Erskine accepts challenge to raise donations for food bank

Erskine Academy, in South China, will compete in WGME 13/Fox 23’s School Spirit Challenge to benefit Good Shepherd Food Bank.  The School Spirit Challenge is a friendly competition among high schools to show school pride and spirit while helping communities address hunger in Maine through a month-long food and fund drive.  Although initiated by the students and faculty of Erskine Academy, the hope is that this will be a larger community cause and effort.  Please join Erskine’s effort by bringing your contribution of any size—financial donations or food—to the school between September 2 and October 28, 2016.  To kick off this event, WGME 13/Fox 23 will be broadcasting live from the Erskine Academy gym on Friday, September 9, from 6 – 8 a.m.  Erskine Academy’s event is the first to be held in the new school year, setting the bar for others.  Please contact the school at 445-2962 for more information.

Letters to the editor, Week of September 8, 2016

Changes not wanted

To the editor:

Mr. Worster, this reply is in regards to your Letter to the Editor (Aug. 25, 2016) on your suggestions on the TIF committee reports.
I don’t know you or just where you came from, but my question to you is why, if you bought a place in our little town, are you trying to change it into a place more like what you left? I have lived in this town, in China Village, on Main St., for 85 years, all except for the last 15-16 years, only then moved about a quarter of a mile down the road. We brought up our family here, five children. They were taught to always use the pathways (yes, we had pathways) until out-of-town folks moved here, and started using the road for themselves and their children, and the pathways became part of lawns. We walked to the library, store, post office, etc., always on pathways, not the road.
My husband was road commissioner for several years, we bought the ice cream stand at the head of the lake before the road was rebuilt, built the China General Store and operated it for 13 years, and did many other varied jobs. Our children went to China schools and Erskine Academy. Our 10 grandchildren graduated from Erskine.
Please, people from away, our select board, various town committees and our esteemed town manager, stop trying to make our town into something other than small town China, which makes our taxes unaffordable for many of our citizens.
Carolyn Dow

A vote for Glowa

To the editor:

I checked the roll call votes that my State Representative, Tim Theriault, made in this last legislative session. I was dismayed to learn he was absent for 18.6 percent of the votes. These unexcused absences add up to 126 times Rep. Theriault removed himself from the House Chamber rather than cast his vote. My Senator [Roger] Katz, on the other hand, votes around 99 percent of the time. I know from my own experience as a state representative there are no shortages of difficult and controversial decisions to be made. But, not voting just stonewalls the legislature and makes a difficult job even more trying for those good people working to do what is right. I just don’t think Rep. Theriault’s heart is in it, and I don’t think Theriault’s voice (our voice?) is being heard in the Maine House. I will not vote for Theriault this go-around, come November, my vote goes to John Glowa. I am convinced that John will be a responsible and engaged member of the legislature.
Judd Thompson

Erskine Academy third trimester honor roll


High honors: Amelia Bailey, Samantha BeDen, Lilja Bernheim, Jordan Bowie, Mikayla Brochu, Mallory Chamberlain, Caleigh Charle­bois, Sierra Christiansen, Abigail Cooper, Kaitlyn Darveau, Julia Fasano, Anne Gauvin, Mac­kenzie Gayer, Theresa Gervais, Monica Gilbert, Kayla Goggin, Amber Grady, Jessica Grant, Traviana Higgins, Taber Hill, Christina Hodgkins, Kinsey Johnson, Lexi Johnson, Meagan Johnson, Hanna Keene, Olivia Leary, Wynn Libby, Emma McCormac, Annemarie Morse, Merlin Murphy, Kanyapak Ongkabin, Brianna Parisien, Teya Paulin, Anthony Pizzo, Sarah Pleau, Cassandra Ray, Autumn Read, Rachel Read, Sadie Reed, Sidney Rodrigue, Alainie Sawtelle, Lilly Sawtelle, Michaela Sprague, Dayna Tinling Alexander, Malorie Weaver, Julia White and Kyle Zembroski. Honors: Talya Avery, Caleb Barden, Michayla Barrett, Cody Beaudoin, Renee Beaudoin, Christopher Brown, Amber Chesley, Matthew Clary, Alysia Csengery, Denver Cullivan, Ryan Cummings, Trevor Devine, Megan Dunn, Adam Fenderson, Cassandra Goodine, Jens Hansen, Dylan Hickey, Katharine Holzwarth, Trevor Hubbard, Michael Keefer, Cheyenne Kritz, Michelle Lemelin, Sean McGrail, Kayla McKenney, Celina Nadeau, Kendrick Nikornpan, Maxwell Pacholski, Ashley Patten, Luke Peabody, Ryan Pedersen, Django Pignatello, Colbey Plaisted, Tori Poulin, Shyanne Quimby, Reid Rauch, Joshua Reed, Patrick Rodgers, Anthony Sepulvado, Gabriel Solorzano, Madelyn Spencer, Jake Suga, Sara Tibbetts, Samantha Tobey, Raymond Weymouth, Jerold Winslow, Eric Wormell, Tyler Wysocki and Jing Athena Xue.


