SOLON & BEYOND – Gallagher resigns: no special election planned

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

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

Selectman Keith Galla­gher is resigning effective November 28, 2019. He and his family are moving out of state in December. The selectmen are sad to see him leave. He has been a real asset to the town and brought new knowledge and insight to the Board of Selectmen.

The selectmen will not hold a special election to fill his seat. Instead at the March 2020 annual town meeting there will be two selectmen positions on the ballot, one a three-year term and one a one-year term. Selectman Sarah Davis will be running again for a three-year term.

Nomination papers will be available for the two selectmen positions and the road commissioner position on Friday, November 29, and due back by Tuesday, January 7. The nomination papers will be available from the town clerk and are required to have the signatures of at least 25 registered Solon voters when they are turned in.

For those considering the selectman position, remember the selectmen meet every Wednesday from 7:45 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Also in the spring they do property tax assessing several other days. Most of the work is done on computers using Word and Excel so familiarity with those programs is very helpful.

For those considering road commissioner a Class A or B driver license is needed along with knowledge of plowing, road maintenance, and equipment maintenance. It is a full time job with overtime when weather and/or road conditions demand it. The roadcommissioner is in charge of the road crew employees.

Elaine Aloes, selectman, town of Solon, PO Box 214, 121 South Main Street, Solon., Maine 04979, 207-643-2541- 2864, Fax. Office Hours Mon-Wed.Fri . 8 a.m. to noon and 1- 4 p.m., Wed., 6 to 7:45 p.m. Please visit the web site:

Somerset County recently held its annual County Achievement Night at the Kennebec Valley Grange Hall, in Madison. The Solon Pine Tree 4H Club was the outstanding club in Somerset County. Several members received county awards in their projects. Kaitelyn De Leanardis in arts and crafts, Cooper Dellarmar, in forestry, for his maple syrup, Autumn Ladd, in dog, and Matthew Ladd, in poutlry.

SOLON & BEYOND: News from Solon Elementary School

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

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

As always, I was very pleased to receive the Solon School News, to share with you. They have some great activities going on.

The Solon Civil Rights Team has had a busy start to the school year. Part of the Maine Civil Rights Team Project, it’s responsibility is for the education of young minds about matters of discrimination regarding race, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, and disability.

The team advisors are Mrs. Stevens and Mrs. Jillson. The team is made up of students in grades 4-5 who will organize activities for the school.

The team celebrated Unity Day on October 23. They asked students and staff members to wear orange in support of Unity Day, and there was a great response.

The Civil Rights Team ran a Halloween Dime Raffle in which they raised money to be used for T-shirts and for other team activities. They are sponsoring a Thanksgiving Food Drive from November 4-21 to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard.

The team has displayed a beautiful banner welcoming everyone to the school on Welcome Day, October 25.

The Solon Civil Right Team members are Isabella Atwood, Izaiah Busler,Kaylynn Clark, Amelia Cooper, Katelyn DeLeonardis, Katlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Emerson Golden, Veronica Hoffman, Alex Jerkins, Elijah Katz, Jayden McKenney, Joseph McLaughlin, Nevaeh Palmer, Riley Pelkey and Jillian Robinson.

In addition to a Civil Rights Team, they have a Kind Kids Club made up of K-3 students and run by Mrs. LaChance. All of the K-2 students do activities to show kindness to their classmates, school staff members, their families, and community members.

On October 10, the Solon Fire Department visited the school to do presentations about fire safety in conjunction with Fire Safety Week. Firefighters Todd Dixon and Jenny Rollins, of the Solon Fire Department, talked to students about how to keep safe in the event of a fire. The firefighters brought goodie bags for the students.

The school administration thanks the Solon Fire Department for their continuous education and support of the students at the school. First grade Naturalists at work. This fall Mrs. Campell’s first grade students watched their butterfly house as beautiful butterflies emerged from their chrysalides. The students released the butterflies outside the school.

There will be a Thanksgiving Food Drive from November 4-21. Please send in donations of nonperishable food items to help the students in this community service project. Food will be donated to the Solon Food Cupboard. Sponsored by the Solon Civil Rights Team.

