Major wind power project underway in Somerset County

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

Part 1 of 2

If you’ve been on the road anywhere between Skowhegan, Madison, Solon and Bingham, on Route 201 over the past several months, you may have been held up in a rare traffic jam, as state and local police escorts, support vehicles and huge tractor-trailer trucks transported massive towers, motors, blades and other related wind tower equipment to the Bingham, Mayfield and Kingsbury areas of Johnson Mountain off from Route 16.

According to the SunEdison website, manufacturers advanced solar technology is installing solar power systems that are supposed to deliver cost effective electricity to residential, commercial, utility and government customers.

wind power project in Somerset County

Of the 56 towers planned for the area, 11 towers will be installed in Bingham. Photo by Dan Cassidy

Turbine deliveries began in the fall of 2015, and there are several towers already in place.  The operation was suspended for about eight weeks due to spring posted road conditions, however Reed & Reed accelerated delivery of a large percentage of the project’s turbines during the winter months that allowed assembly to continue into the spring.

Reed & Reed and a team of highly skilled subcontractors are erecting turbines in two areas, with 36 turbines located just north of Route 16 and 20 turbines to the south.  They are currently on schedule for an early completion by this fall.

SunEdison hits bump in the road

The project hasn’t been all that easy, as SunEdison, once a poster child of the clean energy boom ran into financial troubles earlier this year, caused by a mountain of debt taken on during better times, according to their website.

“The decision to file for bankruptcy was a difficult, but important step to address our immediate liquidity issues,” Ahmad Chatila, SunEdison CEO said in a published statement.  The statement went on to say that SunEdison was flying high with shares trading above $33.  The collapse happened soon after. Earlier this spring, the shares were trading at about 34 cents.  Trading was halted shortly before the bankruptcy filing.

As far as the filing of bankruptcy protection affecting the Bingham project, the project has been financed and was acquired by Terra Nova Partners last year, according to SunEdison sources.  The bankruptcy should have no impact to the project whatsoever.

Choosing the Bingham region site

There were a lot of factors that went into the decision of erecting towers in the Bingham, Kingsbury and Mayfield area.  “We choose locations to build projects that require good wind speed in the area, access to transmission, limited number of residences or camps nearby, willing landowners, and local support,” said John Lamontagne, Senior Director of Communications at SunEdison, in an e-mail interview.  “All those factors were involved in this project, but especially the wind and the local support,” he said.

SunEdison is the head of the overall project, although they are working very closely with the owners of the project.  “Reed & Reed has been the general contractor on all the wind projects that SunEdison has built in Maine.  “They are a great partner with us.  That is their role at Bingham,” he said.

Tall towers

The towers are approximately 100 meters, (330 feet), and each will have three blades attached that are about 57 meters, approximately (188 feet).  In total, if a blade is standing straight up, the structure is about 157 meters, close to (515 feet).  The unit attached to the tower and what the blades are attached to is called the nacelle.  It is where the electricity is being generated.  The blade speed depends on the wind speed.  Collector lines are going to be installed and will be connected to a substation, which then sends the electricity via transmission lines, according to Lamontagne.

According to Lamontagne, there are three landowners that are involved in forestry where the project is taking place.  “Construction began on the project last year.  Clearing work was started, logging roads were widened, and collector cables were installed.  Towers didn’t start going up until March of this year.”

Lamontagne said that they plan to set up 56 turbines, each with a capacity of 3.3 MW.  “In total, the project is projected to power about 60,000 homes.  We expect the project to be online and operational by the end of the year.”

“The energy is being sold at a highly competitive price to customers, on par with natural gas,” Lamontagne said.  “Customers will have the benefit of clean energy at no additional cost on their electricity bills.”

(Continued next week)

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm a family affair

by Mary Grow

Kelly Payson-Roopchand has found her place in life.

She and her husband Anil live on Pumpkin Vine Family Farm on Hewett Road, in Somerville, with their two children, numerous goats and ducks, two pigs, two Jersey cows, two cats, a boisterous young dog, and assorted wildlife, from the barn swallows nesting in the old barn to the frogs, turtles, beaver and occasional moose in the brook at the foot of the nearer field.

Pumpkin Vine Family Farm

Anil with the children Kieran, left, and Sarita. Photos courtesy Kelly Payson-Roopchand

The place has been farmed since the early 1800s.  The barn was probably built in the 1820s, with an addition in the 1920s; Kelly and Anil had an expert replace worn-out sections in 2010.  Francis Kennedy built the stone bridge across the brook in 1870 so his sheep could reach the far pasture.

