SOLON & BEYOND: Solon budget committee meets

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

The following is notes on the annual Solon Budget Committee meeting held last Saturday: The committee nominated and elected Michael Golden as chairperson. Elaine Aloes gave a selectmen update. Ann Padham has moved out of town. Heather Padham has taken her place on the budget committee.

The committee discussed article 5. The article sets funds for general government and allows flexibility to move money around if needed. This was recommended yes by the committee. A discussion about the duties of the Health Officer took place. This is extra work for the Codes Enforcement Officer being done by Terri LaMontaine for which $200 was recommended by committee.

Discussion points at the committee included several issues. The committee recommended yes to all. Pay raises which is two percent plus minimum wage increase. The Codes Enforcement officer position has a recommended raise. Terri is doing the job well, is responsive to complaints and follows through. She is helpful to the planning committee and dealt with a rat infestation well. This amounts to $400 a month and includes all travel.

The TRIO system currently in use is no longer supported by Microsoft and a new system using SOL is proposed. It is user friendly, web-based and secure. The cost is $7,055. The paving project is at a total of $792,000. This includes the Brighten Road, Drury Road, Falls Road, French Hill Road, Grant Road, Hole in the Wall Road, Pleasant Street, and York Street. The money will be pulled from reserve funds and LRAP funds. The chip seal technique like what was done on the South Solon Road will be used.

The fire department proposed the building of an addition to the fire station. It will be about 55 feet by 30 feet. It will store extra gear and the workbench. There will be a garage door, a rear exit and a window. The siding will match the building. The budget is $25,000.

The lights will be changed to LEDs and one light will be added. It is estimated to save $2,000 a year with the use of LEDs.

The amount $5,000 was raised and appropriated for heat pumps for the town office. The fire department is considering taking over the parade. The person who runs it in the past doesn’t plan to continue. Special event money budgeted is $1,000. First Park debt is now paid off and Solon will receive revenues. Last year there was $4,000 in revenue. The amount of $7,000 was raised to help pay off the approximate $20,000 fire department truck loan quicker.

The Capital Reserve account included $9,000 more with most of that for the transfer station truck and tub. The library will be improved with some of this money.

The reserve surplus was increased to $100,000. Even with this increase from $80,000, the overall net raised by taxes is decreased by 12.9 percent. The committee recomends yes.

The Budget Committee Ordinance changes the name of the group to the Advisory Committee. This reflects the work of the committee and all current members will continue in that role. The committee recommends yes.

And now for some sad news; My dear friend and walking partner, Alice Heald died recently, She was the one that had been presented with the Gold Cane several years ago. I received the following names of NEXT IN LINE for BOSTON POST GOLD CANE from the Solon Selectmen, I will put in the next in line for the cane is Patricia Munroe (2/17/1925; after her is Gladys Rogers (12/23/1925) Lois Starbird) (9/23/1927) next is Richard Viekman (1/13//1929, Marilyn Rogers (429/1929), Carlene Viekman (9/25/1930) Leon Hilton (9/30/1930) Loen Burbank (12/19/1930).

I’m running late again this morning so I will end with Percy’s memoir with these words: Can You Say? Can you say in parting with the day that’s slipping fast, That you helped a single person of the many you have passed? Is a single life rejoicing over what you did or said? Does some one whose hopes were fading, now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day or lose it, Was it well or poorly spent? Did you leave a trend of kindness, or a scar of discontent? As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God would say—-You have made the world much better for the life you’ve lived today? ( I can only hope!)

SOLON & BEYOND: Pine Tree 4-Hers hold meeting

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

I was very pleased to receive the following e-mail: Solon Pine Tree met on Saturday, January 9, at the Solon Fire Station. In attendance were Cooper and Kaitlin Delarma, Lindsay and Charlotte Hamilton, Jilliam Robinson, and Sarah Craig.

The craft project was making a cloth mask from a T-shirt.

New News: 4-H Virtual Passport Around the World is being offered to members 12-18 years of age. This opportunity starts January 19 and introduces young people to their peers from different cultural backgrounds. They use brief presentations, hands-on activities and discussions to learn about different countries. Due to COVID-19 Solon Pine Tree 4-H will be unable to provide a dinner for the annual town meeting in Solon this year. They are also unable to sell baked goods for the annual fundraiser to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard. Solon Solon Pine Tree 4-H will provide a donation box to collect donations for the food cupboard on town meeting day. In March, five members will give their demonstrations.

Next Meeting: Their next meeting will be Saturday, February 13, at 9:30 a.m., at the station.

My many thanks to Hailey Dellarma for sending me the above news.