Mark Your Calendar! No School Days: November 11 Veterans Day Holiday and November 27-29 Thanksgiving Break. Christmas Activites: December 9. District Chorus, Christmas Concert, 6 p.m., CCS. December 12 Solon Christmas Program, 6 p.m., and December 17, PTO Children’s Christmas Shopping Day (donations appreciated). PTO meeting on November 14 at 6 p.m.

Book Buddies Enjoy Books Together: Students in kindergarten and fifth grade are meeting once a week as book buddies. The older students read to the younger students and sometimes the younger students read to the older students.

Had lots of fun yesterday helping Amanda at the Christmas Fair, at Carrabec High School. There were lots and lots of other people there enjoying themselves as well. As I sat watching everyone, there were lots of hugs being exchanged with love; and I got lots also, from friends that I see there every year. Another thing that made my day was sitting there cuddling a precious little baby.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Each day you are provided many opportunities to practice peacemaking. St. Francis wrote, “For it is in giving that we receive.” By giving peace you will receive peace, and after you are at peace your problems all dissolve. By becoming a peacemaker you are literally providing yourself with a remedy for virtually all your anxious moments. Today be on the alert for any opportunity to become a peacemaker. (words by Wayne W. Dyer, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.)

I know I dream a lot, but I used these same words for Percy’s memoir in this column in the October 19, 2017 issue. I hope some of you tried this advice. The world definitely needs all the help it can get!

SOLON & BEYOND: Teacher-less painting classes continue at adult ed

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

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

The 30th annual craft fair , hosted by North Anson Snowmobile Club, on Saturday, November 2, from 9 2 p.m., at Carrabec High School, in North Anson. There will be hot food, donuts and pies for sale along with over 70 crafters!

I copied the above information from a poster on the wall at Griswold’s. It is really a great opportunity to find Christmas gifts and many other things for yourself or friends.

I have always had a table there from the beginning, but this year I listened to friends and family who convinced me that maybe I should slow down a bit! And so I passed on my space to my granddaughter, Amanda Walz, who has been making lots of different goodies. I will be there helping her some, and will have a few things that I have made. Hope to see you all there!

And the above is all the recent news I could round up, so many of you have been asking me how many years I have been doing the teacher-less project at the Skowhegan Adult Ed classes. I really don’t know for sure but I found some information on a poster I had made about that club. It was an article I had written for The Town Line back on April 13, 2006, about this, with a picture they had taken of club members at that time. (That was a meeting when we were going to come up with a name for this club, so it had been going on for some time before that.)

These are the words I used in the newspaper article: “For the past few years I have been taking the oil painting classes at Skowhegan Adult Education and enjoying them immensely. Peggy Riley was the teacher and I had learned many new techniques through her instruction, and had made many new friends. Peggy decided that she wouldn’t be teaching when the January sessions started up again, and when I saw that the classes weren’t going to be offered for that semester I was disappointed.

(The article was too long to get in this column so this is a shorter version of the one that was printed.) I came up with the crazy idea of having a teacher-less painting club. I went to the administrator’s office and asked them if they would let me do this with a teacher-less person running it. Was very, very happy and pleased when they gave their permission.

When I arrived the first night I was given the attendance folder with M. Rogers, instructor, on the cover. The word “Instructor” went to my head a little, and one night when one of the members was misbehaving, I gave him a push and he nearly fell over, bending his glasses in the near fall. Since then I don’t rule with an iron hand!

Some people would not agree with that statement, I’m pretty sure! I have stressed, (without any violence) that I would prefer that there wouldn’t be any discussions on two topics, politics and religion while we are there so that those who love peace while they paint, can enjoy their stay there! Have had a fear that that is probably against “Freedom of Speech,” but I do know it can get pretty rowdy and loud with some discussions!

And now back to the picture and write up about this teacher-less painting class! Members at that meeting were Suzanne Currier, Shirley Foxwell, Linda Sullivan, Gerda Pilz, Betty Dow, Dana Hall, Linwood Turcotte, Peter Foxwell, and me. The column ended with these words: “We meet every week for three hours of relaxation in a pleasant atmosphere and I know I look forward to our Monday night sessions. I’m pretty sure the other nine members feel the same way. I am so happy that the Skowhegan Adult Education had enough faith in us to try this experiment with a teacher-less club, and my thanks go out to them.”

And now for Percy’s memoir: Enthusiasm may mark the difference between success and failure. Undertakings entered into half-heartedly often lack the extra or the plus that can lift them over the hurdle. A whole heart comes with confidence and with belief in what you are doing. As St. Paul said, “Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God.”