The original part of the house also dates from the 1820s.  It stands just below the crest of a hill with a view to the southeast, sheltered by the hilltop and the barn from the cold winter wind.      “We’re so lucky to be here,” Kelly says.  “We’re just the present caretakers; we want to share.”

And share they do.  Pumpkin Vine Family Farm welcomes visitors Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the second summer of Farm Camp for children will run for two weeks in July and August.  Sunday guests can tour the property and meet the animals, often guided by Kieran, who’ll be eight years old the end of July, and Sarita, who turned six late in March.  Sarita shares her birthday with her maternal grandfather, Harold “Smoky” Payson, of China, and with Shirley Hewett, widow of Donald Hewett, the last of the six generations of farmers who owned the property before Kelly and Anil bought it in 2007.

Kieran has other farm assignments, too, helping with milking and haying, but he still has time to enjoy catching frogs and spotting turtles at the brook.

Anil planting garlic with Kieran

Anil planting garlic with Kieran last fall. Photos courtesy Kelly Payson-Roopchand

In the former garage Don Hewett’s brother Lloyd built just south of the house Kelly and Anil run a Sunday shop, selling their home-made goat cheeses, goat milk and fall vegetables (the goats keep them too busy to tend a summer garden).  This spring Benji Knisley and Shaun Keenan from Sand Hill Farm joined them, bringing early vegetables, baked goods and jams and jellies.

Inside the big barn, separated from the hay-strewn wooden floors and wooden pens, are two ultra-modern easy-clean rooms, one for milking the goats and one for making cheese.  Goat milk easily picks up flavors from its surroundings, Kelly explained; milking in the barn can give it a sourish taste, milking in a clean room retains its natural sweetness.

Farm Camp started in 2015 with a single session.  It was so successful that this year there are two sessions, July 18 to 22 for children from four to six years old and August 8 to 12 for those seven to nine years old.  By mid-June the first session was full; there were still two vacancies for older children.

In preparation for Farm Camp, the settlers’ garden of potatoes and grains and the Native American garden with the traditional threesome of squash, beans and corn have been planted for young campers to weed, water and learn from.

The farm is old, but innovations are welcome.  Don and Shirley Hewett were delighted to abandon kerosene lanterns and hand pumps when electricity was introduced in the 1940s, and Kelly and Anil have established their web site,

Kelly and Anil’s dual mission is to keep Pumpkin Vine Family Farm a working farm and to teach interested people of all ages about their connections to the land.

They came to their lifestyle from academic backgrounds; both hold advanced degrees in agricultural subjects.  Both preferred hands-on farming to the desk jobs that normally follow such an education, although, Kelly says, theoretical knowledge is extremely valuable: they know enough about soil science, chemistry, animal genetics and dozens of other topics to prevent many potential problems and solve most that do arise.

They have not chosen a life that will make them rich, nor an easy life.  Both hold part-time outside jobs, and both sets of parents have helped financially and physically.   Much of their farm equipment is old enough to make Anil’s mechanical skills invaluable.

Especially in spring and summer, farm work begins before sun-up and continues after sunset.  Earlier this spring Kelly went to check on a very pregnant goat named Viola at 3 a.m. and decided she’d better not go back to bed; at 5:30 a.m. she played midwife as Violet was born.

Nonetheless, Kelly found time to write a book about Pumpkin Vine Family Farm.  Birth, Death and a Tractor: Connecting an Old Farm to a New Family, was published last year by Down East Books.   The book was one of three finalists for the John N. Cole award offered by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and just won third place in the nature category in Foreword Reviews’ national Indiefab competition.  Inspired by and including many of the stories Don and Shirley Hewett told, Birth, Death, and a Tractor alternates between historical sketches and Kelly and Anil’s story from the fall of 2009 through the spring of 2010.

“We’re just carrying on the tradition,” Kelly said.  “It’s a beautiful place and a beautiful connection; it feels like we’re part of the farm.”

Fishing derby scheduled in Belgrade

On Sunday July 17, in the Belgrade Lakes Region, bait your hook, cast your line and you might reel in not only fish, but Cash Awards as well! In this fishing derby, each class of species offers cash prizes ranging from $75-$250 per category for a total of $2500. Derby organizers are also offering $500.00 for a grand slam catch. In the children’s section, trophies will be awarded for the first three places in each category.

