Solon & Beyond, Week of August 11, 2016

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

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

The 7th annual barbeque to support the Kennebec River Picnic Area on Wednesday, August 17, at the Kennebec Banks Picnic Area on Route 2 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

As many of you know the state of Maine is no longer maintaining the Route 2 picnic area. The trustees of Somerset Woods stepped up to protect this important and historic community asset. This fundraiser is to help raise funds for SWT’s ontinued maintenance. You can purchase a ticket at the event for only $5 and get a great lunch provided by the trustees.You will be served either a hamburger, chips and drink or two hotdogs, chips and drink.

For more information you may contact Jack Gibson at 474-0057, Davida Barter at 474-3324, or Greg Dore at 431-5021.

Lief and I joined several members of the Franklin County Aircraft Modelers at the Carrabassett Valley Summerfest – Display and Demo Flights at the airport on Saturday. It was a perfectly beautiful, clear day but a breeze came up after a little while which made it rather hard to fly some of the model planes…but some of the more experienced flyers gave some great breathtaking examples of their talents. There were several small real planes at the airport that day, and they were taking off and landing also, which we all enjoyed. There was also much visting and talk of flying their model planes which I find fun to listen to. At noon, member Dick LeHay cooked hot dogs with buns and all the fixings, and chips in one of the sections at the airport. It was very tasty and a fun day.

On Sunday, Lief and I retraced our steps up to Eustis to the little replica of the church in Flagstaff for the annual Old Home Days service. Each year there are a few missing former residents who have died . Was very pleased that my class mate, Isabelle (Burbank) Millbank was there. Betty Wing who lived in Flagstaff, was there and Nancy McLean who lived in Dead River came up from Embden to attend. It is always a great joy for me to sit on the old, old pews, sing the hymns from the old Flagstaff Church hymn books and remember walking the half mile to the little church in my days of youth. There was no way of heating the building, so in the winter time we worshiped in the gym of the school house.

Now for Percy’s memoir: “Not what we have, but what we use: Not what we see, but what we choose – These are the things that mar or bless The sum of human happiness.”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of August 4, 2016

Solon and Beyondby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979


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

Was so happy this morning when I turned on my computer and found the Franklin County Aircraft Modelers monthly newsletter waiting to share with you. First I’m going to print some of a letter written by Jean Butler, principal.

“Dear Mr. White and the ‘Airplane Guys:’ Again you have amazed us with your overwhelming generosity to our school! We certainly do not expect you to make a donation to us, as you are welcome to use the building to fly your airplanes at no charge. You have been so good to us over the years, and we really do appreciate your thoughtfulness and support to our students.

“Last year I told you that we were planning to use your donation to bring science enrichment programs to our school through the Chewonki Foundation, in Wiscasset. Because we had planned a field trip to the Maine Wildlife Park, in Gray, for our students on June 7, we scheduled Chewonki to come on May 27 to help our students learn a little about wildlife to prepare for their trip. They presented programs on Maine animals to our students, including wonderful items that the students could look at and touch and even some live animals. The students were fully engaged and really enjoyed the programs. We thank you for making this for our students, as our school budget does not include money for enrichment programs such as this.

“Next year we may use your donation for other types of enrichment programs such as this one for our students. Thank you again for being such good friends to the Garret Schenck School! Remember, our students would love to see you fly your airplanes if you ever wanted to bring them over during a school day for a demonstration!”

This club is a really great experience to watch on a beautiful clear Maine summer day, whether it be on Lily Pond, Pease Field or Whispering Pines, and a very nice bunch of guys. Hope more of you will join them and love it also.

There is a picture of Frank Bedard and Lewis Gordon in back of a club roller they built and donated to the club.

Some upcoming events are on August 6, at Carrabassett Valley Summerfest-Display & Demo Flights.

The next Embden Historical Society meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 8, at 7 p.m., at the Embden Town House (751 Cross Town Road, Embden). Tim Caverly will be speaking and showing a slide presentation about stories of the North Maine Woods. Refreshments follow along with a business meeting.

