FOR YOUR HEALTH: Why Long-Term Care Should Be A Retiree’s Top Concern

Many Boomers have not properly planned for their retirement care needs—but it’s not too late and help is available.

(NAPSI)—For many Boomers, retirement may involve taking vacations, taking up a new hobby, and spending more time with family, friends and the grandchildren.

In anticipation of these activities, Boomers work diligently to build up their next egg. But as Boomers age, and as healthcare costs rise, one item they must account for is care in retirement. Unfortunately, too many are failing to prepare.

According to the Center for Secure Retirement and Bankers Life, 79% of middle-income Boomers have no money set aside specifically for their retirement care needs.

With this in mind, they should take the following steps to help protect their nest eggs:

1.Keep moving. Good physical health can lead to a more active life, improved mental and emotional health, and reduced medical expenses. By keeping yourself healthy and fit, you may be able to lower your premiums and potential future costs. Set time aside each day to stay active—your health and your bank account will thank you.

2.Save, save, save. It’s never too early to start financially planning for retirement care. Recent data from the Center for a Secure Retirement and Bankers Life shows that more than half (54%) of working adults say their retirement planning has taken a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Protect yourself from further unforeseen impact by taking advantage of tools and resources that can help you better prepare for the high costs of long-term care.

3.Talk to your children and family members. Although it can be difficult, it’s important to have conversations about how you want to be cared for as you age. You may want to stay in your home and receive care in-place, or you may expect loved ones to provide this care. It’s helpful to include a financial planner in these conversations to provide an unbiased answer to your family’s questions. Sharing preferences and developing a plan can help make the transition easier and give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

It’s never too late—or too early—to seek help and to better understand your financial plan and current healthcare coverage to try to prepare for unforeseen situations in the future.

Learn More

For further facts and tips on planning for retirement, visit

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: What kind of a leader are you?

by Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

What kind of leader are you? No matter if you have three employees or 30, or 300, your job is to not only lead them, but to be the best leader you can be.

How about you? Are you a great leader? Do you inspire your people?

Recently, I read a story about General Earl Hailston, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command. The general was interviewed while he and his troops were a few miles from the border of Iraq ready to go into battle.

At that time General Hailston was the only general in the armed forces who enlisted and came up through the ranks. This general was known for his humble and caring attitude.

The general was being interviewed by Charlie Gibson who was there with him near Iraq. When Gibson asked him if he had any hobbies outside of work. The general said. “Yes, I love photography, especially taking photos of my men.” He shared that while he had been waiting for the past few days , he would take photos of his men, and at night he would email the photos with a brief note to their mothers back in the United States.

Gibson asked if he could see a sample of a letter and the general walked into his tent and turned on his computer.

Here is the letter he showed Charlie Gibson:

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of your son.

He is doing great. I also wanted you to know that you did a wonderful job of raising him, you must be very proud.

I can certainly tell you that I’m honored to serve with him on the U.S. Marines.

General Earl Hailston.

Great story, right? You can bet that his troops were glad to follow the general onto the battlefield.

What kind of leader are you? Do you inspire your workers? Do you make sure that they will follow you no matter what?

No matter what business you’re in, big or small, you should always thrive to be a great leader. And to help you, here are five things that great leaders always do:

  • Leaders lead by example. They never expect their team members do anything they would not do themselves.
  • Great team leaders are encouragers. They encourage their team members to be the best they can be.
  • Leaders inspire. They are creatively inspiring, always finding new ways to get their teams inspired to go one more inch, one more foot, one more mile.
  • Leaders are secure enough to look for and hire people who are smarter, more skilled, more driven, more talented, and more passionate than they are. People who are just plain better than they are.
  • Leaders can see the entire team as one working unit. They choose people who might be mediocre on another team but have a certain ability that will make them shine as an integral part of their team.

And one more, always under promise and over deliver. Leaders believe in their team and its ability to succeed, and that they never quit. No matter what the odds they keep moving forward. They realize that people don’t fail. They just stop trying.

Remember, being a great leader is the best way to inspire your team to be the best they can be. And, of course, the better they are, the better they will perform and that’s the best way to grow your business.

