SOLON & BEYOND: An old note

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

Received a notice from Roland on September 15 that he needed columns early for the September 24 paper, so I hurried to find something to write about. Have thought often lately about how much I have loved writing for different papers over these many years….. In looking for something to write about, I came upon this letter I had received back on September 21, 2003, and it said it was from “An Old Lady Just Checking In to Say Hi.

“You don’t know me, but I have to write and tell you how wonderful I think your ramblings are in Solon and Beyond as in the Somerset Gazette. As soon as I get the paper, I scurry to your section and read it first. You cover the area so well, I can not imagine how you even have a moment to yourself.

“I am not from Solon, but in 1942 I was born in Bingham. My last residence in 1961, when I graduated from Good Will in Hinckley was in Cannaan. But we were nomadic and I have lived in North Anson, Madison, East Madison, Cornville to name a few.

“But to get back to your articles….. you show such love of the people you write for/about … how the town must love you!! I love you and I don’t even know you!!

“My husband retired in June and we sold our home in Alabama, and in July moved into a lovely new home in Lexington, South Carolina. David has family here and nearby in North Carolina.

“We try to visit Maine every year, and indeed, next week we are driving to Maine ….. first time driving there in many years… we have always flown since our kids have grown. We want to get up to Presque Isle and see the potato digging…. we understand that is a sight to see. The weather there has not chilled enough for us to enjoy the leaves changing colors but that is OK.

“I am a retired federal employee and David is retired Army. Now we are both just chilling.

“During our visit in Maine, I would like to meet you and give you a hug… your articles make me feel that I have known you forever!”

The paper I took the above from was dated Sunday, September 21, 2003. I wonder if they still come to Maine? I don’t remember ever meeting her, but her kind words were very much appreciated.

Now for Percy’s memoir: And it starts… “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 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.

CRITTER CHATTER: This is the month for releasing the young

Young raccoons ready for release.

by Jayne Winters

Due to unexpected circumstances, I’m not able to prepare a new column for September. I feel it is appropriate, however, to submit an article written by the late Carleen Cote which was published in September 2005 and is as applicable today as it was 15 years ago:

“Ah, sweet September! This is the month for releasing the young critters we have cared for since spring. Some will remain at the center until next May – the younger fawns and raccoons. The months have passed quickly; it seems as though we have just received the first baby raccoons of the season.

The formulas are no longer mixed, the bedding boxes have gone to the dump, and the clothesline remains empty of laundered bedding for days. The raccoons have been in their outside pens since July. Instead of washing bedding towels, I spend my afternoons cleaning pens and picking up poop. The raccoons are becoming restless; some are taking advantage of an unlocked gate to run out onto the lawn or to climb a tree.

They are ready to start exploring and begin life on their own. A raccoon that remains with its mother in the wild will probably spend the winter denned up with her. Will the ones we release disperse or spend the winter together? We don’t know. Only four to five raccoons are released at each site, always with the ones they bunked with in our pens.

Our gratitude can’t be expressed enough to the landowners who have allowed us to enter their properties to release critters. To protect their privacy and the animals, we do not reveal where any of the critters are released. Without the landowners’ generosity, finding appropriate sites would be difficult, maybe impossible.

For the mink and skunks who are usually released in August, we always find a source of water: marsh, beaver bog or stream. The mink scurry into the water, diving and splashing, swimming away with nary a look back. The skunks immediately start grubbing, looking for their natural food of slugs and insects.

Now we have the raccoons. The release sites we have selected are deep in the woods, away from people. We never know how close we will be able to drive into the site; in many places, a trek by foot is needed to arrive at a source of water. So, a wheelbarrow is tied onto the cap of the truck to use for transporting the raccoons, safe in a dog kennel, through the woods. We learned early on that carrying a kennel with four or five raccoons weighing 10-15 pounds each was a task we didn’t want to repeat! The trek could be through water, brush piles, and over fallen trees – quite an obstacle course. The beauty and serenity of being alone in the woods, listening to the singing birds and rushing waters from a nearby brook is spoiled only by the buzzing, biting mosquitoes and deer flies. We soon reach our destination and prepare to say farewell to the raccoons we have cared for over the last five months. The coons continuously emerge from the kennel. Some stop to look around, others dive into the water or start climbing a tree. We leave three to four days’ supply of food and say, “Good-bye and good luck!” This scenario is carried out until we have said good-bye to all the coons that were big enough for release.