Lakes included in this derby include Salmon Lake, McGrath Pond, East Pond, North Pond, Great Pond, Long Pond and Messalonskee Lake. The weigh-in station will be at Memorial Hall, on Church St., in Oakland from 10 a.m. – noon and 3 – 5 p.m. Sunday, July 17. Fishing is from 5 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Proceeds from the Derby will benefit Water Quality and Invasive Species issues in our Watershed. Additionally, Friends of Messalonskee  was awarded a Maine Land Conservation Grant from the  Maine Community Foundation to also help protect Messalonskee Lake. Entry forms can be found at the Oakland, Sidney and Belgrade town offices and at various local stores. You can also visit or to register or call 207-465-8333. Derby Rules are posted on our website as well as all of our other events.

Sheepscot boat inspections begin

Sheepscot boat inspections begin

The Sheepscot Lake Association, in Palermo, has kicked off courtesy boat inspections for the 2016 summer season. From left to right, Sam Falla, Alli Callahan and Jon Boynton, will conduct the inspections which are free and voluntary to all boaters. Invasive plants are found in lakes all around mid coast Maine and the objective of the Courtesy Boat Inspections is not only to watch for particles of plants on boats and trailers but to keep the need for self-inspection in the forefront of every boater’s routine when launching and pulling their boat. Contributed photo

Poison ivy: the itches of summer

by Roland D. Hallee

For some reason, this summer, I am getting more and more questions about poison ivy. Where is it? What does it look like? What do you do about it and how do you treat it?

All very legitimate questions.

As we all know, poison ivy and other members of its family can cause a lot of misery to humans should they make contact  with the toxic plant.

Poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, is a member of the cashew family. It usually grows as a vine twining on tree trunks or crawls along the ground. It is generally found in all states in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and southern Canada, specifically Québec, Ontario and Manitoba.

Poison ivy during summer

Poison ivy during summer

It may grow as a forest understory plant, although it is only somewhat shade tolerant. The plant is extremely common in suburban areas of New England. It can grow in many types of soil, and is not sensitive to soil moisture, although it does not grow in arid conditions.

The leaves of the poison ivy are red in the spring, turning to a shiny green later. Come fall, they turn yellow, red or orange. Each leaf is made up of three leaflets more or less notched at the edges. However, don’t let that be the determining factor. Some leaves have smooth edges. Two of the leaves appear opposite each other on the stem while the third one stands alone at the tip. Later in the season, clusters of poisonous, whitish, waxy looking berries will form.

Many people have difficulty identifying the plants because it can look like other plants, while, sometimes, other plants are mistaken as poison ivy.

Obviously, contact with the plant should be avoided. You can become infected simply by walking through the bush, taking off  your shoes, and making contact with your skin.

Poison ivy in the U.S. is more common now than when Europeans first arrived in North America. The development of real estate adjacent to wild, undeveloped land caused the plant to spread into vast, lush colonies in these areas. Also, birds will eat  the berries and transplant them on new areas along with their droppings. It’s also spread by other animals as the seeds remain viable after passing through the digestive system.

Poison ivy during autumn

Poison ivy during autumn

A study  by researchers at the University of Georgia found that poison ivy is particularly sensitive to carbon dioxide levels, increasing in numbers due to a higher concentration in the atmosphere. Poison ivy’s growth has doubled since the 1960s, and could possibly double again as the carbon dioxide levels continue to rise.

What do you do once you’ve made contact and develop a skin rash. There is some hope. Efforts to destroy these plants by uprooting or by spraying chemicals have been somewhat ineffective. Caution: whatever you do, do not burn the plant. Its toxins will filter into the air, and if breathed, can cause irritation in the lungs. Not a very pleasant experience.

The oil on the leaves is known as urushiol.  The urushiol compound in poison ivy is not meant as a defensive measure, but rather helps the plant retain water. It is frequently eaten by animals such as deer and bears. Statistically, about 15 percent to 30 percent of people have no allergic reaction to the urushiol. Fortunately, I fall in that category.

Once contact has been made, it takes some time for it to penetrate the skin and do damage. Before this happens, it is wise to wash the skin completely several times with plenty of soap and water. Some experts say that washing within the first hour may help limit the rash. Care should be taken not to touch any other parts of the body, for even tiny amounts of the oil will cause irritation. Also, wash the clothing immediately. If poisoning develops, the blisters and red, itching skin may be treated with dressings of calamine lotion, Epsom salts, or bicarbonate of soda. Dermatologists recommend a simple oatmeal bath and baking soda as a possible remedy. Scientists have developed a vaccine that can be injected or swallowed. But this is effective only if taken before exposure.