CRITTER CHATTER – Don’s pet peeve: Releasing exotic animals into the wild

Arctic fox

by Jayne Winters

When talking to Donald Cote at his Vassalboro Wildlife Center last month he mentioned one of his pet peeves: owners of exotic pets releasing them into the wild after they get bored with them or can no longer provide the care required.

Buying, breeding, selling, and owning exotics are a big – and often illegal – business; purchases can be made between states or overseas. If you have an animal without the appropriate license or permit, Don believes you’ll eventually be found out. Friends and family members know you have something “cool” and usually can’t keep it to themselves. Eventually, authorities will be notified, the animal(s) confiscated, and the owner fined. Sadly, it’s the animal that pays the ultimate price by being humanely destroyed or kept in a zoo or sanctuary. Species common to the trade include alligators, snakes, spiders, tortoises/turtles, lizards, birds, fish, small mammals and even big cats.

Maine laws regarding wildlife possession are among the strictest in the country and are intended to protect the wildlife, the public and our natural resources. Our pet stores are regulated and inspected by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry. Potential buyers should be wary of animals advertised for sale in newspapers or online; they may or may not be lawful in the state of origin, but illegal to bring into Maine.

Out of curiosity, I checked online for exotic escapes in Maine. I found several dating back to 2008: a Wilton man found a 9-foot- long python under the engine of his pickup truck; a Gorham woman found a reticulated python in her washing machine; the owner of a 4-foot-long ball python in Orrington reported it had escaped its enclosure and was missing; police removed a 3-1/2-foot-long python that showed up in a Fairfield apartment; a 10-foot-long snakeskin, likely that of a Burmese python or boa constrictor, was found in Westbrook; a ball python escaped its enclosure (again) and was “likely roaming around a nearby street” in Camden.

A biologist with Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife noted that snakes may be easy to handle when hatchlings, but reach 8-10 feet in length. A diet for an adult includes rabbits or chicks, which can become expensive and burdensome.

I also found that in March 2017 wildlife officials in Augusta confiscated five baby alligators more than a foot long that were accidentally released in a taxi after the container they were in fell over. They were being transported by a University of Maine student who was later charged with importing or possessing wildlife without a permit.

One article I found noted most gator owners are unprepared for the care of an adult that can reach 14 feet in length and live 80 years. They require a high nutrient diet, e.g., whole chickens or pork, costing about $150/month. Their bite can easily break through human bone; they need a large pool of water to thrive – bathtubs and kiddie pools aren’t good enough. In addition, they’re used to living in a warm environment, so owners may need to use heat lamps to maintain body temperature.

Don mentioned concerns about bacterial infections, such as salmonella, being transferred to people from reptiles such as iguanas. Again, buyer beware: as hatchlings, they’re about the size of a mouse and one of the least expensive lizards in a pet store. They grow up to 5 – 6 feet or longer and require a lot of space, in addition to special lighting. Although they’re the reptile species most often turned in to rescues, they are the least reptile adopted.

I asked Don what experience he and Carleen have had with exotics. Stating it was “only the tip of the iceberg,” he cited three snakes, two alligators, three arctic foxes, two tortoises, two iguanas, and two bobcats. He was particularly upset about an arctic and red fox that were released into the wild by their owner. They had been trained to walk on a harness and were “set free” – ropes attached. One of the snakes he met was a 14-foot albino that was confiscated, along with other animals, from an apartment that belonged to a convicted felon. Duck Pond Rehab typically transfers exotics to Avian Haven as its facilities are better equipped to care for them. Some of the animals have gone to the Trenton Zoo, others re-homed after approval from Inland Fisheries.

Bottom Line: A responsible pet owner should contact a local warden, animal control officer, or wildlife rehabber for assistance in relocating an exotic animal. Pets simply dumped to fend for themselves are frequently injured or killed by vehicles or predators, can contract and spread disease, starve to death, and/or negatively impact native species and Maine’s ecosystem.

Donald Cote operates the Duck Pond Wildlife Care Center on Rte. 3 in Vassalboro. It is a nonprofit 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:

USDA funding for Knox, Lincoln, Kennebec & Waldo counties

(Photo courtesy of USDA-NRCS)

How should money be spent?