As happens every year when we have made the trek into the forest to release the last of the raccoons, I say to my husband, Donald, “Do you know what I’m thinking?” He says, “Yeah! What will we get next year?” He’s right!” – Donald Cote operates the Duck Pond Wildlife Care Center on Rte. 3 in Vassalboro. It is a non-profit federal and state permitted rehab facility which is supported by his own resources and outside donations.

Mailing address: 1787 North Belfast Ave., Vassalboro ME 04989 TEL: (207) 445-4326. EMAIL CORRECTION:

OBITUARIES for Thursday, September 24, 2020


SOUTH CHINA – Harold “Hal” Winters, 73, passed away unexpectedly at Eastern Maine Medical Center, in Bangor, on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, following cardiac surgery. Harold was the youngest son of John Kenneth and Betty Jane Winters.

His early years were spent in the mid-West until the family relocated to Massachusetts where he completed middle and high school. Hal attended Massachusetts Bay Community College for one year and served in the Army Reserves/National Guard. He graduated from Southern Maine Vocational-Technical Institute in 1971 with an associate in Applied Science Marine Biology and Oceanography degree. He later attended the University of Maine Portland-Gorham (now University of Southern Maine), receiving a cum laude bachelor of science degree in 1974.

Most of Hal’s 35-year career was with the Maine Dept. of Marine Resources. He began doing field work at the Fisheries Research Station in West Boothbay Harbor, was later promoted to Director of the Industry Services Division, and at retirement had served as Director of the Bureau of Marine Development for 20 years. In 2002, Governor Angus King confirmed his membership in Maine Management Service for excellence in leadership.

Hal enjoyed travel, golf, photography, gardening, kayaking, fishing, boating, “good” cars, good food (he was a grill master in his own right) and genealogy. He especially enjoyed trips to Tortola, Alaska, Virgin Gorda, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons. His most favorite get-away was “upta camp” on Sebec Lake, which has provided 25 years of wonderful memories.

Hal is survived by his wife of 29 years; two daughters and sons-in-law; and six grandchildren; as well as several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Besides his parents, Hal was predeceased by an older brother; uncle, and aunt.

A private celebration of Grampy Hal’s life will be held “upta camp”. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, a memorial service for extended family, friends and former co-workers will be held at a later date in 2021.

Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, One Church Street, Augusta, ME 04330. To read the full obituary, post memories or condolences, or read further regarding charitable contributions, please go to the obituary page of the website at


WATERVILLE – Julie Tardiff Donahue, 86, passed away on Thursday, September 10, 2020, following a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. She was born in Winslow on May 30, 1934, the proud daughter of Polish immigrants, John and Agnes (Piecuch) Macaro.

She attended Winslow schools before marrying Norman Tardiff, on August 18, 1951. They were together for 45 years and raised 10 children before his death in 1996. A homemaker for most of her life, Julie loved to cook and was well-known for her whoopie pies, molasses cookies, chocolate peanut butter fudge, caramel corn, jams, relish and pickles. Holidays brought relatives for tourtière pie, Polish kielbasa and borscht, and cabbage rolls. The home was always filled with tantalizing aromas. Her special recipes have been compiled into a family cookbook. Family and tradition were of the utmost importance to her.

In March of 2003, Julie married David Donahue, one of her deceased husband’s best friends. They were apart only one night over the next 17 years. He brought her much happiness, and incredible care and support as her illness progressed.

She loved music. She was especially fond of Irish singer, Daniel O’Donnell, and spent her last days listening to hymns sung by Alan Jackson. Prior to Parkinson’s, she and David had been known to push aside the living room furniture to create more room for dancing.

Julie was predeceased by our dad; her parents; her brothers, Henry, Joseph, Leon (Dempsey), and John Macaro, her sister, Theresa Leighton, her son-in-law, Scott Bickford, her stepsons, David and Daniel Donahue.

