I’M JUST CURIOUS: The experience of a three generation journey

by Debbie Walker

Come to think of it, this has actually been a four generation female journey. The three generations, my daughter, granddaughter and myself, traveled with mom’s car that she left for me this past summer when she died.

Mom’s name was Alice. I named her car Alice. Mom came to me in a dream one night recently and said, “I gave you your wings, now fly little bird.” The trip was on!

To add to our little adventure into warmer weather, we drove into a snowstorm in Virginia! We were lucky to have our friend, Steve, monitoring the storm and what was going on ahead of us on the entire trip.

Once there, before coming to our room, my granddaughter looked out a third story window onto the parking lot below. There was a vehicle on which someone had written the name “ALICE” in the three inches of snow on the car. Okay, mom is definitely making the journey with us and wants us to know!

Virginia slowed us down with some nasty driving. My daughter has only driven on snow and ice for one week on an earlier vacation, years ago. My granddaughter, Florida born, has zero exposure to life with snow. They were both troopers, especially one stop light where the vehicles did a little slide before stopping.

That night in the hotel, I thought we might be asked to leave the premises. There were some seriously loud bouts of laughing coming from our room. Do you know what happens when three women, after hours and hours of driving on unfamiliar roads and streets, settle in for the night? It seems we can and did get pretty crazy! The two younger generations decided they would do facial masks of clay or whatever. There may be situations in which these things could be done without hysterical laughter, however, that was not the case with our aching bodies. Of course, when they took distorted pictures of the activity and sent them to various friends and loved ones it just added yet another laughing session!

I forgot to tell you about my daughter “losing” me in a totally unfamiliar city, in a snowstorm. She and my granddaughter were the lead vehicle as I followed, they had the GPS. The lead made it through a light and I got caught. Quickly she realized she left me behind. My granddaughter says her mother had a “meltdown!” All panicky because to her I was lost. So funny. Needless to say we reconnected with very little effort.

The next morning we waited until daylight to leave because of the snowstorm. After all the hoopla about the dreaded snowstorm it really wasn’t that bad. Maybe the attitude is a little different when the driver is from Maine rather than Virginia!

We did make it to Florida just fine. It was a bit rainy but we crossed that state line and I was a happy woman! Today it was in the 70s and sunny and I enjoyed every second of it.

I am just curious what sort of journey you have been on. I’d love to hear. Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading!

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Anton Eberl; Broadway: Company

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Eberl Symphony in E-flat Major from 1803

Concerto Koln, YouTube

Anton Eberl

Anton Eberl (1765-1807) was an Austrian composer with 200 works, many of them now lost. He was acclaimed as a pianist and teacher, knew Mozart, was a very close friend of Beethoven and much loved by others during his lifetime.

The composer and his wife traveled to Rus­sia, living in St. Petersburg for several years. But his home was Vienna for most of his life.

Eberl died of scarlet fever in 1807 at the age of 41. Afterwards, for over 167 years, he went into obscurity for mysterious reasons until the slow-moving revival of interest, in 1971, in his legacy. Performances and recordings have peaked during the last decade.

Until hearing the highly recommended above YouTube recently, I did not know of him and his music; the Symphony’s individuality, charm and beauty are undeniable. Concerto Koln’s rendition without a conductor is a very good one.


Original Broadway cast recording, recorded May 3, 1970, Sony/Columbia, cd remastering of original LP released in 1998.

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Company, is, for me, one of the finest classical masterpieces in existence, along with Mahler’s 5th Symphony, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, the Brahms D minor PC, Sinatra’s Watertown, Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, the Sibelius’ 7 Symphonies, Beethoven’s own 9 and his 5 PCs, Gershwin’s Concerto in F and the Puccini Tosca and Madame Butterfly with several etceteras. This original Broadway cast recording, supervised by the composer and the phenomenally gifted producer – then employed by Columbia records – Thomas Z. Shepard, is one worth having on the shelf and worth hearing countless numbers of times by a discerning connoisseur of truly beautiful recordings of great music.

Its classics include the eloquent duet, Barcelona, sung by Dean Jones as Bobby, a bachelor living a life of quiet desperation; and Susan Browning as April, a lonely stewardess whose potential for true love keeps being unrequited. Susan Browning died in 2006 at 65 while Dean Jones passed away in 2015 at 65 – both lived good lives and are very much missed .