Knox-Lincoln, Kennebec and Waldo Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices in Belfast and Augusta, will host virtual meetings of the Knox-Waldo and Kennebec-Lincoln Local Working Groups (LWGs). Taking into account local resource concerns, these Local Working Groups make recommendations to NRCS on how to spend FY 2021 USDA Farm Bill funds for conservation practices on private lands. This year’s meetings will be held on Zoom as follows: Knox-Waldo will meet on Tuesday, Jan 12 from 10am-noon; Kennebec-Lincoln will meet on Wednesday, January 13 from 10am-noon.

If you are an agricultural producer; forester, logger or private woodland owner; member of an environmental or watershed organization or land trust; knowledgeable in soil, water, plant, wetland or wildlife sciences; and/or are familiar with agricultural and natural resource concerns in Knox or Waldo counties, we invite you to attend this meeting to help 1) identify and prioritize local conservation concerns; and 2) recommend how local funds for USDA Environmental Quality Incentive Programs (EQIP) will be distributed by NRCS to alleviate problems.

Meetings may be attended online or by phone. To attend either of these meetings, please contact your local soil & water conservation district for the meeting link: Knox-Lincoln: Julie at 596-2040,; Waldo: Tom at 338-1964,; or Kennebec: Dale at 621-9000, If you are unable to attend, you may send comments to your local soil & water conservation district. FMI about LWGs, please visit

USDA and SWCDs are equal opportunity providers, employers, and lenders.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: The Christmas crunch

by Debbie Walker

I wish you the happiest and healthiest New Year! Hope you remember anyone who will be alone for the holidays.

We are all down to “Crunch time” for those Christmas projects, unless you are one of those …… I don’t knit or crochet, but I can cover empty toilet paper tubes with wrapping paper! I can imagine you are wondering, “Why in the world would you want to do that?”

With any luck at all I will be able to send a picture of my finished product to be put in with my column. (If it doesn’t get there, I am making Christmas trees with the tubes and wrapping paper.)

A friend asked me if I could make her eight of these trees. No problem. Remember that number. Last year I used it to package some gifts and not just be a decoration. This appealed to my friend who ordered eight trees. The number grew to 12, no problem, the number has since grown to 17 plus five others of my friends want one. “Crunch.”

I “planned” on starting this process up the first of November. Do you ever make plans like this? (There was no room to store these ‘til Christmas in a 26-foot camper!)

“Things” happen, of course. Nana Dee, of the Wandering Nanas, had open heart surgery November 9 to remove a benign mass. I have been shuttling back and forth to my home and hers for the “Keep Nana convalescing in her own home project,” by her family and friends. She is doing amazingly well. After just a month she has been released by her surgeon.

I have a lady for whom I do errands, grocery shopping and take her to appointments. I also just spend time with her. She has been a friend for years. She is 89 years young and has definitely earned the right to have somebody’s assistance. She is still able to live at home with the assistance of a cleaning lady, a handyman and me. I pick up the slack for her family. They are in Pennsylvania and Australia. I am her Florida family.

Okay, then I have the project of putting together 50 of my “I’M JUST CURIOUS” columns into a booklet for some of my family and friends. Finally figured out that I would make one copy and let one of the office supply stores make the rest of the copies. AND we all have had plenty to squeeze into this past week!

Hoping you enjoy this little added humor:

The traditional English folk song, The Twelve Days of Christmas was revised for a school Christmas program in Donna, Texas. The gift list: twelve fields of cotton, eleven owls a-hooting, ten deer a-running, nine jacks a-jumping, eight bonnets-blue, seven doves a-mourning, six armadillos, five oil wells, four prickly pears, three ruby reds, two Brahman bulls and a mockingbird in a magnolia tree.

“Christmas is the season when people run out of money before they run out of friends.”

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy, New Year! Contact me at Thank you for reading, as always.

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Romanian Christmas Carols

Valeriu Anania

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Romanian Christmas Carols

Electrechord, ST-EXE 01971, vinyl LP, recorded 1982) is a selection of 16 carols performed by soloists and the Choir of the Romanian Patriarchate, led by the Reverend Iulian Carstoiu.

The annotator Valeriu Anania writes: “Romanian Christmas carols are deeply rooted into the soul of a nation who not only created them but also experiences them within its intimate nature, handing them down from generation to generation, mainly through the voices of children. Unlike those of some other peoples, these are not family festive songs but a message extended by the members of a Christian group to their own community.”