She is survived by her children, Steven Tardiff, of California, Karen Bourque, of South Portland, Susan Bickford, of Benton, Michael Tardiff, of Arizona, Mary Boutet, of Scarborough, Lisa Shearn and husband Corey, of Pennsylvania, Anne-Marie Dutil and husband Michael, of Winslow, Michelle Mullen and husband Dave, of New Hampshire, Andrea Squires and husband Kurt, of North Carolina, Jason Tardiff and partner Taffy Witham, of Sinclair; stepdaughter, Kathy Beauregard and husband Tom, of Missouri, and former son-in-law, Steve Boutet, of Saco; grandchildren, Christopher Tardiff and wife Katie, Lauren-Nicole Tardiff, Jasmine Clayton, Matthew Bickford and wife Cara, Micah Bickford, Seth Fales, Tessa, Tanner, and Tristan Tardiff, Amanda and Anna Boutet, Tal and Cade Shearn, Ryan and Owen Dutil, Shane and Megan Mullen, Normandy and Gage Squires, and step-grandchildren Phillip, Amy, Scott and Jenny Beauregard, Joshua and Matthew Donahue, Dave Donahue and wife Laura, and Devon Galvin and husband Dave; her sisters-in-law, Sister Doris Tardiff, of Massachusetts, Sister Mary Anne Frederick, of Indiana, Susan Macaro, of Massachusetts, Sheila Audet and husband Gerry, of Fairfield, and Joanne Donahue, of Fairfield, Millie Donahue, of Vermont; as well as numerous nieces, nephews; and great-grandchildren.

Per her wishes, there will be no visiting hours or funeral service. A private burial will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Northern Light Home Care and Hospice, P.O. Box 931, Bangor, ME 04402. All donations will benefit the Waterville area community.


WINSLOW – Anita M. Loubier, 91, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 12, 2020. She was born on April 25, 1929, to Arthur Poulin and Rose (Dulac) Poulin, in Saint-Georges de Beauce, Canada.

She immigrated to the United States at age 15 and lived and worked in Augusta. Anita married the love of her life, Lucien Loubier, on June 23, 1956, and they eventually settled on Halifax Street, in Winslow, where they remained for 57 years.

Spending time with family was one of Anita’s greatest joys. She was an excellent cook, greeting most guests to her home with, “are you hungry, would you like something to eat?” There was always more than enough food at her table for unexpected guests. She also enjoyed knitting and crocheting, making countless mittens, socks, slippers, dishcloths, and coasters for family and donating many to local charities.

Anita retired from C.F. Hathaway Shirt Co., in Waterville, in 1991 after 25 years as a folder. She and Lucien enjoyed traveling throughout the state to many agricultural fairs and trips to Canada to visit relatives. They enjoyed going out to breakfast. Before Lucien’s death in 2019, they could be found at Eric’s Restaurant, inWaterville, several mornings a week. She also had breakfast with her daughters on Fridays for many years.

Anita was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Lucien Loubier; her parents, her brother Leandre Poulin, her sister Gisele O’Brien, and several brother and sisters-in-law.

She is survived by her son, Ron (Rochelle), of Winslow; her daughters Linda (Mike) Anderson, of China, Sandra (Brian) Boulet, of Winslow, Gisele (Dave) Clifford, of Vassalboro; grandchildren, Ryan (Heidi) Loubier, Randy (Katie) Loubier, Renee (Dave) Jones, Robyn (Dave) King, Dillon Clifford, and Jenna Clifford; great-grandchildren, Ethan, Kris, Zak, Maddie, Allie, Emmy, Narelle, Jelani and Kye; and many nieces and nephews.

After Lucien passed, Anita lived out her remaining days with her daughter, Sandra, and son-in-law, Brian.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, funeral services will be private.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers 93 Silver St Waterville, ME 04901.


BENTON – Janice (Tuttle) Kent, 81, passed away Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Sussman House, in Rockport. She was born January 7, 1939, in Athens, the daughter of Fred Lester and Susan Madeline (Wyman) Tuttle.

She graduated from Skowhegan Area High School in 1956. On June 18, 1956, she married Edward M. Kent Jr. They were married for 42 years.

She was a member of the Benton Grange for 50 years and enjoyed playing slots, gardening, spending time at camp with family and friends and spending time with her dog, Shadow.

