SOLON & BEYOND: Clarence Jones and the river drives

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Now I will continue with the article in last week’s column called, Memories of a Lost Art. I tried to get a picture of the life-sized carving of a river driver done by Rodney Richards, of Rangeley. The carving was placed in a bateau which sits in front of the Dead River Historical Society Museum, in Stratton, and it was named “Clarence Jones” in honor of his many years as a river driver, and boatman on many drives.

Clarence told a story he had heard about long logs being driven down through Spencer Gut many years ago. In that part of the river cliffs go straight up 40 or 50 feet high for a mile or so and when a jam would form in there a dynamite man would be lowered by a rope and when the charge was placed he would signal to be hauled up fast. It seems that one man got a bumpy ride down one day and the guys at the top thought he had given the pre-arranged signals on the rope to be hauled up, and so he got two rides down with the same charge of dynamite.

Another quote from Salt states, “The drive was a fascinating example of man’s ingenuity, guts and daring.”

When I asked Clarence if the men saw much wildlife on the drive he told about one day when they were driving the south branch at Screwaugor Falls and they had their bateau in a little eddy, a deer ran down into the river probably being chased by a bobcat or coyotes. It jumped into the river and started to swim across but saw the men on the other side so it turned and came back and washed right into the little eddy beside their bateau. Clarence said they could have reached out and touched it before it swam back to shore.

River driving was outlawed after 1976 by the state legislature. Those who voted to outlaw river driving came to the conclusion the logs were polluting the rivers. And so came the end of an era.

My thanks again to Clarence for sharing a bit of history about the lost art of river driving.

Clarence always looked forward to the River Drive each spring. As I remember the whole episode, there was quite a bit of controversy over the whole thing, (I could be wrong.)

Griswold’s Dining Room is open again, but they are still doing curbside and take-out. Kitchen hours Sunday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Monday – Wednesday 5 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Thursday – Friday 5 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. The store is open Sunday d7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday – Friday 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The New Portland Library will be open the regular hours, if nothing changes with state mandates, starting June 1. There are some restrictions so please check the front door for instructions.

With that said they have quite a few new items to read and watch. All overdue items are now back to the library in the drop box; no charges apply.

The Library Club winners for June are Jean Antonucci and Alan and Kay Michka – congratulations and thank you for your support of the library.

They are hoping inter-library loans will soon commence. Please keep checking their Facebook page and the front door of the library for updates. Also, do check their Facebook page for lots of websites for learning and fun activities and sites. (Please note there are two Facebook pages for the library; please check both at New Portland Community Library.)

The summer hours at the library are Tuesday 9a.m. – noon, Wednesday 4 – 6 p.m., Thursday 1 – 3 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. – noon. You can reach them by calling 628-6561 or e-mail at newportlandcl@gmail.com.

And now for Percy’s memoir: “When Words Fail,” There is a time for silence, A time for us to withdraw, From the good we’re pursuing, That we may accomplish more. There is a time to repair, To a favorite quiet nook. There is a time to desist, From words that so often fail, And turn to good example which more surely will prevail. (words by Sr. Mary Gemma Brunke).

SOLON & BEYOND: There’s a new business in town

photo: Simply Rustic Facebook page

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

I am so excited and happy to tell you about a wonderful, new shop that has opened in Solon. It is named Simply Rustic, at 1654 River Road, on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The phone number is 431-0028.

I was very impressed with all the many items for sale in the house where Gary and Cindy Rogers and their family lived in years ago. It was very welcoming as I went in the door, and I immediately spied something I couldn’t live without! Here is a list of some of her wares: Lamps, small furniture, signs, candles, jewelry, pip berry garlands, Boot jacks, jams, jellies, pickles, dilly Beans, New and used wraths by Wanda Blanchett.

Much USA-made large wooden sunflowers for outside, granite cheese boards, local honey, local maple syrup, stands from live edge wood, and Goats milk soaps and lotions.

Hope you will all support Cindy with her new and unusual shop!

I received an e-mail from Happy Knits in Skowhegan that says Happyknits is now open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., for phone orders and curbside pickup. Whether its yarn, needles, accessories or patterns, they will be happy to bag it up or mail it out to you. Give them a call, or contact us by email or on Facebook.