SOLON & BEYOND: Pine Tree 4-H Club reorganizes

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

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

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club reorganized on Saturday, October 12, with 15 members joining. Two new members were welcomed.

The Somerset County Achievement night will be held at the Kennebec Grange Hall on Friday, October 25, with a potluck supper. After the supper a fun activity will be enjoyed with awards program.

The members voted to have a family supper on November 1, at the Solon Masonic Hal,l with a potluck supper at 5:30 p.m.

The members from last year are displaying some of their projects at the Coolidge Library in observance of National 4-H Week.

As a fun activity the members did a picture frame using colored leaves and other nature items.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, November 9, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. Election of officers will be held at this meeting.

If you are looking for a Halloween costume, check out the Embden Community Center Thrift Shop (Wednesday 10 a.m. -12:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.).

There is a holiday craft fair coming up on Saturday, November 9, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Solon Elementary School. There will be a gym full of crafters/vendors, holiday goodies and much more.

There will be a Kids Room. Kids only allowed! Children can buy gently used items as Christmas presents for parents and family. Wrapping and name tags included.

Hosted by Solon Congregational Church; vender/crafters space rentals – Contact Jen @ 643-2180, 399-6510 or

Another really great event that the Solon Congregational Church hosted, was their Annual Harvest Supper which was held at the Solon Masonic Hall on October 19. It was a packed house with lots of good food and fellowship. Former residents, Clayton and Peggy Davis, had traveled up from their home in Augusta, and Lief and I sat near them. We had a great time talking about old times and memories of long ago.

Lief and I spent last week at the time share, in Rangeley. We checked in on Saturday afternoon, and went to the cabin where we would stay. As we approached the walk leading up to the door we noticed a huge old tree nearby had a very rotten bottom to it. With the wild weather predicted for that night and next day it sort of worried me, (I know, I always preach, Don’t Worry)!) Anyway, I said an extra prayer that night about that tree, and hoped for the best! The next morning when we opened the door to go to the car, that old tall, tall tree laid out between the cabin (within inches of the cabin, well, maybe that’s stretching it a little bit!) and the woods! And….. And the top of another tree on the other side of the path had come down, but missed our car that was parked there! And I believe more firmly than ever, that God works in mysterious ways, the wind had to have been blowing in just the right direction to perform that miracle!

We came back to Solon to check if there was any damage to our home the next day and the entrance to the South Solon Road was blocked off on Rte. 201, but we managed to get to our house, and there was no damage to it. There were several trees down on the South Solon Road and power was lost .

Would like to thank my good friend Donna Bishop from the bottom of my heart, for delivering The Town Line papers for me while we were in Rangeley. Friendship is precious.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled Value Every Day: A day without love is a cold day when worldly riches fade away. A day without hope is a dreary day filled with shadows of dismay. A day without faith is a fruitless day as we trudge along life’s way. A day without friends is a lonely day without a cheery word to say. Embracing faith, hope and love assures sweet blessings from above. (words by Catherine Janssen Irwin.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Many activities planned at Embden Community Center

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

Received the following from the Embden Community Center, Upcoming Events (subject to change), October 27 Country Sunday/Open Mic , 1 – 4 p.m./second and fourth Sun./By donation. Kitchen Open. November 9, supper: complete Thanksgiving meal, 5 p.m./seocnd Saturday of the month. By donation. November 10: Country Sunday/open mic. 1 – 4 p.m./second and fourth Sunday/by donation. November 24 Country Sunday/open mic ; 1 – 4 p.m./second and fourth Sunday / by donation. Kitchen open. December 8, Country Sunday/open mic; 1 – 4 p.m. / second and fourth Sunday / by donation. December 22, Country Sunday/open mic; 1- 4 p.m. Sunday/by donation. Kitchen open.

Other events that takes place at the Embden Community Center 566-7302, 797 Embden Pond Road, Embden, Maine 04958, Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop/Lending Library; 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Suppers: 5 p.m., second Saturday each month, except December. Sewing Class: 10 a.m. – noon / Wednesdays. Weight Wathchers 5 – 6 p.m./Wednesdays; Come in and sign upm new members accepted. Tops (Take Off Pounds Sensibly : 10:30-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays. Pickle Ball: 6 p.m.; Mondays except second week it’s on Tues. Yoga: 5:30 p.m. / Thursdays ( 3/4 hr.) (Chair Yoga (All levels ) 6:30 p.m. / Thursdays ( 1 hr.) Bring mat (All levels) 8 a.m. Saturdays (1 hr.) (All levels); by donations.

