VBA offers scholarship

The Vassalboro Business Association has announced that it will offer $500 scholarships to at least three Vassalboro students who plan to attend a Post-Secondary Program of Study in the fall of 2017.

Students must have been  residents in Vassalboro for the past two years, provide evidence of community service in that same two year period, and be enrolled in a post-secondary two to four year program of education or training.

Applications are available by emailing lindatitus@hotmail.com or calling 873-2108.  They should also be available in local guidance offices. The deadline to return the completed form is April 15, 2017.

CHINA NEWS: Organizers seek presenters for China Forest Day

The organizers at China Midle School are in the planning stages for Forest Day 2017 which will be held on Friday, May 26, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the China School Forest in China. They are seeking volunteer presenters to work with groups of students at any grade level from preK-eighth grade. The goal is to have all students outside for the whole day participating in hands-on activities to learn about Maine’s natural environment.

Volunteer presenters will teach a lesson to groups of students (15-18 students per group) throughout the day. Staff members will supervise student groups. Volunteers will lead three – four morning sessions and three – four afternoon sessions. Each session will last approximately 30 minutes. If you need more than a 30-minute session, they can put two time slots together to give you about 70 minutes to work with your group. You can choose your activity and age group or the staff can suggest activity ideas based on your skills and interests. They try to have a wide variety of activities related to the Maine environment. In the past, they’ve offered sessions on forest habitats, ecology, plants and/or animals, logging history, watersheds, geology, nature music or art, reading, writing, drama and much more. Any topic related to the natural environment will be considered. They provide morning munchies and lunch for all volunteer presenters. Forest Day is held rain or shine. After all, that is part of the outdoor experience!

They are seeking 30-35 different session presenters. They are asking for your help as a volunteer program presenter or to pass this along to others who you think might be able to help. If you can help, they need the following information:

Your name and work agency/program sponsor (if representing one), phone number and/or email; topic or lesson – if you need ideas, they can offer suggestions. Grade level range preference (prek-2, 3-6, 7-8).

Anything else you need for your activity (ie. Type of location, materials needed, time you are available if you can’t be there all day…)

For more information contact Anita Smith (968-2255) and Elaine Philbrook (445-1550); chinaschoolsforest@gmail.com or ephilbrook@rsu18.org.

Learn more about them at: https://www.facebook.com/chinaschoolsforest/.


“Grace is a gift from God” – Grace Academy is a gift from Norm Elvin

by Lisa Durant
Academic Program Director

The staff and students at the new Grace Academy Homeschooling and Learning Center, located in the old Norm’s Chicken and Seafood restaurant on Rte. 3, in South China. Contributed photo

Grace Academy is holding an Open House in recognition of a very generous donation of building and property from local philanthropist, Norm Elvin, in honor of his parents Leslie and Betty Elvin.

For years, Norm Elvin has been making news as a man who selflessly gives of his time, talent, and treasure to those in need. Since the early 1980s Norm has served on over a dozen boards of directors, raised millions of dollars for charity, has run several successful businesses, most recently and locally Norm’s Chicken and Seafood and The China Dine-ah. He has donated much of his own personal wealth to many worthy causes, including the new MaineGeneral Hospital, The United Way, HealthReach Hospice, Augusta YMCA, and Cony High School, in Augusta.

Grace Academy, in South China, is blessed to be among Norm’s most recent benevolent acts.

From his parents, Norm learned early on the meaning of a hard days’ work. As a youth, he could be found delivering papers, mowing lawns, and shoveling driveways. He learned the virtues of hospitality, honesty and perseverance. He took the example from his father regarding frugality, discipline, the value of money, and a spirit of volunteerism. Never indulged as a child, Norm was purposefully “handed nothing” by his parents; instead they encouraged him to work for it. This developed a strong work ethic.

Norm Elvin, whose donation of the former restaurant building on Rte. 3, in South China, to house Grace Academy Homeschooling and Learning Center, will be honored at a reception on March 10.

