Local author writes about serving in the military during the Cold War

Author Patrick Roy holds his book in the Waterville Public Library. (photo by Gillian Lalime)

by Gillian Lalime

Patrick Roy was born in Waterville in 1947 and lived in the Elm City until 1965 when he joined the military. His book, Memoirs in my Everyday Life, tells readers what the day-to-day life of a soldier was back in 1965. Relatively recently, with some extra time on his hands, Roy has decided to share these stories with a broader audience. Why now? Well, he’s been wanting to do this for a long time. “I can remember things from when I was five years old.” It took Roy three years to complete and publish the book.

We all have someone in our life who is a storyteller. Perhaps an older person, a colleague, or a friend. It is another issue when that person writes down their stories to be read by people outside their immediate circle. About his book, Roy states, “My wife hasn’t read the book because she’s already heard these stories!” Patrick may have told stories from his youth dozens of times (he’s got a huge family!), but writing them down gives them a new life. The truth is that this man has been writing for decades.

When he was 16 years old, Roy would sit down and listen to his transistor radio. Every Saturday, his go-to station would give names of people who wanted to get penpals. One such individual was a young girl from England named Gail. Roy states out of the 300 people who wrote to Gail, “I was determined to stand out, so for that first letter, I wrote every other word in cursive.” Well, it worked. This youthful correspondence across the Atlantic would contribute to Patrick’s later decision to enlist in the military.

This is where Roy’s book takes you: back in time through his Army experience as an 18-year-old who enters the army directly after graduating from high school…much to his mother’s frustrations. Roy started with his training in New Jersey, went to Louisiana, then across the Atlantic to Germany, where he eventually met his pen pal on a trip to England. Roy gives readers a firsthand, day-to-day account of the life of a soldier during the Cold War. Roy recounts humor-filled and extracurricular events in addition to the strict and severe command of Army rules.

Most notable, however, is all of the shenanigans Roy and other soldiers in his company would get up to. Each chapter chronicles a different phase of training, a memorable event, or a new location where duty brought them. The book reveals themes of curiosity, fun, and, of course, if you can imagine being in the mind of a 19-year-old man in the army: girls. “There’s a lot of humor and no politics involved,” states Roy.

This book is for people who can remember living during the Cold War years. Roy says, “I was hoping people would buy these for their grandparents or someone in [my] generation who can relate. Many people say they read the book and did bring back memories!” This book, written by Roy, is intended for someone currently contemplating joining the military and seeking to discover what a day-to-day experience might be like. For the author, he reflects that his experiences as a soldier made him a better human being. “When someone serves in the military, they become a better person than if they didn’t; they learn to be disciplined.”

Roy also traveled to other countries besides England, including a few trips to The Netherlands and visited the beaches on the North Sea. He visited many places of interest and even took a hike up the Alps in southern Germany.

For more information, to connect with Patrick Roy directly, order a book, or see photos from his adventures, go to: PatrickJamesRoy.com.

EVENTS: AYCC to host polar plunge

AYCC Childcare leadership team, Chrissy Johnson, Bobbi Pelletier and DJ Adams, take the dip in 2020. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

The Alfond Youth & Community Center (AYCC), serving the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA of Greater Waterville, has announced it will be hosting its 31st annual Polar Plunge, on Saturday, March 16, at the Oakland Boat Launch. They hope to have 100 participants to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Boys & Girls Club.

Funds are raised by each jumper and team, all contributing to the AYCC Kids Kitchen program. Through Kids Kitchen, every child in the Afterschool Program, both in Waterville and at the off sites, receives a warm meal and snack every day. In addition to the Afterschool Program, the Greenhouse to Your House weekend meal kits are funded through Kids Kitchen. By giving to your favorite jumper, you’re making a difference in the lives of children in our community.

Jumpers with the most money raised will receive the grand prize of a week’s stay at the West Wind II resort, in the Bahamas. Prizes will also be awarded for the best costume, best jump, and to the oldest and youngest jumper.

EVENTS: Battle of Maine set for March 23

In photo, Asher Stone, 11, and Judah Stone, 12, both of Winslow, practicing for the upcoming Battle of Maine. (photo by Mark Huard)

The 42nd Annual Battle of Maine Martial Arts Championships will be taking place, on Saturday, March 23, at Champions, in Waterville. The event will feature competitors from all over the state of Maine and other parts of the United States that will be competing in forms, weapons, fighting and other events. Special thank you to major event sponsors Central Maine Motors and Hammond Lumber Co. Spectator Tickets are $10 each and $1 of each ticket will go to help support The Maine Children’s Cancer Program. For more information, you can contact Mark Huard/ Huard’s Martial Arts at 649-3622.

You can stay active in the winter in more ways than one

by Brian Abbott, DO,
Northern Light Orthopedics, Waterville

What is the key to staying active in the winter months? Find an activity that you enjoy! Moving your body regularly is critical for good health. We know that exercise helps us manage our weight, blood pressure, prevent risk of falls, strengthens bones and muscle. Regular exercise also reduces the risk for certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and has been helpful with managing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a week. This volume can be spread throughout your week in whatever way works best for you. It could be 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes, five days a week.