High Honors: Seth Allen, Erica Basham, Beth Bowring, Andrew Browne, Hannah Burns, Ally Clark Bonsant, Emma Cote, Brandon Coulombe, Tanner Dow, Danessia Ewen, Nathaniel Harrington-Howard, Justin Harris, Abigail Haskell, Hayley Hinds, Katelyn Hustus, Audrey Jordan, Zachary Loubier, Mayann McGrath, Morgan Savage, Elliot Stinchfield, Eleanor Rose Theriault, Rosalie Wilson, Leann Wright, Yang Xi, Jessica Zhang and Justin Zhang. Honors: Taylor Batchelder, Veronica Black, Alexis Bonenfant, Jaime Boudreau, Michael Bourque, Daniel Brown, Kaitlyn Brundage, Makayla Busque, Joshua Buzzell, Julie Buzzell, Sagan Charlebois, Nicholle Clark, Tyler Condon, Terrence Conway, Sydney Cummings, Harley Denning, Benjamin Eason, Cody Elsemore, Ashley Farrington, Ian Ferguson, Phoebe Fleck, Joseph Gay, Gabriel Gervais, Madison Grass, McKenzie Haver, Aubrey Hendsbee, Kaleb Howard, Samuel Jamison, Jordan Jowett, Brandon Keezer, Allison May Kennedy, Jeffrey Kierstead, Miranda-Lee LaRose, Jenna Lully, Hunter Mahon, Tara Markle, Zachary Needham, Harrison Percival, Emily Plourde, Shirlynn Sears, Austin Shaw, Kelsey Stuart, William Sugg IV, Cody Taylor, Nicolas Turcotte, Caitlyn Van Wickler and Marc Walther.


High Honors: Maggie Anderson, Courtney Austin, Mariah Blanchard, Miranda Carey, Harald Christiansen, Kylie Clark, Noelle Cote, Kalib Deschamps, Chelsea Duplessis, Bryanna Emery, Morgan Emond, Hannah Farrington, Shaylee Fisher, Jadelynn Giroux, Angel Hall-Stuart, Hunter Hoague, Abigail Hodgkins, Luke Hodgkins, Nicholas Howes, Kayla Hubbard, Carleigh Ireland, Samantha Jackson, Isabella Johnson, Kyle Kirkpatrick, Megan Lemieux, Rita McCausland, Kassandra Nadeau, Jakob Peavey, Gabriella Pizzo, Kaylee Porter, Leanna Prime, Mercedes Richard, Chantelle Roddy, Haoming Michael Shi, Kaili Shorey, Adam Silvia, Michael Sprague, Emma Stone, Makayla Tobey, Caleb Tyler, Lauren Wood and Olivia Wyman. Honors: Gabe Ashey, Cassidy Baldwin, Noah Bonsant, Victoria Chabot, Madison Choate, Alexander Cleaves, Bailey Cloutier, Kaitlyn Coston, Corvus Crump, Stephen Csengery, Caleb Daggett, Derrick Dyer, Brooke Fongemie, Hunter Gagnon, Madyson Geboskie, Brock Glidden, Jessika Goulet, Spenser Grasse, Elizabeth Green, Jonathan Hickey, Billy Howell III, Robin Jefferson, Bjorn Jorgensen, Rebecca Leavitt, Alexis Lee, Jordan Lewis, Andrew Lyon, Devin Mason, Emma Meader, Hunter Merrill, Harrison Mosher, Christopher Pelletier, Chance Reed, Michaela Roy, Emma Solorzano, Jillian St. Amand, Emma Sullivan, Alexis Tenney, Rebecca Truman, Tyler Walker, Christopher Wight, Martie Young, Morgan Young and Destiny Yvon.


