For more information on the concert, please contact Windsor Cemetery Sexton Joyce Perry at 445-2998 or jperry@windsor.maine.gov.

Independence Day: remembering those who made it happen

Independence Day painting by John Trumbull, in 1819.

by Gary Kennedy

Independence Day is an American holiday which is celebrated on July 4 of each year. It is the solemnity of the official document which declared the original 13 colonies independent from Great Britain, in the year 1776. During this time period the already existing Continental Congress formally adopted the need for total independence by drafting a document declaring such, not only for America, but to give notice to Great Britain of the action. Most of this most famous document was actually concluded on July 2 but the fourth became the day of celebration.

This was the birth of American Independence. The birth didn’t come without a cost. King George III, Then King of Britain, didn’t accept the Americans to be free from the British rule. Britain accrued a great debt fighting against the French and felt the American colonies owed a great portion of that debt which they should pay to Britain.

The Americans relied upon their Preamble which basically stated, the Americans were declaring “unalienble rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thus a revolution was born to defend the new found freedoms that the colonists had grown to enjoy. Needless to say this was won at great expense to property and lives; the earth shook and thousands died. Britain’s need for money brought about “Taxation without Representation.” Eventually, it was declared that the total abolition from the British Crown was necessary.

The United States of America was born with the Articles of Confederation agreed to by Congress on November 15, 1777, and ratified on March 1, 1781. The United States Constitution with its Amendments became the foundation and governing laws of our nation.

The United States of America was born with the Articles of Confederation agreed to by Congress on November 15, 1777, and ratified on March 1, 1781. The United States Constitution with its Amendments became the foundation and governing laws of our nation.

The Revolutionary War was fought from April 1775 to September 1783. In 1775 George Washington was appointed Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army. He later became the first president of these United States and earned the name, “Father of our Country.” His presidency lasted for two terms, 1789-1797. Later from general to president he was also elected president of the convention that wrote the United States Constitution. Needless to say the foundations of our great country was guided in part by a very remarkable man, George Washington, who himself owned thousands of acres of land in several states as well as the largest whiskey distilling company at the time.

There were many years of war and changes to our great country which in fact fill thousands of books for those who want to read about the greatest historical event, besides the faith in our God, who always takes first place.

All this being said, we, in retrospect, think of such things as the “American Flag,” created in 1792 by Betsy Ross. Although some things in our history are debated, this is what we accept as truth. Also, it would be fair to mention a young Maryland lawyer and poet by the name of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics of the “Star Spangled Banner” which later became our National Anthem. Key was a temporary prisoner on the HMS Tonnant, a British man ‘o war, which was bombarding Fort McHenry, at Baltimore, Maryland, during the war of 1812. Key was inspired by the flag still waving after a night filled with heavy bombardment. All these events are envisioned when we think about the Fourth of Jul; or should be.

The other part of this story is the congregation of family and friends to celebrate this event in a customary manner. We share our love of “God and Country” with the mischief of some fireworks to describe the original events of our country’s beginning.

So, from all of us, to all of our beloved and loyal readers, we hope this brief explanation of the Fourth of July will give you all that Great Spirit of Patriotism, as intended, while you enjoy the love of family and friends. May God be with you all and as always, God Bless America.

New pastor at First Baptist Church, in Waterville

Moderator of First Baptist Church, Sam Goddard, has announced David A. Rodrigue as its Interim Pastor.

Rodrigue, a native of Waterville and educated in Waterville and Winslow schools, currently resides in China with his wife Valma.

Rodrigue served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam Conflict. A Marine for a total of 21 years, retired with the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant. His occupation in the Marine Corps was telecommunications and data processing. Upon retirement from the Marines, Rodrigue was employed for 26 years by Maine state government.

Rodrigue has been a youth coach at various levels of Tiger Cub, Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, and coached wrestling in New York and Maine.
Currently a member of the China Baptist Church, he served as its chairman of the Board of Trustees, board member of Board of Deacons, and Sunday School teacher. In addition, he has been clerk for the Kennebec Baptist Association and past president of the American Baptist Churches of Maine.

Benton native serves aboard U.S. Navy assault warship

Petty Officer 1st Class Maegan Findley

A Benton native and 2004 Law­rence High School graduate, in Fair­field, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Whidbey Island, a warship which transports and launches U. S. Marines from sea to shore as part of amphibious assault operations.

Petty Officer 1st Class Maegan Findley is a hospital corpsman aboard the dock landing ship operating out of Little Creek, Virginia.

