Give Us Your Best Shot!, week of June 29, 2017

PINK SKY AT NIGHT…: Pat Clark, of Palermo, captured this sunset recently.


THREE’S A CROWD: Michael Bilinsky, of China Village, snapped these squirrels sharing a meal.


EAT UP!: Tina Richard, of Clinton, photographed this bald eagle gathering food.

REVIEWS: Composer: Edvard Grieg; Conductor: Karl Bohm; Singer: Johnny Mathis


by Peter Cates
Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg

Robert Riefling

Piano Concerto
Lou Shankson, piano, with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Royale 18163, 10-inch vinyl LP, copyright 1956.

This infinitely lovely Concerto of Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) receives a really good performance, but not from the above listed parties, which are pseudonyms. Research in recent years now identifies the team as Norwegian pianist, Robert Riefling (1911-1988), with the Oslo Philhar­monic under the direction of Odd Gruner-Hegge (1899-1973).

Rief­ling was imprisoned in a concentration camp for 3 to 4 years when Norway was under Nazi occupation.


Missa Solemnis

Karl Bohm

Karl Bohm

Karl Bohm conducting the Vienna State Opera Chorus and Philharmonic; DG 2707080, 2 stereo LPs, recorded 1975.

This mammoth epic from Beethoven’s last years, when he was totally deaf and willingly living in a hovel, is one grand listening experience in which even a newcomer to classical music could be inspired without any prior study. The great conductor, Karl Bohm (1894-1981), drew an exquisite performance from everyone involved here .

There are numerous, inexpensive offerings of the set, in both LP and CD formats, available through different Amazon vendors.

Johnny Mathis

Chances Are/The Twelfth of Never
Columbia 4-40993, seven-inch 45 vinyl record, recorded 1957.

Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis was 19 years old when he was discovered singing in a nightclub by Columbia records executive George Avakian (still living at 98) in 1954. Avakian was totally convinced he had heard a singer whose success would know few bounds and he was proven right – in later years Mathis would chart five albums simultaneously in Billboard, surpassed here only by Sinatra and Barry Manilow.

The two hits were also great songs given great performances, with Ray Conniff’s vibrant arrangements, similar to the ones he provided for Marty Robbins’s Story of my Life and White Sportscoat and Pink Carnations.

At 82, Mathis has reduced his concert schedule to ONLY 50 to 60 appearances a year.

My copy of the 45 is the briefly used yellow label from the mid-’50s with the four Columbia eyes. Collectors are particularly enamored of two-, four-, and six-eye mint copies of Columbia 45s and 10- and 12-inch LPs from the ‘50s and ‘60′, especially classic rock and jazz.

NCIS – right now my favorite Netflix show, mainly because of Mark Harmon’s LeRoy Jethro Gibbs character – what a role model for so many of us!

I’m Just Curious: The inner child within us

by Debbie Walker

The other day my mom stopped in with one of my aunts, a cousin and two great-cousins. Poor Ken, we are a rather loud family when together. Even poor Benji, our grumpy old Shit-zu reacted by barking at us because he doesn’t like loud.

Some of you know that I have written some Fairy stories, 21 at last count. I know it will sound strange but I find my writing is assisted by what I happen across for critters (toys). Recently I was given a little rabbit (toy) with such a look on his face, his name is now Hiram. His story is running through my mind just waiting for me to write it.

These critters usually sit on my kitchen table until I introduce them by giving each its own story, and add it to my collection of stories. We live together in a way.

When the girls were here, Christy Ray (great-cousin) asked me if I was still writing fairy stories. So… we were off in our own little fairy world! Mom certainly came to life on that note! She explained that she has had three adult children and one who is a forever child. Guess who she meant, with me sitting here showing Christy Ray (16) my latest critters and thoughts of my next stories.

I will admit I enjoy being “a child.” My grandmother, mom’s mother, told me that we have to grow older chronologically, however we don’t have to grow up. She was 81 when she told me that! And my grammy wouldn’t lie!

Keep in mind I work with first graders at school and I love it. I have this past year’s five, six and seven year olds convinced (?) that I am only five years old. I turned six on my birthday in January, they insisted. However on the last day of school I became five again for the fall’s children!