High Honors: Molly Babson, Gavin Blanchard, Lydia Boucher, Jenna Butler, Travis Dow, Marshall Dugal, Rohan Duvvuru, Samuel Falla, Ethan Hammond, Sage Hapgood-Belanger, Samantha Heath, Amber Rose Holmes, Peyton Houghton, Christopher Jamison, Jack Jowett, Kyli Julia, Morgaine Kmen, Olivia Kunesh, Caitlin Labbe, Noah Labbe, Haeden Landry, Milo Lani-Caputo, Paige Leary, Rivers Malcolm, Tara Maltese, Conner Paine, Jacob Praul, Seth Reed, Christina Roy, Conor Skehan, Braden Soule, Briana Strout, Elizabeth Sugg, Willow Throckmorton-Hansford, Mercedes Tibbetts, Megan To, Jack Tobey, Kassidy Wade, Hagen Wallace, Jacob Wright and Alana York. Honors: Brenna Audet, Alex Barney, Mark Barney, Nina Boudreau, William Bourque, Justin Browne, Arthur Carey, Nicholas Cates, Jonathan Condon, ArizonaLee Crooker, Megan Crouse, Mireya Dos Santos, Keara Doughty, Tiffany Doyle, Austin Dunn, Dakota Estes, Cameron Falla, Ethan Furlong, Madeline Geidel, Ashley Gillis, Regina Harmon, Alexis Haskell, Tristan Hawk, Eleanor Hodgkin, Kaleb Hopper, Alicia Hotham, Andrew Jackson, William Jones, Garrett Keezer, Dylan Keller, Robert King, Maverick Lowery, Osiris Marable, Mya Maxim, Noah Miller, Myles Nored, Isaiah Pacholski, William Pfleging, Christian Plante, Nicholas Rancourt, Hannah Reid, Andraya Roque, Hunter Rushing, Caleb Sacks, Seth Savage, Jessie Sepulvado, Krystina Shorey, Katherine Smith, Shayleigh Springer, Shaine Staples Jacob Tibbetts, Madison Toulouse, Caden Turcotte, Trent Wharton, Zachary Williams-Humphrey, Ashlyn Wing and Kendra Wormell.

Vassalboro Days: Saturday, September 10

Free Bus Transportation along Route 32 between the North and East every half hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The school bus will run between the corner of Canal St. in the North, across from the Olde Mill to the old Red School House on China Lake with stops at the Grange, Town Office, St. Bridget’s, and the Olde Mill.

• VBA Ducky Derby and Raffle tickets on sale at their table !
• Craft Fair at the Olde Mill in the North, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Inflatable Slide and Bounce House and Kid’s Activities, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Maine Savings FCU Bean Toss Tent, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Face Painting by Connie, 1 – 3 p.m.
• Double Dam Ducky Derby, noon!
• Antique & Classic Car Show on the lawn of the Town Office, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
• Vassalboro Library Book & Food Sale & Silent Auction, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Grange. • Historical Society Open Houses, Displays and Fire House Sale in the East near and across from the Grange, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Boy Scout Bottle Drive for Dempsey Challenge-bring returnables!
• Lemieux’s Orchard corn maze, wagon rides, apple picking, noon – 4 p.m., at 210 Priest Hill Rd.
• D.J.Dudley will be at the Olde Mill from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., introducing performers and keeping everyone aware of what is going on!


*1 – 2 p.m., Vassalboro’s own Abbie Watson!
* 2 – 3 p.m., The Talented Limberger Family of Vassalboro!
* 3 p.m., Jocelyn Begin, winner of Winslow’s 4th of July Idol Competition!

• St. Bridget’s Lawn Party and 90th Birthday Party from 2 – 4 p.m. Visit and enjoy a cup of lemonade, look over pictures and dreams for the future of the building. Donations gratefully accepted for these dreams.
• 6 – 9 p.m., Street Dance at the Olde Mill. DJ Dudley spinning the tunes. BYO chairs! Rain or shine! 50/50 raffle to benefit VBA causes.
Food Vendors for Saturday include Laurie’s Lunch Wagon and the Vassalboro Boy Scouts.