Came across an old The Carney Brook Chronicle, dated April 17, 1998, paper that I wrote for back in those days, when I was looking for things to write about now, in a world that has changed. That paper was owned by Terry Drummond and he was very good about putting in whatever I wrote.

That week it happened to be, Memories of a Lost Art, by Marilyn Rogers. The end of an era took place 22 years ago and log driving has become a lost art. It is my belief that history should be remembered as it was before progress set in with the constant rumble and roar of the big trucks now on our highways. Twelve years later I wrote a similar article for the Somerset Reporter. Perhaps there aren’t too many log drivers left in this area that will recall fond memories from these words, but it is my hope that some in the younger generation will find it interesting. The words of the wonderful book Salt say it so well: “If somebody don’t go after things like that – it’s an art that will be lost forever. There will be no remaking of it.

This story will center on river driving in the Dead River area. It started every year as soon as the ice was out, usually in late April. The drive would start on the south branch of the Dead River and it took about two weeks to put in a landing. Large cranes were used to pile the river banks high with pulp, which often extended out into the stream where the pulp wood froze together.

There were two boatmen and a dynamite man to each bateau, a small boat used in river drives, and they would have to open the stream so the pulp could begin its only one journey to the mills drown stream. This was done by poling the bateau upstream where the dynamite man would place charges of dynamite on a long pole, light the fuse and place it under the pile of wood and then get down stream quickly before it blew. It usually took two days of using dynamite before the stream was clear and what was left on land was bulldozed into the stream and then the “rear” started.

Men in the bateaus picked off the center jams and others waded in the cold water clearing pulp from the bushes along the banks . It took about three weeks to drive the south branch – this was eleven hours a day, seven days a week. The men had to work while they had water.

The south branch was all rapids with one set of rips after another except for five miles of quick, deep water and then more rapids. The north branch was also driven but it didn’t have as many rapids. Different companies did each drive. For many years there wasn’t any drive on big Spencer Stream but in the years 1957 through 1959 it was driven again. Ten thousand cords of pulp was taken out each year and two men worked every day breaking up jams when the water was low. I interviewed my stepfather, Clarence Jones, for the information in this story. (Will continue the story next week, but must leave enough room for Percy’s memoir, and here it is…:

“The more you read, the more you know, The more you know, the smarter you grow. The smarter you grow the stronger your voice, when speaking your mind or making your choice.”

SOLON & BEYOND: MCS Library newsletter ready for viewing

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

This morning I have some e-mails to share with you, and as always, I thank the people who send me some news.

The following is from Angie Stockwell;

Dear Readers: COVID-19 has not stopped the presses from running nationally, locally, or at the Margaret Chase Smith Library. The May newsletter is ready for viewing. Most all activity here has been done virtually and it seems that may be the “new normal” for awhile yet. Featured are the Essay Contest winners; National History Day updates; Harley Rogers’ update; links for educational resources; and the 50″ anniversary of Senator Smith’s Second Declaration of Conscience. Here’s the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oNy-DoaMUHITci_uXtAV6wlabIoJjd3h/view.

Stay safe, social distance, and be well, Enjoy!

The other e-mail I received last Friday is from Happyknits store, in Skowhegan, and it starts: Good Morning, Yarn Friends! We’re trying a few new things as we adapt to the world around us. One of those new things is a weekly newsletter offering some ideas of how to keep our collective spirits up until we can see each other face-to-face again. Another “new” thing is that we will be in the store on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., to provide you with curbside service or phone help. We can also pack things up and put them in the mail for you. We’ll be featuring some kits and yarn, and starting a knit-along on Ravelry.

By their very nature, knitters are people that look forward to what is still to come. We think Casapinka’s Breathe and Hope shawl is the perfect project for knitting optimism into your day. We will be starting our own Breathe and Hope Knit-Along on our Happyknits Ravelry Group which began May 8, and we hope you will connect with us and your Happyknits friends by joining the group. We’ve got some kit options available here at the store or we can put something together for you if you have a special request.