Romania and a few other countries in Eastern Europe commemorate church holidays more often than here in the states; the singing, lighting of candles and other reverent practices are the very stuff of life in its long history of oppression by internal and outside totalitarian forces. Translations of titles convey the special yuletide awe – Great Wonder; Holy Mother Stepping Down; In a Land of Flowers; Downhill at Bethlehem; Lord O Little Lord from Heaven; and Well-Wishing Blossom Bough.

The singing is sublime. Highly recommended, despite the language barrier, as a refreshing change from the usual Deck the Halls Stale Holly, etc.

* * * * * *

Christina Rosetti

Wintry Christmas imagery from the superb English poet Christina Rosetti (1830-1894):

“Lord God of all things
Be they near or far,
Be they high or low;
Lord of storm and snow.
Angel and star.”

When not writing poetry, Christina Rosetti reached out to unwed mothers, women in prison and prostitutes in her good works, and friendship. When her oldest brother, the poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1828-1882) took ill for several years before he died, she and other siblings moved into the same house and were his caregivers.

She was a small woman and would sit quietly at social occasions. However, she did once stand up, stated, “I am Christina Rosetti – a poet!” and then sat down again.

Scouts collect food for needy

Augusta Pack 684 and Troop 631

Area Scouts have been busy helping feed the hungry and honor our deceased veterans. Scouts from Jackman to Camden took part in the Scouting for Food Drive which collected hundreds of pounds of food to help fill shelves in local food pantries. Pittsfield Troop #428 hosted a Senior Dinner to Go program on December 9 at the Sebasticook Valley Elks serving up hot dogs, baked beans, corn and cornbread in Covid-compliant meals to go kits. Scouts from Winthrop, Augusta, and West Gardiner placed wreaths on the graves of those who served our nation. This was as part of the nationwide Wreaths Across America Day. Some Scouts helped place wreaths at the cemeteries at Togus, others helped at the Veterans Cemeteries in Augusta and at the veterans’ burial spots in West Gardiner. In all, Scouts helped honor hundreds of veterans this holiday season.

Text and photo by Chuck Mahaleris

Waterville Rotary Club wraps up successful auction

Rotary Club of Waterville president, Jeff Jolicoeur, right, and Erin Merrill, Educare Central Maine director of development, pose with the check representing the amount raised during the auction. (contributed photo)

The 57th annual Waterville Rotary Auction with hundreds of gifts, services and discount items was held in late November as a part of the Waterville Rotary Club’s commitment to support of area programs and initiatives highlighting childhood literacy.

This year, Rotary Club of Waterville identified Educare Central Maine’s Lab School and Learning Hub as the beneficiary of proceeds from the 2020 Rotary Auction. Total auction proceeds, supplemented by a Rotary divisional grant allowed for a $13,500 donation to this program.

Educare is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, having served more than 1,300 children from more than 1,000 families. It is a platform for change, working to provide support as they accomplish their goals to advance their schooling and employment opportunities. Children will be ready to thrive when they enter kindergarten and parents will be equipped to support their family’s needs.

For more about Educare’s Lab School & Learning Hub, go to

Educare Central Maine Director of Development Erin Merrill explains that “Educare is launching the Lab School and Learning Hub in our second decade of service as a way to help train more professionals wanting to get into the early education field.  Educare is partnering with KVCC and Thomas to offer field placement sites and badging qualifications for students who want to graduate and go into the early childhood field.  The Learning Hub will also help community providers create and elevate their own early childhood programs with professional development assistance from Educare staff.  This is truly an Educare Beyond the Walls model that will help to create more quality providers in Central Maine and beyond.  Those providers will then have the tools needed to assist families and children in meeting their goals for a better, healthier, more prosperous future.”

The Waterville Rotary Club hosts the auction each year in late November to benefit what Rotarians determine to be among the worthiest causes of the region. Every year, for more than half a century, this important community event has raised money to meet area needs. Projects from multiple disciplines and organizations are all included in Rotary’s efforts to make a difference in the communities in which we all live and work.
Rotary Club of Waterville would like to thank the community for its support and contribution to area businesses and to the promotion of literacy in central Maine and beyond.