I said all that to tell you we all have a little child inside. Don’t be intimidated into keeping him/her inside and hidden. You will so enjoy the time spent with him/her. Even when your “child” is not front and center people will be impressed with your child-like enthusiasm for life. I can’t say for sure that we will live longer, however you will so enjoy your time here!

Of course I am just curious if you are enjoying your inner child. For any questions or comments I am reachable at sub: inner child.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check us out online!

Sunday River Mountain Park ready to open for the summer season

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

Get set for an exciting summer at Sunday River’s Mountain Park that opens tomorrow, June 29. There are electronic bike rentals, new hiking terrain, and an 18-hole alpine disc golf course that tops the list of many new and exciting things to do this summer.

Mountain biking at Sunday River Park.
Internet photo

Mountain biking

You’ll find biking on 20 miles of downhill mountain terrain, a six-line Zip Line tour, a climbing wall and bungee trampoline along with scenic lift rides to the top of North Peak. There’s plenty to do this vacation if you’re ready for excitement. Resort guests can plan their weekend trip to the Mountain Park according to a press release by Darcy Lambert, Communications Director at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry.

River Rock Festival and more

Along with all the exciting events, make plans to check out the festivals on July 8 and 9, the Tough Mountain Challenge on July 29, the new Maine Brew Fest on September 8-10 and the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship scheduled for October 7. The fun continues from late June right into the Columbus Day weekend.

According to Lambert, midweek guests to Sunday River can also register for Outdoor Discovery School clinics and classes through the resort’s partnership with L.L.Bean. “With an Outdoor Discovery School located right at Sunday River’s Grand Summit Hotel, instruction in archery, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and stand-up paddle boarding yoga is easy,” she said.

L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools at Sunday River offers clinics and courses at select times Monday through Friday until August 17. You can get your registration forms online at

Sunday River’s Mountain Park is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays beginning June 29 until September 3rd. Starting Friday, September 8, the Mountain Park schedule shifts to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays until the closing day on October 8. Mountain Park activity tickets and passes are available to purchase from Sunday River Sports in the South Ridge Lodge.

For additional information on any of Sunday River’s summer activities, events and the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools partnership visit or call 800-543-2754.

Be safe and have an enjoyable summer.

Maine champ

Huard’s Martial Arts student Ely Yang, 16, of Winslow, center, captured the 2017 Maine State Jiu-jitsu championship on June 25 at the Black Fly Brazilian Jiu-jitsu championships in Rangeley. Flanking Ely is assistant coach Keegan Yang, left, and coach Mike Huard.

Photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography

SCORES & OUTDOORS: The strange blue streak ends up being a common sight


by Roland D. Hallee

It flashed by quickly. While driving down the Bog Road, in Vassalboro, recently, a streak of blue passed directly in front of my Jeep, near the Vassalboro Community School. It was a blue-colored bird, that looked on the small side, and it was gone in an instant. The blue was the most brilliant I have seen on a bird.

Indigo bunting

Indigo bunting

“Indigo bunting,” was the first thought that went through my head. But this bird showed a small area of red or orange and yellow under its wings along the breast area.

An Indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea, is a small bird, and the males are a vibrant blue during the summer months. However, during the breeding season, only the head is indigo. The wings and tail are black with blue edges. The female is brown on the upperparts and lighter brown on the underparts.

Its habitat is brushy forest edges, open deciduous woods and second growth woodland and farmland. Precisely the habitat surrounding the area I spotted the bird.

But no red/orange or yellow are present on this bird.

Lazuli bunting

Lazuli bunting

The Indigo bunting is closely related to the lazuli bunting, which has markings of red and yellow, and will interbreed where their ranges overlap, in the Great Plains. So the lazuli bunting was quickly eliminated from consideration because it occurs only west of the 100th meridian, through the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific coast.

What else could it be?

Well, the last thing to pop into my head probably is what I saw. The Eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis, a member of the thrush family, is also found in woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. It occurs east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf states, and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua. The increase in its move to the western range during the past century is due mostly to fire suppression and tree plantings.

The male bluebird is a brilliant royal blue on the back and head, and red-brown on the breast. Exactly what I saw that day. It is the most widespread of the three bluebirds.

Bluebirds are very social birds. They gather in flocks of a hundred or more, but are territorial during the breeding season.