Janice is survived by daughters, Joanne Woodworth and husband Roland, of Benton, Mary Colson and husband Michael, of Benton; son Bryant Kent and wife Laura, of Benton; grandchildren, Ben, Thomas, Devin, and Katelyn Kent, Christina and Allison Colson, Jason and Joshua Woodworth; great- grandchildren, Elliot, Jania, Andrew, Alice, Lydia, Owen, Fiona, Eddie, Liam and Irene; and like-a-son, brother-in-law, Eugene Kent and partner Jen.

She was predeceased by her husband, Edward Kent Jr. and son, Stephen Kent.

A graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

In lieu of flowers,friends wishing may make donations in Janice’s memory to a charity of their choice.


WINSLOW – Elsie “Joyce” Miller Lee passed away Tuesday, September 15, 2020, following a brief illness. She was born on June 29, 1939, in Canaan, the daughter of Willard “Joe” Miller and Francis (Keezer) Miller.

Joyce graduated from Clinton High School in 1957, before marrying Wayne Lee Sr. in 1958. They divorced in later years and remained friends.

Joyce worked many years at Ski-Land Woolen Mill, in Clinton. After the mill closed, she went back to school, graduating at the top of her CNA class. Joyce worked at Lakewood Manor Nursing Home, inWaterville, for 26 years as a CNA and in her later years as a medication technician.

Joyce loved to read, to garden, and oh how she loved to dance.

Joyce was predeceased by her parents; brother, Ronald Miller; and sister, Donna Nelson.

She is survived by her children, Wayne A. Lee, Jr. and wife Wendy, of China, and his children, Jeremy Lee and wife Marie, Dustin Lee, and Desiree Mosher and husband Zeb; Timothy Lee, Sr. and wife Mary, of Winslow, and his children, Tasha Lee Passmore and husband Nathan, Timothy Lee, Jr. (T.J.) and wife Kelly; Randy Lee, Sr., of Clinton, his children Shannon Nichols, Randy Lee, Jr., Brandy Nichols Lee and Tiffany Glidden; Melody Fitzpatrick and husband Andrew, of Clinton, and her children Amanda Pearl and husband Ralph and Alisa Fitzpatrick, as well as many great-grandchildren; a brother, Willard (Jim) Miller and wife Susan and a niece, Sharon Nelson.

Joyce was baptized by Pastor Bob, in Clinton, and truly enjoyed his sermons. She also enjoyed the Clinton Senior’s Group that she was a part of for many years.

A service was held Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at the Clinton Baptist Church, with a burial at Fairview Cemetery, in Canaan.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, an organization Joyce contributed to for several years.


WATERVILLE – Marion Jane Fitzgerald Harris, 86, passed away peacefully in her sleep, at home, in Waterville, on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. Marion was born in Portland to Cecile Legendre Fitzgerald and Robert James Fitzgerald.

Marion was a graduate of Waterville High School.

Following graduation Marion joined the United States Navy as a W.A.V.E and it was during her station in Brooklyn, New York, that she met her future husband, Richard Frank Harris. They married in 1958, in Waterville, and celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary this year. Due to military service they traveled early in their marriage and were stationed in Rota, Spain, and Oakland, California.

Marion was a communicant of Sacred Heart and Notre Dame Catholic churches, both in Waterville. She was also a member of Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Post #5, Ladies Auxillary, and the Forrest J. Pare, VFW Post #1285, both in Waterville.

Marion was a homemaker for many years when her children were young. She was a girl scout leader. Later she was employed at C.F. Hathaway Shirt Factory, in Waterville, for several years. She enjoyed quilting, sewing, and family time.

After retirement, Marion and Richard split their time between Florida and Maine where they enjoyed square dancing. She also enjoyed playing golf and bridge. They made several trips to Arkansas for Richard’s family reunions.

Marion is survived by her husband, Richard; her children, Robert, Audie (Jeff Pomerleau), Wanda, and William; grandsons, Joseph Lewis (Sarah), Eliot and Nolan Pomerleau; her identical twin sister, Marie Varney (son Charles) and brother, Robert Fitzgerald.

She was predeceased by her sister, Dorothy.

At her request there will be no services.

A service of Advantage Funeral and Cremation Service, 999 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103. (207) 899-4605.


