SOLON & BEYOND: Yore Upscale Resale Shop is unique

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

How time flies! Here it is already February 15, as I sit here to write this column. I do have one wonderful item to tell you about: One day last week, Lief and I went to North Anson to the Yore Upscale Resale Shop which had opened last year on October 3, 2020. Hadn’t heard a thing about this wonderful place and would like to thank the person who shared this information (actually, I overheard someone talking about it, and my always big ears were open wide). It was on a COLD blustery day so I didn’t get too much information, but I intend to go back, the love and atmosphere in the building spoke wonders to this nosy long time writer. Anyway, this wonderful shop is in the building in North Anson that used to be used as a medical office as you go into North Anson from Solon. It is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and is run on donations and good hearts. They put things out daily, and every room was full of very nice things; many of them free. There were only two women working and they said that so far they have been doing well.

As we were leaving a young couple came in with a small boy with a grin from ear to ear, and one of the women said, “He comes in every week.”

I would say that much more is being accomplished by the love shared. I was told that four domestic violence families have been relocated with clothing, furniture, dishes and décor, etc. They have helped a few cancer victims with gas to get to places they needed to go. Bought food, donated variety of things to school, etc. Not sure of the name of the woman who is in charge of this wonderful place, but I will return and find our more.

That is all I have for recent news, and so I will continue to fill you in on old news, and it is more about Flagstaff and the ones who once lived there, and how they felt about being driven from their homes by the flooding of Flagstaff by Central Maine Power Company. I can’t think of very many of my friends and family that are still living to remember the fires and destruction that took place back in the building of the dam in the 1940s . This is one of many clippings I have of all that took place back during the days when the fires threatened their houses. This is one of them, “Flagstaff People Prepare To Leave Town Due To Fire.” It was written by Olena V. Taylor. She tells about the Old Home celebration and then goes on to tell about cleaning up after the celebration with these words, ” But we certainly couldn’t go back to normal, On Thursday afternoon, fires began to get out of hand and by 5 p. m. the fire above the village had advanced to the Walter Hinds farm, a distance of a mile, with a strong wind blowing the flames and smoke swiftly toward our town. It looked very serious for about an hour and many were the boxes and suitcases packed with valuables to be ready for instant evacuation of our homes. But a slight shift in the wind and a quick action of the firefighters changed our fears to just concern. On Thursday and Friday the same thing happened – the morning would find us hopeful that at last the fires were under control. By noon the smoke would be back and rolling in billows. Out of town firefighters would begin rushing about in their efforts to control the fires which threatened the town. Late Saturday afternoon a new fire on the Plains in an old lumbering area began to grow and advance swiftly in spite of all the efforts of the firefighters. Again the road was closed and people began gathering their valuable papers and precious belongings into bags for a quick get away if necessary. A fire at the foot of Flagstaff Pond had advanced to the foot of Jim Eaton Hill and in the old cutting of years ago, going to the top of the hill and down the east side. It was gaining in seriousness and the guests at Camp Adeawanda at Spring Lake were evacuated to the Green Farm, in Coplin, upon the advice of the fire wardens. But fortune smiled again. Sunday morning we awoke to the most welcome sound of all – the patter of rain. A steady downpour all day put out the smaller fires and diminished the ferocity of the larger ones. Now we are looking ahead to a more normal living and to the enjoyment of our last summer as residents of Flagstaff.

That is just one of the many heart hurting stories of the sad days leading up to when we would have to leave our cherished home town of Flagstaff.

There are many more! …. That is probably why I dislike the proposed Central Maine Power Co. Corridor through Maine. It will take away much of Maine’s beauty by cutting so many of our beautiful trees and the fires it may start in our most beautiful state.

I have many more stories that I could tell about the sadness of being driven from our homes in Flagstaff, and one of the things that makes me sad is that I am just about the last one left to remember all of what it was like when the above happened.

Now for Percy’s memoir entitled Risks: To Laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To Weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To Reach Out for another is to risk involvement. To expose Feelings is to risk exposing your true self. To place Dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss. To Love is to risk not being loved in return. To Hope is to risk despair. To Try is to risk failure. But the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live…. Only a person who risks is free. (I’m not sure who wrote the above: I had copied it by hand and the name written was Janet Rand; If by chance, Janet should read this column, I think it says so much and I thank you.)

SOLON & BEYOND: Going back to when Flagstaff died

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

It brought back many memories of what was happening in Flagstaff and the Dead River area way back then! It is taken from a very old paper, probably almost 50 years ago; yellow with age and ripped in places. There are no words left of what newspaper it was printed in, or who wrote it; (but it wasn’t me!) Some of the headlines say, Dead River Dam; Maine’s Hydro – El…words that finished some of that part were missing.

Maine’s hydro-electric output will be increased by thousands of kilowatts with the completion of a giant multi-million dollar project now in its initial stages at Dead River .

Already axes have sounded clearing away the heavy timber growth to open up the area where the engineers and construction crews will build a dam which will create a 26-mile long lake increasing the Kennebec River storage capacity by one-third. The entire project is expected to be completed sometime during the summer of 1950, culminating years of studies, surveys and preparations.

Like all progress, it will not be accomplished without some heartaches, for the waters to be backed up by the dam will cover the land on which is now located the little community of Flagstaff.

In 1944 the population of the sparsely populated plantation was given as only 97 and since that time most of these people have gradually moved away. Still the few remaining ones, sadly watched the preparation for construction of the dam which will inundate their land and that of their forefathers. But land purchases started 20 years ago and they knew that someday the dam would be built.

They will receive financial remuneration for their property losses but will look with regret as the waters slowly rise over the land of their childhood memories .

However, their nostalgic losses will be far outweighed by the benefits the new dam will bring to the rest of Central Maine in electric power output and river control.

Added Power Capacity: The Dead River storage basin will contain no generating equipment at its Long Falls dam but never the less will provide additional prime capacity from the Central Maine Power Company’s five generating stations on the Kennebec River.

This will amount to an estimate 17,000 kilowatts and capacity for periods of short duration up to 30,000 kilowatts.

Provisions will be made in the construction for the installation of a generating unit at some future time.

Situated between two high points of land split by a narrow flow of white water known as Long Falls in the southeast corner of Township 3, Range 4, the dam site is in part of Somerset County near the Franklin County line. This point is 20 miles from The Forks where the Dead River empties into the Kennebec River some 16 miles above the huge Wyman Station near Bingham.

Backing up from this 25-foot high 500-feet long dam will be a new lake created along a tortuous section of Dead River. In some places it will spread out over low lying lands and in others it will be confined by shaped, 26-mile long lake will rest on the new dam at Long Falls.

(The next couple of inches got torn off in this old paper sometime in its long life, so I will skip down a bit.)

Participating with the Central Maine Power Co. in the dam construction of the $4,800,000 project are the Hollingsworth and Whitney Co. and the Great Nothern Paper Co., both of which have plants on the Kennebec River. Thus far, work in the project has been confined to clearing operations and construction of roads into the site of the dam. The W.H. Hinman Co. has made considerable progress on the new road with the coming of Spring.

I will be continuing with more from that old paper next week, and probably some about all the fires that were around us during those sad days.

But as always; here is Percy’s memoir: Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance, self control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues which the ungrateful will never know.

Don’t worry, be happy, especially on Valentine’s Day.

SOLON & BEYOND: The day Percy walked into my life

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

In my continuing effort to write a column without any recent news, I’m going to put in old news again! This one goes way back to February 11, 2005! Percy was still alive back then and we had started a paper of our own!”

It starts out, “Perseverance (Percy) Rogers co-owner of SOLON and BEYOND and I were going to go to Florida to visit some of my family. It starts out, ” Would like to introduce you to my partner and supporter, Perseverance (alias Percy). On bad days he is right there to cuddle with me, with one paw as far as he can get it around my neck.

Percy started out as a frightened stray kitten and was rescued by a family on Route 43. They called and told me about this sweet little female kitten that needed a home and it was love at first sight. I named her Faith, but as luck would have it, on the first trip to the vet, I found out that a boys name was needed instead. After a short time this little kitten started his true personality and hence Perseverance, or Percy for short.

Percy has many talents besides being a good cuddler, he is always at the door to welcome me home, loves to sing, (Amazing Grace is his favorite song!) He has become famous and much loved for his good advice in the columns I have written. As you can see from his picture, he is very intelligent and he’s promoting this book of meditations-for-cat-lovers. Oh yes, he thinks he is a mighty hunter and is still looking for the mouse that got away! (For those of you who didn’t get the January 21, 2005, issue of this paper, I told of his letting a live mouse loose at my feet and how upset I got at him) must confess, there is a slight power struggle between us as to to who is really the “Boss!”

I had quite a bit of town news in these small papers that I delivered. The old story continues with these words: “It is now early Thursday morning and we’re in the middle of a beautiful snow storm. I quite often write this paper during different times and days, am finding that it is a full time job. The reactions that I get when I tell people that I’ve started my own paper, are basically the same, total amazement! It affects me like that some days also. One day this week someone said to me, “What are you trying to do?” You’re giving this paper away!” True…. and had hoped for a miracle of some kind, but when the miracle doesn’t materialize immediately, you compensate. Sometimes you have to eat your words, as in this case, never say ‘never’! I had tried to sell ads for another paper for awhile last year and couldn’t reach the goal set for me and so I quit. I remember uttering the words, “I’ll never sell ads again, ever!” Well you will notice that I have started selling ads again, and my many, many thanks for those who responded so graciously. ( And, you know, I did receive a miracle, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined your wonderful response to this little paper, my heartfelt thanks.)

And so with your great support, I have decided to expand to Bingham. And so the first story from there will start with a question. Can someone up to Bingham tell us Solon people the story, (what, why, who did it and more) about the, as we call it, “Mystery Light” on the river? Going north, it shines from the island, soon after you go by the Goodrich Road.” ( I’m sure that mystery has been solved long before this issue comes out in February 1, 2021!

Percy died a few years ago, and I’m still missing his help, so I’m going to print his message in that long-ago paper: “This message that Percy is approving this week is from his favorite book, What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life. And it says, “To get a grip on a job that’s waiting, dig in with determination. Work past that imposing start. and get hooked on a dreaded task. Nothing productive in this world happens without hard work. Sharpen your character with a little gutsy determination, and sink your energies into that next project.”

(Editor’s note: After proof reading this week’s paper I would like to add the following saying told to me by a fiend. “Always make a mistake in something you do, it will give your enemies something to gloat about, and your friends won’t care!”)

To all of you who have lost a pet at some time, and still miss them, and need something to give you a good laugh, I hope this works: It is taken from a little book called The Last Laugh, and it says Epitaph to an unhappy marriage: “Within this grave do lie, back to back, my wife and I. When the last trump the air shall fill, if she gets up, I’ll just lie still.

SOLON & BEYOND: South Solon meeting house

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

Since I don’t have any recent news, again this week, I am going to put in a short history about the beautiful old church in South Solon, called the South Solon Meeting House.

The South Solon Meeting House was designed in 1841. A small group of men was responsible for the persevering and the financial assistance necessary for the business of building. A South Solon Meeting House Corporation was formed in 1841. The members of the corporation was formed in 1841. The members of the congregation agreed that a bond for the building be put up through the purchase of shares in the corporation. One church pew was to be considered a share. There were 44 pews and when the total number fell short of subscription, the unsold pews had to be purchased by a few of the already existing shareholders. The final price to build was $475. The building was completed before Christmas, and on January 4, 1843, the congregation assembled to dedicate the new house at the crossroads .

Underneath the new Meeting House Gallery, a stove warmed the winter air. Three ministers of different denominations took part in the service.

During the 1920s new highways began to appear throughout Maine, but South Solon did not lie on any direct or traveled route. It no longer had a post office; there was no “corner store.” After the schoolhouse was closed, the area was made part of the Solon School District, and the children taken to the village by bus. The Meeting House center of the life of a small rural congregation, stood inanimate.

The reopening of the South Solon Meeting House after 35 years of being abandoned is a story which begins during the 1930s, when a Maine Woolen Manufacturer named Willard H. Cummings and his wife, Helen Warren Cummings, purchased the fields which adjoined the meeting House land. Mrs. Cummings led a cooperative effort for the repair of the building. Because of the efforts and community interest, repairs commenced during the summer of 1939 with paint, shingles and other supplies donated, and labor willingly volunteered.

During the summer of 1940, services were held regularly every other Sunday afternoon. In keeping with the original proposition that the building be interdenominational, ministers of various sects were invited.

A bold turn in the history of the South Solon Meeting House evolved during the 1950s in a project of five years duration, the interior walls were decorated with fresco paintings by artists from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

(Information was taken from the book, The Story of A Meeting House, by Mildred H. Cummings, published by The South Solon Historical Society, 1959 )

Have told you that I am going through old papers in an effort to straight them out, I came across the following letter in 2012. I’m not going to put the name of the person who sent it, but it is one of the ones that keep me writing! It starts with these words… “I was especially impressed with Marilyn Roger’s column. The story started out tame enough with the news about the super map brought to the Solon Elementary School. The real treat came when Marilyn went on to describe journalism.”Always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice and corruption …These days so many news personalities (I am reluctant to call them journalists), fail to remember the original purpose of the press. The quote from Edward R. Murrow certainly reminded me of one of my journalistic heroes.

It was refreshing to hear so many words of truth from someone writing for a local “free” weekly paper. Someone once said, “The best things in life are free. (This news was in the free The Town Line paper!)”

The person who sent the above letter to me goes on; “I hope that people will always be able to enjoy the results of your effort to publish the truth, both small and large. I do wish you well and hope local folks continue to support your endeavors. My many, many thanks for those kind words that do keep me writing!”

And now for Percy’s memoir: May you have the grace to ask God: To give you judgment to see the right courage to choose the right, and willingness to follow the right; To build on faith rather than on doubts; To move forward in the hope of what can be accomplished and not be held back by what cannot be done; The possibilities in the new and not be paralyzed by the difficulties to be overcome; To discover a sense of mission that life may be important and purposeful for you rather than dull and purposeless; To measure values in terms of service to others rather than benefit to self—Ask always, Is there a better way?

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.)