Have been trying to organize all the items I have saved during my many years of writing for different papers and came across some more clippings that I had cut out. I also took the pictures for some of the articles. Don’t know which paper this one was in; but the headline caught my attention … Solon couple saves Canadian! By Marilyn Rogers, Solon Correspondent. Solon: Late Friday night, Nov. 30, Larry and Wanda Blanchet were returning home and met a large Canadian truck on the bridge in Solon. Larry glanced in his rear view mirror after they passed and saw fire and sparks coming out from under the truck.

Thinking of the safety of the driver, he hurriedly drove to the Solon Superette and turned around, then raced back through town trying to catch the truck. The truck was rolling right along but the Blanchets caught up with it the other side of River Road and by flashing his lights Larry got the Canadian driver to stop.

Larry was able to converse and got it across that the guy’s truck was on fire. They got the fire extinguisher from the truck and used that all up and the fire still persisted, so Larry went to the home of Gary Davis nearby and got water, finally extinguishing the blaze.

A wheel bearing had caught on fire and oil kept the blaze going: it got so hot the tire exploded.

The Blanchets brought the Canadian back to the home of Wanda’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Adams, where he called his boss in Québec. There was a picture of the couple who had helped the Canadian with that awful situation, and thankfully no one was hurt.

And now for Percy’s memoir; Think on this a bit this week; How to live a hundred years happily: Do not be on the outlook for ill health. Keep usefully at work. Have a hobby. Learn to be satisfied. Keep on liking people. Meet adversity valiantly. Meet the problems of life with decision. Above all, maintain a good sense of humor, best done by saying something pleasant every time you get a chance. Live and make the present hour pleasant and cheerful. Keep your mind out of the past, and keep it out of the future. Hope you have a wonderful week.

SOLON & BEYOND: Answering questions about Flagstaff

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Here I sit on this Monday morning with no paper to read, it doesn’t start the week off right. But here I sit at this computer, hoping I can write something to cheer you all up after what is going on in this crazy mixed up world!

I’m going to start with these words on one of the many little snip-its I have saved called Life’s Little Instructions: Watch a sunrise at least once a year, Strive for excellence, not perfection, Plant a tree on your birthday, Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full, Compliment three people every day, Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them, Leave everything a little better than you found it, Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures, Be forgiving of yourself and others, Remember other people’s birthdays, Have a firm handshake, Send lots of Valentine cards, Sign them, “Someone who thinks you’re terrific,” Look people in the eye, Be the first to say, “Hello,” Return all things you borrow, Make new friends but cherish the old ones, Keep secrets, Plant flowers every spring, Always accept an outstretched hand, Stop blaming others, Take responsibility for every area of your life, Wave at kids on school buses, Live your life as an exclamation not an explanation, Keep your promises (no matter what) and Count your blessings.

I know that’s a lot to remember, but just a few might help.

Last week I wrote some about the Senior Center that was started in Solon years ago. Came across another little clipping with a picture showing the newly-elected Senior Citizen Board; Named as the advisory committee at the Solon Senior Citizen’s center were Mrs. Deborah McAllister, vice chairman, Mrs. Artie Heald, secretary, Eldred Heald, chairman, and Bert W. Paul, treasurer.

There have been several letters to the editor on the CMP Corridor, both for and against, lately. I’m sure you all know where I stand on that issue, since I grew up in Flagstaff. I came across the following words from the book, Moods and Memories, by Nikolai Dejevsky, Drowned Village.

The lake stretches away into tranquility, primal pulsations – Just the mild shiver of the pine carpets cascading the banks, Just the doppelganger clouds skimming the surface. Breathe deep and slow, drink in the scene, savor nature’s best from the vantage point of the dam Which created the lake. Nature preserved, power generated – perfect harmony, you say. In part, yes, but in part no – more like shards of cold hearts which cast a pall over good intent and makes the heart shiver. At least you can spare a consideration for the dead in Flagstaff village, which lies beneath the lake surface before you. A tiny place drowsing in a small valley off the main road. That was all it was before the dam surveyors showed up. But it was rooted in time and place with a church and graveyard, no doubt, With its own sense of identity and pride. How can we tell? Who’s left to ask now that Flagstaff ‘s gone? The dam was their death sentence; the lake won out over village, and well, that was that, case closed, progress guaranteed …The residents got resettled elsewhere, dispersed into oblivion. What happened to the church and the graves? Nobody seems to know. The nearby towns have suffered collective amnesia; Local guidebooks and tourist brochures are silent. Seems less than decent; seems there’s a whiff of guilt in the air. Did the power people make promises, like moral hush money? Did the neighbors sacrifice Flagstaff, wash their hands of it? Did the neighbors sacrifice Flagstaff, wash their hands of it ? If they did, then does the good electricity they rely on and the clear lake water they enjoy not bite back occasionally? Does not the power flicker and the water taste bitter from those drowned graves and abandoned spirits of Flagstaff?