WATERVILLE – Col­ette Theriault, 84, passed away at home on Thursday, September 17, 2020. She was born in Waterville on July 25, 1936, to Henri Mailloux and Anne Marie Pelletier Mailloux.

Colette graduated from Waterville High School in 1954 and Catherine Laboure School of Nursing in 1957. She worked at Sisters Hospital, in Waterville, before having her children and at various nursing homes and home health agencies after her children were grown.

She was married to her husband, Larry Theriault, for over 60 years, until he passed away last year.

Colette, along with her husband Larry, were avid fans of Waterville High School sports as well as the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins and Colby Hockey. They especially enjoyed Waterville hockey, football and soccer. They rarely missed a game when their children and grandchildren were playing and continued to go watch the games long after they were done playing.

Colette also enjoyed knitting and crocheting and her family were the recipients of many nice sweaters, mittens and other things.

She is survived by five children, Joseph Jr. and wife Celeste, Daniel and wife Vickie, sons, Patrick and Rodney and daughter, Catherine Taylor and husband Daniel; three grandchildren, Danielle Woods and husband Jesse, Eric Theriault and wife Kristina, Dustin Taylor and wife Sara; five great-grandchildren, Caden and Atley Woods, Olive Theriault, and Wyatt and Sofia Taylor; and by sisters, Claire Dutil, and Theresa and Dave Roy.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at Notre Dame Church, in Waterville, followed by a burial at the VA cemetery, in Augusta.

You are invited to offer your condolences and share fond memories with the family by visiting Marie’s guestbook at

A service of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home, 8 Elm St., Waterville, ME 04901. (207) 872-7676.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Travis Mills Foundation, 747 Western Avenue, Manchester, ME 04351 or online at


WINSLOW – Myra Evelyn Powell, 95, passed away on Thursday evening, Sept. 17, 2020, with her family by her side.

Myra was born in Brooks on May 7, 1925, the daughter of Thomas and Leversie (Maskel) Dyer. After graduating from Waterville High School in 1942, she went on to work at Keyes Fiber. Myra also worked for Dyer Brothers, the family well drilling business. Myra went on to marry James Powell in 1950 and they had two children, Raymond Powell and Patricia Poulin.

Myra’s husband’s naval career took them to several duty stations along the East Coast and to the North African country of Morocco. Beginning in Norfolk, Va., the family then did tours of duty to include Newport, R.I.; New London, Conn.; Winter Harbor; Kenetrai, Morocco -a small Naval communications base, and their last duty station – Fort George G. Meade, Md.

Upon her husband’s retirement from the Navy, she and the family returned to Maine where her children finished school at Winslow High and went on to graduate from the University of Maine. Throughout her life, flowers were one of her biggest passions. Myra was known for her bountiful flowerbeds filled with tulips, roses, Easter lilies, and daffodils. She also loved preparing holiday meals and baking sweet treats. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her greatest joy.

Myra was predeceased by her parents; husband of almost 59 years, James C. Powell; her brothers, Kenneth Dyer, Ronald Dyer, Ralph Dyer, Raymond Dyer, and her sisters Myrtle Hubbard, Bernice Fish, and Leversie Doeing.

She is survived by her son, Raymond Powell and wife Milagros, and daughter, Patricia Poulin and husband Michael; her grandchildren, James Powell and wife Sarah, Elizabeth Hubbard and husband Michael, Sara Poulin, Timothy Poulin and wife Nicole, Raymond Powell Jr. and wife Marie, Janet Powell and Wade Albert. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Tanner, Savannah and Madison Hubbard, Elijah Powell, Myra Powell, Ava Powell, Akela Albert, Claire Powell, Bradley Poulin; and her nephews, Thomas and Raymond Dyer and Robert Fish.

Visiting and Service will be held on Sept 22 at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main Street Fairfield. Visiting will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. with the funeral service to start at 11 a.m., following the service there will be a burial at Howard Cemetery, 748 Augusta Rd. Winslow.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral and Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

CHINA: Program at ACB Memorial Library

Albert Church Brown Memorial Library in China Village.

by Mary Grow

“Maine Memories,” the second post-coronavirus outdoor program at the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library in China Village, brought an interested audience to the library’s south lawn Sunday afternoon, Sept. 20.