For more information about the Rotary, visit the website at

AARP OUTREACH: Greetings from your friends at AARP Maine

by Lori Parham
AARP Maine State Director

We have all been impacted in different ways this year as COVID-19 spread across Maine and the country. For me, living far away from family has been especially difficult. Despite the many challenges we’ve faced I’m proud that AARP Maine’s wonderful staff and volunteers continued their efforts on behalf of Mainers 50+ and their families in the legislature, through voter engagement, in support of local communities and organizations, and more.

If there is one thing that the pandemic has made clear, it is that personal connections are both immensely valuable and sorely missed. We miss seeing many of you at our local coffees and happy hours, out on the walking trails, and walking the halls in the State House. Even in the best of times, social isolation is a problem. In Maine, over 135,000 people 50-plus live alone and are at a higher risk of experiencing social isolation. We all know that winter brings additional challenges. With this in mind, we have compiled resources for managing through the winter months and have developed a free resource guide for caregivers who are facing additional challenges. Both guides are available on our website at

The problem of social isolation only magnifies the need to expand affordable high-speed internet access to all parts of Maine. Thousands of Mainers have limited or no access, and as a result, are left with little connection to family and friends. You can help! The Maine Broadband Coalition, in partnership with AARP Maine and others, has launched a statewide, crowdsourced speed test site. Take the speed test so we can start to address the areas most in need. The more tests that are completed, the more useful it will be for our efforts to expand high-speed internet access statewide. Spread the word by visiting

Looking ahead to the 2021 legislative season, we are excited to continue advocating on issues of concern to Mainers 50-plus. We will be working closely with our elected leaders as they try to address the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. Our wonderful legislative volunteers will continue to meet virtually each week and track bills of interest. We’d love to have you join us if you are looking for ways to stay busy during the deepest winter months. Send us a note here: You can read our issue platform on our website, too. If you are interested in following our work, find us on Facebook/Twitter (@AARPMaine), Instagram (@aarpme), and on our website at

In 2021, we will offer virtual events as we continue to work remotely for at least the next few months. AARP Maine staff are working to offer events on everything from yoga to fraud educational sessions. We would love to hear your ideas for any Maine-focused events! All ideas are welcome, and you can send them to anytime.

As we approach the end of 2020, I want to wish you and your family peace, joy, and good health in the year ahead. As always, I appreciate hearing your feedback and ideas so that we can better serve you and your family.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Maine Supreme Court Chief Justices from Kennebec Valley – Part 2

by Mary Grow

William Pattangall
Robert Williamson
Daniel Wathen

After the three Maine Supreme Court Justices whose biographies were summarized last week (see The Town Line, Dec. 10) the next Chief Justice listed as an Augusta resident was the 15th, William Robinson Pattangall (1865-1942).

William Pattangall

Pattangall was born June 29, 1865, in Pembroke, almost on the Canadian border. He graduated from the University of Maine (then Maine State College), Class of 1884, and studied law in a Calais office.

Maine Chief Justice Raymond Fellows’ short 1954 book about Pattangall (not a biography, Fellows wrote) says his father was a sailor and shipbuilder, and Pattangall went to sea in a Pattangall-built ship for two years. Then he worked in shoe factory offices in Massachusetts and New York before returning to Machiasport in 1891, where he taught high school, including navigation courses.

He married twice, in 1884 to Jean M. Johnson, who died in 1888, and in 1892 to Gertrude Helen McKenzie, who died in 1950. He and Jean had one daughter, born in Massachusetts in 1886; Gertrude, who was a former student of his, bore him three more daughters.

By continuing to study law, Pattangall earned admission to the Maine bar in April 1893. He practiced in Columbia Falls, then Machias, and briefly in Bangor until 1905, meanwhile serving in the Maine House of Representatives in 1897-1898 and 1901-1902 and from 1903 to 1909 editing the weekly Machias Union. In those years he authored satirical political articles, later collected as The Meddybemps Letters (Meddybemps is close to Pembroke) and The Maine Hall of Fame. Fellows’ book includes the two books.

In 1905, Fellows wrote, Pattangall was invited to become editor of the Waterville Sentinel, so he and his family moved to Waterville. In addition to practicing law, he was mayor of Waterville and Maine Attorney General from 1911 to 1913 and Attorney General again in 1915; and an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress in 1904, 1913 and 1914.