In Norm’s own words, his parents were “firm, they were consistent, and did that with a lot of love.”

Fast-forward 30 or 40 years and this paper delivery boy-turned-president of G & E Roofing, in Augusta, has been delivering hopes and dreams to the people of Central Maine for the past three decades by giving all he has to help others.

Norm readily admits that he is ‘blessed’ to be able to lend a hand, or dollars, when the need arises. When Norm began doing some fundraising with The United Way, he realized he had the ability to help others in a bigger way. Possessing a certain amount of civic pride, Norm had a desire to build up the community. He recalls that his parents kept their home neat and clean, and always kept the grass trimmed. “You didn’t want your house looking shabby,” he says, “not because someone would say something about you, but because you had enough pride that you wanted the whole neighborhood to look good.”

Norm Elvin has given another gift that will benefit “the whole neighborhood”, that is, the whole community of China and surrounding towns.

Michelle Bourque reflected on the ripple effect that happens with a gift like this. “It’s almost immeasurable. We are fully aware of the responsibility that has been given to us. We take seriously the Scripture verse “from those who have been given much, much will be asked.” Having a building of our own makes it so much easier to continue doing charitable works.” [Grace programs have contributed to the well-being of individuals in nursing homes, adults and children in homeless shelters, and a handful of local needy families.] “And we won’t stop there,” Bourque said. “Norm, and philanthropists like him, are an inspiration to us all. We are looking to not only assist our member families, but to reach out and serve all kinds of learners in our community, not exclusively home educators. We are currently working on a community tutoring program.”

The main area at the new Grace Academy home in South China. Contributed photo

Meanwhile, the ripples continue. Many others have reached out to help support Grace Academy. Community members have generously provided construction, furniture, and educational materials, as well as conducting classes in reading, writing, math, history, science, Latin, and more.

Bourque stated, “I am humbled to say that this is the largest philanthropic commitment I have ever heard of being received by a homeschooling group. We are proud to be able to call Norm our friend and beloved benefactor and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts.”

Since its inception Grace Academy has served over 115 children and conducted over 40 classes, workshops and parent-teacher trainings. Norm’s gift has allowed Grace Academy’s homeschooling families, some of whom travel from as far as Bath, Auburn, Pittsfield and Troy, to gather many of their resources in one place, creating a library of over 5,000 titles and counting. It has provided a location for families who are considering the homeschooling option to visit for advice and guidance.

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Elvin for his extraordinary gift in support of Grace Academy,” said Bourque, executive director of Grace Academy. “He has an unending desire to do good. He has a belief in the power of education to shape today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders, and that is heartwarming. This gift will enable Grace to plant itself firmly in our community as a resource for all families who currently homeschool or are considering the homeschool option. With this gift we can bring programs and resources to families who endeavor to educate their children at home.”

Bourque added, “After years of schlepping whiteboards, books and other materials from borrowed buildings to church halls and local libraries, it is an extreme relief to have a place to call home.”

“We have a vision which includes being part of the larger educational community in Central Maine. Having our own facility will not only help to make us a physical presence here, it will allow us to do more.”

They hope everyone will join them for a look at this beautiful community space, enjoy light refreshments and honor the philanthropy of Norm Elvin. Grace Academy is located at 363 Route 3, in South China,. Students and Staff will provide tours and answer questions. Open house runs from 7 – 9 p.m., on Friday, March 10, 2017. If you wish to join in thanking Norm, please feel free to send a note to thankyounorm@ gmail. com. These notes will be presented to Norm at the reception.

CORRECTION, Week of February 16, 2017

The seventh paragraph in the article titled Selectmen review and approve most of warrant, on page 3 of the February 9, 2017, issue of The Town Line should have read:

After a long discussion, a majority of the board voted to include the article and recommend its passage with Ronald Breton opposing, and Joann Austin abstaining.