Sunday, September 11

• Noon, Mutt Strut sponsored by the Historical Society: bring your leashed, friendly mutt for a pet parade/walk. Meet at the Historical Society Red School House on the Lake.
• 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Antique & Classic Car Show on the lawn of the Town Office (only if it rained Saturday!)
• 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Vassalboro Library Buck a Bag Book Sale at Grange
• 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Historical Society Open Houses, Displays and Fire House Sale in the East near and across from the Grange.
• Noon – 4 p.m., Lemieux’s Orchard corn maze, wagon rides, apple picking at 210 Priest Hill Rd.
• 2 p.m., Performance by Kennebec Valley Chordsmen at the Historical Society.
• 4 p.m., Second Wind Band, ‘90s Country Cover Band to perform at the Olde Mill (rain or shine) to benefit the Vassalboro Fuel Fund.

BYO Chairs! What a great way to close out a great weekend!

Fairfield takes ownership of new truck

by Mark Huard

In August 25, 2015, the Fairfield/Benton Emergency Services Department was awarded a federal grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Program through FEMA. The award amount for the department was a total of $725,000. The federal government portion of the grant would total $694,477. The town of Fairfield is required to match 5 percent of the grant and that came to a total of $34,523. The grant was written for the purchase of a Quint Style Ladder Truck.

Fairfield Fire

Fairfield Fire Chief Duane Bickford, left, and Firefighter Travis Leary.
Photo by Mark Huard/ Owner of Central Maine Photography

What is a Quint, you might ask? This is a multi-purpose apparatus that includes a pump, water tank, and also an aerial device. The truck was purchased from and built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus, of Hammond, Louisiana. The truck is a custom six man cab, on a Ferrara built chassis. It is equipped with a 2,000gpm pump, 400 gallon water tank, 77-foot steel ladder, an assortment of ground ladders, saws, and other hand tools.

This ladder truck will provide a great service to the towns of Fairfield and Benton that they have not had before. Also this makes the difficult task of firefighting a little safer and efficient for the department. This will allow the department faster and safer access to upper floors and roofs of buildings. The department responds to a vast area that includes several different occupancy types and sizes of buildings. The department covers around 84 square miles of territory, and responds to around 1,400 emergency calls for service a year. As chimney fire season is slowly creeping upon us this truck will be worth its weight in gold. As we all know trying to climb an aluminum ladder on a roof with two feet of ice and snow is not only difficult but extremely dangerous. This truck will allow the firefighters better access to the roof and possibly to stay off the roof all together. The department will be receiving three solid days of training from Ferrara in early September and also the members will be getting their time driving and pumping. Department policy requires all drivers to have 100 miles of driving on the apparatus, so don’t be surprised to see it driving on the roads.

As always, the department thanks the citizens of Fairfield and Benton in their continued support of the department and approving funding for advancing the department and service we provide.

Squirrels: my cultured, refined little thieves

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

I know I’ve written about gray squirrels in the past, but, I have to tell you about the two in particular that have made their home in my backyard. High in a tree, overlooking the garage, sits a large squirrels’ nest where these two reside. You rarely see them together, but when you do, it’s a comedy act rivaled by none.

I refer to them as my cultured squirrels. They have done such amazing things, that I have dubbed them Martha and Stewart because of some of their etiquettes.

For starters, my backyard is peppered with black chestnut pits. I learned a long time ago those nuts are a staple for these scavenging rodents. Annually, my wife and I visit a cemetery in China where there are horse chestnut trees. We gather a bagful and feed them to the squirrels, a little at a time.

Well, the black chestnuts were a mystery until about 10 years ago when I learned there is a black chestnut tree in the middle of Waterville, about 150 yards from my house – by the way the crow flies. These squirrels obviously make that journey to ac­quire those nuts, stash them in the nest, and discard the pits. I have to rake up the pits because the last thing I need is another tree growing in my backyard.

page12pict1We watch them frolic around, chasing each other up and around the large pines in the backyard. We even hear them running across the peak of the roof to our house in the early mornings. Once recently, they actually looked like they were dancing on our porch railing. I had never seen that before, but there they were, face-to-face, with front feet wrapped around each other like they were about to dance to a Mozart waltz.