Others are Being Alive, The Ladies Who Lunch, Little Things You Do Together, Another Hundred People, Getting Married Today, Someone is Waiting, and the opening Overture, one riveting piece of music on its terms, played, cast- sung, and conducted by the exceptionally gifted Harold Hastings, who died of a heart attack in 1973, at the young age of 57.

After a Boston tryout, Company opened at the Alvin Theatre April 26, 1970, generating 690 performances. Mark Kirkeby’s liner notes for the 1998 CD reissue are fascinating, along with Wiki pieces on the musical and Stephen Sondheim.

A quote from the composer- “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”

Kennebec County retired educators support classroom

Two teachers in Kennebec County were recently awarded $150 grants by the Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) to supplement expenses for classroom projects. The recipients were Nathaniel Paine who teaches science and technology at Cony Middle School in Augusta and Sarah Lucas, a Grade 2 teacher at the Helen Thompson School in West Gardiner.

Paine proposed an inter-disciplinary project known as “Raspberry Pi” allows students to assemble the hardware of a computer and code in Python—one of the most widely used programming languages. He will collaborate with other seventh grade teachers—Mrs. Moore, Mr. Joyce, and Mr. Colburn.

He explains, “Our seventh grade team has structured time into our schedule for extension activities that encompass four major study areas—science, math, English language arts, and social studies. Raspberry Pi enables students to design and code computer programming to solve problems that integrate across our four subject areas.”

Ms. Lucas also plans to integrate interdisciplinary studies in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “These projects encourage creative problem solving and innovative thinking as well as teamwork and communication skills. These skills translate into real life work environments where problem solving and teamwork are integral parts of the relevancy of the project.”

George Davis, of Skowhegan, KREA president and chairperson of the KREAtive Grant Committee, says, “We are committed to helping teachers and students in many ways—by substituting, volunteering, serving on Boards of Education, and undertaking projects to enhance the classroom experience.”

Other members of the KREAtive Grant Committee are Phil Gonyar and Carl Daiker, both of Waterville; Linda Ellis, of Clinton; Joann Tyler, of China; and Kay Grindall, of Oakland.

The Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) is an affiliate of MEA-Retired and is comprised of retired educators from 60 schools in 31 cities and towns. Grant description and applications disseminated to every principal of all Kennebec County elementary, middle, and high schools in September of every year. The principals make them available to classroom teachers.

SOLON & BEYOND: Abbreviated look at warrant as town meeting time approaches

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

Good morning my friends, don’t worry, be happy!

Here it is almost town meeting day! How time does fly!

I went to the town office, and got the 2019 budget meeting agenda for the meeting on January 19 to discuss the following: financial state of the town, budget overview, and warrant articles overview by the selectmen. Review of warrant articles and ordinances and review of proposed budget.

There will be a public hearing for the three ordinances that will be voted on at the annual town meeting: The proposed ordinances Shoreland Zoning Ordinance revision, Foreclosed Property Ordinance revision, and Home Cultivation of Marijuana Ordinance. I will try and let you know when that meeting is coming up.

The revenue from state revenue sharing is up about $4,000 from 2017. The excise tax revenues are up about $14,000 from 2017. The Road Paving Project ended up costing $137,906.85 less than was budgeted, so we did not have to borrow the $98,000. They did a chip seal process on the roads and also did crack sealing and crack repairing on the other paved roads in the town out of the Road Paving Project funds.

The town did not receive the BETE reimbursement for 2018 because the state was slow in processing them. The town will be receiving the $113,444 BETE reimbursement from the state this month. They will be asking to use those funds to reduce taxes in 2019.

New one time expenditures: LED electronic notice sign for town office; GIS mapping of the town; new furnace for the fire station; dump body for the 1995 Ford truck for the highway department; and surveying the Coolidge Library property.

There are also increased costs for the expanded town office hours to be open.