Getting the upper hand

Skowhegan’s Aiden Clark gets positioning over Colby Nadeau, of Benton, during the Winslow Raider Rumble Youth Tournament.

Photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography

IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of February 16, 2017

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

Well, faithful readers, WALLS hope your Valentine’s Day was a happy one. Over the years and even recently, I have learned that even sadness has a happy meaning or, at least, thankfulness.

OK, WALLS, you know I’m leading to something…..right? Yes, our faithful readers, you know about my stay at our very caring Redington-Fairview General Hospital, but I haven’t told you about visitors, as I saved it for WALL’S Valentine’s column! Yup, visitors to the sick? WALLS, sure that knowing people care is important in the ‘healing-wellness’ cycle. No, WALLS, not a long visit, that is tiring, but just a ‘caring stop’ and wish for wellness. What’s more, it isn’t just for hospital care, but WALLS, I’ve certainly appreciated all the wonderful friends’ inquiries made to Lew, whether at his Whittemeore’s Real Estate Office, the grocery store buying that has become his duty, or as someone has called from their car in a parking lot. Yup, every inquiry that I’ve learned about has made me want to get this healing process into high gear!

Yes, my Valentine’s Day has been a happy one, even if it seems I am glued to my chair in the window and watching our snow come down. However, most of all, as I received Valentine greetings from my family and the wonderful photos from Great-Grands Reese and Owen Paine! Also, WALLS, in front of me are ‘the traditional three red roses’ that ‘say it all’ from Lew. He’s not only been a great care-giver, but his caring has forced me to get totally healed soon, as he says ‘how about some chowder while the snow blows?’

WALLS and faithful readers, I hope your Valentine’s Day was meaningful. Mine was because ‘I believe’.

O.K., WALLS, you caught my being interested in what has been happening in our USA lately. Well, another local newspaper had two half pages dedicated to Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce happenings and one item interested me. It was entitled “Chamber and College Breakfast” and described as an opportunity for business to let our local colleges know what types of things that are expected from their students once they graduate from their college. Surely, there are students in The Town Line area that might be interested. WALLS, the Skowhegan Chamber’s phone number is 474-3621. This is a fine idea which students may want to pursue. After all, we know that ‘in Maine, life is as it should be.’

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of February 16, 2017

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

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

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met on Saturday, February 11, with President Michaela Marden presiding.

The members are planning to attend an officer training and record workshop in Skowhegan on February 20, at 10 a.m. One member is planning to take some of her sled dogs and do a demonstration with them.

On Saturday, March 4, the club will be doing a food sale to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard and a dinner at the Solon Elementary School on the annual Solon town meeting day to benefit the club’s activities. Hope more of you will go to these events to support them.

As one of their community projects 17 food trays with lots of homemade goodies and two fruit trays were made and delivered.

Leaders Lois Meader and Eleanor Pooler did demonstrations to show the new members what to do.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, March 11, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station. The members will be doing demonstrations.

As I sit writing this week’s column we are in the middle of a very bad blizzard! Have been saving the following information for just the right occasion…and this is certainly it! As I look outside, the snow is almost completely covering some of the windows and the wind is blowing a gale and snow still coming down.

Have been studying an old book that I gave to Frank for Christmas back in 1973. It is called, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Sampler. On the inside cover it states, “Along about Thanksgiving time, when turkey and pumpkin pie are gladdening the inner man, a familiar friend, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, arrives upon the scene as it has each year since 1792. Now more popular than ever before in its long history, it goes into over a million homes throughout the country and in the far corners of the world.

“From its beginning that almanac has played an intrinsic part in our nation’s life. In the homes of countless pioneers, the Almanac and the Bible constituted the entire library. It served as a calendar, weather man, agricultural adviser, medical consultant, and a great many other things. Its miscellaneous information ranged from the signs of the zodiac to the latest gags, and its well-thumbed pages were consulted daily. For The Old Farmer’s Almanac Sampler its editor has brought together for the first time a choice sampling of the wit, wisdom,and entertainment of the almanac in other years. Here, in selections reflecting the times in which they were published, are bits of homely philosophy; anecdotes, comments, and advice on the daily life of a changing America….(And this book was published in 1957.”