Librarian Carla Olson Gade opened the program by reading a poem by Maine author and Vassalboro native Holman Day, and closed it by reading summer resident Richard Dillenbeck’s contemporary reminiscence of the China Village grammar school, which stood on the lot across Main Street from the library.

Marjeanne (Banks) Vacco said she, too attended the village school, four years behind Dillenbeck. Both transferred in the spring of 1949 to the new consolidated elementary school on Lakeview Drive, now China Middle School.

Vacco said her grandmother was her teacher. The building had two teachers, Dillenbeck wrote, one for the four younger grades on the lower floor, the other for the four upper grades on the second floor.

In the 1940s, China Village’s business district was at the south end of Main Street, around the intersection with Neck Road and Causeway Street, Vacco said. Because she lived just down the hill in the house at the corner of Peking and Causeway streets, she could stop at the grocery and spend a nickel for an ice cream cone on her way home from school.

Mention of Peking Street reminded former China resident Isabelle Wiand of a story told her by the late Louise Tracey, who lived at the intersection of Canton Street and Neck Road: Tracey once received her pension check months late, because it came via China in Asia. Several other people remembered similarly delayed mail, some in envelopes with markings in Chinese.

Neck Road resident Louisa Barnhart talked about her house, built around 1827, one of several on Neck Road built with bricks from a kiln in the area of Fire Road 9. When she and husband Michael Klein needed to repoint the brickwork, they found sand from a Fire Road 9 pit created an exact match for the original work.

On the back of the house is a 17-foot-square room that used to be a separate building. It was made from recycled timbers, with saplings for a roof, so Barnhart believes its woodwork is even older than the main house.

The house has been owned by three families in almost two centuries, Barnhart said. It was in the Ward family for many years and owned for about 10 years by Bill Rollins before Klein and Barnhart bought it.

Vacco, whose family was connected with the Wards two generations back, added that the former schoolhouse in front of the brick house was moved to Vermont. Lilacs mark the site of the former school privy, Barnhart said.

The afternoon’s other main speaker was Tom Parent, President of the China Library Association and an Eagle Lake native who will have lived in China for 37 years next month. Growing up in The County, he said, every fall schools would close for potato-picking month and his entire family would move to the potato fields around Fort Fairfield.

There they would live in what he called a shack and pick potatoes from sun-up to sun-down. Parent compared their situation to being a migrant worker today, except that the whole family took part.

Pickers had two choices, he said: most picked on their knees, and often developed knee trouble later in life, while those who chose to stay on their feet & bend down were likely to have back trouble. Many pickers wore braces on their swollen wrists.

When the weather was uncooperative Parent said poker was the indoor fall-back. “I earned more money playing poker than I did picking potatoes,” he claimed.

Pickers earned 12 cents a barrel when he first went into the fields, Parent said. The price had more than doubled, to 25 cents a barrel, by the time he was in his early teens. Each barrel held about 200 pounds of potatoes.

A good picker could do more than 100 barrels a day, Parent said. One of his brothers filled 165 barrels one day.

Money from the work paid the debt at the local grocery and provided school clothes and supplies. And, Parent said, children brought up in the potato-picking culture developed a good work ethic that lasted a lifetime.

He also mentioned that while towns like Eagle Lake were mostly deserted during potato-picking season, no one locked doors, and families would find their possessions untouched when they came home.

The next public event planned at the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library is the annual candidates’ forum to introduce candidates in contested local elections to voters. This year, five people seek three seats on the Board of Selectmen: incumbents Ronald Breton and Janet Preston and Blane Casey, Brent Chesley and Jeanne Marquis.

The forum date is not yet set. In past years, it has been in late October in advance of local elections, which will be Nov. 3 this year. Plans are to have the forum available to the public over Zoom, Gade said. Notices will appear on the library website,, and elsewhere.

The library reopened Sept. 8 with coronavirus precautions and slightly changed hours. New hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

VASSALBORO: All going well with school reopening

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro Community School (VCS) has started the year well, administrators told School Board members as they met Sept. 15, at the beginning of the second week of classes. Safety regulations and educational programming both work well, so far.