Community Center meetings: 6:30 p.m., Thursday prior to the second Saturday Supper. If you have any questions, contact Wayne at 474-1065.

The above is the only e-mail I received this week with recent news, and thanks so much Carol for sending it to me.

What I am about to write about now is from one of my old columns which I had used on July 10, 2004, in The Town Line. It is one I found years and years ago, called simply, “Youth!” It is very inspiring to me and I hope many of my older friends will find it so as well. ” Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees.

“It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; It is a freshness of the deep springs of life.

“Youth means a temperamental pre dominance of courage over timidity, Of the appetite for adventure over love of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty more than a boy of twenty.

“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; People grow old only by deserting their ideals.

“Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair – these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust

“Whether 70 or 16, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder; the sweet amazement at the stars and the star-like things and thoughts; the undaunted challenge of events; the unfailing, childlike appetite for what’s next; and the joy and the game of life.

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

“In the central place of your heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from earth, from men, and from the Infinite-so long are you young.

“When the wires are all down and all the central place of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are you grown old indeed and may God have mercy on your soul.”

Hope the above inspires some of you to continue to live life to the fullest, no matter what your age.

And now for Percy’s memoir entitled HOPE: Hope is a robin singing on a rainy day; He knows the sun will shine again though skies may be gray. Like the robin let us be, meet trouble with a smile; And soon the sun will shine for us in just a little while. (words by Roxie Lusk Smith.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Remembering Flagstaff, Dead River & Bigelow

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

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

Last week I was so happy to have had lots of e-mails sent to me with recent news. Just checked my e-mails and nothing of interest there for this week. It has surprised me greatly, that there are so many people who have never heard of Flagstaff, Dead River and Bigelow being flooded out by Central Maine Power Co back in 1949!

Have been trying to get all my old history of the event together and came across an old clipping from Central Maine Newspapers dated June 6, 2002, with the headline, “Make Flagstaff Lake a certain stop, History only one reason to visit area.” This story was written by M.J. Kaniuka. There is a picture stating that “A view of Flagstaff Lake from the causeway in Stratton. The 26-mile long lake was formed more than 50 years ago by flooding three communities. History only one reason to visit area.

“When travelers on Route 27 first view Flagstaff Lake, in Stratton, from the causeway just beyond Stratton, their typical reaction is, “What is this?” For Flagstaff Lake, a seemingly endless puddle, looks like no other body of water in Maine. Yet it is the centerpiece of a story that encompass the Revolutionary War, progress in mid-century America and evolving ideas of outdoor recreation.”

Flagstaff Lake is a man-made lake, approximately three miles wide and 26 miles long. “Its banks really recede in a drought,” said Forrest Bonney, regional fisheries biologist.

The lake was created in 1949 by Central Maine Power Company as a water storage facility for Long Falls Dam, “progress” in controlling the flood-prone Dead River. Subsequently, the lake submerged three communities: Flagstaff, Bigelow and Dead River.

The next year CMP received permission from the Legislature under the government’s right of eminent domain to buy property as it become available. Over the years CMP bought land and buildings and moved some homes and razed others. Eventually, CMP also clear cut 18,000 acres of woodland. Wildfires took care of many of the stumps and other debris that remained.

By 1949 only 30 adults and their families were left to be moved. That summer the Flagstaff and Dead River cemeteries were relocated to a site on Route 27 beside the newly-built Flagstaff Memorial Church. CMP erected the church to replace the town’s Congregational Church that they flooded. Stained glass windows from the Congregational Church were removed and installed in the chapel.

Today a memorial marker beside the chapel refers to much earlier events. In the fall of 1775 Col. Benedict Arnold passed through the region on his ill-fated march to Québec. He had left the Kennebec River below Caratunk to cut across the wilderness and reach the Height of Land, the dividing line between Maine and Québec.