There is one thing I’m going to share with you, if it gets past the editor, “A country farmer, not long since, having married a second wife, complained much of the rheumatism in his hips. He asked his wife one day what was the matter with her goose, that she did not hatch; she answered shrewdly that she supposed the gander had the rheumatism in his hips.” (That saying was in a 1796 issue of the Almanac!)

I really enjoyed Debbie Walker’s column in The Town Line issue of February 9 about Old Farmer’s Almanac.

So now for Percy’s words of wisdom memoir: “Only one principle will give you COURAGE—that is the principle that no evil lasts forever nor indeed for very long.” (words by Epicurus, 271 BC).

Legal Notices, Week of February 16, 2017

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 February 16, 2017.

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.

2017-021 – Estate of CHARLES GEORGE, late of Fairfield, I deceased. Nimer C. George, RR No. 1 93 John’s Road, Liverpool, NS B0T 1K0 Canada appointed Personal Representative.

2016-302 – Estate of JOANNE M. BOOTH, late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Martha Howard, 26 Main Street, Mercer, Me 04957 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-022 – Estate of RICHARD F. HOLDEN, SR., late of Madison, Me deceased. Richard Holden, Jr., 470 River Road, Madison, Me 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-023 – Estate of CASEY D. McINTYRE, late of Moose River, Me deceased. Ginger C. Bagwell, 30 North Howard Street, Inman, SC 29349 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-026 – Estate of JOHN PAUL NORMAN III, late of Hartland, Me deceased. Christiansen von Wormer, guardian of Celia Christiansen Roy, PO Box 36782, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-030 – Estate of STEPHEN N. WAINER, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Michael W. Wainer, 155 Six Rod Road, Fairfield, Me 04937 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-033 – Estate of RAYMOND L. HODGKINS, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Anna C. Hodgkins, 10 Tipper Lane, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-034 – Estate of PHYLLIS E. MITCHELL, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Richard N. Mitchell, Jr., 22 Woodside Dr., Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-035 – Estate of MARIE B. HONEY, late of Hartland, Me deceased. Mark E. Honey, 22 Meadow View Lane, Apt. 21, Ellsworth, Me 04605 and Deborah Carmichael, 202 Todds Corner Road, St. Albans, Me 04971 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2017-038 – Estate of GERALD S. DUMOUCHEL, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Jeffrey Dumouchel, 941 Fairway Farm Road, New Ellenton, SC 29809 appointed Personal Representative.

2017-039 – Estate of ROGER G. RICH, late of Fairfield, Me deceased. Cathy L. Rich, PO Box 557, Fairfield, Me and Laurie A. Rich, 183 Water Street, Waterville, Me 0491 appointed Co-Personal Representatives.

2017-040 – Estate of JEROME W. SIROIS, SR., late of Norridgewock, Me deceased. Jerome W. Sirois, Jr., PO Box 3041, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on Feb. 16 & Feb. 23, 2017.
Dated: February 13, 2017 /s/ Victoria Hatch
Register of Probate

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini; Country Singer: Bobby Bare; Duets by Bing Crosby & Mary Martin

Peter Catesby  Peter Cates

Mahler Symphony No. 9

Carlo Maria Giulini conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Weitblick- SSS0140-2, 2 CDs, from live concert of February 9, 1973.

Carlo Maria Giulini

I have already commented at length on the late great conductor Carlo Maria Giulini in this column. He displayed a very high level of power, beauty and clarity in most of the recordings that I have heard on my shelves and elsewhere, even with his sometimes overdone slow tempos.

This live broadcast of Mahler’s very accomplished and achingly beautiful 9th Symphony is very good without the annoying hyper intensity that often spoils other recordings.