Also, the CDC recommends that two or more days a week adults engage in muscle strengthening exercises. Strengthening exercises should focus on all the major muscle groups in the body such as our arms, shoulders, chest, core, and lower extremities. An alternative to 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week would be 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity but also layering in two or more days a week of resistance exercise. A combination of moderate and vigorous activity meeting these volumes is also considered acceptable.

A way to gauge whether you are doing moderate intensity activity is if you can talk but not sing during the activity. Examples of moderate intensity activity would be walking briskly, water aerobics, bicycling, and doubles tennis. Vigorous activity is of a higher intensity and there is a higher jump in heart rate. Vigorous activities are such that you will only be able to say a few words without pausing to take a breath. Examples are running, jogging, swimming laps, riding bike at a fast clip, singles tennis, and playing basketball.

Staying active and exercising outdoors can sometimes be challenging during cold Maine winters but there are some measures you can take to make it manageable and enjoyable. Avoid wearing cotton as this material does not wick well and can make you feel heavier and colder. Synthetic materials that wick away moisture are recommended as well as dressing in layers. Staying hydrated is also important so don’t forget to bring water along.

Some other great winter activities include brisk walking, running, hiking, snow shoeing and fat tire biking. Ice skating and sledding will also give you credit. Like it or not, shoveling snow is a great form of exercise but be sure to use proper body mechanics to avoid back injuries. Cross country skiing is an excellent form of aerobic exercise and in the Waterville area, we are spoiled by our access to the Quarry Road trails.

If being outdoors is not your preferred way of being active some alternatives could be indoor pickleball, engaging in pool exercises at the YMCA or exercising at a gym or at home. We live in an age when we can access a multitude of exercise programs by streaming online. Some people are motivated by exercising in groups so enrolling in a program at the local gym or community center could be a nice option.

Always keep in mind if you have any medical issues – particularly heart, lung or orthopedic – you should consult your healthcare provider before committing to an exercise regimen. Some people benefit from working with a trainer to ensure that they are performing the exercises appropriately, using good body mechanics, and engaging in activity at a pace appropriate for the level of conditioning.

I have found that choosing an activity that I enjoy helps me stay committed to doing it regularly. I’ve taken up skiing, and I love hiking with my family and our golden retriever. I encourage you to find ways to make being active a regular part of your healthy life!

Dr. Abbott is part of the team at Northern Light Orthopedics, in Waterville. He provides non-surgical orthopedics care. Learn more at www.northernlight.org/Inland-Hospital.

PHOTO: Waterville Travel Basketball, Grades 3/4

Front row, from left to right, Adrian DeLeonard, Jojo Garay, Sawyer Bearce and Chase Strahorn. Middle row, Carter LePlante, Jaxon Troxell, Gabe Staffierre, Quincy Brittingham and Avery McKenna. Back, Coach McKenna and Coach Troxell (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography)

Young Entrepreneur in the making

Wyatt Woodbury, 13, of Fairfield, introducing his soaps to Incense & Peppermints, in Waterville. (contributed photo)

by Mark Huard

Wyatt Woodbury, 13, of Fairfield, started making soap in the summer between fifth and sixth grade. He started with just a cold process kit from Brambleberry. Woodbury first wanted to make soap after watching the YouTube channel Royalty Soaps, which follows Katie Carson and her soap business of the same name.

After making that kit with his mom, Wyatt was hooked, and making sudsy creations every day. After many failed batches, he learned how to do it successfully, every time. Now, Wyatt has started branching out into other mediums such as sugar scrubs. When he’s not making soap, Wyatt is either reading, writing his first novel, cooking, running cross country or watching TV and movies. Visit Woody Soap Co., on Facebook, or make the trip to Incense & Peppermints, on Main St., in Waterville.

Young Wyatt’s business is a Maine made, teenage owned business. He’s now been making soap for about a year and a half. Wyatt says, “It has had its challenges and its successes, but it’s been a good teaching point in total. I’m excited to really flourish in the area and get to interact with a lot of business opportunities.”

Contributed photo

EVENTS: Spectrum Generations ice fishing derby this weekend

The 26th annual Gene and. Lucille Letourneau Ice Fishing Derby will take place on Sunday, February 18, at the Muskie Community Center, 38 Gold Street, in Waterville. This mid-winter tradition for ice fishing enthusiasts and families was established by Maine’s great outdoorsman and his wife, Gene and Lucille Letourneaus.

Fish on any safe, legal Maine pond or lake of your choice, then gather at the Muskie Community Center during the official weigh-in between 2 and 5 p.m. This multigenerational family event encourages ages 15 and under to compete in their own category. Cash prizes will be awarded for first and second places in eight fish categories for adults and for first, second, and third places in ten fish categories for youth.