To avoid the twists and turns of the meandering Dead River, Arnold and about 1,100 men, portaged their bateaux and dwindling supplies through the uninhabited Maine wilderness. They suffered incredible hardships with few or no trails to follow, rough and wet terrain, bad weather, fatigue, accidents and illness. Finally they reached the camp of an Indian named Natanis. Here Arnold erected a flag, an act that gave the town of Flagstaff its name.

The historical marker on Route 27 commemorates the event, but states that “the actual spot is now under water.”

Not far from the marker is the Arnold Trail turnout. Here another marker memorializes Col. Timothy Bigelow, an officer with Arnold and an eight-year military veteran . Bigelow reputedly climbed to the top of a nearby mountain to view the countryside and if possible, to see Québec. Today the mountain range bears his name.”

The Bingham Country Jammers! Bingham Grange Hall, first and third Sundays of each month. Open Mic from 1 – 4 p.m., Acoustic Only. Potluck To Tickle Me Appetite! Bring a hot or cold dish. Salads, desserts, cakes or pies! Price Range: 1 oz. of Gold. Also – Grange sponsored kitchen will be open. Hot dogs, burgers, and coffee. Entrance by donation to help with costs. Directions to 23 Meadow Street, Bingham, off Main Street (Rt. 201); Turn right on Meadow Street, across from Camden National Bank. The Grange is fourth building on the right, on the corner of Milford Avenue. Host: Ralph Van Dyke and MC : Bill Messer.

There was more to the above article, but want to save room for Percy’s memoir; hope you enjoyed reading about past history.

And now for Percy’s memoir, it was one I used back in 2008. Cultivating Friends: Sow a word of praise today, Plant a kindness-seed, Listen to a troubled friend, Help someone in need. Compliment a weary soul too fatigued to try; Shine forth rays of hope on all, Comfort those who cry. Scatter deeds of love each day, plant each row with care; Sprinkle joy along your way, soak each one in prayer. Ask the Lord to bless each one, and one day you’ll reap a harvestful of loving friends to cherish and to keep. (words by Connie Hinnen.)

SOLON & BEYOND: New trails being developed at Western Woods

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

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

With my computer problem recently, I was afraid the following news would be too late, but thankfully it won’t be! There will be a spaghetti dinner and silent auction to benefit the Solon Fire Department Saturday, October 5, 2019, at the Solon Elementary School from 4 -7 p.m. You will be served dinner by our firefighters. There will be a door prize.

Thanks so much, Aryke L. Coombs, Fire Dept. Auxiliary President, for sharing your news.

New Trails are being developed by Western Woods and Waters Advisory Committee. Now that SWT owns Western Woods, it’s time to develop trails. The trails along the Kennebec River, known as Western Waters, are being extended into Western Woods. Cross Country courses are being developed for the local teams.

Art for Western raffle winners are Chris Young’s Pond Chair, won by Robert Cross, Kathleen Perelka’s River View, won by Dog McQuinston, Kathleen Perelka’s The Weston Homestead, won by Maggie Fernald, Kathleen Perelka’s Western Schoolhouse:, won by Anne Worthley, John Alsop’s Maine View, won by Rebecca Seel, and John Alsop’s Maine Stream, won by Mary Callan.

The following news is a bit late, but I thought you parents might appreciate it. It starts with the head line; ATTENDANCE MATTERS! As the new year begins, we hope to see all of our students set a goal to have a good rate of attendance. Unless students are ill or there is a family emergency, they need to be in school. WE ask that parents try to schedule routine doctor or dentist appointments after school hours and family vacations weeks as often as possible.

If your child is ill or needs to miss school for an appointment or family emergency, please contact Mrs. McFadyen so that we can log the day as an excused absence. If we don’t hear from you, we have to log the day as an unexcused absence. After seven unexcused absences , the state considers your child as truant. So please help us to document your child’s absences correctly.

After 18 absences (10 percent of the school days in a year) whether excused or unexcused, your child is considered chronically absent. In addition to MEA test scores, the percentage of chronically absent students in our school is a factor in whether the state decides that our school is making academic progress. Of course, sometimes students are out for extended illnesses, chronic health conditions or family emergencies, and those can’t be helped. So we are working to reduce the absences of our students for other reasons.

Punctuality is also a key to a successful school year. Our busses arrive between 7:20 and 7:40 in the morning. If you bring your child to school, please be sure that he or she arrives by 7:45 a.m. in order to be ready when teachers start their classes at 7:50 a.m. A student who arrives late misses important learning time.

