SOLON & BEYOND: News about the Solon Community Garden

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

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

And now for more Solon town news: I was never contacted by anyone at the town office about the new Solon Community Garden but it was started a year ago. My sincere apology for not reporting about it before. I went to the Solon Town Office the other day to ask about the new building near the town office. It seems that I am way behind in reporting events going on there, but had never received anything about it to share with those who live in Solon.

The Solon Community Garden was started last year in 2019 by a group of dedicated gardeners. Deb Gerry came to the selectmen with the idea and a proposal. The selectmen and fire chief agreed to allowing the town land along Rogers Lane to be used for the garden.

They applied for and received a New Balance Move More Kids Foundation grant of $1,371.55 in 2019.

This year they applied for and received a $2,000 grant from the New Balance Move More Kids Foundation to build a 12-foot x 16-foot greenhouse on the site. The construction labor is being donated by two local builders. Other donations include a new storm door and an auto vent system. The greenhouse will have a cold frame inside to extend the growing season and other grow beds.

Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. There are also outside beds available to anyone needing a space to grow some plants. Contact Deb Geary at 643-2203 to volunteer or to ask for a space.

The above news was given to me at the Solon Town Office, and I was informed that there is an article in the 2019 Town Report on page 105.

Again, I would like to stress that I deeply appreciate and look forward to local news to share with you! ….And my apologies that I am just getting this in about the Solon Community Garden, it sounds like a wonderful project. (I must confess that I didn’t read the Solon Town Report much this year and it was the first time I have not gone to a meeting, but I had eye surgery at the time and everything was a big blur….) For others of you who didn’t see the Solon Town Report this year, there is more that I will be writing about the Solon Community Garden.

More Solon news: The Library is open to the public starting June 9 with some restrictions on the number of people allowed inside at one time.

The Solon road crew is out working on the roads and brush cutting and clipping. Please respect their safety and slow down as you drive through their work areas.

Regarding our cemeteries: There is an issue with people taking memorial objects off grave sites. Please do not take items placed at a grave site of a loved one that do not belong to you.

There will be no 4th of July parade this year. We are still undecided on the July 4th fireworks. We will decide later this month about doing them on the fourth or sometime in September.

Solon Fundraiser For Scholarship: This year Mr. Corson organized a fundraiser for a scholarship in memory of Solon custodian Jeanie Wooster, who passed away last June following a battle with cancer. Jeanie had worked as a custodian at our school for over 30 years and was very special to all of us. Mr. Corson proposed that we offer a scholarship to a graduating senior at Carrabec High School who had attended Solon Elementary School.

Mr. Corson got a big piggy bank that he displayed at every family event such as our Open House and our Christmas Program. People were invited to donate to the Jeanie Wooster Scholarship Fund by depositing money in the piggy bank.

In late May, Mr. Corson opened the bank to count the money and found that we had raised $200. The staff chose a senior to win the award, and that winner will be announced at the Awards Night at CHS this week. We will also announce the winner on our Facebook page. Thank you to all of the students and families who contributed to this scholarship fund.

And now for Percy’s memoir: My face in the mirror Isn’t wrinkled or drawn. My house isn’t dirty, The cobwebs are gone. My garden looks lovely, And so does my lawn. I think I might never PUT MY GLASSES BACK ON!

SOLON & BEYOND: Marijuana ordinance committee holds first meeting

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

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

It isn’t often that I have more local news to share than I have room for! I didn’t receive the following email until after the fact.

The Marijuana Ordinance Committee held its first meeting on June 3. They worked on drafting the town ordinance to regulate marijuana businesses in Solon.

The annual town meeting voted in a 180-day moratorium on allowing marijuana businesses in town. They have until September 3 to hold the special town meeting on a proposed marijuana ordinance. They hope to have the ordinance completed by the end of July so we can hold a public hearing the beginning of August with the special town meeting to be held at the end of August. Committee members are Jeff Pomelow, Peter Pfeiffer, Heather Forsten, Joe Albuit and Lisa Caldwell, with Wayne Gushee being an information officer.

The town office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a limit of one customer or family unit at a time in the lobby area. Also, the governor has decreed that masks are required to be worn in businesses open to the public and in public buildings where social distancing is not possible.

Was very surprised and please to receive another Solon School News in the mail this week with lots of recent news to share. It starts with Best Wishes to Fifth Graders. We want to extend our best wishes and good luck to the fifth grade class, who will enter sixth grade at Carrabec Community School, in the fall.

All of us will miss our wonderful and talented fifth graders. We wish we had been able to have them with us at school all year long. They are wished the best luck in the next step on their educational journey.

Please check out our slide show farewell message to them, which will be posted on the Solon Elementary School Facebook page on Friday, June 3.

Goodbye and good luck to Izaiah Busler, Kaylynn Clark, Katelyn DeLeonardis, Kaitlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Emmy Golden, Veronica Hoffman, Alex Jerkins, Elijah Katz, Joseph McLaughlin, Craig Nile, Riley Pelkey, Jillian Robinson and Haylee Towers.

Solon staff members stay busy during school closure. Our school has been closed since March 13, but the staff members have been busy. Teachers have been preparing learning packets for their students every week as well as contacting families to check in. Some of the staff have worked at the food hub or helped to deliver packets to students’ homes. Mrs. Hines worked at CCS to prepare meals for the food hub. We hope our efforts have helped students and families during this difficult time.