(I don’t know when the above was written, but I would like to answer a few questions asked. The graves were moved to Eustis before Flagstaff was flooded. I would also like to add a small piece of a clipping that I have. (Nearly all of the buildings which have been purchased by the Central Maine Power Co. have been resold and the new owners are making every effort to salvage the materials before rising water makes this impossible. It appears that about six sets of buildings which have not been sold to the company will be inundated when the new lake is at high water mark. I have pictures of them after they were flooded. Never did find out if they got money for their homes and land. (And the statement made in the above poem that really disturbed me was (“Did the neighbors sacrifice Flagstaff, wash their hands of it? I can verify that I did not sacrifice Flagstaff, but I am almost the last one left, and I’m still hanging in there!

And now, from Percy’s memoirs:

Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. For the Lord grants wisdom. Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm. Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. Words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.

SOLON & BEYOND: Remembering Solon Senior Center open house

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Lief just brought me a bowl of popcorn that he had just popped on this Sunday night. It was a very welcome gift as I sit here thinking about the ‘Good Old Days!’ Had greatly appreciated all of the Solon School news that had been sent to me and I enjoyed sharing it all with you, but I haven’t received any other news so I’m hoping you will like this old news that I found in my stash of old memories in Solon.

The first clipping I have in front of me states, “Senior Citizens To Hold Open House At Solon Tuesday.” Senator Harvey Johnson, of Smithfield and Representative Herbert Hanson, of Solon, were among the 37 interested persons attending an “Open House” at Fireman’s Hall Tuesday afternoon in observance of the forming of Solon’s Senior Citizens Center.

First Selectman Malcolm M. Hall, as Master of Ceremonies introduced Rep. Hanson and was extended the official welcome for the town. Mr. Hall then presented Senator Harvey Johnson who spoke briefly, mentioning elderly people, of his acquaintance, who stay young and retain meritorious abilities.

The Rev. Arthur Durbin, of Waterville, program director for the Upper Kennebec Valley Senior Citizens Centers was the next to speak. In presenting Rev. Mr. Durbin, Selectman Hall said he is well known to Solon residents, having been one of the supply ministers for the Solon Federated Church for the past few years.

He said these centers are service organizations, one of the mottos being, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He quoted one interested elderly person as saying, ” I don’t mind getting old but I don’t want to get old alone.” Another quotation from Mr. Durbin’s informative talk was, “Age is just a question of spirit.” He concluded his talk with the favorite slogan for centers. “Live as long as you can.”

Mrs. Marilyn Rogers has been named Director of the Solon Center and will supervise the program. Mrs. Rogers will be assisted by her committees including executive advisory, entertainment, program and service.

There was more to that clipping, but I don’t want to run out of apace to share the best clipping of all! And it is past our bedtime!)

This one starts like this, SOLON SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER Editor, People’s Voice: This is a rather exclusive organization being limited to ages between 60 and 110. This will create something of a hardship for those who have dreaded to cross the imaginary deadline and have been 59 for seven or eight years. In order for them to join it will be necessary to age a bit rather rapidly.When sufficient members reach the 110-year bracket, in manner similar to other organizations, they will be permitted to advance to the S.C.S,C. or Senior Citizens Super Center. Membership in this branch will be limited to 17 years, however some leniency may be observed in the enforcement of this rule. If members feel that they are getting too close to this upper limit: some vagueness as to the number of birthdays may be allowed.

Activities of the organization are to be strictly limited to what the members wish to do.