So let’s work together to make sure your child gets the maximum benefit from his/hers school experience this year. Attendance matters! Thank you for your cooperation.

Received an e-mail from Happyknits recently stating that they had just turned five years old! They had a yarn cruise again this year and the lucky winners are: the August prize basket went to Wendy, from Harpswell, the Grand Prize went to Trudy, from Embden, and their Super Grand Prize went to Marcia, from Madison.

Happyknits is joining forces with CrabApple Whitewater, in the Forks for their second annual Confluence Retreat, a fall fiber and foliage get-away. They are inviting you to join them there from October 11-14, 2019, for a laid back four days of knitting and crocheting, and let the good folks at Crab-Apple take care of your every need. We’ll be offering a few workshops, but the focus will be on having fun and being with friends.

And now for Percy’s memoir, it is called “I’m Getting Younger:” Another year has come and gone, And I am growing younger, Yearning for each coral dawn, with what amounts to hunger. Becoming more and more aware of what means most to me, and each new day becomes a prayer of sweet simplicity. With brand new eyes I now observe each tiny growing thing, the graceful flight, the flashing curve of every feathering wing. And listening to the sounds of wind that whispers through each tree, I feel a surge of joy as if the Master walks with me. I’m younger than I used to be, and though it may not show, one doesn’t have to touch or see a miracle to know life isn’t offered piece-meal, we have to take the lot, But to the ones whose faith is real, ….Why time is not! (words by (Grace E. Easley.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Pine Tree Club holds last meeting of the club year

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

The Solon Pine Tree Club met on Saturday, September 22, for their last meeting of the club year.
The 16 members sent over 120 exhibits to each of four fairs this year. They also did an educational exhibit at Skowhegan Fair on 4 – H is for everyone.

The members worked on their record sheets at the meeting.

The members are planning to put items in the Coolidge Library in observance of National Club Week the first week in October.

After the meeting the members, parents and leaders went to North Star Orchard to pick apples. This is a fun activity to end the club year.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, October 12, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. They will be reorganizing at this meeting and if someone is nine years or older, and would like to join please come and bring a parent.

Solon Elementary School has a very active PTO, which has provided lots of special activities and items for the students over the years. Please consider joining the PTO. For information, contact PTO President Kylee Dixon or the school.

Remember to send in your BoxTops for education labels! Every boxtop helps the PTO raise money for school activities.

The PTO is looking for new parents to join them. They look forward to new members from the new families.

Now I must apologize to several of you, I am so sorry that half of my news of upcoming events in this area didn’t get in last week’s paper. As far as I knew, it had all gone and would be printed in the paper last week! Much to my surprise, when I opened the paper on Thursday, only half of it was there! It must be that temperamental computer of mine! This morning when I printed last week’s column it was all there. As you may have guessed, I am not too skilled with these new fangled instruments!

It made me think back to the old days when I was writing for Skowhegan papers and I delivered my column, (hand written) in person. And then I got my first little typewriter and pecked away on that. What a blessing!

But… I’ve got to tell you about one of my dreams coming true! Have always hoped that someone would read one of my columns and contact me about something that interested them. It has happened more than once, and I do like to hear their stories….. but never before has it been a long lost relative! That happened recently, he happened to pick up The Town Line paper and e-mailed me asking if we could be related, and we are! And the e-mails are going back and forth!

Lief and I went to North New Portland Fair recently and while there we saw the wonderful exhibit presented by the Lexington/Highland Historical Society. Their museum is open every Tuesday from May 21 through mid October, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Also open the following Saturdays, the ones left are September 28 and October 12. Believe me, it is well worth the trip!

Now I’m going to end this column as I did in last week’s paper; Since I’ve heard from many of you that you like Percy’s memoirs, here is this week’s: “Seeds of Hope.” When the world is upside down , brush away the tears, the frown, say a little prayer, and soon a ray of hope will conquer gloom. Our lot is easier to bear when we talk to God in prayer, and like a beacon shining bright, Prayer will soothe the grievous plight. Tales of woe, like useless weeds serve no purpose, but the seeds that enable us to cope are the prayers of faith and hope. (words by Elsie Natalie Brady.)