Eastern bluebird

Eastern bluebird

Two-thirds of the bird’s diet consists of insects. But they will supplement their diet with fruits, especially when insects are scarce in the winter. The availability of winter food will determine whether or not the bird will migrate. If they remain in the region during the winter, they group and seek cover in heavy thickets, orchards, or other areas in which adequate food and cover is available.

Females will generally have two broods per season. The female incubates the eggs for about 13 – 16 days, then both parents cooperate to raise the young. The chicks will fledge at 18-19 days old.

During the summer, bluebirds can be seen sitting on power lines.

The Eastern bluebird had seen a period of serious decline in many areas due mostly to the loss of habitat and nesting sites. However, thanks to the increase of birdhouses in many areas, the species is making a comeback. Today, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Eastern bluebird as a species of least concern with an increasing trend.

I haven’t seen many Eastern bluebirds in my travels, but I wish I could see some more close up than I did that day. And maybe it could sit still for a while so I could enjoy it.


The chickadee that took up residence in a birdhouse behind our camp, that had been vacant and abandoned for the better part of a decade, was sighted again a couple of weeks ago. Well, this weekend, we watched an extreme amount of activity around the birdhouse as both the male and female were spotted at the same time entering and exiting. There must be young ones in there, was our thought. Well, Saturday, we watched as four young birds flew out of the box.

The only other question we had was, once the young leave, do they come back to the nest for a while. It seems the two parents are still feeding something inside the box.

MOFGA poster contest

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) invites Maine residents and MOFGA members (regardless of residence) to submit a design for the 2018 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Design Contest. The Common Ground Country Fair poster is the highly-regarded image that promotes MOFGA’s annual celebration of rural living.

The winning artist receives $2,500, a press release, and is highlighted in MOFGA’s quarterly newspaper, The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. The selected design is also featured on the Fair poster, website, T-shirt and in promotional literature.

The theme of the design must align with MOFGA’s mission and the general guidelines for participating in the fair. We welcome all Maine residents and MOFGA members to enter submissions by August 4, 2017.  The poster guidelines and application are available at

For more information please contact the fair office at

Attention Erskine Academy Alumni

Beginning July 12, 2017, Erskine Academy will be destroying school records, including health and special education records, not stipulated as permanent by law, as these are no longer needed to provide educational services. This process will include records beginning with the class of 2009 and all previous graduated classes.

The federal Family Educational Privacy Act (FERPA) stipulates that rights to these records transfer to students upon turning eighteen. As such, records will only be released to students with appropriate identification (license, birth certificate, passport, etc.) or to parents of students who present both signed permissions from their student and appropriate identification.

If you graduated before 2010 and wish to obtain your cumulative records, please call the school (207) 445-2962 before July 12 to make arrangements to pick up your records or with your questions. Please note that the permanent high school transcript (courses, grades, credits, attendance, test scores, etc.) will be maintained in perpetuity, with copies available upon request.

IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of June 29, 2017

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

Y’know WALLS, I received this bit of humor and history from my cousin Ray’s wife, Ann, in Maryland and I’m sending some of it along to give a laugh to our friendly readers for the July 4 holiday, if, of course, the editor has room for a very short column somewhere in The Town Line. You know, I’ll have much more to include after July 4 vacation has become history, too.

“Someone asked the other day, ‘What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?'”

Reply: “We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up. Actually, all the food was slow” (Yes, I’m about to be 87 on July 8!)

‘C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?’

“It was a place called ‘at home,'” I explained. “Mom cooked every day and when dad got home from work, we sat down at the table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’ By this time, the kid was laughing so hard, I was afraid he was going to suffer serious damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how we had to have permission to leave the table.”

Well, WALLS, there are more pages of funnies, from Ann, but will share them later. Yes, the funniest part has to do with ‘fast food’ and since there are so many hot dog parties going around this week, I’ll send more funnies later. Yes, WALLS, make sure you wish every faithful reader a ‘happy,’ but let’s hope our faithful readers don’t forget what July 4 is all about. Yes, food and history.

Local residents receive bachelor’s degrees at WPI

On Saturday, May 13, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus quadrangle, in Worcester, Massachusetts, over 1,000 bachelor’s degrees were awarded during the university’s 149th commencement ceremony.

Julia Pershken, of Albion, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with distinction.

Mikayla Bolduc, of Skowhegan, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.