I regret that I cannot fully participate in the program as the director tells me that strict adherence to the truth is expected at all times; which eliminates a normal desire to depart slightly from cold fact in order to promote interest in an otherwise dull narrative. Apparently this innocent pastime, sometimes referred to as gilding the lily is frowned upon. Factual yick yack is definitely encouraged.

A primary part of the required regalia is a pleasant smile. Except for the foregoing stringent requirements there is little difficulty in becoming a member. So climb the stationary escalator, otherwise known as stairs, and join the fun. The above was written by Eldred Heald.)

I can’t remember how many years I had that fun job with many wonderful friends seeming to enjoy it, also. One of the things I showed them was painting, and as it turned out there were several truly talented people who produced some lovely paintings. We also went on many trips to different parts of our world!

And so now for Percy’s memoir: “Old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then… we are freed from the grasp, not of one mad master only, but of many.”

SOLON & BEYOND: Rest of news from Solon Elementary School

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

This is the rest of the Solon School News letter that I received last week. Solon Students Win District MEA Awards: Six Solon students are the recipients of awards in the RSU #74 MEA Awards Program. Awards are given to the student or students who receive the highest score in reading, math, and science in the district on Maine Educational Assessment each year.

Fifth grader Kaitlin Dellarma won the math award for her perfect score on the fourth grade MEA last spring.

Five Solon fifth graders received perfect scores in reading/English language arts on the fourth grade MEA last spring. Winners were Kaitlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Jillian Robinson, Veronica Hoffman, and Kaylynn Clark.

CCS sixth grader William Rogers achieved highest score in the district in science on the MEA he took as a fifth grader at the Solon School last spring.

Each winner received a certificate and a check for $50. Their names are displayed on a plaque at CCS. Thank you to Chet and Sara Hiskox and the Solon, CCS, and Garret Schenck PTO’s for supporting this award program. Congratulations to our winners!

As a Valentine’s day activity and an annual tradition, the students played Hearts in multi-age groups on February 13.

K-5 students who turned in their vacation week bingo cards got a chance to go snowshoeing with Ms. Rich in the fields behind the school on February 28. The bingo cards showed the healthy activities students did during vacation instead of screen time.

Solon Celebrates Happy Birthday Maine Week: During the week of March 13, Solon Elementary School celebrated the State of Maine’s 200th birthday with lots of special activities. These included daily guest readers (like Maine boxer Brandon Berry, dress-up days, daily trivia contests, and a “Munch & Learn” activity. We thank Mrs. LaChance and Mrs. Stevens for organizing the week’s events for us.

Again, I thank the person who sent me all of the things happening at our school in the past months and I hope and pray that things will be back to normal in the Spring.

Received the following e-mail from Sarah, Karla and Mary Lou, at HappyKnits, in Skowhegan.

Dear Yarn Friends, We wish we could see you in person, but until that day comes, we’d like to let you know of a few different ways you can replenish your yarn supply ( and support us here at Happyknits, too!)

Sarah is still happy to mail yarn, needles and accessories directly from Happyknits to you. Contact us via Facebook or email (leave a phone number , please) and she will call you back.

We’ve partnered with Berroco to bring you there 1-2-3 Dropship Program. It is as easy as 1-2-3: You (# 1)find a yarn or kit at Berroco, then contact Happyknits (#2) to place your order, and then (#3) Berroco ships your purchase to your house. By the way, they’re offering this for more than just Burroco yarns – Lang, Lopi and others are also acailable.

Making things with fiber is how many of us are staying focused these days. Let us know if we can help. Until we meet again, please keep yourselves safe! Sarah, Karla and Mary Lou.

There are several things that are keeping me going these difficult days: Praying, watching the many different birds at our feeders and knitting pin cushions as if they are going out of style! Knitting is surely a good way to calm down, I swear by it, but praying is at the top of my list.

Came across a recipe for “A Happy Marriage,” recently, and I’m sending it as Percy’s memoir: Take two happy people and separate them from their parents. Add the following ingredients in generous proportions: Love, Acceptance, Respect, Communication, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-Control, Commitment, Faith, Hope and Truth. Mix together, then thoroughly sift in daily life. Strain out jealousy, arrogance, selfishness, provocation and accounting of wrongs. Bake in the trials and tribulations of life for 50 years, then celebrate when golden. (This was hand written on a pretty piece of paper but it doesn’t say who thought up that good advice.) Hope you like it, and that it will help sooth you in these troubled times.