Now for some more Solon School News that I didn’t have room for last week: Second Graders Enjoy Bird Study: This year the L.C. Bates Museum, in Hinckley, can’t send museum staff members to our school to present natural science programs to the students as has been done in past years. But the museum found a way to still reach out to area area schools with their wonderful science lessons.

With funding from a grant, this year the museum made up two units, one on birds and one on insects, complete with videos and hands-on activities for second grade students. Because students can’t share materials, the museum made up an individual kit for each student.

Mrs. Currieie’s second graders loved the bird kit and especially dissecting owl pellets. They were fascinated by the things they found in the pellets, which showed what owls eat. The insect kits will arrive soon, and the students look forward to studying about bugs. The teachers appreciate the support of the L.C. Bates Museum in teaching the students about science in a hands-on, interactive way that engages students while still meeting social distancing guidelines.

My many thanks, also to the ones who send the above news from Solon School News! It is very much appreciated by me, and I hope those who read it.

Both Lief and I were very excited one day last week when there was a picture of a Pine Grosbeak on the front page of the daily paper! Above the picture it said, “OUT-OF-STATE-VISITOR! Just a couple of days prior to that we had seen three of these beautiful birds enjoying the seeds we put out every day for our bird friends. (Under the picture in the paper it said, “A female Pine Grosbeak pits a seed Monday while feeding on fruit with a flock of fellow Canadian finches in Readfield. Reports of irrupting boreal birds persist across Maine with numerous species feeding across the state due to a scarcity of fruit and seeds in Canada.”

Lief and I really enjoy watching all our different bird friends as they fly around and eat the seeds we put out for them; it was a true blessing when we had one from a different country

As you all know, I’ve been going back in time lately for lack of recent news, and that is why I get so excited, when I do get some, like the above….Can’t thank you enough.

I’m a little behind this morning so I know many of you look forward to Percy’s memoirs: The first one is Don’t Give Up, You may be tempted to, but don’t give up; when you’ve lost the desire to try, and you’ve misplaced your hopeful dreams, dare to believe again in the impossible; Catch a ray of sunshine, and hold on tightly; The One who holds your hand….will never let you go.

And now another one to cheer you up in these troubled times….called The Secret of Living: Make each day a magnificent adventure. Accept the challenges that come your way. Seize each opportunity that you find. Without concern for what others might say. Experience each day with open arms. Savoring both victory and strife. Welcoming the good and bad together. For only then will you know the joy of life.

Again I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SOLON & BEYOND: News from Solon Elementary School

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

Here I sit on the new year of 2021, and I wish all of you a Happy New Year!

The following is the December Solon School News. The Principal’s Message: I hope that all of our students and their families are enjoying the holiday season. It has been a challenging year, and we all need a little holiday cheer.

Our students and staff continue to work hard in their academic endeavors. Every student now has his/her own laptop computer to use both at school and at home. Students attending in person have learned how to access their lessons remotely for Mondays and in the event that we had to go fully remote for a few days or a period of time. We appreciate all that our families are doing to support their children and our school. We know that the demands on parents have increased, and we applaud you for all you are doing to support your children’s education.

Remember to send your children with warm winter clothes now that we are into the cold time of year. Extra mittens or gloves and a hat always come in handy.

Handmade Ornaments Decorate Christmas Tree: We did our Secret Santa ornament activity again this year. Each student and staff member drew a name and made an ornament for that person. Those ornaments are special decorations on our school Christmas season to brighten our spirits during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving Fun: Students in grades K-1 celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday on November 16. They learned about the history of Thanksgiving and made headgear that represented the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Mr. Tracy came in and read a Thanksgiving story to the kindergarten class and then joined the K-2 students for their traditional Thanksgiving dinner in our cafeteria.

Veteran’s Window: As we do every year, the students and staff of Solon Elementary School filled out stars with information about veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in their families. In November we hung all of those stars in our front window with a thank you to all of our veterans. Thanks to Mrs. Campbell for organizing the project.

Solon School Holds Thanksgiving Food Drive: During the month of November, we held a Thanksgiving Food Drive to help those in need. Students and staff collected 292 items for the Solon Food Cupboard. Mrs. Steven’s fourth grade class collected the largest number of items. Thanks to all of our families and staff for your donation.

Solon Fire Department Offers Fire Safety Program: On November 6, Assistant Fire Chief Todd Dixon and firefighter Jenny Rollins from the Solon Fire Department presented a fire safety program to our students. This was in conjunction with Fire Safety Month, which is October. This year their presentation had to take social distancing into account, but creative planning made this program possible. Along with teaching their fire safety lesson, they brought fire safety items for the students and staff.

