I’M JUST CURIOUS: Does anyone else notice?

by Debbie Walker

Does anyone else notice that we are on one heck of a ride? No, it can’t be an amusement ride because the governor of Maine has shut down any of those for the foreseeable future. Right now, it can’t be blamed on icy roads either. However, I feel as though I am in a runaway cart careening down a huge steep hill. No one seems to be in charge of the ride.

If someone is in charge, they certainly haven’t done anything to stop it, even slow it down. It has picked up speed since they(?) took prayers out of the schools. I don’t remember the whole story behind this, but it does seem like someone demanded and they got their way, sounds like spoiled children to me. Where is the common sense? Even as a child in school back then we didn’t understand the fuss. If you had reason to not join the prayer, then you just didn’t participate.

It’s just getting disgusting, there are so many people who seem to be whining about this not being right or that being racist. It’s all amazing to me. It sounds like little kids and someone is being the bully. “If I whine enough I know I will get what I want.” Now that is not a skill that requires much training. Remember infants, they learn when they are days old, I cry and they pick me up (change me, feed me, rock me, etc). You would think by the time we become an adult we could find another way of communicating. I guess not.

There are all different kinds of judgment in this world. Racism is just one of them. What tribe, clan, group, or nationality that doesn’t have some kind of story to tell. Taking down statues, changing names of logos, changing names of businesses is not going to change the history itself.

Native Americans lost more than can be described, to the new folks who moved into their country. I wasn’t born yet and I don’t feel responsible for that abuse (robbery), do you?

Other nationalities were used as slaves over the years, but I guess I must have missed their riots, I don’t remember. Native Americans fought their battles years ago.

I know I have a habit of simplifying things. To me there is something I am not sure has been tried. Try saying no for a change and stick to it. “No, you can not tear down that statue that has stood there for X-number of years. Move on, now, go find something else to occupy your mind. Have you made your bed today?” Simplified as you would with a willful child.

I am not politically minded. I am afraid I don’t trust any of the “rulers” of our world to be honest. Words are twisted, taken out of context. Some statements are just lies. Surveys designed to show the results you want. The list goes on and on.

How does this get fixed? Where is the strength this country is known by? There is no working together unless you are doing it my way, that is not working together folks. You were originally trusted to come together and make solid decisions. Did you forget? I guess maybe we need to come up with a strong reminder.

I’m just curious about a lot of things, even curious about the craziness of our country right now. For questions or comments please contact me at DebbieWalker@townline.org and remember these are my thoughts and have nothing to do with the opinions of The Town Line newspaper.

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Victor Red Seal recordings, Wagner, & Ernestine Schumann-Heink

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Victor Red Seal recordings

A few Victor Red Seal recordings from the years of easily breakable 78 shellac discs.
Bruckner Symphony No. 7; Eugene Ormandy conducting the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra; Victor, M-276, eight discs, recorded January 5th and 7th, 1935.

Before his 44 years as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy (1899-1985) served in Minneapolis from 1931-1936 and made a number of records for Victor between January 16, 1934 and January 16, 1935. The 7th Symphony of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) is a magnificent one of almost 60 minutes and scored for large orchestra with some of the most heavenly beautiful moments from a composer who was also a superb organist. When the Symphony was premiered in Vienna in 1886, the Waltz King, Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1899), sent the following reply in a telegram – “Am much moved. It was the greatest impression of my life.”

Ormandy’s recording was one of tremendous beauty and power and still holds up well.

Wagner Die Feen Overture

Albert Coates conducting the London Symphony Orchestra; Victrola 11455, one disc, recorded in 1932.

Wagner completed his first opera, the infrequently performed Die Feen, when he was 20 years old. The Overture is decently listenable but far from the depths of his later masterworks. However, conductor Albert Coates (1882-1953) made a convincing case for it and drew tremendous playing from the London Symphony.

Coates was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, to an English businessman and his Russian-born wife and established a reputation in both England and Russia before World War I, serving as music director of the Russian Imperial Opera for five years before the 1917 Revolution. The Bolshevik government did keep him working but, by 1919, starvation threatened living conditions there, Coates fell ill, so he and his family left Russia, just barely making it to Finland and back to the United Kingdom.

Wagner

Rienzi Overture and Gotterdammerung Closing Scene; Leopold Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra; Victor 6624/6625; 2 discs, recorded 1927.

Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was one of only two conductors (the other being his successor in Philadelphia, Eugene Ormandy) who recorded from the pre-1924 acoustic era to the four-channel quadraphonic one of the 1970s. Also, like his younger colleague, he left hundreds of recordings of an encyclopedic range of composers and some of his best records were the ones of the music of Richard Wagner (1813-1883). I cherish his Victor 78s of excerpts from his operas Parsifal – the Prelude and Good Friday Spell – and his Synthesis of Tristan and Isolde moments.

The above 1927 ones of Wagner’s heart-warmingly vibrant Rienzi Overture and the conclusion of Gotterdammerung (itself being five hours long and the fourth and last opera in the 16-hour Ring cycle) have a surging intensity, beauty and savagery that is implicit in the music itself, through which Stokowski doesn’t try to impose his own individuality and mannerisms as he did often in other recordings.

On June 14, 1912, Stokowski conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in an all-Wagner concert featuring the soprano Lillian “Lady” Nordica (1857-1914), who was born in Farmington, Maine, and lived her first eight years there.

Ernestine Schumann-Heink

Stille Nacht (Silent Night); Victor 88138, one disc, recorded 1908.

Contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936) recorded prolifically, beginning as early as 1900 and her rich warmth and disciplined technique enabled her to sing very nicely through her last years, when she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the age of 71, and had her own weekly radio show. Since I enjoy Christmas music any time of the year, preferably in small doses, I find this acoustic record from 112 years ago a good example of her ability to breathe new life into old songs and opera arias. Starting in the mid-1920s, she sang Silent Night on the radio every year during the Yuletide season.

During World War I, she gave concerts for the U.S. war effort and had three sons serving in our navy; she also had one son from her first marriage in Germany who was still living there and who was drafted into the Kaiser’s own submarine service.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Feeding A Global Need

Youth Hunger And Malnutrition Continue To Grow Helping children grow up strong and healthy are companies and non-profit organizations that provide kids with free meals when schools are closed. You can be part of the solution.

(NAPSI)—According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in the U.S., more than 12 million children receive free or reduced-price breakfast at school, and more than 29.7 million get lunch through the national school lunch program. For many, school meals are the only consistent food they get in a day and, while many school districts have continued distributing meals during the pandemic shutdown, when the school year ends, so do school meals. But there is hope and help.

Nationally, companies and non-profit organizations are partnering to help meet the needs in the community. One such partnership between Herbalife Nutrition and Feed the Children, a nonprofit organization, aims at solving the issue of food insecurity. The two organizations have united under the shared commitment to defeat hunger worldwide.

The Importance of Nutrition

The most vulnerable members of our society, children, rely on school meals and feeding programs to survive. Families living paycheck to paycheck may not have savings or support systems to help them. When children are guaranteed proper health and sanitation measures, they are able to prevent and fight disease, enabling them to develop both physically and mentally into strong children who become contributing members of their communities.

“As a nutrition company, we know that without adequate food and nutrition, children are unable to reach their full development potential both physically and mentally,” said Dr. Kent Bradley, Chief Health and Nutrition Officer, Herbalife Nutrition. “In working with Feed the Children, we’ve learned the extent of the issue of food insecurity.”

Disturbingly, 66 million school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. As the world continues to experience fear and uncertainty, resources become scarcer. The reality is that food-insecure families, especially kids, are going to be affected more than most.

Dr. Bradley adds, “as a global company providing healthy nutrition to millions of people around the world, we have a responsibility to help those in need of good nutrition.”

According to the Food Research and Action Center, many of the children who face a nutrition gap when the school year ends also are affected disproportionately by summer learning loss. Also known as the “summer slide,” this refers to the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the summer. This means these children return to school in the fall academically behind their peers and struggling to catch up before classes even begin.

Partnering Together

Companies, individual donors and community organizations are coming together to help vulnerable families and communities to ensure that millions who have lost access to food, don’t go hungry. In addition to programmatic support for Feed the Children, the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation has already donated $50,000 to the organization for its pandemic response efforts, through the company’s Nutrition for Zero Hunger initiative.

“Through our vast network of community and corporate partners, Feed the Children continues to work each day to ensure that no child is hungry. There are a variety of ways our community partners are delivering food and household essentials including door-to-door home delivery and drive-thru product pick-ups (food, water, hygiene items). Some community partners even have a call-in number to ensure those who are homebound or quarantined receive the items they need.” says Travis Arnold, CEO and President of Feed the Children.