SOLON & BEYOND: RSU#74 students get learning packets

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

My many, many thanks for the Solon School news, I didn’t think I would be getting any more of them for quite awhile.

RSU #74 Schools deal with Coronavirus pandemic: Due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through the state and nation, Solon Elementary School and the other schools of RSU #74 closed on March 16. We miss our students and hope we can be together with them again soon.

During this closure, teachers and staff have prepared learning packets to be delivered to students’ homes once a week to keep students in the routines of school. We thank parents and guardians for working with students at home to do the work. Remember that you can e-mail your child’s teacher or call him/her at the district’s Call Center at (207) 635-3278 Monday through Friday from 8 -11 a.m., for help or answers to any questions you may have.

In addition to sending home learning packets, the district has provided take-home breakfasts and lunches available at the school and other hubs around the district from 11- noon, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Teachers are calling or e-mailing their students’ families once a week to touch base and see how they are doing. That is a good time to ask questions about the learning packet work or to let us know of any needs that you have that we could help with.

We thank the families, the students, and the staff for working together to get through this unprecedented and challenging time for all of us. We’re all in this together and we will make it through!

PTO Fundraiser Changes:

The Solon PTO ran a calendar raffle fundraiser during the month of March. Students were in the process of selling tickets when the school shut down on March 16th. The drawing for winners was scheduled to take place in April.

The fundraiser will still take place when we return to school, when ever that happens to be. The tickets that have already been turned in will be held, and students can bring in additional tickets and money when we return to school. Details about how we will conduct this raffle will go home with students at that time.

The PTO thanks you for your support of this fundraiser to enable them to provide special activities for our students.

Our fifth grade teacher Mr. Corson ran his annual Kitty Kats basketball program at the Solon School this winter. Most students in grades K-5 participated in this program in which they learned basketball skills and drills while practicing sportsmanship and team work. On February 12, students demonstrated their ball handling skills to music for their families and friends at a Kitty Kats Basketball Fun Night.

Because Mr. Corson is retiring from teaching at the end of the school year, this was the last Kitty Kats Program. Corson started the program at the school in 1983 and has run it every year since then (except for the two years he worked at CCS). To recognize and thank Mr. Corson for his many years as the coach of the Kitty Cats Program at Solon Elementary School, the staff and students presented him with a basketball signed by all the players and staff and a banner to hang in the gym to commemorate his 35 years of service. Thank You Mr. Corson!

SOLON & BEYOND: Stroll reminded me of happy times with walk group

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Today as I sit here at my computer, I’m thinking about the walk I took this afternoon; it brings back many happy days in the past. As many of you know who have been reading this column back in the good old days about a walking group I started. It was made up of many good friends over the years, and we were eventually named The Solon Chapter Beer Drinking, Chowder Eating, Marching and Singing Society, (SCB DCEMSS) by someone in Solon!

Now for some news that I received: The Embden Historical Society April 13, 2020, meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., at the Embden Community Center, has been canceled (Speaker Jack Gibson’s presentation on “Properties, Trails & History” of Somerset Woods will be rescheduled in 2021). Thanks Carol, for keeping us informed.

Another e-mail that I received was from Sarah, Karla and Mary Lou of Happyknits and it states: Dear Yarn Friends, Sometimes there are events in life that force us to slow down and take stock. We recognize that the most important thing now is to help those who are out there helping others.

Starting today, Happyknits will be closed until Governor Mills’ Stay Healthy at Home order expires, currently April 30. While it will be difficult to lock the door and walk away today, it was not a difficult choice to make. Just know that we will be here for all of you once this ordeal is over, ready to see your smiling faces walk through that door. Until then, we wish all of you and all those you care about the best of health.

Let us know via Facebook or e-mail and what you are doing. What are you knitting or crocheting? Are you finishing those UFOs? Doing some deep stash diving? Reconnecting with old friends? Reach out! We love to know.