So, now we know a little more about poison ivy. But, always remember this: “Leaves of three, let it be.”

I’m Just Curious – Conversations

by Debbie Walker

I swear the strangest conversations take place in this house! I wrote what I thought was going to be a column but …I wanted to make sure what I was writing was correct information. Well, I have some friends I refer to as my experts and I sent this one off to my “expert.” I know this will only peak your curiosity and I apologize for that but I’ll tell you he handed me my butt! I do hope that you have someone in your life that cares enough to do this for you.

At my kitchen table the topics lately have included colon cancer. Ken’s son had a colonoscopy, not because of illness but because it is the responsible thing to do. Cancer was found, however it is quite contained and will be removed. The best part is the PET scan didn’t show any more red flags. Yehaw, it is going to be handled. Please take this colonoscopy business seriously.

Okay then we move over to the attack of the little boy by the gator in Disney. I have a friend who has grown up on Florida waters and I have been out on the river with him on numerous occasions. Each trip we made was always an educational experience. I know several things that I would like to share with you:

I lived in Florida for 30 years and loved it. I have been swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Homosassa River, Crystal River, Chassahowitzka River, Rainbow River and Atlantic Ocean (I love the water). I never actually went swimming in the Withlacoochee River because I like clear water for my Florida swimming. My buddy says the only thing that does for me is I’d be able to see the gator coming to me!

Time of day is also an issue. Those folks from Nebraska were walking along the water at about 9 p.m. My buddy has a saying, “the later it gets the lower you go on the food chain.”  I am not taking this lightly, believe me, just truthful.

If you are in another area of the country and aren’t familiar with the critters and environment around you, get to the business of learning. For this one conversation I will leave you with the comment made to me: “sharks and gators and I believe Horseshoe Crabs have been around since prehistoric times, they have gotten really good at what they do.”

On to the next subject at the table today: Guns. Another friend (God, I love my friends!) brought up the misconception about guns. All types of guns seem to get grouped together as the same item. There is a big difference between the guy carrying his rifle while hunting in the woods and the guy carrying a AK47 into a bar or school. I know there are so many opinions on the subject of guns. I can’t hit them all today.

When I got my Maine Concealed Weapons permit a friend of mine told me a little story. She is not a card carrier but she is a rifle carrier! I heard the story about her taking off out of the house in the middle of the night headed for the chicken coop, butt naked, rifle in hand determined to stop that fox who wanted chicken dinner! Concealed weapon permit wouldn’t have done her any good; she had no way to conceal anything!

I have run out of space so I have to “table” the table topics for the day. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment anytime at  subject line: Table.

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Week of June 30, 2016

by  Peter Cates

Hazel Scott – Scarlatti Sonata in C Minor; Paradisi Toccata; Hazel Scott Idyll; Signature 15026, ten-inch 78, recorded 1945.

Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott

Hazel Scott (1920-1981) was a superb classical and jazz pianist who was born in Trinidad but was brought to study at Juilliard as a child prodigy. Coming of age as an African-American woman during Jim Crow, she was also fearless about not performing in segregated venues and would be eventually blacklisted, like so many similarly courageous artists. Texas Rangers once escorted her out of Austin,  because she refused to perform before a segregated audience.

Although her jazz playing was more celebrated, this 78 rpm of two baroque pieces and a delectably lyrical composition of hers are nicely performed. An old record worth the search!

Brahms –  4th Symphony- Serge Koussevitsky conducting the Boston Symphony; RCA Victor DM 730, five 78 12-inch shellac records, recorded 1939.

Serge Koussevitsky

Serge Koussevitsky



Conductor Koussevitsky (1874-1949) was such a high-stressed, screaming, haranguing lunatic of an orchestra builder in rehearsal with his 105 players, for his 25 years of leadership, 1924-1949, in Boston, that 106 ulcers developed (two in one man). But the orchestra became second to none in the U.S., making every one of a tall pile of his BSO recordings in the fully excellent category.

This set of the 4th is a tad reserved at the beginning but builds up to a very satisfying excitement, only slightly surpassed by a live broadcast that I also own on CD. The above performance, in LP format, is available from Amazon vendors.