(Current Governor Janet Mills, when she was sworn in for her second term as Attorney General on Jan. 7, 2013, said she was following Pattangall’s pattern: she had served as Maine’s 55th and now 57th Attorney General, and Pattangall had been the 32nd and 34th, the only two she knew of who took a break between terms.)

In 1915 the Pattangalls moved to Augusta. From there he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1922 and 1924. He was a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention.

He was also, Fellows wrote, an extremely successful lawyer, so good that “his attainments and qualifications for high judicial office could no longer be overlooked.” Consequently, on July 2, 1926, Republican Governor Owen Brewster appointed Democrat Pattangall an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Court.

In following years, Pattangall became so disillusioned with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that he switched parties. One on-line source says the change was not long before he was appointed Chief Justice on Feb. 7, 1930, by Brewster’s Republican successor, Governor William Tudor Gardiner.

Pattangall retired from the court July 16, 1935, and continued his successful law practice. He died Oct. 21, 1942, in Augusta.

Sources describe him as a supporter of public education, civil rights and President Woodrow Wilson and a determined opponent of the Ku Klux Klan, which was active in Maine in the early 20th century. Fellows wrote that Pattangall believed judges, and everyone else involved in the law, had two responsibilities: to protect “constitutional rights and liberties,” specifically individual and state rights against federal incursions; and to adapt the legal system to the contemporary world, slowly and thoughtfully.

When Bowdoin College awarded Pattangall an honorary Doctor of Laws during his tenure as Chief Justice; the accompanying citation referred to his earlier career as a journalist and editor. It praised his literary achievements, calling him “a master of epigram and satire.”

Fellows, who knew Pattangall, mentioned his sense of humor, his kindness, his ability as a speaker and the simplicity and clarity of his written opinions.

A bit over 21 years later, Robert Byron Williamson (1899-1976) became Maine’s 22nd Chief Justice on Oct. 4, 1956.

Williamson’s great-grandfather was Maine Senate President Joseph Williamson, younger brother of Maine’s second governor, William D. Williamson (1821), and his grandfather was Edwin C. Burleigh, who was Maine’s governor from 1889 to 1893.

According to Bill Caldwell’s combination obituary and tribute in the Jan. 2, 1977, Portland Sunday Telegram (reprinted in the Congressional Record at the request of then-Senator Edmund Muskie), Williamson was the fourth of five generations of lawyers.

Born in Augusta, Williamson attended Cony High School and graduated from Phillips Andover Academy. Two sources say he served in World War I, his Dec. 28, 1976, obituary in The New York Times specifying that he was a lieutenant of infantry; neither source gives dates. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, where he edited The Harvard Crimson, in 1920 and a doctorate of law (J.D.) from Harvard Law School in 1923.

On June 2, 1925, he married Grace Warren Whitney, a graduate of Cony High School and Wellesley College. Their son, Robert B. Williamson, was a lawyer in Cape Elizabeth in 1976.

Caldwell quoted an earlier newspaper report that Williamson began practicing law in Augusta in partnership with Lewis Burleigh; his father and Lewis Burleigh’s father had been partners in the earlier Williamson and Burleigh firm. He also wrote for the Kennebec Journal at some point. His first public position was as U. S. Commissioner for Kennebec County, in 1926. He resigned from that job in December 1928, after being elected to his only term in the Maine House of Representatives.

On Aug. 15, 1945, Governor Horace A. Hildreth made Williamson a Maine Superior Court justice. Governor Frederick Payne appointed him a Supreme Court associate justice on April 28, 1949; on Oct. 4, 1956, Governor Muskie made him Chief Justice. Seven years later Governor John Reed reappointed him for a second term. Williamson retired from the court on Aug. 21, 1970.

The New York Times obituary said that in 1967-68 Williamson served as head of the national Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), created in 1949 to let states’ top judicial officers discuss common problems. (As of January 2016, Wikipedia says, the CCJ included all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five United States territories [American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands.])