We appreciate the support of the Solon Fire Department during Fire Safety Month and all year long!

Thank-You to Donors: We would like to recognize individuals and community groups for helping us to meet the needs of our families during the Christmas season. The coronavirus pandemic has made times more difficult for families who need some help with food, clothes, and gifts for their children. These great people helped Santa to make the holidays merry and bright for families.

For help with food, we want to thank these: Good Shepherd Food bank, KVCAP, Solon 4H, Annie Griffith. For help with clothes and toys for children for Christmas, we want to thank these; Solon Congregational Church, Lions Club, Debi & Harry Hartford, Ann Jackson, donation in memory of Lewis Cahill and Ellen McQuiston.

New Library Books Arrive: The Solon school library received some new books for grades 3-5 readers last week thanks to an anonymous donor. The donor gave some money to our school for giving tree Christmas gifts for children and for new library books. This donation was made in memory of Mr. Lewis Cahill, who passed away in August. We appreciate this support of our school.

I think I have told you about going through old papers recently trying to get organized…..(that’s a laugh!) Anyway, I came across this old article from The Town Line dated January 3, 2008, with only Percy’s picture on it: and he wrote; “This is Percy wishing you the happiest of New Years! I am missing my human, she has been down in sunny Florida since before Christmas. I am thrilled beyond belief that she is letting me write this column again, since so many of you have told her that you prefer my writing instead of hers. Since I don’t have any real news to share, I have been reflecting on what subject to write about, think perhaps Happiness might be a good topic to delve into. Our bi-line each week being, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and she’s been using it for years, before I started helping her. Does that make you stop and think just how happy you really are? “Cheerfulness greases the axles of the world, Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. True happiness consists in making others happy.” But the one I like the best is, “There are two essentials to happiness: something to do, and someone to love.”

It gives me great pleasure to behold the sappy look on my human’s face when I lavish her with love, (I curl up in her lap and put my paw as far around her neck as I can and sing at the top of my lungs!) That is pure ecstasy, and makes me happy, also.

As I have told you before, the first thing she does in the morning, even before she gets her breakfast, is to give me my dish of tuna fish, such love is beyond measure. Do I appreciate it? You betcha!

Enough of that… I still miss Percy, but it is fun to remember him and his wonderful personality. And now again… Happy New Year!

SOLON & BEYOND: Budget committee ready to prepare warrant

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

To All Budget Committee Members: This is the notice of the annual budget meeting where the budget committee will give their recommendation on the articles in the annual town meeting warrant.

The budget package will be available for pick up at the town office on Wednesday January 13. If you want a package mailed let the town office know before January 13. If you want a package emailed to you, call Leslie with your email address prior to January 13th.

They are considering doing this meeting with an in-person option by Skype for those who do not want to attend in person due to the coronavirus. If you want to attend the meeting by contact the town office to give your email address so they can send you the invite to the meeting.

The town is planning a road paving project in 2021 for the Brighton Road, Grant Road, French Hill Road, Hole in the Wall Road ( the already paved section), Pleasant Street, and possibly School Street and York Street. They will have the estimated cost by the budget meeting.

The Fire Department plans to build an extension on the north side of the fire station for equipment storage in 2021. They will be asking for permission to use Fire Department Capital Reserve funds and Municipal Buildings Maintenance Reserve funds or Rainy Day Funds to fund the project. The Fire Department was not able to do any of their fund raisers this year and have used up their Fire Department Reserve Fund on purchasing gear and equipment for the fire department. They will discuss the cost and funding options at the budget meeting.

Ann Padham has resigned from the budget committee because she has moved to Madison. Beverly Gephart will move up to a full member and Hether Forsten will join as an alternate member.

Nomination papers are available for a three-year selectmen position, a three-year school board member and a one-year Road Commissioner position and are due back by Monday, January 5. The nomination papers will be available from the town clerk and are required to have the signatures of at least 25 registered Solon voters when they are turned in.

This piece of old news was from January 21, 2005; and it starts with these words: Good Morning My Friends, Don’t Worry be Happy. WOW! The sky ‘s the limit!

Here I sit, (overwhelmed) as I contemplate what I have done. Have told you before how much it means to me to share the news with you, and give you love and laughter along the way. But…. never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that I would attempt to be an editor/publisher of a little paper. Not sure how many issues there will be, but presently they can be picked up at Griswold’s, in Solon Corner Market’, Solon Superette, and Pinkham’s Elm Street Market, in North Anson.

Would like to send the following words by Alin Austin, out to all of you who dare to dream: You Can Do It: Look within. And listen to your heart. You can do it. You can reach that goal. You can make that new reality instead of accepting things the way they used to be… You Can Do It. All of your highest hopes are with you. Nothing will hold you back but your own fears. And if those fears were created by you, they can be dealt with by you… and said good-bye to. You can do it: Say it to yourself, and believe it in your heart. Make every single day a positive a start leading to a better and bright tomorrow. You can do it. You really can.

There was other news and then it ended like this! Early Wednesday morning I was reading the daily paper and looked up to see Percy proudly strutting toward me with a live mouse hanging out of his mouth. I looked into the imploring eyes of the mouse, who seemed to be pleading, “HELP-p.p.p!” I looked away, hardening my heart, and forcefully told Percy, “Don’t you dare let him go!” Sure enough, he disobeyed yet again and I stood up in my chair and kept muttering, “Oh, oh,oh” as the lucky mouse scurried to and fro around and under my chair, with Percy in hot pursuit. He hasn’t caught it yet to my knowledge. The last time I saw it was when I preparing to go to bed that night. It peeked out at me from under a stand then dashed under the couch! Needless to say, I was quite perturbed with Percy, and even went so far as to think I wouldn’t let him give any advise this week. But as usual I softened my heart and since we are in this newspaper business together, he has approved of the following message:

The world is divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something and those who sit and inquire, “Why wasn’t it done this way?” (Editor’s note: Have always had a problem with commas, and hence I threw them in hither and yon, with the idea that the editor would place them where they should be… and so please bear with me on that one. It always tickles me in this modern world when there are workshops on “Creative Writing,” in my old-fashioned way, I still blunder along in my crazy writing habits, and yet you seem to enjoy it, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Oh yes, one more thing, I really do hope those beautiful words, by Alin Austin, will inspire some of you to try the impossible, even though it may seem out of the realm of sanity. But I must warn you, without prayer I wouldn’t recommend it.)

Can’t remember how many of the above papers I continued to write as editor and owner of a little paper, it was fun but quite a project! Then I got called to write for a real paper, again.

I still miss Percy to this day, he was quite a special cat even though he had a mind of his own. I can’t thank Roland enough for letting me put in Percy’s memoirs every week.

This week’s memoir is as follows: If the offence was committed against you, remember your own undeserved forgiveness; draw from that abundant supply and share what has been given to you… it is not yours to hoard. (The title of the little book this saying was in is, Hugs to encourage and inspire.)

May you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SOLON & BEYOND: Embden Historical Society releases schedule for 2021

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

Am very happy to have some recent news to share with you as I sit here at this computer early this morning. As always, my many thanks go out to Carol Dolan for faithfully keeping us informed.

Embden Historical Society, Inc. 2021 Program. All meetings are on the second of the month. The meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with program at 7 p.m.

There will no meetings in January, February, March and April.

May 6, 2021, at 9, Rain date May 7. Clean Town House and Grounds. May 10, 2021, Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Program at 7 p.m. Program: Properties, Trails, & History of Somerset Woods. Carol Dolan (slide presentation) by Jack Gibson, Location: Embden Town House, 751 Cross Town Road, Embden. Refreshments: Lois Erickson and Sara Donovan. Open building: Larry Witham.

June 14, 2021: Car Pool from Town House 6:30 p.m.; 7p.m., History and Tour; Brief business meeting following program: History and Tour of the South Solon Meeting House, Chairman: Andy Davis. Meet at: Embden Town House, 751 Cross Town Road, Embden, Car Pool to South Solon Meeting House Rd. Solon. July 12, 2021, Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Program at 7 p.m. Program: The 1947 Fires in Maine, Could it Happen Again? Two old short films; Questions by Kent Nelson, Forest Ranger Specialist. Refreshments: Greg Scribner and Carol Dolan. Open, Air, & Clean Building. August 9, Program following the meeting, “Winter Walk” in Maine and Labrador, by Alexandra Conover-Bennett. Refreshment Committee: Jeanne Moore and Rita Tripp. September 13, 2021. Social Time: 4:30 p.m., Meal 5 p.m. Annual Potluck Meal. Drinks, plastic ware and plates provided. Members to bring your choice of: Casserole/Salad /Bread /Pickles or Dessert. Location: Jim/Jenny Lightbody, 133 Kennebec River Rd., Embden. Tour the Lightbody’s Museum. Annual meeting and Election of officers. Committee: Lois Erickson, Charlie and Mary Frear.

September 20, at 7 p.m. Program: Executive Committee Meeting to plan 2022’s Program. Location: Jim/Jenny Lightbody’s home, 133 Kennebeck River Rd., Embden.