But, what had transpired before that was what really astonishes me. Next to the porch, on a bench, are my trash cans. One metal, one plastic. Now, quite a while ago, the squirrels had chewed a hole through the plastic lid. I repaired the hole and it stayed that way for about a year and a half. The other morning, I noticed the patch was removed. So, I applied another. Meanwhile, my wife and I did some sorting of various foods in the pantry, and discovered a container of some outdated crackers – mini crackers about the size of a nickel. We bagged them with the rest of the weekly trash, and deposited the bag into the trash can outside for Friday’s pickup.

A few days later, I noticed one of the squirrels sitting upright on the railing, chomping away on what looked like one of the crackers. So, I couldn’t help but sit and watch his next move. Sure enough, from my vantage point, I could see where this squirrel didn’t bother to undo the repaired patch, he chewed a new hole through the lid. He jumped off the railing, went down the hole into the trash can, and came out with another cracker. I watched him do that about six times before he noticed me, and left the area.

I went outside, looked inside the trash can, and the bag containing the crackers was split open. So I placed a brick temporarily over the hole. Here’s my question: How did that squirrel know that crackers were present in a plastic bag, tied securely at the top, and deposited into a plastic trash receptacle, with the lid snapped on tightly?

It boggles my mind how keen a sense of smell these little critters have.

I wrote this column last Thursday, and thought I was finished. Well, Martha or Stewart, were back to their old tricks. I spotted one of them sitting on the railing licking a paper muffin cup. My wife and I had muffins for breakfast that morning, and he was cleaning up the leftovers. Then, I noticed in front of him, a K-cup from our Keurig coffee making machine, which it had opened at the top, and was literally having coffee grounds with his muffin. I couldn’t tell if it had a pinky in the air while doing this.

It had enlarged the hole where the brick was sitting on top of the trash can, and gone inside to help himself. Normally, that bin would have been empty, but I had missed the trash pickup the previous week, giving Mr. or Mrs. Squirrel the luxury of two trash bags to pillage through.

The trash is now gone, so I guess the next step is to dispose of the plastic can, and purchase another metal one. I don’t mind feeding the squirrels, but my trash is personal.

Legal Notices, Week of September 1, 2016

Court St., Skowhegan, ME
Somerset, SS
Location of Court
18-A MRSA sec. 3-801

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted.  The first publication date of this notice is August 25, 2016.

If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide.  See 18-A MRSA 3-804.

2016-203 – Estate of ERNEST L. SEVEY, late of Ripley, Me deceased.  Susan E. Snow, 795 Lily Bay Road, Unit 605, Beaver Cove, Me 04441 and Howard E. Sevey, PO Box 189, Rockwood, Me 04478 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2016-204 – Estate of DAVID S. DECK, late of Madison, Me deceased.  Crystal L. Deck, 85 Longley Road, Madison, Me 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-206 – Estate of GERALD EDWIN MILLS, SR., late of Cornville, Me, deceased.  Roxanne E. Demers, 17 Wilson Street, Biddeford, Me 04005 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-209 – Estate of VIRGINIA F. HUGHES, late of Hartland, Me deceased.  Peggi L. Nelson, 26930 Cheyenne Crest Lane, Katy, TX 77494 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-210 – Estate of TERESA M. AIRTH, late of Smithfield, Me deceased.  Douglas E. Airth, 76 Groves Flat Lane, Smithfield, Me  04978 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-211 – Estate of ALFRED J. BARRIEAULT, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased.  Beth Thorne, 43 Pilgrim Road, Standish, Me 04084 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-212 – Estate of KENNETH G. TRIPP, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased.  Keith Lawler, 16 Hatto Farm Road, Norridgewock, Me  04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-213 – Estate of JEFFERY KILLAM, late of Hartland, Me deceased.  Cathy J. Holt, 71 Garland Road, Dixmont, Me 04932 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-217 – Estate of DEBORAH A. CLAGUE, late of New Portland, Me deceased.  Jason Clague, 650 La Mesa Drive, Portola Valley, CA 94028 and Claire Margaret Shovelton, Flat 25 Gun Wharf 130 Wapping High Street, London, UK ElW 2NH appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2016-218 – Estate of GEOFFREY R. SHOVELTON, late of New Portland, Me deceased.  Jason Clague, 650 La Mesa Drive, Portola Valley, CA 94028 and Claire Margaret Shovelton, 25 Gun Wharf 130 Wapping High Street, London, UK E1W 2NH appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2016-219 – Estate of STEPHEN D. MADDOCKS, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Nancy Hay, 114 North Cove Drive, Rome, Me 04963 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-226 – Estate of ROBERT E. GRANT, late of Mercer, Me deceased.  Janice L. Grant, 104 Beech Hill Road, Mercer, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-228 – Estate of RICHARD W. WHITE, SR., late of Pittsfield, Me deceased.  Richard W. White, Jr., 342 Hartland Avenue, Pittsfield, Me 04967 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-230 – Estate of GEORGE E. CARTER, JR., late of Moscow, Me deceased.  Lynne S. Cates, PO Box 341, Bingham, Me 04920 appointed Personal Representative.

