Give Us Your Best Shot! Week of November 29, 2018

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HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU: Emma Salisbury, 16, of Benton, snapped this salamander this past fall.


A TRUE RARITY: Bob Bennett, of China, photographed this lonely elm tree in a field along Rte. 32, in China. Not many of them around anymore.


FOGGY DAYS: Emily Poulin, of South China, captured this early morning fog in October.

Champions: 2018 Central Maine Eagles

Team members include, front row, from left to right, James Mayo, Dakota Peaslee, Dylan Grotton, Cole Roberts, Shaine Staples, Derick James, Colby Blay, Lucas Grotton and Anthony Sanborn. Back, Tanner Watson, Koby Brigman, Brian White, Jake Emond, Isiah Michaud, Don Resch, Aarick Staples, Hunter Johnson, Parker Reynolds and Dan Page. Head coach is Steven Hamil, and assistant coach is Brandon Metten. (Contributed photo)

The Central Maine Eagles won the championship, defeating the previously unbeaten Berlin Gladiators, 26-14, for the Maine Independent Football League title, on Saturday November 17, at Portsmouth High School, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

SOLON & BEYOND: It’s always great to spend Thanksgiving with family

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

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

Many thanks go out for the Embden Historical Society 2019 Program which Carol Dolan sent to me, (plus a note of appreciation for putting their news in this paper!) It means a lot.

The Embden Historical Society, Inc. 2018-2019 officers are president, Carol Dolan; vice president, Larry Witham; secretary, Mary Frear; treasurer, Bob Donovan. executive committee members are one-year term, Jim Lightbody, Sr., two-year term, Lois Erickson; and three-year term, Andy Davis.

There won’t be any meetings of the Embden Historical Society during January and February.

Received the following e-mail from Angie Stockwell with the subject being the Margaret Chase Smith Library Newsletter, November 2018:

Dear Readers, It’s difficult to believe the holiday season is upon us! Here’s to good food, good friends, and great family fun. And perhaps you can enjoy an interesting read about all that we’ve been up to. Admiral Nora Tyson spoke about leadership at the MCS Lecture at UMaine; National History Day was featured; a new MCS Scholar has been named; the Leeke Lecture addressed the relationship between Russia and the U.S.; nine high school students competed for the Senate Youth program scholarship; and Dr. Richards spoke to a group of “Loose Ladies.” Thought that might spark your interest!

The only news I have from Solon this week, is that Lief and I enjoyed, not one, but several Thanksgivings with our families. Peter and Sherry held their annual family Thanksgiving celebration the Sunday before Thanksgiving day, with 28 of us gathered together. And Mark and Karen had driven up from Florida, as they do every year, to attend this wonderful event filled with love and great food! (Every year, it seems to me, it is better than the year before!) They decorate their garage, (which I think Peter built large enough, looking forward to these Thanksgiving family get-togethers!) I can’t begin to describe what the theme was this year, but getting together with family members makes this mother, grandmother, great -grandmother’s heart sing.

On the actual Thanksgiving Day, Lief and I had been invited to go to his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Allen Fitzmaurice’s home for Thanksgiving dinner. But after a little while we got a call saying they had lost power, so we made plans to eat at a restaurant. Later in the afternoon, we went to their house and had dessert.

Lief’s son and daughter-in-law, Dean and Cheryl Bull had come up from Georgia and stayed with us on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The next morning we all got up and met Lief’s family at a restaurant for breakfast.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving my daughter, Mary invited Lief and I over for a Thanksgiving supper, which was very good also. Lief has been on a diet, but with all that good food, he put on a few pounds!

In doing research, I have come across some, what I think are interesting facts about Solon…..and since I don’t have much recent news, I’m going to print them. The first rural mail route was started April 1, 1899. Mr. Dudley Healey was the carrier.

Mr. Will Soper owned the first automobile about 1905. It was a two cylinder Cadillac.

Solon-Embden bridge first opened to teams April 19, 1911. Ansel Stevens was the first to cross from Embden. Lifelet Cooley first to cross over to Embden about one o’clock.

And now for Percy’s memoir: (It is a saying that he used when he was alive, but for some reason I didn’t put the date down.) How To Live A Hundred Years Happily. 1. Do not be on the outlook for ill health. 2. Keep usefully at work. 3. Have a hobby. 4. Learn to be satisfied. 5. Keep on liking people. 6. Meet adversity valiantly. 7. Meet the little problems of life with decision. 8. Above all, maintain a good sense of humor, best done by saying something pleasant every time you get a chance. 9. Live and make the present hour pleasant and cheerful. Keep your mind out of the past, and keep it out of the future.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Birth of a new tradition

by Debbie Walker

Collected by Debbie Walker

I filed this on my computer years ago because I loved the thought behind it. I don’t know who the author was but I knew I would want to share it.

Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods – merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes, there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone – yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants – all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains – this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts: people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about 50 cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Christmas Eve with Burl Ives & G.K Chesterton

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Christmas Eve with Burl Ives

Decca, DL 8391, mono LP, released 1957.

Burl Ives

One very endearing album of the many Burl Ives (1909-1995) left in his discography was this astutely balanced program of 11 Xmas titles, familiar and not so familiar. The six familiars – Silent Night, There Were Three Ships, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, What Child is This?, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear and – what else!- The Twelve Days of Christmas – are the Yuletide cornerstones.

The other five rarely heard songs – Friendly Beasts, Jesous Ahatonia, Seven Joys of Mary, Down in Yon Forest and King Herod – have special qualities of their own, regardless of any rarely heard status.

In addition to himself on this mid-’50s session, Ives brought along colleagues that included guitarist Tony Mottola, singer/arranger Jimmy Carroll, and the other well-known, but never as famous Ray Charles with His Singers. And, the main reason for its desirability, the arrangements are vibrantly alive, not the cliched, boring once over lightlys that still often infest the seasonal music experiences.

An unattributed quote on the back of the cover summed up the man who was Burl Ives: “He’s a big guy and has a punch like a mule kicking. His smile fills a room and his laugh shakes the chandeliers. But he’s quiet, too, and he can listen. He listened to his mother and his father, who were both singers. He listened to people singing all over the country. And his song-bag is full. He can sing all night and never sing the same song twice. And every song is better than the last one.”

G.K Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton

One of the best qualities of G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was his gift at writing a few sentences and leaving readers, such as myself, wanting more. A quote from his 1922 essay, What I Saw in America: “Americans make fun of their own institutions; and their own journalism is full of such fanciful conjectures. The tall building is itself artistically akin to the tall story. The very word sky-scraper is an admirable example of an American lie.”

P.S.: Two unintended, but, for me, very intriguing coincidences between Chesterton and the above Burl Ives that I discovered while writing this column today, November 21, 2018.

Chesterton and Ives shared a very similar height and girth.

Ives was born on June 14, 1909; Chesterton died on June 14, 1936. Of course, neither here nor there!

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Dos And Don’ts For Managing High Blood Pressure During Cold And Flu Season

(NAPSI)—Colds and flu bring special considerations for people with high blood pressure, especially those on blood pressure medication. Here’s how to keep your blood pressure stable:

DO: Keep track of medication. The American Heart Association’s online tools at include a downloadable chart to manage medications and a tracker that lets people set up text message reminders, text in their readings, track their blood pressure and connect with providers.

DON’T: Miss your flu shot. People who get a flu shot may reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke. Stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands regularly.

DO: Read labels on over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu medicines. Look for warnings to those with high blood pressure and who take blood pressure medications. Some ingredients in cold and flu medicines can affect blood pressure. Decongestants, used for a stuffy nose or congestion, and some pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are known to raise blood pressure.

Decongestants include:

  • Oxymetazoline
  • Phenylephrine
  • Pseudoephedrine.

NSAIDs include:

  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen sodium
  • celecoxib.

Check with your doctor before taking these medicines. A decongestant should be used for only the shortest amount of time possible-and never by someone with severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

DON’T: Try to replace your prescriptions with supplements. There are no special pills, vitamins or drinks that can substitute for prescription medications and lifestyle modifications. Talk to your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter drug or supplement that claims to lower blood pressure. “Your doctor and other health care providers should know which over-the-counter medicines or supplements you are taking,” said Willie E. Lawrence, M.D., chief of cardiology at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. “If something claims to be ‘natural’ or you don’t need a prescription, it’s not necessarily benign. It’s still a substance that has an effect on your body.”

DO: Work with your health care practitioner. “If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to know that some medicines, even supplements, will affect you differently,” Dr. Lawrence adds. “If you’re struggling to keep your pressure controlled, review your routines—including over-the-counter medicines and supplements—and talk with your doctor about changes you can make. You should never be too busy to manage your blood pressure.”

Learn more at

  • Coricidin HBP, product of Bayer Consumer Health, is a sponsor of the AHA Hypertension Web content area.