Feed the Children is taking action to ensure communities aren’t forgotten. Eighty percent of their standard domestic work involves supplying community partners (such as food pantries and soup kitchens) with the bulk of the items they need to do their daily work.

To help Feed the Children in these efforts by donating cash, visit www.feedthechildren.org. Businesses that can donate product (food, hygiene items, and the like) can call (800) 627-4556.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: We are entering the heart of moth season

Left to right: Virginia Ctenucha moth, Rosy Maple moth, Pink striped oakworm moth. (photos by Roland D. Hallee)

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

As my battle with the brown tail moth caterpillars continues, I have seen a variety of other moths emerge over the last week. I was anxious for the brown tail moth caterpillar to turn into a moth so we can cut down on the floating hairs that have been irritating our skin.

While watering my garden on Saturday, I saw a brown tail moth in flight. What a relief to see that.

However, other moths have caught my attention, and here are three of them.

The first one is the Virginia Ctenucha (pronounced ten-oo-chah) … I think.

The Virginia Ctenucha, Ctenucha virginica, is an attractive moth. It is widespread and common and is a member of the Erebidae family which consists of a varied group of striking moths living in woodlands, fields, and gardens, as well as freshwater swamps, marshes, and bogs.

The Virginia Ctenucha is the largest and most broad-winged of wasp moths in North America. Its wingspan is 1-3/8 to 2 inches. This moth has a metallic blue body, which contrasts with the bright orange of its head and the sides of its collar. Its fore wing is a deep grayish brown, with some metallic blue at the base. Its hind-wing is black.

It is endemic to eastern North America, from Newfoundland south to Virginia. According to the University of Alberta, there has been a westward expansion in the last 60 years as it has reached the Canadian rockies and is now found in all Canadian provinces. Larvae feed on a variety of host plants including various grasses, irises, and sedges. Adults drink nectar from flowers including goldenrod.

The adult Virginia Ctenucha flies primarily during the day, but may also come to light at night. Adults feed on nectar at various flowers, such as goldenrod. The larva body surface is black, covered with tufts of cream-colored or black hairs. Caterpillar hosts include grasses, sedges, and irises.

Despite its name, this is a northern moth. The flight period for the Virginia Ctenucha throughout its range is from late spring to late summer, however sighting records suggest that it flies in July. The larva can usually be seen from April to September, but may be found any time of year, since they overwinter.

Another moth I have spotted is the Rosy Maple moth, Dryocampa rubicunda, a small North American moth also known as the great silk moth. It was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1793. The species is known for its wooly body and pink and yellow coloration, which varies from cream or white to bright pink or yellow. Males have bushier antennae than females, which allow them to sense female pheromones for mating.

As the common name of the species implies, the preferred host trees are maple trees. They can also be found on oak trees. Adult females lay their yellow ovular eggs in groups of 10 to 40 on the underside of maple leaves. The emerging caterpillars, also known as the greenstriped mapleworm, mainly feed on the leaves of their host maple trees, particularly red maple, silver maple, and sugar maple. Since the caterpillars eat the entire leaf blade, in dense populations, caterpillars have been known to defoliate trees, resulting in aesthetic rather than permanent damage. However, like all other Saturniid moths, the adult moths do not eat.

The rosy maple moth is the smallest of the silk moths; males have a wingspan of 1.25 – 1.75 inches).

The rosy maple moth lives across the eastern United States and adjacent regions of Canada. Their northern-most range includes the southern regions of Canada, including Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Their range extends south along the Atlantic coast of North America to Dade County, Florida, and extends west from eastern Texas through Minnesota.

Caterpillars live and feed in groups until the fourth instar when they become solitary. Adult rosy maple moths are mostly solitary besides during mating.

Individual rosy maple moths typically live for about two to nine months. Between hatching and adulthood, the species undergoes five instars. For moths with longer life spans, much of this time is spent as a pupa over the winter months.

The predators of the rosy maple moth and larvae mostly consist of birds including blue jays, black-capped chickadees, and tufted titmice. The bright coloration of the wings may serve as a defense mechanism to trick predators into thinking they are poisonous and not tasty.

Adults become active in the warmer months of the year. In a study the rosy maple moth was found to vary with changes in temperature, with highest counts at the highest temperature. The recent warm weather may have contributed to its early arrival. Their small size, preventing more effective body temperature control, may also contribute to their preference for warm weather. Adult moths are generally nocturnal, preferentially flying throughout the first third of the night.

Finally, the pink-striped oakworm moth, another species of silk moth.