2016-232 – Estate of FRANCIS G. TOMER, late of Rockwood, Me deceased.  David Slagger, 156 Clark Road, Kenduskeag, Me  04450 appointed Personal Representataive.

To be published on August 25 & Sept. 8, 2016
Dated: August 22, 2016
/s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate




Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates.  These matters will be heard at 9 a.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be, on September 21, 2016. The requested appointments may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard.  This notice complies with the requirements of 18-A MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2016-216 – Estate of  DANIELLE MARIE GIGGEY.  Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Danielle Marie Giggey, 199 Dudley Corner Road, Skowhegan, Me  04976 requesting her name be changed to Danielle Marie Summers for reasons set forth therein.

2016-220 – Estate of KENDRA LOUISE PRATT, adult of Palmyra, Me.  Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Kendra Louise Pratt, 8 Ballard Lane, Palmyra, Me 04965 requesting her name be changed to Logan Kennedy Pratt for reasons set forth.

2016-229 – Estate of KELLY McAVOY-DORR, adult of Fairfield, Me.  Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Kelly McAvoy-Dorr, 13 Cottage Street, Fairfield, Me 04937 requesting her name be changed for Kelly Jean McAvoy for reasons set forth therein.

Dated:  August 22, 2016
/s/ Victoria M. Hatch
Register of Probate

I’m Just Curious: Take a leap! Parachute not necessary

 by Debbie Walker

Take a leap, take a chance, take a risk, crawl out of the box, and try something different. You just never know where ideas are going to come from. Some of the neatest things can come from talking to a stranger for just a few minutes in a store. That’s what happened to me one day.

I went to a national chain store; I had an hour to wait for a prescription. I very seldom just roam around the store but today I did. There were two men in the silk flower aisle and yup, I am one of those people if what is going on is interesting, I have to ask. I am glad I did.

These two men were picking out silk flowers that would be used in a class they teach on flower arranging. This particular class is going to be on bridal and wedding arrangements. We wound up exchanging information because I think one day I will have to take one of their classes but it won’t be on bridal arrangements!

When I came home I told my daughter-in-law, Laurie, about these guys. I know she likes dried flowers and arrangements and when I told her about these guys she told me she had always wanted to take a class in flower arranging and in cake decorating.  Gees, take a leap! Go take one, what are you waiting for?

No one is promised tomorrow. We have to do these things now. I think it would be a shame to get to heaven and say, “If I had only taken that flower arranging class I could help decorate around here!” Okay, so my tastes are a little different but when I get there I’ll be able to offer to teach motorcycle!

My mom, who became a widow years ago, was riding by the bowling alley one day, turned around and took herself inside. She figured it would be good exercise for her arms. There was another lady there and mom asked her if she could give her a few pointers. Mom made a friend and found a new hobby and exercise.

There really are more resources out there of things for us to do if we would just open up our eyes and minds. Even if you are not a “group” person there are still plenty of activities to learn for your private enjoyment, ex: flower arranging class.

You don’t have to justify your interests, if something strikes your fancy, check into it. (My friends don’t ride motorcycles!)  If you always wanted to learn a foreign language, go take a class. Don’t be worried about how much you don’t know, that’s what the class is for.