PAGES IN TIME: The history of the Killdeer Lodge – part 1

Killdeer lodge from a few years ago. (Contributed photo)

With the demise of the old Killdeer Lodge recently, which over the years had fallen into disrepair, the following article represents a history of the lodge, from its inception in 1929, to the razing in 2018.

This is a reprint from The Town Line, September 18, 1999, issue, from a recollection written by Ben S. Dillenbeck in 1975 for the China Bicentennial History Book.

One beautiful clear summer’s day back in the latter half of the 1920s, my brother-in-law, Earle Eli Wagner, who lived on the Pond Road, about two miles south of China Village, desired to go bass fishing with Eli Bush, who lived on the west side of the same Pond Road.

According to Eli, they carried a picnic lunch and, when noon came, beached their boat on the long point, across the lake, to the east of the Neck. Many folks today call this beautiful spot “Lone Pine Point,” but on the map it is referred to as Killdeer Point. When the lunch was finished, Eli decided to do some exploring and climbed up the steep path into the open field above. At that time the only trees worth mentioning were in a small fringe along the shore; the remainder of the point being pasture land of the Seward, Edson and Sinclair farms. From this position, Eli saw two other higher levels of land to the east, which, arousing his curiosity, he proceeded to investigate. From the next highest elevation, which runs parallel with the big ledge or outcrop, he faced west and was thrilled by the unfolding beauty of that magnificent view across the lake!

The Killdeer Lodge dining room. (from a Town Line file photo)

Later, as it turned out, he was to have a road here, which on the map, would be named “Mountain View Drive.” From this level he climbed onto the big ledge, where the remains of the Killdeer Lodge Dining and Recreation Hall now stand. As he looked westward he was dynamically thrilled by the awesome beauty of the giant panorama, with the East Basin of China Lake in the foreground, separated from the West Basin by China Neck – while in the stunningly clear background were, what he learned later to be, Mt. Blue [in the Farmington area]; then to the right most of the Rangeley mountains, and further to the north, the twin notch-formed profile of Mt. Bigelow, with Sugarloaf nearby. How impressed he was at the sight and how quickly he was in deciding that this was a spot which should be seen by many people! Thus, the idea of a development of some kind began to form in his creative mind. But at that time it was nameless. As he returned to his boat there were numerous small birds scurrying along the water line. Eli thought they were baby Killdeers and decided the peninsula should be called “Killdeer Point.” (Several times through the years the Killdeer have been seen by the writer, on the upper levels, but never has he seen them at the water’s edge. Birds often seen down there are commonly called Sandpipers, and, even in adulthood, are much smaller than the Killdeer. There are those who feel that Eli named the point after the wrong bird!)

Postcard advertising Killdeer Lodge.

The more Eli envisioned a summer development, the more enthusiastic he became. Through his consultation with officials at People’s Bank, in Water­ville, he because acquainted with Charles W. Vigue, its president, and was able to sell him his idea of a Killdeer Point summer development. Subsequently, the Seward, Edson and Sinclair farms were purchased, totalling 250 acres, more or less. On July 17, 1929, a plot plan called “Killdeer Point Highland, China, Maine,” was recorded in the Kennebec County Registry of Deeds.

That same year, Eli made elaborate plans to start a very active promotional program. It was his idea to get as many people as he could to come here and look at what the Killdeer Maine Company had to offer. In 1929, he engaged Frank Vigue (no relation to Charles), of Winslow, a carpenter-contractor, to convert the old “Bragg Barn” (which was on the Edson Farm and which had been there since the very early 1800s) into a Sleep Lodge which would accommodate 40 persons. This old barn was transformed into an attractive, rustic, white-cedar-lined sleeping unit. That same year, Frank Vigue and his crew of carpenters built the big 100- x40-foot dining and recreation hall, with a dining room, serving room, kitchen, storeroom, restrooms and two bedrooms for personnel. Its 120 feet of porch allowed an unobstructed, expansive view of that picturesque, one-of-a-kind view to the west.

An extensive advertising program was carried out by Eli in the Boston, Providence, Worcester and New York papers in which he advertised a three-day excursion trip to China Lake’s Killdeer Point at a below cost fee, which included transportation, lodging and meals. The first prospects, 40 of them, arrived in the early summer of 1929 (probably a Friday afternoon in late June or early July) and were assigned to rooms in the “Sleep Lodge,” as Eli called it. It is vividly recalled that there were no room numbers on the doors. The numbers were cut from a big calendar and pasted on the doors where they are still in good condition after a lapse of 43 years.

