by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979
Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!
The very first thing that I need to do this week is apologize to Dotty Dunphy for the wrong name under the group picture in last week’s paper, I am very sorry.
The next Embden Historical Society meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 14, at 7 p.m. at the Embden Town House. Jean Schipke will give a presentation along with slides on “My Memories of Devereux.” Refreshments will follow. All are welcome. My many thanks to you Carol for being so dedicated with sharing interesting news, keep up the good work.
Many of you have told me how much you enjoy the stories I sometimes write about living in Flagstaff before we were flooded out. This last weekend was our “Old Home Weekend” held at the little chapel in Eustis.
I am going to print an old, yellowed clipping that I found among my treasured memories that a dear friend had written just before she moved at the fast approaching flooding of the town.
It is entitled, Flagstaff – My Home Town:
” ‘Twas just a sleepy little town in a valley,
The prettiest place that I know.
In summer ’twas covered with flowers,
In winter, with a blanket of snow.
Our store was all that it needed,
The houses were all on one street;
The school offered all you could ask for,
And a quaint church made it complete.
The lake was handy for fishing,
(On hot days the swimming was grand),
“Twas also a nice place for boating,
Or a picnic nearby on the sand.
In winter, the lake was for skating,
Or you could ski up on the hill while the wind blew the snow all around you and gave your nose quite a chill.
The forests were pleasant for hiking or for camping out in the fresh air;
In winter we used them for hunting,
With our pick from raccoon or bear.
Now all of this is over – The cheerfulness is gone.
Thye people are moving far away,
And the place seems quite forlorn.
The trees have been cut by the woodsmen,
The lake filled with birch-bark and wood,
At first we swam in the river,
Now that no longer is good.
The houses left empty by neighbors,
Have been filled with men I don’t know;
They have ripped out the walls and the finish,
Leaving enough to keep off the snow.
The church has been robbed of its windows,
They have found a new home above town.
Even the graveyard is empty –
The green grass is now dark and brown.
Yes, the town is almost deserted Of all the folks that I know,
And I myself will be going,
Perhaps before the snow.
Yes, this is my home and I love it!
It’s beauties will always be mine;
And ’twill linger on in my memory From now till the end of time.”
This was written by Avis Burbank.
This poem says it all and each year there are a few missing that gather at the little chapel, which looks much like the church that was in Flagstaff. The same beautiful colored windows, the old bell and at the service on Sunday, as always, tears nearly fell as I held the old Pilgrim Hymnal (copyright 1931) as in days gone by. My good friend and classmate, Isabelle Burbank Milbank, and I graduated in 1947 from the Flagstaff High School and she called us the ‘dinosaurs,’ (now I’ve been called a lot of names, but that was a new one!) But along with her husband, Floyd, I am sure we were the oldest people of only 18 in attendance. They had traveled from New York to take part in the Old Home Days.
Now for Percy’s memoir, he and I both loved the inspirational poetry of Helen Steiner Rice. “People everywhere in life from every walk and station, From every town and city and every state and nation Have given me so many things intangible and dear, I couldn’t count them all or even make them clear… I only know I owe so much to people everywhere And when I put my thoughts in verse it’s just a way to share The musings of a thankful heart, a heart much like your own, For nothing that I think or write is mine and mine alone… So if you found some beauty in any word or line, It’s just “Your Soul’s Reflection” in “Proximity with Mine.”