Caldwell, quoting employees at the state Law Library and others who knew Williamson personally, called him gentle, quiet, modest, compassionate, courteous and well-liked. And, Caldwell wrote, he was in his quiet way a rebel who made many improvements to the Maine court system during his two terms as Chief Justice. In granting him an honorary doctorate, Bowdoin College credited him with updating the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, the document that describes procedures for state district and superior courts in civil cases.

The Bowdoin citation also praised his service as president of the Maine Congregational Conference and said that B’nai B’rith had praised him for exemplifying brotherhood.

After Williamson’s retirement from the Court, an on-line source says he was a teacher for a year, and then-Senator Muskie’s tribute in the United States Senate said he served on state and national committees. Williamson died Dec. 27, 1976, four days after being admitted to the coronary care unit at Augusta General Hospital.

Daniel Wathen

Daniel Everett Wathen, Maine’s 25th Chief Justice and the most recent one from Augusta, was born Nov. 4, 1939, in Easton. He graduated from Easton High School and Houlton’s Ricker College, Class of 1962. He earned his law degree from the University of Maine School of Law in 1965, graduating cum laude and serving as editor of the school’s Maine Law Review for two years. In 1987 he earned a Masters of Law (LLM) from the University of Virginia School of Law.

In an interview with a Maine law school representative (unnamed) available on line, Wathen credited the law school with providing his life’s direction. In his youth, he confessed, he left college more than once before he got married in his junior year (to Judith C. Foren, also of Easton) and settled down, becoming a dean’s list scholar.

Admitted to the Maine bar in 1965, Wathen was a member of the law firm of Wathen and Wathen, in Augusta. The first Wathen was his brother George; after George’s untimely death in 1971, Wathen became head of the firm.

In September 1977, Governor James Longley abruptly appointed him a Maine Superior Court justice. Governor Joseph Brennan named him to the Supreme Court on Aug. 31, 1981, and on March 20, 1992, Governor John R. McKernan Jr. made him Chief Justice. Wathen told the law school interviewer he had enjoyed everything he worked at – except “picking potatoes and shoveling manure” – but found the position of Chief Justice “the best job by far,” providing interesting cases, a mandate to decide them the right way and authority to carry out the mandate.

Reappointed in 1999 by Governor Angus King, he resigned Oct. 4, 2001, for a brief candidacy for governor in the Republican primary. The experience showed him that he did not enjoy being part of the political process, and he quit after seven weeks.

He then joined the Augusta law firm Pierce Atwood, which became the successor to Wathen and Wathen in 1977 when Wathen became a Superior Court Justice. The Pierce Atwood website lists him as Of Counsel, specializing in arbitration and mediation and dealing with issues nation-wide and in Puerto Rico. The website has a long list of types of issue in which he uses his expertise, most of them business-oriented.

On June 8, 2011, Governor Paul LePage appointed Wathen chairman of the board of the Maine Turnpike Authority. He was reappointed in 2019; his term ends March 31, 2024. He serves on several other state and national boards overseeing legal and educational programs.

Other on-line sources (see, for example, the list of winners of the Access to Justice Award on the Muskie Fund for Legal Services home page) describe his roles in mental health and domestic violence issues, improving access to legal services for poor people and charitable and educational activities.

The Muskie Fund website has a long list of Wathen’s honors, including honorary degrees from the University of Maine at Augusta, Thomas College, in Waterville, and the University of New England, in Biddeford. He has received awards from the University of Southern Maine, the Maine Bar Foundation, the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Commission on Safety and Health in the Maine Workplace, the Maine Child Abuse Action Network and Maine Seniors, among others.

Wathen, like Senator Angus King, rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (known affectionately as a hog). Several Maine newspapers, including the Lewiston Sun Journal (Aug. 21, 2017) and the Ellsworth American (Aug. 15, 2018), have run stories about the two and their companions touring the state. According to the interview mentioned above, Wathen is a fan of Robert Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Main sources

Fellows, Raymond, and Edward J. Conquest, compilers, William R. Pattangall of Maine Lawyer, Politician, Jurist, 1954.
L’Hommedieu, Andrea, Interview with Dan Wathen, Sept. 29, 1999, part of Bowdoin College’s George J. Mitchell Oral History Project (found on line).
University of Maine School of Law, anonymous and undated interviews with alumni (found on line).

Other websites, miscellaneous.