Third quarter honor roll includes: All A’s and B’s, Isabella Atwood, Kaylynn Clark, Amelia Cooper, Lydia Dixon, Emmy Golden, Veronica Hoffman, Allyssa Hutchins, Alex Jerkins, Jayden McKenney, Joseph McLaughlin, Riley Pelkey, Aiden Powell, Ben Powwell, Spencer Rogers, Haylee Towers and Michael Towers.

All A’s, Maxx Caplin, Katelyn DeLeonardis, Kaitlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Lane Frost, Charlotte Hamilton and Jillian Robinson.

A letter: Dear Solon parents and guardians, The Solon staff would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all our parents, grandparents and guardians who took on the role of “teacher” for our students when our school closed on March 13 for the remainder of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic. You helped your child complete the activities in his or her learning packet for ten weeks, and you taught him or her lots of other things about the world we live in through family activities. We know this has been a difficult time for you as well as for us.

You have been strong and you have supported the school through these hard times. For that we are immensely grateful.

We have missed our students so much this spring. School is not the same without them. We hope that with some safety protocols in place, our school will be able to reopen in the fall. We will keep you posted over the summer.

We hope that you and your families will stay healthy and safe until we meet again. If there’s anything we can do to support you, please email or call the school or your child’s teacher at any time.

Stay the strong and wonderful people that you are and have a nice summer.

And now, for Percy’s memoir: Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts. (and I think there is a lot of stress these days…try it, you might like it!

SOLON & BEYOND – Water Witching: My experience

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

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

This morning I’m going to write about Water Witching! This information is from an old yellowed bit of paper that I saved from years gone by… “Nearly every rural community in the United States has a water dowser who claims to be able to locate underground water by means of a diving or dowsing rod. The gift seems widespread or, at any rate, there are quite a few people who think (or try to persuade others to think) they possess the knack of finding water by use of a stick.

What is dowsing? Kenneth Roberts in his book Henry Gross and his Dowsing Rod gives a definition: “When certain sensitive individuals hold between their fingers a flexible Y -shaped branch with no intention of bending it, twisting it or moving it, the branch will, under certain conditions, turn downward. It bends in the hands of the individual who is holding it, even seems to turn itself with extreme force and independent of the will of the operator.

When such an individual grasping a branch or a dowsing rod, passes over a region crossed by subterranean and unknown sheets of water, the rod twists down with almost irresistible force.

Whether we accept this as fact or fiction, the art of dowsing is as old as the hills. It has been suggested that Moses had something like a divining rod in his hand when he found water in the wilderness. Such rods were a favorite subject with writers for centuries. In 1659 Gaspard Schott denounced the dowsing rod in his Magiae Universalis Naturae et Artis, proclaiming it an instrument of the devil. However, Schott seems to have had second thoughts on the matter, for some years later he wrote that people “…of great piety have used it with really marvelous results.”

Divining, or dowsing, for minerals was common, too. A large number of the Cornish tin mines are said to have been discovered by a diviner from Saxony in Elizabethan days.

There are people who refer to water dowsing as “water witching,” feeling that it is a supernatural procedure, but they are outnumbered by the skeptics who see nothing but fraud in the entire affair. These disbelievers claim that the movements of the stick are faked or they are due to unconscious muscular contractions. Dosing exponents, on the other hand, maintain that the movements are independent of the muscular control of the operator.

Would like to add a few words to the above article. I am very proud to state that I am, indeed a dowser or Water Witcher!… and I can’t explain the wonderful feeling when I first feel that stick starting to turn in my hand and point down to where the water is!…. It is beyond a miracle!

And now some news from Happyknits: In the “remaining the same” column, they are still closed to the public, but they can provide a curbside pickup or mail delivery for anything they have that your heart desires. Give them a call when they’re in the shop (Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., or contact them by email or on Facebook and they will be happy to fulfill your request.

The Maine Yarn Cruise carries on in 2020, with a new format, through September 7. Instead of traveling from shop to shop in your car, try visiting each of the participating shops virtually. There is no passport or entry fee this year, so it’s easy to participate at any level. Each shop will feature its own special event or project, and a purchase from Happyknits will give you a chance to win one of the prizes, which they’ll reveal over the summer.

And now for Percy’s memoir: LIFE: Life’s made for living, And giving and sharing, And daring and caring. Life’s made for doing, Pursuing of dreams, Sowing and growing, Whatever the means. Revealing and feeling, And finding that you Must learn how to take it, To make it come true. Along with its ups, In spite of its downs, Life’s made of losses, and crosses and crowns. (words by Grace E. Easley).

And now an extra special one from Percy….Laughing Helps…it’s Like Jogging Inside.”

Hope these few words help in this difficult time.

SOLON & BEYOND: Clarence Jones and the river drives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo: Simply Rustic Facebook page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOLON & BEYOND: MCS Library newsletter ready for viewing

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

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

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

The following is from Angie Stockwell;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOLON & BEYOND: Answering questions about Flagstaff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, from Percy’s memoirs:

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

SOLON & BEYOND: Remembering Solon Senior Center open house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOLON & BEYOND: Rest of news from Solon Elementary School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOLON & BEYOND: RSU#74 students get learning packets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PTO Fundraiser Changes:

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

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

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

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

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