Lovejoy Center welcomes back Dr. Austin

Dr. David Austin

The staff at Lovejoy Health Center recently welcomed David Austin, MD, back to the practice. He previously joined Lovejoy in 1993. David brings over 30 years experience providing medical care both in Maine and globally through volunteer organizations including Médecins Sans Frontières. He obtained a doctorate at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine, in 1985 and completed Family Medicine Residency in 1988 at Highland Hospital, University of Rochester, New York. Previously, he graduated from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick.

David recently shared: “I believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. After deeply enjoying my fifteen plus years of work at Lovejoy and four years of work abroad, I feel that it is time for me to return to Maine, land of my birth. There is no better workplace for me today than Lovejoy Health Center.”

David will be joining physician Dean Chamberlain, physician assistants Gretchen Morrow and Bobby Keith, family nurse practitioner Kaitlynn Read, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner Marta Hall. In addition, Deb Daigle offers behavioral health services to patients of the practice.

Bar Harbor Bank to acquire 8 bank branches in central Maine

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) announced that its banking subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (“BHBT”), has signed a definitive agreement to acquire eight branches located in central Maine with approximately $287 million of deposits, $111 million of loans and $284 million of assets under management (as of March 31, 2019) from People’s United Bank, National Association (“People’s”.

Both banks will be working closely to ensure a seamless transition for customer accounts and associates transferring to BHBT. The Company intends to offer continued employment to the professionals associated with People’s central Maine region, which is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2019. This acquisition is subject to regulatory approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the State of Maine and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The eight branches will increase BHBT’s total branch count to 56 in its footprint, and 22 in the State of Maine. The Company is well positioned to integrate the new branches into its existing operations and deliver the product depth and local responsiveness that it has become known for.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Curtis C. Simard stated, “We are pleased to welcome our new colleagues, customers and communities to our already deep Maine roots. We look forward to servicing their banking and Wealth Management needs, and to providing our full suite of personal and commercial deposit and loan products. We believe this acquisition provides our existing and new customers enhanced convenience and underscores our commitment to Maine while expanding into contiguous markets in a sensible way. These branches stretch across the central Maine I-95 corridor with four branches in the greater Bangor market and includes all deposits from People’s central Maine territory.”

Mr. Simard stated “This transaction contributes to our financial and long term strategic goals with manageable risk based on our experienced team’s history of successful acquisitions and system integrations. We plan to use the acquired deposits to replace certain existing higher cost of borrowings which will result in an immediate accretion to earnings and will support future growth with additional core funding. Incremental earnings will allow for an estimated earn-back of tangible book value per share less than a period of five years. At closing the Company will pay a 6.3% premium on average total deposits plus a premium of 1.2 times annualized wealth management revenue and approximately $4.4 million for the fair value of premises and equipment acquired.”

Griffin Financial Group, LLC served as financial advisor to Bar Harbor Bankshares and K&L Gates served as outside legal counsel. A presentation with additional information regarding the branch acquisition is attached as an exhibit and can be found on their website.

Misha Littlefield earns Eagle Scout status

Newly initiated Eagle Scout Misha Littlefield. (Photo by Ron Emery)

Photos and text by Ron Emery, Assistant Scoutmaster

On Saturday, June 29, Troop #479 honored an Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor held for China resident Misha Littlefield, at the China Baptist Church. Family, friends and Scouts attended the ceremony marking the advancement of this young man to the highest rank in Boy Scouts.

Misha joins a group of Eagle Scouts who have completed community service projects with the help of fellow Scouts and other volunteers. Each Eagle candidate must plan and supervise an Eagle service project to demonstrate his capacity and willingness to exert his leadership ability in activities that are constructive and worthwhile in his community.

Misha’s project benefited the community by building shelves at the China Food Pantry for the monthly delivery of USDA Federal goods. They did not have room to store the monthly delivery in a convenient location to stock food boxes. This Eagle Service project led by Misha Littlefield was greatly needed, according to Ann Austin, at the China Food Pantry.

Misha recognized all those who helped him to reach the Eagle Rank. Misha is the son of Rodney and Julie, of China, and is working at Lowe’s, in Augusta, and running his own business while working toward becoming an EMT.

Burnham named to dean’s list at Plymouth State

Caelie Burnham, of Clinton, has been named to the Plymouth State University dean’s list for the Spring 2019 semester, in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Burnham is a business administration major at Plymouth State.