If you are a group person and you have a number of friends, I will be willing to bet that each person probably has some talent or skill they could share. My mom knits and has started a lot of people out, even my friends in Florida. The problem is most people don’t acknowledge their own talents. Each new person you meet will bring something to you to learn.

Keep reading the paper and see what kind of continuing education classes are available that you might be interested in. What about the library? Take an even bigger leap and offer a class yourself. Again you’ll meet new people with new ideas.

Keeping our minds busy and active is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Keep away that nasty Alzheimer’s disease and depression. The thing is take the leap, take the risk, take a chance, crawl out of your box; you won’t even need a parachute (unless you take up parachuting; now there’s an idea!)

I’m just curious what kind of neat ideas you can come up with. Let me know.

Contact me at  sub line: Leap. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!


by  Peter Cates

Sung by soprano Geraldine Farrar; Victor 87289, recorded approx. 1916, 10-inch shellac record.

Geraldine Farrar was one of the most popular and accomplished American sopranos during her years at the Metropolitan Opera between 1907-1922, where she would appear 672 times in 29 operas, her two most famous roles being Carmen and Madame Butterfly and her most famous co-star,  Enrico Caruso.

Geraldine Farrar

Geraldine Farrar

She was born in Mel­rose, Massa­chusetts. Her father, Sidney Farrar, gained much fame back in the 1890s as a major league infielder for the Phila­del­phia Quakers and the same city’s Athletics, and had Maine roots in his birthplace of Paris Hill. She displayed much talent by the age of 15, and would be a major star in Berlin from 1901-1904, where she was frequently rumored to have had an affair with Crown Prince Wilhelm (He would later become smitten with a certain dancer named Mata Hari.) .

But her most “noted affair” occurred from 1909-1915 with the then Met’s Music Director Arturo Toscanini . When she demanded he leave his wife and family to marry her, he abruptly resigned his position and sped back to Italy. A year later, she married silent film star Lou Tellegen but divorced him in 1923 because of his chronic and much reported adulteries. When he committed suicide in 1934, she was asked for a reaction and inquired back as to why his death could possibly interest her.

She recorded extensively for Victor records and was acclaimed for her unusual combo of a nearly perfect voice and sense of drama. The above record shows her gifts at making a novelty song into a delectable listening experience.

She had a most pro-active group of women fans in the ‘20s known as Gerryflappers. Other milestones included an appearance on one of the earliest AM radio broadcasts being conducted experimentally by Lee De Forrest in New York City in 1907; a career as a silent film star in several lead roles, including Carmen and Joan of Arc; and a period of years during the ‘30s as intermission commentator on the Met Saturday afternoon live radio broadcasts.

Finally, she raised and trained a gaggle of geese for a role on stage in one opera, Konigskinder, by Engelbert Humperdinck- no relation to the ‘60s singer.

Area students on Husson University’s presidents list

The following area students have been named to the Spring 2016 presidents list at Husson University, in Bangor.

Lyndsay Weese, of Athens, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Shayne Brown, of Augusta,  is a junior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Marketing Communications program.

Sophia Ramirez, of Augusta, ME is a freshman who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program.

Tabitha Willman, of Augusta, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Care Management program.

Samuel Jandreau, of China, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Human Movement Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Zoe Mather, of China, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Human Movement Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Tyler Rollins, of China, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Undeclared program.
Courtney Smart, of Cornville, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program.

Leah LaBree, of East Vassalboro, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism program.

Spencer Folsom, of Fairfield, is a freshman who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program.

Tennyson Martin, of Fairfield, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program.

Kyleigh Plourde, of Jefferson, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) Certification program.

Alexis Prescott, of Liberty, is a freshman who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Makaela Michonski, of Norridgewock, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Human Movement Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Amanda Saucier, of Norridgewock, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Human Movement Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Darian Hughes, of Oakland, is a junior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology program.

Raina Rauch, of Palermo, is a junior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.

Kaitlyn Grover, of Skowhegan, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Cailee Manzer, of Skowhegan, is a freshman who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.

Ali York, of Skowhegan, is a junior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Management program.

Christina Belanger, of South China, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Meghan Farrell, of Vassalboro, is a junior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies program.

Destiny Silcott, of Windsor, is a senior who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Human Movement Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Logan Vashon, of Winslow, is a sophomore who is enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Human Movement Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy program.