The female’s wings are purplish red with ochre-yellow. They have thin scales and are almost transparent. The male’s wings are purplish brown with a large transparent space in the middle. The female is larger than the male.

The moth can be found across Canada from Nova Scotia to southeastern Manitoba, and in the United States. It lives in deciduous woodlands and suburbs.

The males attract females by buzzing like a bee. Mating occurs during the morning. It is a rapid process. The male and female stay together for the rest of the day and then the female finds a place to lay eggs, usually under oak leaves.

The caterpillars are gray or greenish with dull brownish yellow or rosy stripes. There are scales on each segment and two long spines. The caterpillars pupate for a short time. They feed on the foliage of oak trees, maples, birches, and hazels. The caterpillar overwinters in the soil as a pupa. Caterpillars that are newly hatched or are in the middle of growing, feed in groups while those that are mature or nearly so feed separately. The caterpillar is about an eighth of an inch long. The head is large in proportion to the body. The inside of the mouth is yellow. The legs are semi-translucent.

Conservation regimes are not required for this species. It is considered a pest of forests because it defoliates trees.

These are all moths I have seen around the door to our office at The Town Line.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Which Red Sox player holds the team record for the most Gold Glove Awards with eight?

Answer can be found here.

THE MONEY MINUTE: How your retirement account can feed hungry kids in Maine and provide scholarships to trade school students

by Jac M. Arbour CFP®, ChFC®
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

At this time of year four years ago, I gave a talk to 800 people at a Lewiston, Maine, elementary school. In it, I shared some ideas about how the students could create an amazing upcoming summer vacation for themselves. I had an absolute blast at the event, and the reaction from the kids and teachers assured me that my talk was well received.

After my talk, a teacher who was thanking me for my message shared a surprising perspective: she said that, for many of the students I had just met, leaving school on Friday is one of the largest stressors in their lives. When I asked why, I learned that many of these kids leave school at the end of each week knowing they won’t eat again until they return on Monday morning and are fed by the breakfast program. Then I learned a staggering statistic: in Lewiston, 100 percent of public school students receive free or reduced-price lunch, and this is true in many other cities and towns in Maine. This was news to me, as it may be to you. My heart sank into my stomach, and I tucked this piece of information into a file I knew I would someday reopen. This is that day.

At J.M. Arbour, we are changing what we do with company profits and redirecting our focus to Maine’s future, which lies in today’s youth, tomorrow’s leaders. So, here is what we are planning to do.

We will be donating a large percentage of our net profits from the management of employer sponsored plans — anywhere from 51 percent to 100 percent (as I write this, we are waiting to hear back from the tax pros about our corporate structure and ability to do so)—to two causes. The first cause we will support is a weekend backpack program that sends kids home every Friday with six meals so they can eat over the weekend. The second is a program that provides scholarships to Maine students who want to enter the trade industries. Plumbers, heating technicians, electricians, welders, crane operators, builders, diesel mechanics—all these professions are essential and always in high demand.

When I graduated from Bowdoin College, I remember people talking about the “need” to leave Maine in order to find “real economic opportunity.” I believe Maine has an abundance of opportunity, but to bring it to fruition we must align those who can mentor and provide opportunities with those who want to learn and are willing to do the work—access and connections can be simplified and strengthened.

That is why the next part of our plan is to encourage the owners, executives, and leaders of the companies that hire us to manage their company retirement plans to join a network we are building to provide support in the form of books and speeches (and overall mentorship) to kids who want to build fulfilling lives here in Maine.

I will sign off from this month’s column by saying that our goal is to feed kids for a lifetime. We want to feed them food as well as positivity, ideas, and hope, which they also need to thrive. We want to facilitate access to education, mentorships, and career opportunities to give Maine students the ability to build rich and rewarding lives and retire on purpose, right here in Maine. We have titled this effort “The Purpose Project.”
Please call our office for more details; I am always thrilled to speak with people about this project and honestly, we need more teammates; we need your help to spread the word. Together, we can end weekend hunger and provide life opportunities for Maine’s young people.

Here is what I promise: If we focus on what we are doing today, we can aim for a better tomorrow.

See you all next month.

Jac Arbour CFP®, ChFC®

Jac Arbour is the President of J.M. Arbour Wealth Management. He can be reached at 207-248-6767.
Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

VETERANS CORNER: We hear on the television and radio that veterans are receiving the best care and benefits ever. How can that possibly be?