The Weitblick label has also released a number of other live concerts by other great conductors of the past- names like Eugen Jochum, Georges Pretre, Sergiu Celibidache, Yevgeni Svetlanov, etc., every one of them synonymous with quality; these often reveal more excitement in the heat of the moment than the studio note – perfect records glutting online inventories and all too often selling at higher prices. Berkshire Record Outlet stocks a number of these and charges lower prices more frequently than Amazon and the other retailers in cyberspace. It has frequently been my main source because of its large stock of quality product and price.

Bobby Bare

Constant Sorrow

Bobby Bare

RCA Victor LPM-3395, mono edition, recorded 1965, 12-inch LP.

Now 81, country singer Bobby Bare has recorded almost 38 albums and giving superb performances of both his own and other people’s songs. Every record I own of him is a pleasure; this one is no exception and features his own Times Are Gettin’ Hard and I’m A Long Way from Home; Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, Willie Nelson’s One Day at a Time, and several others. Chet Atkins provided the usual A-plus production while Anita Kerr worked up several exquisite arrangements.

Bing Crosby & Mary Martin

Lily of Laguna; Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie; Decca 18278, 10-inch shellac 78, recorded March 13, 1942.

Bing Crosby

The truly great Bing Crosby (1903-1977) is paired here with Broadway star Mary Martin (1913-1990).

Although Bing recorded with a large number of musical celebrities during his 50 years of more than 4,000 sides, I never knew of this coupling, as his assured, relaxed singing style with nearly perfect phrasing and timing and Martin’s elegantly poised, polished, refined and aloof vocal craft would seem to me totally incompatible and one major reason why her stage successes with South Pacific and Sound of Music could never translate to the movie screen.

Mary Martin

They sang the above songs with their commendably professional best but left me cold ! However, other folks might respond differently

I’m Just Curious: One memory leads to another

by Debbie Walker

One of my favorite magazines, Good Old Days, arrived today. This issue is full of “Friends for Life” and other old memories. So I did some of my own walking down memory lane.

I believe I am very lucky. My friend for life is Mim. Our parents witnessed each other’s weddings. Mim and I were both born in 1953. We played together as toddlers, went to elementary school together. We actually followed in our mother’s footsteps; we witnessed each other’s weddings. We have one of those friendships that you might not see each other for a year or two, but once together you’d never know we didn’t see each other every day. We both know we are there in the wings, if needed.

“Friends for Life” can also be friends you meet at different times of your life, and you just fit in each other’s lives. I have to add a little note here: It is fun when you all know each other. You can’t beat that kind of support system!

Well, one memory leads to another, even if they are not related! Somehow this walk down memory lane brought up a memory of Dad. That poor man spoiled me and he worked hard for doing so! We had a dug well for household uses but got our drinking water from the woman “up the road.” I have a picture showing Dad and I on a water run (definitely walking!). It shows me in the stroller, Dad pushing stroller with one hand and carrying a bucket of drinking water in the other hand. Because his spoiled daughter had to go he made two trips instead of one. The funny part is I doubt they ever expected people in our area one day would be buying water!

OK, I am going down another memory lane with Great Grammie Smith, Dad’s grandmother, oh how I loved that woman! I could have spent forever sitting on the floor at her feet with her telling me of days gone by while running her poor rheumatoid arthritic fingers through my hair. One story Grammie liked telling me was about the day I was born. Gram said Mom went into labor and being her first child she was a bit afraid. Gram told mom she was to bring home a blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl. She’d accept nothing but! Mom brought me home and gave me to Grammie, just what she asked for. History repeated itself because when my child was born I was able to take her to the nursing home and give Gram another blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl. I always thought there was a bond between Deana and Gram because of that visit.

Sometime I will tell you about a program I used to do called “Journaling for the Generations.” It was just fun passing on all different ideas to encourage people to document some of their moments thru time!!

I’m just curious what memories this brought to your mind!! Contact Debbie at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading!