SOLON & BEYOND: Embden Historical Society releases schedule for 2021

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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
grams29@tds.net
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 newportlandc@gmail.com 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:  http://newportlandmaine.org/town-services/community-library/. 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
grams29@tds.net
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!

SOLON & BEYOND: Last of how to tear down a barn

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

Now for the last of Jeff McAllister’s words on How to Dismantle a Barn.

Check all beams to see if the pinyons and wooden hard wood pegs are solid for they alone hold the barn together. All barns have many rafters. Either all rafters, or perlins and rafters, or perlins and rafters, have a short upright or bigger support for snow load. I have to prep these, cut half way then you can pull them. Never be in the barn. Always on any pull be out of harms way. Any discarded boards with nails sticking out should be placed anywhere with nails down; even the littlest placed anywhere with nail down, the littlest things can be dangerous. Many barns have shingles on them. As I tear them off I have to move my ladder over for another arm risking. When down to do this I always tread all broken shingles down. This alone could possibly save my life because should I accidently fall on any unright shingle, they could become a knife. SAFETY FIRST.

In working alone I am responsible for myself. I’ve witnessed others tearing down barns where they scare me. First thing they do! Have a radio blasting, no warning could be heard. No one is watching what the other does, the discarded lumber is sticking up with nails every where. It’s in my mind an accident is in the making!

Hope many of you have liked Jeff’s sharing how he (with SAFETY FIRST) has told you the safe way to dismantle a barn. His phone number is 672-4071 and it might be wise to call him before you try it because I might have made some mistakes in copying it! Thanks, Jeff for sharing!

Lief and I spent a week in Rangeley recently, and had a wonderful time! The only problem we had was trying to get home safely on Saturday, Oct. 17, in the most awful snowstorm I have ever ridden in. We packed up early when we saw how big and threatening the huge snow flakes were coming down, it was a totally white world, never saw it like that before! Lief is a really good driver, and he started out going very, very slow, but even so, we were slip, sliding all over the ice covered road. We never did meet a truck to do any sanding! What made me sit on the edge of the seat was that the cars coming toward us were going their usual fast speed! It wasn’t long before we came upon two cars that were in the ditch! But, thank God, we made it home safely, with no problems, and my hair was already white enough!

And now for Percy’s memoir: You never know until you try. And you never try unless you REALLY try. You give it your best shot; you do the best you can. And if you’ve done everything in your power, and still “fail” – the truth of the matter is that you haven’t failed at all. When you reach for your dreams, no matter what they may be, you grow from the reaching; you learn from the trying; you win from the doing. (Words from Laine Parsons.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Good to see 4-H Club still active

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

The following is about the first meeting of the Solon 4-H Club meeting since March:

Saturday, October 10, the club met at the Solon Fire Station. In attendance were Cooper and Kaitlin De Lardis, Lindsey and Charlotte Hamilton, Desmond and Jillian Robinson, Sarah Craig, Isabella Atwood and Autumn Ladd.

The craft project was: Making and decorating pumpkins from sweater sleeves. Members were also given craft items to be used at home to create an additional project.

The club received a $300 donation from the Solon Alumni over the summer. They are excited to start their meetings again after such a long break. At this time they plan to meet monthly unless school is shut down.

The club will utilize To-Go Bags with art projects if they are unable to meet or meet virtually.

The club elected officers: Cooper Dellarma, president; Lindsay Hamilton, Vice President; Desmond Robinson, secretary; Jillian Robinson, assistant secretary; Devyon DeLeonardis, treasurer; Isabella Atwood, assistant treasurer; Sarah Craig, Reporter; Kaitlin Dellarma, Flag 1; Katelyn Deleonardis, Flag 2.

The next meeting will be Saturday, November 14, at 9:30 a.m., at the Solon Fire Station.

And now for page two about how to dismantle a barn, by Jeff McAllister: (Hope everyone enjoyed the first page last week!)

In a barn with rafters and partitions the boards run from ridge poll to eaves. With this type of roof your rafters are spaced 810 feet to 12 feet apart with partitions running horizontal between rafters. Partitions are usually spruce or fur, small trees equal to 4 inches x 4 inches to 5 inches x 5″ inches, and hewed flat on one side for roof boards. With this type of roof another peg is needed. The rafters are pegged to the girders. You then have to cut into the ends of rafter to expose the pinion. This lets the rafter free for the pull. Also removes the peg. Once the roof is flat I unhook a section and pull it off to dismantle it on the ground. After roof has been done I go back to the end dropping section. I de-pin all beams before I drop a section. Otherwise, your pegs are backwards. You can’t drive them out next to the ground.

My controlled pull goes like this. As the first rafter pulls of the plate the chain now goes to the next rafter. As that one pops off plate now the other side of roof is also free. Gravity takes over. I gun my pull, all roof rafters collapse, the back side pushes, all roof rafters collapse, the back side pushes, the pull side six feet out over the plate. It’s not a big barn anymore.

Jeff writes: I refer to myself as a lumber salvage engineer. I have to devize a plan not only to save useable lumber but more importantly to do it SAFELY! Remember 80 percent of a barn of any size is higher than a man’s head. No barn beam is worth a man’s head! This brings into mind a few safety rules I use on any building. #1 Any wasted, damaged, split wood should always be laid down flat so as not fall on it. #2 Don’t pry off any lumber above your head. I use a chain controlled pull down not in the pinch point. #3 Barns with damage due to neglect are dangerous. Things to look out for are #1: is the roof safe to be under? #2 is the barn spreading? #3 is the floor safe to walk on?

I’m running out of space, so please don’t try to tear any barns down until after next week…. I’ll try to get the rest of the information in!

And now, Percy’s memoir, it’s a short one: Friendship is love with understanding.

SOLON & BEYOND: The art of tearing down barns

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

This is the second time that I have had to write two columns in one week for one reason or another. This one is for October 15 and I didn’t get what little recent news I have received in time to get them in the paper they should have been in. Anyway: in order to let you know what has been going on I am going to print them.

As you know, I have been using articles about events that happened mostly back “in the good old days,” such as the one on dowsing, that I got an e-mail offering me a job. And have received other interesting comments, many thanks go out!

Have received two wonderful visits from a friend who has a business of tearing barns and buildings down. Perhaps some of you know Jeff McAllister who grew up in Caratunk and now lives in Bingham. He has been collecting old things like bottles, etc., for many years and has a business of tearing down old barns and buildings. He has visited us a couple of times and it is very interesting to hear about what he enjoys doing in his job. I asked him how many buildings he had torn down and he said 34 buildings and two dozen barns, within 52 miles, he chuckled and said he gets a “minimal wage!”…but you can tell, he loves every minute of it!

Being at the age that I have now reached, I love hearing about his interest in old things. Guess he could see that, and yesterday he brought down three pages he had written about “How to Tear a Barn Down,” that he wondered if I would want to write about in this column. Right off quick, I said “Sure”, but then I asked him if he wanted to share this information because it might take some of his business away when they learned how to do it, he still said “Yes.” I told him I was limited for space so all of it won’t be in this time.

In Jeff’s words, “Anyone can tear a barn down. Simply hook a chain onto a girder or plate and pull with a 4 x 4 truck. Every action has a reaction. If the barn is post and beam and mortised and tender the reaction of pulling with a 4 x 4 from either a girder or plate will be damaging to all lumber involved. The pinion with a hand made wooden peg which goes through the beam will tare wood out from connected beams, this being done this way is TEARING the barn down.

How Jeff Dismantles a Barn.

My number one objective is to salvage all useable lumber. I prep the barn for what I call a controlled pull. The general public doesn’t give me barns in good shape. Either the roof is bad or foundation has given away. First I look over the barn for safety sake. Is it safe to go into? Is the barn spreading, meaning the walls are kinking out. Are all the pinions and pegs solid? If the rafters are solid and still pegged into the plates it’s O.K to work on the roof.

The following is my way of prepping a barn for my controlled pull. First I take out both gable ends. If it’s too high for my ladders I push out the gable ends so as to bypass when I pull the roof down. Next I take out all supports that are vertical up to all rafters. Now after all this is done, I am now ready to hook my chains for my controlled pull. I run my chains along the inside of the plates behind all the rafters. Now I am ready to pull, and 90 percent of the time the roof will collapse flat onto the girders, Then I am happy it’s not now a big barn.