Veterans Administration facility at Togus. (Internet photo)

by Gary Kennedy

I will share with you what I know and I will try to answer the many questions that you have. The political side of the VA system tries to appease you with an occasional conference call which they pack in as many vets as they can. For those of you who are privy to these calls you must realize that the moderator is very vague, and 75 percent, or more, of the time passes you off to someone who will give you a future phone call, or so they say. The reason for this is obvious. To some, if not most of you, it’s because the answer is not readily available and this service is just supposed to act as a pacifier for the VA and the government.

You will hear Senators Angus King and Susan Collins names being dropped to seem to give a sense of validity/legitimacy to this conference. However, these senators are not present nor privy to these confrontations. With our distressed, disabled veterans, who in many cases can’t articulate their problems in a way that is totally understandable; they are more discouraged after the call. So, the reply you hear most of the time is, “I am sorry to hear that,” but because of the complexity, lack of records, or other information needed to assist you, I will have to have someone call you back. Such is not the case when the doors to service officers and/or V.B.A. are open. Almost everything around our state is open, at least to some degree, but VA keeps its doors locked for the most part. There are some medical exceptions but very few.

We hear on the television and radio that veterans are receiving the best care and benefits ever. How can that possibly be? If you have a medical issue you can contact “My Healthy Vet,” on your computer. Do you have a computer? Are you computer literate? If you say yes then you can make a third or fourth party contact and some time in the future you should get a phone call from a call center, asking what you would like to accomplish by this contact. If you were talking to your medical provider that would be the answer to your problem as he or she would direct you with authority to the next point of necessity. There is nothing that can replace your contact with the source, VA.

Years ago, when I found really complex issues pertaining to veterans, I would take them to Senator Olympia Snowe’s office and there I would sit down with John Cummings and we would discuss the issue and take it to the next level, if need be. Those were the good old days, as the expression goes. One way or the other, we would get the job done.

Today, I see so many discouraged veterans who gave up years ago but found new solutions using different venues today. The government believes that these brief video or phone contacts will pacify most of the veterans. However, they aren’t seeing the real picture. They are just patting themselves on the back and saying, “Job well done for now.” What you really need are definitive answers coupled with hands on. The VA is saying we are not taking any elective procedures at this time. Shots in your joints which you have had in the past for mobilization and or pain is elective? Some veterans have been having these procedures for many years along with chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture. Baby boomers are synonymous with Vietnam Era Veterans. The majority of those who are serviced at VA, currently are of this time slot. There isn’t much in front or behind this group of veterans, with exceptions.

It is said that video and audio appointments are very appropriate and well received by both the veteran and the care giver. Such is definitely not the case. Nothing can replace hands on health care. If we go that route we are all losers. For some covid-19 is a blessing, a weeding out process; VA will have less employees and veterans will get less than robotic care. Out sourcing money will run dry soon.

When you are given a phone number to call for service, you are actually getting a call center which houses people with minimal amounts of training and a hand book to use for quick reference. Don’t buy into that even though the person on the line is very kind and sympathetic. They are trained to do that. You still have your senator, so don’t be afraid to use her. I personally don’t have faith in the rest. If you are an amputee, there are some wonderful programs and people out there. For the younger generation, there are more programs and possibilities, and that is as it should be but we older vets must be acknowledged to a degree as well. Don’t abandon me in my few remaining years. Most of us just want respect and comfort. We wish we had your paycheck and benefits.

I was on the government conference call this week because I wanted to see what they had to offer. I really hated hearing, “I will have someone call you.” I think Paul Lawrence and his team need some training. (Under Sec. for Benefits) By the way the National Call Center’s number is 1-800-827-1000, good luck with that. Call centers have general rules of a time limit of eight minutes and most have never been a service officer (VSR). Most are no more than retained telemarketers which are extremely overwhelmed with millions of calls. These folks have limited, scripted answers. True!

There have been several questions veterans have repeatedly asked only because they are nearing the end of the line and are extremely concerned about those they will leave behind without their guidance. We may not be the brightest bulb in the ceiling but we feel we are.

The questions that Paul and his team have the most difficult time with should be printed in understandable terms and made available to all vets in a simplistic written format. Where formulas are involved they should be layed out in (example :) format. One problem I have seen, the answer to mass questions is very simple; write a pamphlet. The most asked questions are DIC explanations which involves benefits to their surviving spouse and dependents. Since they already pay these benefits, they should be able to explain them in lay terms. Lay terms mean different things to different people. Some people need more help than others, via explanation. “Don’t take your audience for granted” should be the golden rule. There are those brighter than you and some not so.