The first afternoon, after arrival, provided an opportunity for guests to explore the place or do pretty much what they pleased. Then came a good dinner provided by a very efficient hard-working, pleasant person, Mrs. Harriett Martin, assisted by her granddaughter (whose name is not recalled). Florence Plaisted (who married Earl Brown) and Glenis Hall (Lawrence Hall’s sister) served as waitresses. These young ladies also assisted with the kitchen work, dishes, etc., and helped make up the bedrooms. I did the buying and hauling supplies for Mrs. Martin and supervised the booking of guests at the Sleep Lodge.

Next week: Part 2.

Only the fireplace remains. (Contributed photo)

Lawrence basketball teams gearing up for season

The Lawrence High School varsity girls and boys basketball teams are getting ready for the start of the 2018-19 season. (Photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography staff)

Roland’s Trivia Question for Week of November 29, 2018

The NFL Tennessee Titans were once the Houston Oilers before the move to Nashville. Name the current NFL team that was once called the Titans.


The New York Jets were the New York Titans in the American Football League.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Just what, exactly, is a killdeer?

The killdeer

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

Since we began a two-part series on the former Killdeer Lodge, in China, in this week’s issue, why don’t we find out exactly what is a killdeer.

It’s probably one of the most misnamed creatures. They are birds, they fly, and they don’t kill deer.

The killdeer feeds primarily on insects, although other invertebrates and seeds are eaten. It forages almost exclusively in fields, especially those with short vegetation and where cattle and standing water are found. It primarily forages during the day, but during the non-breeding season, when the moon is full or close to full, it will forage at night. This is probably because there is a larger abundance of insects and reduced activity by predators after dark. Predators include various birds and mammals, most notably herring gulls, common crows, raccoons, and striped skunks. They prey in some areas during the breeding season. Predation is not limited to eggs and chicks. Mustelids, fur-bearing mammals like weasels, martens, skunks and mink, for example, can kill incubating adults.

The bird is classified as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), because of the range and population; however, its population is in decline, but the trend is not severe enough for the killdeer to be considered a vulnerable species. It is protected by the American Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, and the Canadian Migratory Birds Convention Act.

The killdeer is a large plover, with adults ranging in length from 8 – 11 inches, having a wingspan of 23 – 25 inches, and weighing 2.5 – 4.5 ounces. It has a short, thick and dark bill, flesh-colored legs, and a red eye ring. Its upper parts are mostly brown with rufous fringes. It has a white forehead and a white stripe behind the eye. It is the only plover in North America with two breast bands. The rump is red, and the tail is mostly brown. The latter also has a black subterminal band, a white terminal band, and barred white feathers on the outer portion of the tail. In flight, a white wing stripe at the base of the flight feathers is visible.

So, what about the name killdeer? During display flights, it repeats a call of “kil-deer” or “kee-deeyu.” When a plover is disturbed, it emits notes in a rapid sequence, such as “kee-di-di-di.” Thus, the name.

The killdeer nests in open fields or other flat areas with short vegetation, such as agricultural fields and meadows. Nests are also sometimes located on roof tops. They generally breed close to where they bred the year before.

The killdeer uses beach habitats and coastal wetlands and fields during the non-breeding season. It forages almost exclusively in these fields. When breeding, the killdeer has a home range of about 15 acres. Although generally a low-land species, it is found up to the snowline in meadows and open lake shores during its autumn migration.

Following breeding, about 53 percent of the eggs are lost, mainly to predators. They start walking within the first day of life, and both parents will lead them out of the nest, generally to a feeding territory with dense vegetation the chicks can hide under when a predator nears. Both parents usually are present to successfully raise the chicks. The young fledge about 31 days after hatching.

The killdeer has a life span of about 11 years.

The killdeer feed on insects, especially beetles and flies, in addition to millipedes, worms, snails, spiders and some seeds. It will also take tree frogs and dead minnows when the opportunity presents itself.

Killdeer can be found in all the continental United States, except Alaska, Canada, Mexico, into northern South America and along the west coast. They are also found in the Caribbean islands, including Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

According to Eli Bush, who named Killdeer Point on China Lake, the birds were spotted in that area in the late 1920s. Possibly, it was the large farm pastures of the Seward, Edson and Sinclair farms that attracted the birds to the area.

The name has since stuck through the ensuing decades.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

The NFL Tennessee Titans were once the Houston Oilers before the move to Nashville. Name the current NFL team that was once called the Titans.

Answer can be found here.