Board members’ reaction included vetoing interscholastic sports – soccer, specifically, Principal Megan Allen said – this fall, for fear Vassalboro students could be exposed to coronavirus through close contact with students from other schools.

Allen said of the 400 students enrolled at VCS, 81 learn entirely from home; 166 attend on “Blue Days”; and 153 attend on “White Days.” The school calendar (available on the vcsvikings website) shows which days are which color.

Within each day’s group, students are further divided so that each classroom is a separate cohort, Allen said. The division means sometimes as few as half a dozen students spend all their time together, at recess, at lunch and in class.

Allen said small classes let teachers emphasize individual teaching, especially important after last spring’s disruption caused some students to miss parts of their education.

School officials are able to monitor students who are learning remotely, Allen said, and know which ones are not signing in or not turning in assignments.

She added that VCS has a number of new staff members, and they are “the most impressive group of new staff” in her three years here.

New staff members approved at the Sept. 15 meeting include third-grade teacher Ashlee Francis and math specialist Erica Millett.

Thanks to a federal program started in response to the coronavirus emergency, VCS offers free breakfasts and lunches to all students, regardless of family income. Parents need to fill out an application form, Allen said.

Students who will be learning remotely the next day are entitled to take meals home.

Mary Boyle, one of several administrators in the former AOS (Alternative Educational Structure) 92 who continue to work with member schools in Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow, listed other state and federal grants Vassalboro has received.

Will Backman, former AOS technology coordinator, said distance learning is working well, except for the day the internet for the Central Maine area was down most of the morning. He, Allen and other administrators praised the cooperation and mutual support that has helped solve problems with the new system.

In addition to the separate learning groups, other safety measures include arrows on floors to direct indoor traffic, blue Viking heads on the sidewalks to separate students in lines outdoors, and a new waiting room for the nurse’s office.

Nurse MaryAnn Fortin is glad to have the waiting room. She told School Board members some, but not enough, parents are checking their children’s temperatures before driving them to school or letting them board the school bus.

Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer said VCS, Waterville and Winslow have an agreement with Maine General Medical Center “just in case” school officials should need medical help.

The soccer discussion arose out of a usually routine School Board approval of co-curricular activities. Assistant Principal Greg Hughes said he was “really nervous about this fall,” because he is not sure other schools are being careful enough.

The Maine Principals’ Association has authorized regional soccer matches, Hughes said. Nonetheless, he proposed VCS students not participate, instead working on skills and holding in-school matches.

Board members spoke of the importance students place on sports, including competition with other schools. But in the interest of safety, they voted unanimously to, as Board Chairman Kevin Levasseur said, “keep it in-house” and not play against other schools.

Hughes plans to survey students who are learning entirely remotely and therefore are not part of any in-school cohort and will find a way to include those who want to participate.

The next Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Oct. 20.

LEGAL NOTICES for Thursday, September 24, 2020



Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates or change of name. These matters will be heard at 1 p.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be October 7, 2020. The requested appointments or name changes may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard. This notice complies with the requirements of 18-C MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2020-174 – Estate of BRIANA COLLEEN KIMBALL.. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Briana Colleen, 24 Jackson Street, Skowhegan, Me 04976 requesting her name be changed to Briana Colleen McFadden-Kimball for reasons set forth therein.

2020-175 – Estate of EMILY KATHERINE DIX, Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Emily Katherine Dix, 6 Conifer Lane, Skowhegan, Me 04976 requesting her name be changed to Emily Katherine Fox for reasons set forth therein.

2020-181 – Estate of COBURN TRAVIS ROBERTS, JR., Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Coburn Travis Roberts Jr., 3 Mary Street, Apt 6, Skowhegan, ME 04976 requesting his name be changed to Gwenyth Grey Raven for reasons set forth therein.

2020-190 – Estate of KIMBERLY ANNE ESTRELA GARCIA. Petition for Change of Name (Adult) filed by Kimberly Anne Estrela Garcia, 864 Norridgewock Road, Fairfield, Me 04937 requesting her name be changed to Kimberly Anne Estrela Garcia Walker for reasons set forth therein.

Dated: 9/14/2020
/s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

Vassalboro finances in good shape with adequate surplus

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen heard updates on several aspects of town affairs at their Sept. 17 meeting.