SOLON & BEYOND: News from Solon Elementary School

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

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

As always I was very happy to receive the Solon School newsletter. The Principal’s Message states: “The Solon staff and I wish to welcome our new students in grades PreK-5 and their families to our school and to welcome back those who have been with us before. I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful summer.

“I am the principal of both Solon Elementary and Garret Schenck Elementary School so I split my time between the schools. I am here for half of each day. Our school secretary Mrs. Tanya McFadyen can help parents with any issues they may have and can help you make contact with me if you wish to.

“Mr. Terry Corson will serve as our lead teacher and will help me handle discipline issues.

“We are pleased to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students again this year under the district’s community eligibility program. Students can buy milk or juice for snack or to go with a cold lunch if they wish to for 30 cents.

“Again this year our students will have healthy snacks provided through a fresh fruits and vegetables grant program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

“Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank-you for your cooperation. We look forward to a great new year!

“An open house will be held on Wednesday, September 25, from 6 – 7 p.m. Enjoy refresments , visit the classrooms. Please join us!

“On August 23, our new kindergartners attended an open house to acquaint them with their teacher Mre. Jen LaChance and to find out what life would be like in kindergarten. They listened to a story, participated in a scavenger hunt , enjoyed a snack, and played outside on the playground.

“The following is if you have bus questions or concerns. If you have general questions about bussing, please call our Transportation Director Lorie Agren at 431-8812. When your children are on the bus and you have concerns about pick-up or drop-off, please call Bonnie (a.m.) or Candy (p.m.), at Carrabec Community School, at 635-2209 and they can radio the bus driver.”

SOLON & BEYOND: Dead River not given its due

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Since I didn’t have any recent news, I decided to write about way Beyond with this poem written by a person who lived up in the Dead River area, about the flooding of Flagstaff and Dead River. It is taken from an Old clipping entitled Today’s Poem called Spirit of Dead River.

Beneath Mt. Bigelow’s lofty peak There lies a peaceful valley Dead River is the name of which I speak Tho it’s mentioned in news just rarely. Along the winding river and road have been the homes of many who lived and toiled under a heavy load while trying to save a penny. Around this spot, fond memories cling of days and events long past….. But unlike many another nice thing, They were too good to last. Years ago, they began to say( Thus spilling the word around) That there might be a dam some day to flood out all this ground. And so these Dead River folks have had to live and toil while thinking about and jokes of being driven from their soil. The day is surely drawing nigh when this valley will be no more; To old landmarks we must say goodbye—As we settle on another shore. From all the news you’ve heard and read by talk and radio or press It seems to be mostly Flagstaff that is suffering any distress. It’s just as hard and just as sad for Dead River folks to leave as those who live in Flagstaff; We all have cause to grieve. Of everything held dear to us we count our Flagstaff friends tho leaving them will be hard, we must. As each heart with sadness bends. Mt. Bigelow will still hold sway after the man-made lake has filled It’s lofty peak in majestic way will keep people thrilled. Wouldn’t “Mt. Bigelow Lake” be an appropriate name or maybe “Dead River Lake” in this land of fish and game? Dead River valley will hold and make the man-made body of water yet they want to call it Flagstaff Lake. Do you think they really oughtter?

The ancient clipping states that Elfred Russell wrote the above poem. I would really like to know how many of you would agree with his choice. As I remember, he was quite old when he wrote the poem, so I don’t believe he could still be alive (although I am living proof that people born up in that neck of the woods live a long time!).

He is right, Dead River folks and their feelings about the whole episode of driving us from our homes and land has not been mentioned as much as Flagstaff, and I apologize! The whole of those last days living up there with all the fires surrounding us, and knowing we had to find homes elsewhere was very upsetting to say the least! No one can know unless they have experienced it.

Another one of my saved clippings tells more about the beginning of the dam in Dead River. Preliminary work, including road building and clearing of timberland, was in progress today on the giant Dead River water storage project, Central Maine Power Company President William F. Wyman, said.

The W. H. Hinman Company, of North Anson, is building a road from The Stratton-Dead River road to the spot at Long Falls where the major dam will be built.

Actual construction of the dam will not begin before 1949, Wyman said. The $4,800,000 dam will create a new lake near to and larger than the big lakes in the Rangeley chain, and will provide another fishing area for New England sportsmen.

And so for Percy’s memoir: I don’t say embrace trouble. That’s as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.