October 11, Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Program. Embden’s Changes Over the Last 200 Years: Chairman: Bob Donovan, by Bob Dononovan. November 8 ( Meal: 5:30: Meeting 6:30: Yankee Swap follows) Program: Harvest Fest ( Pot Luck) / Yankie Swap: Jim Lightbory, Sr. Meal Chairpersons: Lois Erickson, Larry Witham & Elaine Jillson. Lois Ericson (pies) Mary Hatch (rolls) . There won’t be any meeting in December.

Another welcome bit of news is from Hailey Dellarma with 4-H news. Solon Pine Tree met on Saturday, December 12, at the Solon Fire Station. In attendance there were Kaitlin Dellarma, Devyn and Katelyn DeLeonardis, Desmond and Jillian Robinson, Isabella Atwood, and Autumn Ladd.

Craft projects were making Gromes from cardboard triangles, fabric, ribbon yarn and miniature Christmas bulbs for the nose.

The club purchased a Christmas dinner for a family of four. The dinner will be delivered next week. They collected items at the meeting to be donated to the Somerset Animal Shelter. They also read theThank You card from Tim Curtis for raking at the church.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

This is to inform you that the Embden Community Center Thrift Shop will be closed until further notice. It’s a “wait and see” approach after the first of the year.

And now for Percy’s memoir called, “Don’t Quit!” When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all up hill, when the funds are low, and the debts are high, and you want to smile, but you have to sigh, when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you must, but don’t you quit. Life is odd with its twists and turns, as everyone of us sometimes learns and many a failure turns about, when he might have won had he stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow. Success is failure turned inside out. The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are it may be near when it seems so far, So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

SOLON & BEYOND: The Passing of the Back House

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

Have been going through all my old stash of memories of days gone by and decided to write some of the funny things I have written about to give you a good laugh in these troubling times.

Probably many of you won’t know what I am talking about with this first one, called The Passing Of the Back House!…So I will give you an idea.” When memory keeps me company and moves to smile or tears, A weather-beaten object looms through the mist of years. Behind the house and barn it stood a half mile or more, And hurrying feet a path had made straight to its swinging door.

It’s architecture was a type of simple classic art, But in the tragedy of life it played a leading part; And oft passing traveler drove slow and heaved a sigh to see the modest hired girl slip out with glances shy.

We had our posy garden that the women loved so well, I loved it, too, but better still I loved the stronger smell that filled the evening breezes so full of cheer – That told the night-o’er taken tramp that human life was near. On lazy August afternoons it made a little bower delightful where my grandsire sat and whiled away an hour – For there the summer mornings the very cares entwined and berry bushes reddened in the streaming soil behind. All day the spiders spun their webs to catch the buzzing flies That flittered to and from the house where ma was baking pies and once a swarm of hornets bold built a palace there and stung my unsuspecting aunt – I must not tell you where.

Then father took a flaming pole – that was a happy day. He nearly burned the buildings up, but the hornets left to stay. When summer bloom began to fade and winter to carouse, we banked the little building with a heap of hemlock boughs.

But when the crust was on the snow and the sullen skies were gray. In sooth the building was no place where one could wish to stay. We did our duties promptly there – one purpose swayed our minds – We tarried not nor lingered long on what we left behind.

The torture of that icy seat could make a Spartan sob, For needs must scrape the gooseflesh with a lacerated cob that from a frost-encrusted nail suspended by a string – My father was a frugal man and wasted not a thing. When grandpa had to go out back and make his morning call, We bundled up the dear old man with muffler and a shawl. I knew the hole on which he sat, ’twas padded all around. And once, I dared to sit there – it was all too wide I found. My loins were all too little, and I jack-knifed there to stay. They had to come and get me out or I would have passed away. Then father said ambition was a thing that boys should shun and I must use the children’s hole till childhood days were done.

But still I marvel at the craft that cut those holes so true – The baby hole and slender hole that fitted sister Sue. That dear old country landmark; I’ve tramped around a bit, And in the lap of luxury my lot has been to sit.

But ere I die I’ll eat the fruit of trees I robbed of yore, Then seek the shanty where my name is carved upon the door. I ween the old familiar smell will soothe my faded soul – I’m now a man, but none the less I’ll try the children’s hole.

Hope some of you remember those good old days and get a good laugh out of it! There isn’t any date on the following, but it was written several several years ago: It starts, Good morning my friends, it seems I am accomplishing what I set out to do —with some of you anyway. My goal was to bring a chuckle or maybe even a belly laugh to someone each week. One person told me when they read the account about Mark’s MG, they “cracked up” that’s good hope each and every one of you will work on developing a really good sense of humor. Love, laugh and be happy.