I’m going to continue with a little more about living in Flagstaff from the articles that were published. Would the pace of modern-day living have reached Flagstaff? Some of us didn’t have electricity or plumbing, and yet I don’t feel underprivileged because of the pleasant memories I treasure.

The skiing and sliding on Jim Eaton Hill, skating on Flagstaff Pond in winter and swimming in summer. Everyone in town turned out for school socials and plays. It was a wonderful place to grow up. But all during my childhood, every so often during the grown ups conversations, mention was made of a dam being built and having to move. The thought was intolerable, and yet it did come to pass, and in the fall of 1949 the people of Flagstaff and Dead River went their separate ways.

As I wrote last week, my brother Larry is very interested in what growing up in Flagstaff was like, and so that brought back lots of memories. One of them being that we didn’t have indoor plumbin, and quite a few stairs to get there. It was a three holer and quite breezy…. But what I’m getting at is for the benefit of all you people out there who are having a hard time to get enough toilet paper in this terrible situation!

Way back in those days, the Sears Robuck catalogue was used for that purpose! Don’t know if that company is still in business, but there are many other catalogs that might work! Good Luck.

And now for Percy’s memoirs, we hope to cheer you up! This one is entitled Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled: When the days are long and the way seems dark and you can’t hear the song of a bluebird or lark, May the words in this verse brighten your day and chase your worries and cares away. Whenever I am troubled and lost in deep despair I bundle all my troubles up and go to God in prayer… I tell Him I am heartsick and lost and lonely, too, that my mind is deeply burdened and I don’t know what to do… But I know He stilled the tempest and calmed the angry sea, And I humbly ask if in His love He’ll do the same for me… And then I just keep quiet and think only thoughts of Peace, and if I abide in stillness my “restless murmurings” cease. (words by Helen Steiner Rice)…..and this quick one, Even a fish wouldn’t get in trouble if it would keep it’s mouth shut.

SOLON & BEYOND: With nothing going on, happy to hear from brother

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Here I sit again this morning with no good news to share, everything seems to have been canceled. Received this e-mail from Jeremy Lehan from RSU #54; Dear Enrichment Instructors, As you have undoubtedly heard by now, RSU #54 has extended the school closure through April 26. Because enrichment classes were only scheduled to run a couple of weeks beyond that, I have regrettably decided to cancel them outright for this semester. I shall miss my painting friends, but I know this is the best way to go.

Another one is from Carol Dolan; “This is to inform you that the April 13, 2020, Embden Historical Society meeting has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Jack Gibbson is willing to speak April 2021 on the Somerset Woods. Stay healthy and safe.”

Also from Carol Dolan: Wanted to pass on: The Embden Town Office is closed to the public until further notice. The Stewart Public Library is still closed. But PLEASE look at the webpage www.stewartpub.lib.me.us. There are many things posted there for activities. Also how to get a Maine State Library ebook card, so you can download or read ebooks during this time. If you have ILL books/tapes, call Emily at 635-2231 when you’re done with them – no hurry. Stay put, be safe, and we’ll get through this. Thanks again Carol for keeping us informed.

Thought that was all I had and had been trying to think what else I could write about, when, low and behold, another e-mail popped up on my favorite subject! This one from my brother, Larry: “Good morning, day 16 of isolation for me. Steph is still working from her office for now.

“We’ve never been through anything like this before, so it really feels weird.

“I mentioned that I was going to be nosey about what life was like in Flagstaff when you were growing up. If you feel like jotting down some memories, I would love to read them. I put togethyer some random questions, but these were only ideas, I’d rather read what you put together. Random thoughts, or not.

“Hang in there. Love, Larry.”

Can’t remember just when Roland and I did a series in The Town Line called The Burial of Flagstaff, but I think my brother Larry will appreciate some of my thoughts on the question that he asked. (Editor’s note: A four-part series was published in August 2005.) (Perhaps some of you are tired of hearing about Flagstaff, just let me know?)

Roland started the article with these words: “In 1944, five years before its demise, Flagstaff’s population was listed at 97.

Solon resident, Marilyn Rogers, was born and grew up in Flagstaff, and in the next three parts in this series, with the help of a well documented scrapbook, she will take us through the years leading to the flooding of the town in the name of progress.”