That is the first page of the article about How to Dismantle a Barn, by Jeff McAllister. ( I’ll be waiting to hear how many of you are going to try it?) Will be putting in the rest of it next week if there is room.

Just so you know, the Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop in Embden is NOT accepting donations for the next two weeks until Wed., October 21.

Please note the Thrift Shop is open Wednesdays 9 a.m. – noon and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. When the library is open the Lending Library is open. Also the People Who Care Food Cupboard is open on Saturday from noon – 2 p.m. Also on Wednesday is: Sewing 10 a.m. – noon and Bone Building from 9 – 10 a.m.

Also from Carol: We are cancelling the October 12, 2020, Embden Historical Society meeting on “Embden’s Changes Over the Last 200 years.”

And now for Percy’s memoir from a clipping when I was writing for the Somerset Gazette back in 1996, before Percy! This week I’m going to end with some more advice from Boogar Hollow. Now keep in mind that this book was published in Lindale, Georgia, so the dialect is different from ours. As a reporter I believe strongly in this one… “You can lose plenty while jumpin’ to conclusions, but muscles ‘n strength come from diggin’ for facts.”

SOLON & BEYOND: Solon Elementary news

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

Will begin this week with more Solon School News! Food Facts: We are pleased to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students again this year under the district’s community eligibility program. Students can buy milk or juice for snack or to go with a cold lunch if they wish to for 30 cents.

Again this year our students will have healthy snacks provided through a Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Grant Program every day. Parents can also send snacks with their child if they wish to. We appreciate healthy snacks!

On each day that students attend school while we are using the hybrid model, they can choose to pick up a take home breakfast and lunch for the next day when they will be learning at home. The menu for take-home meals is included on the menu for in-person meals.

We continue to offer a food hub at our school on Mondays. If you wish to pick up meals for each of the children in your home on those days, please contact Mrs. McFadyen in our school office to let her know how many you will need by noon on the previous Friday. You will receive five breakfasts and five lunches for each of your children. You can pick these up between 11:15 and 11:45 a.m., on Monday mornings at the school (on Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday). If you have children at home or in CCS or CHS, you can pick up all of their lunches here for your convenience.

Please call us at 643-2491 if you have any questions.

Welcome to new staff: We are excited to welcome new staff members to our school this fall.

With the retirement of Terry Corson last spring, we have a new fifth grade teacher, Stacey McCluskey. Mrs. McCluskey has taught for 19 years at Central Elementary School, Carrabec Community , and even a year at Solon Elementary School. We welcome her back!

Our new music teacher is Lindsay Burke-Cinsov. She will teach K-5 music classes and will also teach band and chorus. She has 19 years of experience as a music educator, mostly recently in Farmington. We are pleased to have her on board.

Teaching our preschool class this year is Jennie Mirlocca, who started her teaching career at Solon Elementary but then taught preschool in Kingfield and at Garret Schenck. We are happy to welcome her back to Solon.

Misty Jerkins has joined our staff this fall to be an additional daytime custodian. Her job is to disinfect and sanitize throughout the school from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., each day. She is working hard to keep our school clean. We welcome her to Solon Elementary School.

Received the following e-mail from Norm Kalloch: “Dear Marilyn, My name is Norm Kalloch and a director of the Arnold Expedition Historical Society. We are offering a car/walking tour of Benedict Arnold’s march across the Great Carrying Place Portage Trail from the Kennebec River to Flagstaff Lake, Sunday, October 11.

“I was hoping you would be willing to mention this tour in one of your columns in The Town Line newspaper.

“ Thanks for your consideration to do this. If you do decide to do so and need more information or clarification feel free to e-mail me. Norm Kalloch; West Carry Pond.”

I have e-mailed for more information about what sounds like a wonderful, interesting idea is something I would like to attend very much. But …… I don’t walk as many miles as I once did, and I will print the facts if I get the e-mail in time for anyone who might also want to attend.

And now for a short memoir from Percy: An uncommitted person is a person without direction in life. He is like a ship without a rudder, and plenty of power but no direction.