And now for Percy’s memoir: So give of yourself and of your time; give surprise gifts and encouraging words. ( words from a little book called, Hugs to encourage and inspire.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Growing up working in the woods with dad

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

Can’t say good morning because it is Sunday evening as I sit here to start writing this column, but I do wish all of you the best!

Hope you enjoyed reading all about the five Generations Of Woodsmen, I did, and it was so different than it is today! The following is also from that same old 1974 paper:

“In That First Year I realized I liked horses very much. Father loved horses also. He was a very good horseman.

The next summer when I went back to work with father in the woods I was set to twitching with a horse. This was an important job and I could do near as well as a man.

I worked two summers with a little black horse named Roy. He was 28 years old, a family heirloom, but he was real willing and liked to work.

The fellows working on the job was good woodsmen, good choppers. They was highly skilled men. All could file their own saws, hang their own axes properly.

It was a disgrace to be working with dull tools or to hang a tree so it did not come to the ground, got caught in another tree. A tree was to be properly felled without damaging a lot of other trees. This was the most important of many high standards those woodsmen lived up to. They protected the young growth.

I often wondered where father got his ideas about conservation. He never talked about it, in fact he is a rough man. Didn’t go very far in school. But father had a real desire not to cut any small trees when he was working in the woods. He saw to it the men with him understood that, but they had the same desire themselves.

After I worked with horses a couple of summers I became a chopper in my own right.

There were two mistakes which could get you into a real problem with my old man; one was to abuse a horse by putting it into a place too rough of ground.

The other mistake was cutting a lot of small trees that weren’t merchantable. If there was a small spruce, say three inches diameter, close to a big tree you was cutting and that small spruce was in your way, say you cut that spruce to make room, when the old man come around you was in bad trouble.

Dad would say, “What did you cut that tree for!?” Then you’d have to explain the tree was in the way. And he’d explain to you that it couldn’t have been that much in the way.

We had some farmland on islands in the Kennebec River and we’d have to go out there in boats and canoes to do the farming. I spent a lot of time on the river, like all the boys around Bingham, and I did a lot of hunting.

There were a few more deer around Bingham than there are now although it’s still pretty good hunting country. Father remembered when there were many more moose around Flagstaff than there were deer. He was 15 years old before he saw the first deer in the woods around Flagstaff, but he saw plenty of moose.

If horses liked to work with you, they would do more and this was a source of pride to me. I learned to care for and manage horses just by watching Dad, learning what he looked out for. Never was any formal training, but here’s an example. He’d see me hook up a team and I might make a mistake. Dad would say, “No, son, wait a minute. This isn’t right. You never hook a trace chain like this. It”s going to twist the lug. You’ve got to hook it like this. The grab has always got to be straight up. If it isn’t, when your horse pulls it’s going to twist the lug.

Then when I was harnessing the team he’d talk to me about the proper fitting of the collar. The horse has got to have room enough so that collar is bearing properly on his chest. Dad would say, ‘You’ve got to be able to put your hand between the collar and the bottom of his neck.’ You want there to be enough room when he expands and pulls against it, doesn’t choke when he’s pulling hard.”

And now for Percy’s memoir: A dream is a wish your heart makes when you ‘re fast asleep. In dreams you lose your heartaches… Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.

SOLON & BEYOND: Recalling the story on Morris Wing

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

Just read the e-mail from Roland, my editor, about the need for another column early and so as you probably know by now, that I have been going through my large stash of old papers. I picked up one of the old (February 10, 1974) Maine Sunday Telegram papers I had been reading. It started with the headline, Maine Profiles : 5 Generations OF WOODSMEN. It was written by Lynn Franklin and it starts out “with these words Morris Wing is regional manager, department of woodlands, for the International Paper Co., at Chisholm, supervising work on a million acres of land that supplies about 500,000 cords of wood for the company mill and about 100 million feet of logs to other firms.”

What I am about to write is the article from the paper when Morris Wing was interviewed by Lynn Franklin: All my relatives are engaged one way or the other in logging and always have been. We’ve been in Maine five generations that I know about.

The article reads: My father was born at Flagstaff, which is under water now because of the Flagstaff dam on Dead River. Grandfather, Warren Wing, was born in the upper Dead River country and was a logger and also a hunter and fisher. He loved it and trapped for spending money all his life. As I recall he’d rather trap than do anything. He inherited land from his father, who was Cyrus Wing, also born in the Dead River area.