This weekend is the Flagstaff-Dead River Annual Old Home Days at the Flagstaff Memorial Chapel, in Eustis. On Saturday, August 6, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a potluck at the chapel; please bring an item to share. Cold drinks, cups, plates and silverware provided. On Sunday the church service at the chapel starts at 10 a.m.; 11:00 Am- Picnic lunch, bring your own. 11:45 a.m.; annual meeting for the Flagstaff Chapel Association. after the picnic. All are welcome to attend.

And Percy’s memoirs: “Do not ask to have your life’s load lightened, But for courage to endure. Do not ask for fulfillment in all your life, But for patience to accept frustration. Do not ask for perfection in all you do,  But for the wisdom not to repeat mistakes. And finally, do not ask for more, Before saying “Thank You” for what you have already received. ”

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of July 28, 2016

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

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

The Solon High School Alumni Association held its annual meeting on July 16 with 65 alumni and guests present. The class of 1966 celebrated its 50th anniversary with two members; Mark Rogers and Richard Poulin. Emma Pluntke  received a scholarship of $ 1,000. Others celebrating were Alice Heald, 76th anniversary; Arlene Meader and Albert Starbird, 75th; Mary Heald Bishop, 73rd; Marie Poulin, 67th; Jack McCarty, 65th; Pat McCarty Coro, 62nd; Betty Tolman Smith, 60th; Doug Hayden, Chloe Hayden Collins, Ann Rogers Edwards, 58th; and James Tolman, 57th.

Jay S. Hoar, a former teacher of Solon attended.

The last class to graduate from Solon High School was the class of 1969. This class always shows up in large numbers to celebrate. This year they had seven members show up to celebrate 47 years. They were Reggie Padham, Arthur Myers, Penny Rogers McQuilkin, Linda Stickney Steward, Dana Parsons, Bobbie Tewkbury Proctor and Jo Rancourt Holden.

Officers are Ann Jackson, president, Reggie Padham, vice president, Linda French, secretary, and Brenda Whitney Padham, treasurer. Alice Heald is news committee, Judy Bishop, lunch committee, and Kathy Swett, awards.

Class members traveled from California, Betty Smith; Arizonia, James Tolman; Oklahoma, Richard Poulin; Florida, Mark Rogers and Bobbi Proctor.

An auction was held and $415 was raised for the scholarship fund. This money was matched by Reggie and Brenda Padham. They wanted to insure people that their money would be safe and used for what it was intended for. Betty Heald was the auctioneer.

A luncheon was held and catered by the Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club under the direction of Eleanor Pooler.

Sorry, but this is all I could gather up for news this week, with people not wanting any of their personal news printed anymore, it makes it tough. But…Percy is still able to help out with some pleasing memoirs…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 ne3eds; Enough enthusiasm to look forward; Enough faith to banish depression; Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.

Mark Rogers and Richard Poulin

Mark Rogers, left, of Florida, and Richard Poulin, of Oklahoma, were the only two members of the Solon’s class of 1966 to attend their 50th reunion, on July 23. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Rogers-Bull

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of July 21, 2016

Solon and Beyondby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

One of many enjoyable events through my many years of writing took place last Saturday at Whispering Pines, in North Anson. Thank goodness it was a beautiful, calm, (just a soft breeze) perfect for flying day for the Franklin County Aircraft Modelers who were going to demonstrate flying their planes for members of Goodwill out of Waterville.

President of the club, Lewis Gordon was contacted by a staff member at Goodwill asking about eight residents coming to North Anson to see the club members fly their planes. Wayne White, who has been flying and making some of his planes for years, demonstrated his craft, which is very breathtaking how he can make his planes do such amazing things with the touch of his fingers on the controls. The guests who watched were fascinated and asked questions.