Auditor Ron Smith, managing partner in Buxton-based RHR Smith & Company, said as of June 30, 2019, the town’s finances were in good shape, with an adequate surplus for emergencies.

“I think you guys are doing a fine job,” Smith told selectmen and Town Manager Mary Sabins, as bookkeeper Jean Poulin listened from the audience. His firm found no problems in town records and no need to make any corrective recommendations.

Sabins credited Poulin, who got a quick round of applause.

The audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020, will not be available for some months.

Selectboard Chairman John Melrose asked School Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer whether town and school could do joint audits, now that Vassalboro has a town school department. Pfeiffer is willing to discuss the proposal.

Pfeiffer attended the meeting, the first he’s had time for since March, to tell selectmen opening Vassalboro Community School went smoothly. The majority of students spend part of their time learning, carefully, in the school building and part at home; others work entirely from home. The school provided laptops and Wifi hotspots to accommodate distance learning. Federal Covid-19 grants have been used for various safety accommodations, including paying for a new bus.

Public Works Director Eugene Field reported on road projects and plans for the rest of the construction season. Melrose said people are pleased with the town crew’s improvements on Bog Road.

Sabins said discussions continue about a China Lake fishing dock in East Vassalboro.

After a very brief public hearing that brought no comments, selectmen approved the annual state amendments to the appendices in the town’s General Assistance Ordinance. Observing anther annual ritual, they signed a Constitution Week proclamation. The week runs from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23 this year.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.

Give Us Your Best Shot! for Thursday, September 24, 2020

To submit a photo for this section, please visit our contact page or email us at!

BEAUTIFUL: Joan Chaffee, of Clinton, photographed this breathtaking sunset in Clinton recently.

STARTING OUT: Tina Richard, of Clinton, snapped this young eagle in flight recently.

STANDING TALL: Pat Clark, of Palermo, captured this male cardinal who appears to be standing guard over the bird feeders.

Bottle drive helps fund Cub Scout programs

Pack #603 Bear Cub Scout Tristan Morton stands in front of bottles at Neighborhood Redemption, in Augusta. The Cub Scout Pack harvested near Gilbert School after a flyer campaign the prior Saturday. Pack #603 serves Augusta and Windsor, at American Legion Post #205, on Eastern Ave., in Augusta’s Mayfair. Funds raised through the bottle and can collection will be used to help defray the cost of the program the Cubs receive. (photo courtesy of Jeffrey Morton, CR)

China resident recognized with prestigious Sages award

Jodi Blackinton, right, with fellow volunteer John Thunder, at the China Community Food Pantry. (contributed photo)

by Eric W. Austin

Jodi Blackinton, a resident of China, is a recipient of the 2020 Sages of Clinical Services award by her employer Optum, UnitedHealthcare and United Group Clinicians. The award is given out to employees that have demonstrated their commitment to the values of Integrity, Compassion, building trust in Relationships, Innovation, and Performance. This year, out of 49,000 clinicians, there were 1,280 nominations and 130 total winners. This is Blackinton’s second nomination.

“I work with a great team and this award is truly for my entire team,” said Blackinton. “Optum, UHC has been a wonderful employer and I am proud to be part of this organization.”

Blackinton was recognized not only for her work with UnitedHealthcare, but also for the way she gives back to the community in her off-hours. She is a part of the management team at the China Community Food Pantry, where she works each Saturday, and serves on the China for a Lifetime committee, a local group that encourages and supports community volunteering in China.

“I have been a nurse for 28 years,” Blackinton said. “I love people and I have always loved caring for the sick and promoting wellness.”

“Not only is Jodi a critical part of the pantry team,” said China Community Food Pantry director, Ann Austin, “whenever one of our patrons has a medical question, she’s the one we call. Her advice and experience have been indispensable in this time of COVID.”

Blackinton said she is happy she works for a company that encourages employees to give back to their communities. “I am grateful that UHC offers a giving opportunity to their employees all year and has matching of donations as well,” she said. “UHC has allowed me to give back to the food pantry since arriving here in Maine almost five years ago.”

Blackinton moved to China from Rhode Island with her husband, Barry, in 2015. They have one son, one daughter-in-law and one “fat and happy dachshund.”