All are welcome to attend and enjoy the firepit, s’mores, hot cocoa, popcorn, cornhole, pool table, silent auction. Bring your children to experience the Children’s Discovery Museum’s Mobile Museum activities between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., as well as crafts, coloring, and other free, fun activities (available through 5 p.m.).

Ice Fishing Derby tickets can be purchased online and at several locations: the Muskie Community Center (both in Waterville), Christy’s Country Store (Belgrade), D&L Country Store (Oakland), Harvest Time Baits (Winslow), Middle Road General Store (Sidney), Tri-Pond Variety (Smithfield), Twins Country Store (Augusta), the Cohen Community Center (Hallowell) and at the Spectrum Generations office, in Augusta. Each ticket allows a fish entry and an entry into the door prize drawing for a Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler and drink tumblers (you do not need to enter a fish to be included in the door prize drawing.) Tickets to enter a fish are sold only until noon the day of the event.

For more information, please contact Sandra MacDonald, Regional Center Director smacdonald@spectrumgenerations.org or call 207-873-4745.

Waterville Rotary Club announces 2024 food insecurity donations

The Waterville Rotary Club raised $5,000 this year to support local organizations that address food insecurity. In the prior three years the club donated a total of $40,622 to organizations addressing hunger and basic needs.

According to club president Daniel Eccher, “Our club became aware of the intense need in our community during the pandemic. We have directed a portion of our fundraising efforts each year from 2021 to help support the great work of local meal programs and food pantries, including some housed in our schools. We know that they operate on tight budgets and are dependent upon donations to feed people who don’t have enough resources to prevent hunger.”

Donations were awarded to the following organizations: Winslow Community Cupboard; Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter; Mid-Maine Technical Center; Albert S. Hall School; Waterville Junior High School; Waterville Area Soup Kitchen; Oakland Food Pantry; and Vassalboro Food Pantry Station.

The organizations are very grateful for the funding. Bruce Bottiglierie, Operation Manager of the Winslow Community Cupboard states “We appreciate the generous donation from Waterville Rotary Club in the assistance to end hunger. It is our mission at Winslow Community Cupboard to fight hunger, not only in our community but in the surrounding areas as well. All proceeds from this donation will go directly towards making it possible to meet the growing needs of our neighborhoods. This donation will also help us expand to help more people and build our new building so we can continue to support our growing community”.

According to Carla Caron, president of the Waterville Area Soup Kitchen, “While many volunteers happily provide the labor at the Lighthouse each day, they can only do so because of the financial support of organizations and individuals within our community. It requires significant resources to provide 5,000 meals each month in a safe and comfortable location. The Rotary Club has been a stalwart backer of the Waterville Area Soup Kitchen since its beginning. Its contributions have helped us to keep the doors open and the plates full”.

The Waterville Rotary Club is proud to support these outstanding groups doing important work in the community. For more information contact Michele Prince, Community Services Committee Chairperson michelep@kvcap.org or Dan Eccher, Club President d.eccher@leveyandwagely.com.

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce welcomes new team member Jamie Feyler

Jamie Feyler

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of Jamie Feyler to its team. She serves as customer service/bookkeeper and is responsible for the day-to-day customer service and bookkeeping activities of the Mid-Maine Chamber. Jamie is a proactive bookkeeper who is dedicated to maintaining accurate and timely financial records.

Jamie serves as the first point of contact for the Chamber both in-person and over the phone, maintaining positive member relations. In her interactions with the public as well as members, Jamie continually “sells” the Chamber and seeks to motivate and influence others on the positive attributes of Chamber involvement.

“In her short time with the Mid-Maine Chamber team, Jamie has already distinguished herself as an outstanding problem solver. Her attention to detail, accuracy, and efficiency makes her a welcome addition. She fits in nicely with our team,” says Mid-Maine Chamber President and CEO Kimberly N. Lindlof.

Jamie is a Waterville native and resides in Winslow with her family.

UNE announces dean’s list (2023)

The University of New England, in Biddeford, has announced the following local students who achieved the dean’s list for the fall semester 2023:

Parker Higgins, Albion; Jessica Guerrette, Molly Mercier, Daraun White and Julie White, all of Fairfield; Alonna Battis and Caitlyn Mayo, both of Fairfield; Mallory Audette, of Jefferson; Mckenzie Kunesh, of Liberty; Katrina Barney, of Madison; Mackenzie Bertone, of Norridgewock; Brady Doucette, of Sidney; Wylie Bedard, Elizabeth Connelly, Catherine Kelso, Zoe Lambke, Ashley Mason and Dawson Turcotte, all of Skowhegan; Alexis Rancourt and Richard Winn, both of South China; Adam Ochs, Vassalboro; Asher Grazulis, Nabila Harrington, Emma Michaud, Elias Nawfel, Grace Petley, Lauren Pinnette, and Emilee Richards, all of Waterville; and Willa Dolley, Juliann Lapierre, and Justice Picard, all of Winslow.