I’m going to print a few of the articles that I have room for in this column. Art.4: To see if the town will vote to increase the property tax levy limit of $572,934, established for the town of Solon by state law, in the event the municipal budget approved under the following articles will result in a tax commitment that is greater than that property tax levy limit. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 17: To see if the Town will raise funds for a land survey for the Coolidge Library property. Selectmen recommend up to $3,000 with the funds coming from the Library Capital Reserve Account.

Art. 18: To see if the Town will vote to change the Tax Collector/Clerk position from an elected position to a position that is appointed by the selectmen with the effective date of this change being March 7, 2020.

Art. 19: To see if the Town will vote to form a library building committee, with a minimum of five members, for the purpose of developing plans to build a Coolidge Library addition and exploring funding options. Selectmen recommend Yes.

Art. 20: To see if the Town will approve creating a Swim/Camp Program Reserve Account with the funds to be used for the Swim Camp Program. Selectmen recommend Yes and with this year’s appropriation funds to be put in this reserve account.

Art. 21: To see if the Town will adopt the “Ordinance Limiting Home Cultivation of Marijuana for Personal Adult Use.” Selectmen recommend Yes. Also, on another page in the papers I got it states: WHEREAS, the Town of Solon deems it in the best interest of citizens to limit the cultivation of marijuana for personal adult use within the Town, without affecting cultivation, use, or distribution of Medical Marijuana as allowed by 22.

I was unable to attend the above budget committee meeting, (that is only the second or third one I have ever missed) my apologies, but I hope to have more to share with you about it next week.

Now for Percy’s memoir entitled “It’s Worth Pondering.” We must not, in the course of public life, expect immediate approbation and immediate grateful acknowledgment of our services. But let us persevere through abuse and even injury. The internal satisfaction of a good conscience is always present, and time will do us justice in the minds of the people, even those at present the most prejudiced against us. (words by Benjamin Franklin, 1772.)

2019 Real estate tax schedule

2019 Real estate tax schedule


Second half taxes due
Friday, March 29, 2019


Third quarter payment due
Monday, February 25, 2019


Second half payment due
Sunday, March 31, 2019


Third quarter payment due
Friday, March 8, 2019

Letters to the Editor: Thanks to Erskine, Palermo students

To the editor:

On behalf of the Palermo Food Pantry, I thank the generous students of Palermo School and Erskine Academy and their families who donated food to Palermo Food Pantry and Good Shepherd Bank. The donations we received will greatly help families in need in our community.

The Palermo Food Pantry is open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. – noon. We are located at the Community Center on Turner Ridge Road across from the ball field. All are welcome.

Thank you very much,

June Nerber, Director
Palermo Food Pantry

Cub Scout Pack #482 raising funds for Boston Children’s Museum trip

Cub Scout Pack 482 at the Skowhegan Fire Station. (photo: Pack 482 Facebook page)

Cub Scout Pack #482, in the Anson/Madison area, has been selected to do a sleepover at the Boston Children’s Museum at the beginning of April vacation. They are presently raising money by having bottle drives, as well as other fundraising efforts, including a GoFundMe page.

All money raised will go towards chartering a bus that will bring the 12 scouts and their 13 family members to Boston for a trip they will never forget.

Donations may be made by contacting Christina Nelson, at 207-431-1177.

Many of the families going on could use the financial assistance.

Students named to the University of Vermont dean’s list

The following local students have been named to the University of Vermont dean’s list for the fall 2018 semester, in Burlington, Vermont:

They are: Natalie Palmer, of Augusta, and Kayla Christopher, of Oakland.

Local students named to fall dean’s list at Stonehill College

EASTON, MA (01/16/2019) — Two local students have been named to the dean’s list at Stonehill College, in Easton, Massachusetts. To qualify for the dean’s list, students must have a semester grade point average of 3.50 or better and must have completed successfully all courses for which they were registered.

The students are Justin Davis, of Palermo, class of 2019, and Makenzie Charest, of Sidney, class of 2022.

SNHU announces fall 2018 president’s list

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), in Manchester, New Hampshire has named the following students to the fall 2018 president’s list.

Eligibility for the president’s list requires that a student accumulate an academic grade point average (GPA) of 3.7-4.0 and earn 12 credits for the semester.

The students include, Nicholas Howes, of South China, Taylar Lamontagne, of Waterville, and Noah Michaud, of Winslow.