Joe Gilbert, another experienced flyer, demonstrated his drone with CG 03 4K camera which he flew way up in the sky and it took some pictures that were absolutely beautiful! It is amazing (to me) how anyone can design these things. Some of the others from the club who flew that day were Dalton Poulin (Shorty), Kirk Rollins and Frederick Bray. I think I can safely say that many of the guests were glad to be on such a fun trip on a beautiful day. I heard many, “Thank you” from them, along with smiles.

The staff member who accompanied them was Kevin Taft, of Solon, and the driver of the bus was Chris Tredeau. They have done many other trips and enjoyed getting out to Lake George, whitewater rafting to name a few.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Thrift Shop at the Embden Community Center is having a sale. One-half off on tank tops, shorts and sleepwear through July 23. The thrift shop is open Wed., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

My daughter, Mary Walz was born on July 18 and her son Ben Walz surprised her with a wonderful birthday party at The Sedgley Place, in Greene. Those attending were Mary’s husband, Dave Walz, her sons, Ben and Alexander, her brother Mark and his wife Karen and Lief and me. Mary’s daughter Amanda was unable to attend.

The Sedgley Place is a beautiful old mansion and we had a room to ourselves, it was a great party with lots of good food!

Some people evidently hadn’t picked up The Town Line paper the week I wrote that I was going to take a vacation from writing this column in the July 7 issue. Anyway, several people have approached me, all upset because they thought I had stopped writing. They said they liked Percy’s memoirs and said how much they missed the stories about him, but liked his memoirs!

So here is Percy’s memoir this week about Friendship. “It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm, A happy and auspicious bird of calm…. Whose coming is as light and music are.. ‘Mid dissonance and gloom – a star Which moves not ‘mid the moving heavens alone, A smile among dark powers – a gentle tone Among rude voices, a beloved light, A solitude , a refuge, a delight. Found this in an old yellowed book, the words are by Shelly.

And faith in friendship is the noblest part. Friendship above all ties does bind the heart.

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of July 14, 2016

Solon and Beyondby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

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

The Solon Pine Tree 4-H Club met at the fire station on July 9 with president Adam Peters presiding.

Plans were made to do the Solon High School reunion dinner on Saturday, July 16. Several members and parents are planning to help along with two leaders.

The members voted to take part in the parade at Skowhegan Fair on August 14 which is 4-H Day. Plans were made to have a small float as well as marchers walking as a club.

The 4-H educational exhibit was discussed with each member being asked to take part.

Exhibits for Bangor Fair will come in on Tuesday, July 26, and for Skowhegan Fair on Monday, August 8. The members will set up their educational exhibit on Tuesday, August 9.

The members enjoyed doing sand art using small milk bottles.

A cookout with Rance cooking the hot dogs was enjoyed by all.

The next meeting will be on Monday, August 22, at 6 p.m., at the fire station.

The Solon Historical Society will be holding its July meeting on Monday, July 25, with Albert Starbird doing the program on the Solon Lumber Company. The meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Gray Merrill House, 28 South Main Street, in Solon. Dues are $5 per person or family, payable at the annual meeting in September.

Officers are president, Lois Starbird; secretary, Marie Poulin; treasurer, Albert Starbird; and financial secretary, Marie Poulin. Trustees are Jeff McAllister, Rance Pooler and Chris Shaw. Publicity, Marie Poulin and Marilyn Rogers-Bull. Program: Juanita McAllister, Neil Hunnewell and Ann Padham. Scrapbook, Alice Heald.

Summer suppers are continuing to be served at the Community United Church in North Anson from 5 to 6 p.m. on July 23 and July 30.

The North Anson Congregational Church is serving breakfasts through the month of July on SaturdaysJuly 16, 23 and 30 from 7 to 10 a.m.

Lief and I have been traveling up to the ‘County’ to celebrate one of the June birthdays in his family: his brother, Eric was honored on his 60th birthday with a party at Long Lake Resort. We spent a couple of nights up there visiting with his family and attending that party; it was a great time.