Regarding DIC, this use to be based on a 10-years marriage or more but such is not the case anymore. There are many variations but basically if the vet is permanent and totally disabled and dies from his service connected disabilities in any way shape or manner and is married for one year, he or she should be eligible for DIC benefits of somewhere in the ball park of $1,340.14. A child with no parent $565.84. Aid and Attendance has variations from $284.57 to $332.00. I believe house bound would be $155.33. A spouse remarries after age 57 can collect DIC if after 12-16-03. When they use the word totally it doesn’t necessarily mean 100 percent, but means unable to work. Each child under 18 is entitled to a transitional benefit of $286 for two years only; each child over 18 for a limited period can receive a DIC Apportionment Rate of $332.00. This info should give you a talking point.

Don’t rely on my above opinion as these things change often. I also concur that a better explanation is necessary but this is a good bench mark from which to begin your search. If you really want to get into it you can purchase a CFR Title 38, Pensions, Bonuses and Veterans Relief. I believe you can also acquire this in software format. Check your computer or Barnes and Noble. They are fairly expensive and for some perhaps difficult to understand. However, with all the hype out there you need to be informed to the best of your ability.

So, to reiterate what wasn’t answered on our conference call is the following: Permanent & Total refers to veterans whose disabilities are (total = rated 100 percent disabling by the VA) and (Permanent which is zero or close to zero chance of improvement). (Permanent and Total ratings are protected from being reduced and may entitle you and /or your loved ones to additional VA benefits. This definition is as of 2017 and like everything else is subject to change. Once a veteran is granted Individual Unemployability (IU) or TDIU) which is short for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability, you are disabled with less than 100 percent service connection but rated as if you were because of inability to maintain meaningful employment.

These are just some of the queries I was privy to. I hope these responses are of some help to my brother and sister vets out there. We are all in this together and should help each other to the best of our ability. Last but not least, when you enter the VA you will notice that safety measures are in place as they are in many other businesses. Respect these areas but don’t be intimidated by them. If a person is talking behind a shield or plexiglass barrier, they are protected especially since you are wearing a mask as well. Report any and all disrespect you receive while visiting “your” VA. They work for you. Anything that is sent by the mail is not protected. You should sanitize anything you receive like this. I personally witnessed a UPS driver wipe his nose on the back of his hand then enter an Augusta pharmacy without a facemask. The door of this pharmacy was clearly marked, “No Entry without a mask.” Obviously this is not being enforced by them and many other businesses which I have been monitoring.

We can’t get back to normal if we don’t follow protocol. Believe it or not, Walmart was the best I surveyed for mask and distancing. Make it our quest not to digress, participate. In conclusion, we have nice trimmed lawns and new buildings but we still have no equipment in neurology. So for testing you must be sent outside. I do believe we have a new neurologist. I guess we just need to be creative with spending.

God Bless.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: A test of the mind #2

by Debbie Walker

As the title says this column is connected to last week’s test, it has the little quiz and the rhyme: St. Ives Travelers. Shortly you will read the answer but first the following was printed in the Weekly Magazine in Sept. 1779:

Why the deuce do you give yourselves so much vexation,
And puzzle your brains with long calculation,
Of the number of cats, with their kittens and sacks,
As you seem to suppose? – Don’t you see the cunning,
Old Querist went only? – the rest were all coming,
But grant the wives went, too, – as sure’s they were married,
Eight only could go – for the rest were all carried.

The answer:

The answer as well as the rest of the rhyme I found on Wikipedia. The answers are left to your interpretation, however the way I read it was:

The last line of “How many were going to St. Ives?” On the first line of the rhyming “As I was going ” and the next says, “I met ….”. To me that means only one was going to St. Ives. According to Wikipedia if you calculated all the numbers it would total 2,802. “You can find all of this on the internet on the Wikipedia website.”

Uses for Murphy’s Oil Soap

Insect repellent: combine lemon juice, vegetable oil, Murphy’s Oil Soap and water – put in spray bottle. Spray any area – around windows and doors.

Leather Cleaner: Put small amounts on dry cloth and wipe away dust and marks from leather.

Banister Cleaner: They can get very sticky, Clean that with Murphy’s oil soap.

Shines laminate floors: ½ cup Murphy’s, two gallons warm water. For bucket and mop use.