Grace Moore – In Opera and Song; RCA- LCT 7004, ten-inch mono LP, comprised of Victor 78s from the ‘30s and ‘40s.

Grace Moore

Grace Moore



Born in a Tennessee village in 1898, singer Grace Moore at 8 years old and her family moved to the big city of Knoxville, where she learned to despise urban living- at least for the remainder of her childhood. She would attain fame as a singer of opera, musical comedy hits and other semi-classical numbers on the stage, in film and radio and through records. Unfortunately, in 1947, at the peak of her career, she was killed in a plane crash near Copenhagen, Denmark.

This record contains operetta and Broadway numbers on side one – You Are Love, from Jerome Kern’s Showboat, and Irving Berlin’s Always being examples, while side two has numbers by Tchaikovsky and Puccini. She could be criticized for singing everything, whether pop song or opera, the same, but she deserves high praise for singing so damned beautifully and expressively. Another nice record worth the search.

Her Deep South roots just might be seen in the fact that she refused to sing in vaudeville revues if there were African-American singers. She was also fearless about a scrap, but if her temper got her into trouble, her sense of humor would get her out of it – well, most of the time.

Paul Weston – Music for Romancing; Capitol-CDF 153, 4 seven-inch, vinyl 45s, recorded late 1940s.

Paul Weston

Paul Weston

Paul Weston (1913-1996) was one of a tiny handful of truly gifted, imaginative arrangers in pop instrumentals and the scoring of charts for singers, including Margaret Whiting, Doris Day, Frankie Laine, the Norman Luboff Choir, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mercer, Gordon MacRae and his own wife, Jo Stafford. All told, this body of recordings enriched the collections of many discerning listeners, still being re-issued as I write here. The selection of instrumentals featured in this album are, as to be expected from Weston, lovingly and tastefully played.

Wacky winter threatens our lakes

by Ursula Burke

Other than ice fishermen, most lake lovers in mid-coast Maine cheered at the short, relatively mild winter of 2016.  On Sheepscot Pond in Palermo, the ice was on the lake from mid-January to mid-March, the shortest time since records started being kept by local people in the late 1800’s.  So why the headline portending trouble?  Can’t we just enjoy what nature has given us without worrying?

Here, in simple terms, is why what we can’t see can spell big trouble.  When winter ice melts early the upper layer of lake water has a longer period of time to warm up before the fall cool down starts.  A hot summer adds to this situation.  Colder lake water lies in a separate layer at the bottom and doesn’t mix with the warm top layer until fall.  It can become oxygen starved affecting the aquatic creatures living in the depths.   The eventual lack of oxygen releases natural elements into the water, the most damaging being phosphates.   These stimulate the growth of algae and can cause algae blooms and cloudy, greenish water.  This seems to happen suddenly, but in actuality is part of the cycle of actions that started when the ice melted early.

The Sheepscot Lake Association (SLA) runs a number of water quality testing programs including the most recently added Dissolved Oxygen measurements which plumb the water in the deepest part of the lake on a regular basis starting in early June.  The SLA does inform the community of the results.

Individual property owners can do something to help protect the health of the lake.  The SLA has launched LakeSmart, a program under the auspices of the Maine Lakes Society, which offers free assessments of waterfront properties and prepares a report with comments and suggestions for land owner action to decrease lake pollution.  The biggest external threat to lakes is storm water run-off which erodes the land carrying soil, pollutants, phosphates, etc. into the water.    Anyone interested in becoming LakeSmart can contact Ursula Burke at 781-561-5541 or via email

IF WALLS COULD TALK – Week of June 30, 2016

Katie Ouilette

by Katie Ouilette

WALLS, we’ve shared a lot this week, haven’t we?  O.K.  I won’t tell the sad stories, but will talk about the goodness that has come our way.  Oh, my, yes…..we’ve had the first day of summer announced by the Strawberry Moon (heard about it, but clouds kept it out of sight) but made sure to stop and buy yummy red strawberries in Benton!

Y’know, WALLS, this is a good time to lead into the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce story of a new leader, by telling our faithful readers about how lucky we are to have the ‘interim’ leadership of Jason Gayne now.  You see, Jason is executive director of Somerset County Hospice and,  hospice has received much appreciation from many of our friends for the loving care that has been given to their loved ones.  Recently a Vassalboro resident wrote of the ultimate care that was  provided to her  “loved one” by the many facets of Hospice Care and she spoke of the experience of having caregivers that adjusted quickly to the personality of the patient and the concerned family.