Lief also had a birthday on the June 29 and my son Marks’ birthday is June 28, so we met Mark and Karen at Governor’s Restaurant, in Waterville, and celebrated their birthdays.

It will sound like all we do is eat, but Lief’s sister, Judy Ellis and her husband Elwood took us to the Lobster Trap, in Winslow,  for a lobster dinner for his birthday; um um, good! And they asked us to their home for a barbeque on July 4, thanks so much.

We were invited over to North Anson for supper on the actual day of his birthday and had another birthday party with Mary, Dave, Amanda and Alexander with a delicious supper and birthday cake and presents.

It had been raining when we were at Mary and Dave’s that night and as we traveled home the most beautiful rainbow that I have ever seen appeared! It was a perfect arc all around, and huge with another fainter rain-bow above it, with the beautiful colors reversed. Hope a lot of other people saw the rainbow that night, to me it was God’s handy work on display!

Now for Percy’s memoir: “Things work out best for people who make the best of the way things work out. (words by John Wooden.)

Major wind power project underway in Somerset County

Dan CassidyINside the OUTside

by Dan Cassidy

Part 1 of 2

If you’ve been on the road anywhere between Skowhegan, Madison, Solon and Bingham, on Route 201 over the past several months, you may have been held up in a rare traffic jam, as state and local police escorts, support vehicles and huge tractor-trailer trucks transported massive towers, motors, blades and other related wind tower equipment to the Bingham, Mayfield and Kingsbury areas of Johnson Mountain off from Route 16.

According to the SunEdison website, manufacturers advanced solar technology is installing solar power systems that are supposed to deliver cost effective electricity to residential, commercial, utility and government customers.

wind power project in Somerset County

Of the 56 towers planned for the area, 11 towers will be installed in Bingham. Photo by Dan Cassidy

Turbine deliveries began in the fall of 2015, and there are several towers already in place.  The operation was suspended for about eight weeks due to spring posted road conditions, however Reed & Reed accelerated delivery of a large percentage of the project’s turbines during the winter months that allowed assembly to continue into the spring.

Reed & Reed and a team of highly skilled subcontractors are erecting turbines in two areas, with 36 turbines located just north of Route 16 and 20 turbines to the south.  They are currently on schedule for an early completion by this fall.

SunEdison hits bump in the road

The project hasn’t been all that easy, as SunEdison, once a poster child of the clean energy boom ran into financial troubles earlier this year, caused by a mountain of debt taken on during better times, according to their website.

“The decision to file for bankruptcy was a difficult, but important step to address our immediate liquidity issues,” Ahmad Chatila, SunEdison CEO said in a published statement.  The statement went on to say that SunEdison was flying high with shares trading above $33.  The collapse happened soon after. Earlier this spring, the shares were trading at about 34 cents.  Trading was halted shortly before the bankruptcy filing.

As far as the filing of bankruptcy protection affecting the Bingham project, the project has been financed and was acquired by Terra Nova Partners last year, according to SunEdison sources.  The bankruptcy should have no impact to the project whatsoever.

Choosing the Bingham region site

There were a lot of factors that went into the decision of erecting towers in the Bingham, Kingsbury and Mayfield area.  “We choose locations to build projects that require good wind speed in the area, access to transmission, limited number of residences or camps nearby, willing landowners, and local support,” said John Lamontagne, Senior Director of Communications at SunEdison, in an e-mail interview.  “All those factors were involved in this project, but especially the wind and the local support,” he said.

SunEdison is the head of the overall project, although they are working very closely with the owners of the project.  “Reed & Reed has been the general contractor on all the wind projects that SunEdison has built in Maine.  “They are a great partner with us.  That is their role at Bingham,” he said.