Permanent Marker Remover: removes marks on dry erase board.

All Purpose Cleaner: essential oils, two cups of warm water, a bowl and two tablespoons Murphy oil, mix well and put in spray bottle or just wipe surfaces straight from the bowl.

Sink Cleaner: wash away grease in your sink. Dry with clean cloth. Pour small amount of Murphy’s on a dry rag and wipe entire sink.

Bathroom cleaner: Mix soap with water – clean walls, sinks, shower and floor.

Remove grime from Hardwood finishes: Mix equal parts of Murphy’s and paint thinner to remove a thin layer of surface. Apply with a sponge, then wipe away with a sponge. Wipe away residues with a dry rag.

Clean and polish bridles and saddles. Also used to clean black-powder weapons.

Just a little history: Murphy’s Oil Soap recipe was brought to this country by a German immigrant. Murphy’s Oil Soap was run by the Murphy’s for 80 years when they sold to Colgate.

I just came across these little tidbits of information and decided to add them to today’s collections of writing, hope you don’t mind. It may be a subject you have discussed. Hope you enjoy the following:

When you are grocery shopping this article in Women’s World’s June issue may be of help to you, too. Have you ever wondered about those “Best if used by xx/xx/xx” dates on your groceries? Mom told me for years of her buying dented can foods that she did not go by the “Best if used by——” date. She looked for cans that bulged. If they did, she wouldn’t buy. The bulge is a warning, a sign of a bacterial problem. Of course, opening the can, the smell, the texture will tell the story for you. In the article they talked about eating things four years after the date. Wish Mom was still here to talk this over with.

I’m just curious about questions you might have. Let me know. Contact me with questions or comments at DebbieWalker@townline.org. Have a great week!

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Memories of Grandma

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Memories of Grandma

I am going to try something different this week but tie it into earlier reading, listening and viewing experiences, sharing a few memories of my grandmother, Annabelle Ingraham Cates (1888-1974).

Grammie Cates was born and brought up in the coastal village of Rockport, Maine, to Enos and Marian Ingraham. In 1906, she rode the narrow gauge to East Vassalboro where several kinfolks on her mother’s side had been residing already for 25 years, and she took a teaching job at the one room Perley Schoolhouse, one of about 20 such buildings in the Vassalboro territory, back during the years when teacher certification requirements were pretty well non-existent.

Within three years, she met and fell in love with Benjamin Harold Cates, married him and gave birth to 12 children, after her cousin, Lena Upham, told her, “He was a good catch.”

A longer bio will have to wait for another day so as to cut to the chase.

Despite her very busy life of being a wife, mother, homemaker, and chief disciplinarian with her not always angelic kiddos, she did find time to read. And the book that sticks out most vividly is her humongous Modern Library copy of the collected writings of that narrative genius, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), which she read and re-read thoroughly from cover to cover. It included his four novels, The House of the Seven Gables, Blithedle Romance, Scarlet Letter and Marble Faun, of which, again, more another week. I remember her keeping it on a kitchen bureau for easy reach.

More about music. The first record that sticks out in the memories was Nelson Eddy’s 1948 Columbia LP of Stephen Foster songs – examples being Old Folks At Home, Camptown Races, Oh Susanna – which for my money is still one of the best collections of that early American composer (1826-1864) who, after several years of fame and fortune, would die as an alcoholic in poverty in New York City with just 37 cents in his wallet.

Grammie had a Columbia LP changer with a very heavy tonearm, a needle that was rarely replaced and a hookup through the expensive Dumont TV set with tremendous sound.

A mid-’60s Christmas present for her was an anthology of Ray Charles hits including Georgia On My Mind and Hit the Road, Jack! She was quite captivated by his sense of swinging while singing.

My grandmother’s favorite movie may have been the 1965 Sound of Music, which she, myself and other family members first saw during Christmas vacation of that year at the Westbrook cinema, where it stayed and made money for at least a year. Within the month, a cousin talked her into joining the RCA Victor Record Club, where new members could get five LPs for 99 cents, provided they purchased five more at list price. She purchased 10 copies of the RCA Victor Sound­track of the Sound of Music, kept one for herself and gave the other nine for birthday presents.

She introduced me to her favorite TV show, Wagon Train, during the spring of 1959, and was a big fan of its star, Ward Bond.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Every Young Man Should Know About This Type Of Cancer Prevention

Max Mallory succumbed to testicular cancer. Now, a foundation created in his name helps other young men save their own lives with information about the disease.