I started out with the following words, “Thoughts of my hometown, Flagstaff, are often on my mind, along with family and friends who I grew up with.

“Twenty-two years ago, I asked John Alden, editor of the Somerset Reporter; if he would print a story about Flagstaff. He had never heard of the place, but he did print the article which included parts of newspaper clippings of the building of the dam that flooded the area – 1949 was the year many of us headed out to a new adventure after living in Flagstaff and Dead River our entire lives.”

Excerpts from Marilyn Rogers’ article in the Somerset Reporter in 1983: “I wonder what my life would have been like if 35 years ago we hadn’t been ordered from our homes in Flagstaff and Dead River by Central Maine Power Co.? Did you ever stop to think what it would be like not to be able to go back to your home-town? I finally went back to where Flagstaff used to be…. and the peace and tranquility were still there; and the strength of Mt. Bigelow towering in the distance was as comforting as it had always been in my childhood years.”

In one of my clippings it states, “Eventually CMP also clear-cut 18,000 acres of woodland. Wildfires took care of many of the stumps and other debris that remained.”

And now for Percy’s memoir: “Even if it burns a little low at times the secret of Life is to always keep the Flame of Hope Alive.” (words from the little book, Positive Thinking….Laughter for the soul.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Hopefully, April scheduled production will still happen

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
Solon, Maine 04979

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

Instead of all the bad news out there, I’m going to start with a wonderful message I received on our family website from my daughter in law, Sherry Rogers. “In a society that has you counting money, pounds, calories, and steps, be a rebel and count your blessings instead. (Peter started this family website several years ago, and it has made this mother very, very happy!) I hope you all like its message, Thanks, Sherry.

Received an e-mail from Diana Perkins on March 9, but hadn’t put it in until the date of the event was closer. Now I’m going to print it and hope when the time comes, it won’t have been canceled. A travelling Production Company will be giving their annual live drama presentation of Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames at the Riverside Assembly Church, 32 Water Street , Fairfield, on Sunday April 26, Monday April 27, and Tuesday April 28, at 7 p.m., show times. Free admission! For more information call (207)453-7342. All are welcome!

She ended her note with the following words, which really made my day! Dear Marilyn, I read your column religiously and enjoy all your news. I hope that this can be used in your column when the appropriate week is closer. If this cannot be used in your column, please let me know the appropriate person to contact to have this announced in our area. Thanks for all the good information that you share with readers.

The following information is from Angela Stockwell: Dear Readers, The March newsletter is ready for viewing. With the spread of coronavirus throughout the world and into Maine, the library is closed to the public until April 6. Many of the articles within the newsletter may mention event dates and deadlines which may have been postponed or canceled. Please check the MCS Library Facebook page for updates at www.Facebook.com/MargaretChaseSmithLibrary. The staff is working from home and technology will allow us to keep abreast of inquires.

Featured in the newsletter are articles about the essay contest and National History Day in Maine, the newest exhibit, our newest staff member, new leadership, as well as a visit by “Flat Stanley.” A reminder to “Save the Date” for May 22 for the annual Maine Town Meeting. As Dr. Richards reminds us in his “Directions” article, “Wash your hands and sneeze into your arm. Take care and stay well. ” Again, my thanks for that information.

And now some news from Happy Knits in Skowhegan; Dear Yarn Friends, At a time when it seems like the world out there is changing from one hour to the next, one thing we can rely on is our own connection to each other. That won’t change, even if we have to adjust our lives temporarily to keep each other safe and healthy.

From the time being, we have decided to suspend our group knitting activities (Tuesday nights and Thursday afternoons) for the sake of our patrons and staff. This is a temporary measure, and will resume as soon as we hear that it is safe to do so.

As yarn and fiber users, we all have our handwork to fall back on if we need to hunker down at home for a bit. In that way we are so much more fortunate than others. If we have to slow down our human interactions for awhile, we still can reach out to each other in other ways. Let’s keep in touch.

There is only room for a short one of Percy’s memoirs this morning. I don’t know who wrote it. It was on a small piece of paper that I had printed it on… “Old gardeners never die, they just lose their bloomers!”