Tall towers

The towers are approximately 100 meters, (330 feet), and each will have three blades attached that are about 57 meters, approximately (188 feet).  In total, if a blade is standing straight up, the structure is about 157 meters, close to (515 feet).  The unit attached to the tower and what the blades are attached to is called the nacelle.  It is where the electricity is being generated.  The blade speed depends on the wind speed.  Collector lines are going to be installed and will be connected to a substation, which then sends the electricity via transmission lines, according to Lamontagne.

According to Lamontagne, there are three landowners that are involved in forestry where the project is taking place.  “Construction began on the project last year.  Clearing work was started, logging roads were widened, and collector cables were installed.  Towers didn’t start going up until March of this year.”

Lamontagne said that they plan to set up 56 turbines, each with a capacity of 3.3 MW.  “In total, the project is projected to power about 60,000 homes.  We expect the project to be online and operational by the end of the year.”

“The energy is being sold at a highly competitive price to customers, on par with natural gas,” Lamontagne said.  “Customers will have the benefit of clean energy at no additional cost on their electricity bills.”

(Continued next week)

SOLON & BEYOND, Week of June 30, 2016

Solon and Beyond


by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
390 South Solon Rd.,
Solon, Maine 04979


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

The East Madison Historical Association  will be having a yard sale on Saturday, July 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Happyknits, LLC, will be celebrating its second birthday on Friday, July 1, and continuing the celebration on Saturday, July 2, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This year’s reunion day of Solon Alumni is on July 16 at the Solon Elementary School. 9:30 a.m., starts registration and coffee hour with the business hour starting at 10:30 a.m. The auction will follow the business hour. Please remember your auction item. Last year we made $628 on the auction. Then Murry Bubar sent a check to match the auction funds so we ended up with $1,256. Thank you Murry. Dianne Oliver Poulin was the auctioneer.

Lunch will begin at 1:00 p.m.,  and will be catered by the Solon 4-H Club.

The class of 1966 will celebrate its 50th reunion. Members are Linda Baiko Lomastro, Terry Cahill, Glenda Foss Atmandi, Alden Mayhew, Richard Poulin, Mark Rogers, Ellery Witham and Gary Withers. So class of 1966, we would like to see you here.

Sixty-two  alumni and guests attended last year. The class of ’65 celebrated  their 50th with four members, Ann French Jackson, David Heald, Robert Meader and George Dube. Brenda Padham was elected as the new treasurer. Kaitlyn LaCroix received a check from the scholarship fund $1,100. Deaths reported were Harold Tewskbury, class of 1942, Freda Chase Merry, 1945, Beverly Thompson Carter, 1947, Dassie Andrews Jackson ,1947, Jean Hilton Dickey, 1949, Joyce Bubar Dillon, 1953, Paul Savage, 1957, Anne Withers Burkhart, 1959, William Tolman, 1961, Walter Jones, 1969, Mark Myers, 1973, from Carrabec and Herbert Hayden. (The above is the letter sent out to alumni from Linda French, secretary)

In my continuing efforts of getting what I want to save out of my house on Ferry Street, I keep coming across old Dirigo year books. I have quite a few, and will take them to the reunion for anyone who might want one. The oldest is 1954 and had only two graduates, Patricia McCarty and Joseph V. Dore. In this year book there was a column written by Malon P. Whipple, 1903 entitled “A Look at the Future.” Very heartwarming and inspiring. On that same page is this, 1904-1954 written by Ivan M. Dyer, “On this, the 50th anniversary of the Solon High School graduating class of 1904, may I, the only surviving member of that class, have the honor of congratulating the class of 1954 in having reached one of the most important milestones in the making of American citizens. May you go on to greater accomplishments and may each and every one of you always be proud to say, ” I am an American.”

Was given the choice of writing two columns this week or taking a vacation next week, decided I should listen to those who care about me, and say, “You should slow down!” My column won’t be in the July 7 paper.

And, my heartfelt love goes out to all of you who say you love this column, it reminds me that my goal to bring love and sometimes humor, to all that read it each week, is working!

Percy’s memoir: “You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece. (words by Albert Enstein.)