My father is 93 and lives with us. His father, Warren, was a logger as was his father Cyrus.

Joseph Wing, Cyrus’ father, was born in Kingfield, Maine. He was also a logger and his father Paul, was born in Harwich, Massachusetts. Paul came to Maine at 14 with his parents. That’s five generations.

I grew up on the Kennebec River at Bingham. There were six children, four boys, and most of us have remained woodsmen.

When I come along father was logging and contracting and we lived on a small farm. We had little monetary income and lived on a few beef cattle, a couple of milk cows, We cut a lot of hay in the summer and what we didn’t need for the logging horses we could sell.

But father’s primary income was logging and the whole family worked with him.

My first year in the woods I was nine and I remember it very clearly. My older brother, Glen, was six years older. He was able to do a man’s job and he was actually chopping. They call it cutting now, but we used axes exclusively then.

We was cutting pulp wood, sap peeled. You don’t see the bark removed by hand any more. There were other people working on the job. It was a small crew, five or six men, and I remember my first instructions.

“Take a spud, Morris, said my father. “You can keep up with us all right. We’ll fell the trees and cut the limbs off. All you got to do is take the bark off.”

I thought I could keep up with them but I soon found that I couldn’t. However you just kept working. That’s the way it was, pretty tough. I chased those choppers all summer long, never did catch ’em, but I took a lot of bark off a lot of trees. (I will tell you more about logging in the old days next week.)

And now for Percy’s memoir: May you have… Enough happiness to keep you sweet, Enough trials to keep you strong, Enough sorrow to keep you human, Enough hope to keep you happy, Enough failure to keep you humble, Enough success to keep you eager, Enough friends to give you comfort, Enough wealth to meet your needs, Enough enthusiasm to look forward, Enough faith to banish depression, Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.

SOLON & BEYOND: More Solon Elementary School news; 4H club holds meeting

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

This week I am continuing with more Solon School News:

Last March the students participated in the annual Bookmark Contest in which students designed bookmarks to promote reading. The winners in each class was to receive a certificate and book from the Coolidge Public Library and to have his/her bookmark duplicated and distributed to patrons at the library. Students submitted their bookmarks, and art teacher Mr. Reichenbach chose the winners. An assembly was planned at which Ms. Megan Myers from the library would announce the winners. Then the school shut down due to the coronavirus so we never got to hold that assembly.

This fall they announced the winners and presented each one with his/her certificate and book from the library. Winners were Everly Cox from kindergarten, Hunter Ingersoll from first grade, Sophie Duquette from second grade, Lydia Dixon from third grade, Nevaeh Palmer from fourth grade, and Katelyn DeLeonardis from fifth grade.

Thanks to Ms. Myers and the Coolidge Library for supporting this contest in our school.

Last spring the Solon PTO planned a calendar raffle. Students were given tickets to sell for the month of March, and winners would be drawn every day in April. When the school went to distance learning starting March 16, the raffle was put on hold.

This fall the PTO gave out more tickets to students to sell while also keeping all the tickets that had been sold in the spring. Those were put together, and the drawings were done during the month of October.

The raffle brought in $700, which was amazing for a fundraiser that happened in two parts! Thanks to all of the families and community members who donated items for the raffle and who bought raffle tickets.

The student who sold the most raffle tickets was fifth grader Jayden McKenney. Jayden received a Walmart gift card from the PTO for his efforts.

My many, many Thanks for sharing all this interesting news!

The following email is from Carol Dolan; and she writes, ” I’ve been asked to circulate the following: Just to let you know, the New Portland Library is closed until further notice. Curbside service is available. You can call 628-6561 or send an e-mail to and ask for specific books. We will check them out for you and pickup is 9-11am on Tuesday and Thursdays. All books to be returned in the outside drop box.

“Our on-line catalog of all circulation items is at: Let us know what you would like and we will do all we can to check them out in your name/patron number. Two weeks rentals for all items.

The Solon Pine Tree met on Saturday, November 14, at the Solon Fire Station. In attendance were Cooper and Kaitlin Dellarma, Devyn and Katelyn Deonardis, Lindsay and Charlotte Hamilton, Desmand and Jillian Robinson, Sarah Craig, Isabella Atwood and Autumn Ladd.

The craft project was to make grape vine wreathes. They used Christmas items to decorate them.

The members chose to adopt a family this Christmas and will be providing a Christmas dinner. There will be a swag workshop at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, on Zoom. The material will be picked up at the Skowhegan Extension Office on Friday November 20. Five members are interested in going. The December meeting will be collecting items for the animal shelter.