Well, WALLS, for sure, the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce is especially fortunate to have Jason and his personality and his  thoughts at the helm of a Chamber of Commerce that, too, has known the good, bad and ugly of need over the years.  Yes, faithful readers, the SACC was founded in 1940.  Frankly, a few month ago, some of the SACC’s history was found in the walls of Skowhegan’s Free Public Library.  Wow!  if those walls could talk, eh?  Well, history having been written during the early ‘40s by Frances Croteau, the writer of The Town Crier, surely the WALLS have talked.  There were 12 committees and each met at their chairman’s office at a time set by members of each.  I won’t name those folks of the past, but the purpose of each was highlighted with duties and instructions.  What’s more, if you are old enough, you may recognized those names that have made us what we are.

Well, I met with Jason shortly after Dan Plante (SACC president for the past seven years) announced that  Jason would serve in that much-needed capacity.  Jason certainly impressed me with his thoughts about SACC.  I mentioned the many conferences and meetings that brought lots of people to Skowhegan and, hopefully, with Jason’s ideas, history will repeat itself.

Oh, faithful readers, do you know who the founder of the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce (the first name) was?  Herbert Swett! Swett was the person who started the Lakewood Theatre.  Yes, the State Theatre of Maine.  Time to enjoy history repeating itself!

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of June 30, 2016

Solon and Beyond


by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
390 South Solon Rd.,
Solon, Maine 04979


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

The East Madison Historical Association  will be having a yard sale on Saturday, July 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Happyknits, LLC, will be celebrating its second birthday on Friday, July 1, and continuing the celebration on Saturday, July 2, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This year’s reunion day of Solon Alumni is on July 16 at the Solon Elementary School. 9:30 a.m., starts registration and coffee hour with the business hour starting at 10:30 a.m. The auction will follow the business hour. Please remember your auction item. Last year we made $628 on the auction. Then Murry Bubar sent a check to match the auction funds so we ended up with $1,256. Thank you Murry. Dianne Oliver Poulin was the auctioneer.

Lunch will begin at 1:00 p.m.,  and will be catered by the Solon 4-H Club.

The class of 1966 will celebrate its 50th reunion. Members are Linda Baiko Lomastro, Terry Cahill, Glenda Foss Atmandi, Alden Mayhew, Richard Poulin, Mark Rogers, Ellery Witham and Gary Withers. So class of 1966, we would like to see you here.

Sixty-two  alumni and guests attended last year. The class of ’65 celebrated  their 50th with four members, Ann French Jackson, David Heald, Robert Meader and George Dube. Brenda Padham was elected as the new treasurer. Kaitlyn LaCroix received a check from the scholarship fund $1,100. Deaths reported were Harold Tewskbury, class of 1942, Freda Chase Merry, 1945, Beverly Thompson Carter, 1947, Dassie Andrews Jackson ,1947, Jean Hilton Dickey, 1949, Joyce Bubar Dillon, 1953, Paul Savage, 1957, Anne Withers Burkhart, 1959, William Tolman, 1961, Walter Jones, 1969, Mark Myers, 1973, from Carrabec and Herbert Hayden. (The above is the letter sent out to alumni from Linda French, secretary)

In my continuing efforts of getting what I want to save out of my house on Ferry Street, I keep coming across old Dirigo year books. I have quite a few, and will take them to the reunion for anyone who might want one. The oldest is 1954 and had only two graduates, Patricia McCarty and Joseph V. Dore. In this year book there was a column written by Malon P. Whipple, 1903 entitled “A Look at the Future.” Very heartwarming and inspiring. On that same page is this, 1904-1954 written by Ivan M. Dyer, “On this, the 50th anniversary of the Solon High School graduating class of 1904, may I, the only surviving member of that class, have the honor of congratulating the class of 1954 in having reached one of the most important milestones in the making of American citizens. May you go on to greater accomplishments and may each and every one of you always be proud to say, ” I am an American.”

Was given the choice of writing two columns this week or taking a vacation next week, decided I should listen to those who care about me, and say, “You should slow down!” My column won’t be in the July 7 paper.

And, my heartfelt love goes out to all of you who say you love this column, it reminds me that my goal to bring love and sometimes humor, to all that read it each week, is working!

Percy’s memoir: “You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece. (words by Albert Enstein.)