(NAPSI)—Young men and those who care about them should consider the story of Max Mallory. At 22 he graduated from college and started his dream job in the video game industry. He landed the job before graduation at the company where he had interned for almost a year. Set up in his own apartment, he started to live his life on his own and navigate the nuances of that first professional job.

Life was fine until mid-October, when Max experienced what seemed like stomach troubles and minor back pain. After two visits to urgent care centers where doctors prescribed antibiotics, he came home to stay with his dad and visit a urologist. He never made it to that medical appointment. Doubled over with sudden pain the next afternoon, he called 911. Late that evening in the emergency room, he heard the worrisome diagnosis: late-stage testicular cancer.

His cancer journey lasted only seven hard-fought months. He had an aggressive testicular cancer, choriocarcinoma. He passed away three days after he received the first round of stem cells.

He couldn’t have prevented his testicular cancer with self-exams, since he “was born with” one testicle that was healthy.

Be Aware of the Other Cause 

Mallory was born with one undescended testicle, known in medical terms as cryptorchidism and identified as the most common genital problem pediatricians encounter (Medscape). He had exploratory surgery at age one. He and his parents were told he was born with one testicle, that the undescended testicle they were looking for wasn’t there. Over the years, no one questioned this situation—though he regularly saw pediatricians.

His cancer did not appear as a lump or tumor on his testicle. The malignant mass rested in his lower abdomen. The acute back pain became the catalyst for action. Unknown to him, his “missing” testicle existed after all and developed into the cancerous tissue. By the time he made it to the E.D., it had already spread to other parts of his body.

What Can Be Done? 

For boys and men with two testicles, self-exam is key. Some schools, coaches and informed doctors have told these young men how to go about it. There are many sources online for the information; for example, the Mayo Clinic is a good place to check.

For those who have had an undescended testicle, it’s important to find out what was done about it. If it was surgically put in place (usually done in infancy), there is still a slightly higher risk of testicular cancer. Your doctor should know about this.

More Info 

The Max Mallory Foundation was founded in 2017 and provides awareness of testicular cancer not identified “with a lump” and self-exam. It also assists young adults with cancer, an underserved group and works in association with other testicular cancer organizations. The Foundation is a 501c(3) organization. Mallory’s full story is on the website, https://maxmalloryfoundation.com.

INside the OUTside – Summer weather is here: time to get outside

by Dan Cassidy

It’s that time of year… even though we haven’t had enough poor weather conditions, and for those of you who are outdoor enthusiasts have had to put up with this Coronavirus COVID-19. It’s hard to imagine that the whole world has seemed to be shaking up, destroying lives and creating uprisings.

Take a hike

It’s time to get your hiking gear and plan a trek into Maine’s woods, mountains and lake regions. Let’s not get too excited and overdo yourself in climbing a high mountain range, bike an extended ride or not pack accordingly.

Although it looks like it’s going to be a shortened season, there are many opportunities to get in some single day and multi-day treks. Temps are rising steadily as the month of June wears on, and Caribou, Maine, of all places may soar into the high 90’s breaking all-time records.

A day trek …

Before we venture out, let’s make sure you have the proper gear for a day trek.

  • A lightweight backpack to carry some light food, water, warm waterproof rain gear.
  • Footwear – very important to keep feet both dry and safe for the terrain you’ll be hiking. Sneakers are not the proper footwear for hiking rough terrain.
  • Apparel should consist of waterproof wool layers that will keep you both dry and warm.
  • Hiking pole, such as a ski pole or walking staff will help maintain stability and strain on your knees.
  • Don’t forget to leave a copy of your trek behind so that if you should get lost or if you need to be contacted, timing may come into play. Always carry a compass.
  • Keep track of the weather before you venture out. Plan ahead for any inclement conditions.
  • Other gear should include a first aid kit, sunglasses, sun protection lotion, knife, toilet paper, whistle if you should get lost and a cell phone.

If you’re planning an overnight trip, you’ll need a backpack large enough to carry some extra gear. In addition to the gear you’ll need for a day hike, here are other essentials to consider:

  • Check out the weather forecast as to where you’ll be heading.
  • Food such as snacks, sports bars, sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly) and chocolate bars.
  • Stay hydrated. Don’t forget to carry plenty of water for an extended trek. You may want to consider water treatment tablets, as any water found on the trails should be treated before drinking.

Enjoy your day! It’s a great way to stay healthy, toned up and it’s a great exercise.