The next meeting will be Saturday, December 12, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

It is hard to stay cheerful with all that is going on in our world today, but sometimes there are surprises that can cheer you up! One day this week, Lief and I were sitting on the coach watching the little birds eating from their many feeders when I noticed a BIG bird fly in to help them. I couldn’t think what it could possibly be! Lief was sitting beside me but he hadn’t noticed what was going on, so I poked him and excitedly said, “What is that big bird?” He couldn’t believe that a partridge had stopped in to dine with the little folks! Perhaps he stops in often but we have never seen one out there before. He stayed quite awhile going from branch to branch, but the little guys weren’t too hospitable to the big guy!

And now for Percy’s memoirs to try and cheer you up! They are taken from a little book called, “A Book of Quotations, Good Advice for a Happy Life.” The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up, by Mark Twain. Another one states; ” The heart that loves is always young,” A Greek Proverb. One more: “Give truth, and your gift will be paid in kind, And honor will honor meet; And the smile which is sweet will surely find A smile that is just as sweet,” by Madeline S. Bridges.

SOLON & BEYOND: News from Solon Elementary School

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

My apologies for not having a column last week, but that fussy computer of mine refused to cooperate as it quite often does. Was so pleased to receive the Solon School News, volume November 4. The Principal’s Message.

It starts, ” I hope all of our students and their families are enjoying a nice fall. It’s hard to believe that November is upon us, and it will soon be time for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Since we entered Phase 2 of our school reopening plan on October 13, it has been wonderful to have our students with us four days a week instead of just two days. Teachers really value the increased learning time they have with their students.

Our students continue to do an awesome job following CDC guidelines by wearing their masks, washing their hands, and social distancing. Although we look forward to the day when we won’t have to take all these precautions, we have adjusted to the routines and they have become our new way of life in school.

All of our students in grades K-5 now have their own laptops which they can take home to use for their schoolwork. As we get closer to winter weather, please be sure that your child doesn’t leave his/her laptop outside in the car overnight, as the cold temperatures could freeze the screen and it could break.

Ms. Heulitt wants to remind parents that students should dress warmly on Wednesdays for physical education classes, as they will be outside.

Thanks again to our parents and families who are supporting their children in their learning on Mondays and afternoons when they are home. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have questions. And be sure to watch our Virtual Open House on our school’s or the district’s Facebook page!

Stay healthy and thank-you for all of your support of our children and our school during these very challenging times. We will make it through together!

There will be a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Thanksgiving Food Drive November 4-18. Please send in donations of nonperishable food items. Food will be donated to the Solon Food Cupboard, Sponsored by the Solon Civil Rights Team.

The Civil Rights Team Sponsors Halloween Dime Raffle; The Solon Civil Rights Team Sponsors Halloween Dime Raffle. The Solon Civil Rights Team held a Halloween dime raffle from October 21-28. The winners were Emma Pooler for the class prize to share with her third grade classmates; Brady Crocker for the boy’s prize, Charlotte Hamilton for the girl’s prize. and Mrs. LaChance for the staff prize. Thanks to families who bought raffle tickets! The Civil Rights Team took in $208, the most ever raised in a dime raffle at our school.

First Quarter Honor Roll: All A’s, Lane Frost, Charlotte Hamilton, Olive MacDonald and Emma Pooler. All A’s & B’s Isabella Atwood, Maxx Caplin, Ethan Plourde, Martin Plourde, Hunter Pouliot and spencer Rogers.

Halloween Happenings: We were not able to hold our traditional Halloweens parade and party this year due to the guidelines for social distancing, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating this favorite holiday!

We had theme dress-up-days during the week of Halloween: Crazy Hair Day, Silly Socks Day, Crazy Hat Day, and Black & Orange Day.

Mrs. LaChance organized an outdoor scavenger hunt on October 30. Each class had their time to go out and search for Halloween items.

The Solon PTO made up special Halloween goodie bags for each of our PreK-5- students. Thanks to the PTO for this special treat for our students.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Should you tell the truth at all times and under all circumstances? Truth is never wrong, but it should be handled delicately and the purpose or motive for telling the truth should be considered. Is the purpose to hurt or help another? It makes a difference how the truth is told; for words, even though truthful, can bring such offense that the damage done may counteract the intended good. Always “speak the truth in love.” ( These words were from an old, much read book that I treasure.)

One day recently I was in a store in town and this woman who I had never met before started talking to me about how much she enjoys these columns I write each week. Of course, it did me a lot of good to hear those kind words, and then she started laughing, and added she especially likes Percy’s memoirs! I still don’t know who she is but her kind words made my day!