SOLON & BEYOND: A few words from the Carney Brook Chronicle

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

This week I am starting out with a few words from an old July 14, 1997, The Carney Brook Chronicle. It begins: I promised you there would be a sequel to my last column’s wild woodchuck story, but it’s just like one of those movies where you have to guess at the ending. I have not seen that vicious varmint since. (The day that I wrote the column I wanted to use the word “varmint” as an apt description of the woodchuck . I just hope the I just hope the animal didn’t have rabies and crawled off and died. When I called the warden service they thought that was odd behavior for a woodchuck. Animals always tend to like me but there is a question with some people. Those of us who “tell it like it is” aren’t as popular as those with numerous faces.

The following words are from another Carney Brook Chronicle on September 26, 1997 paper. Talk about an early start, here I sit at my typewriter at 2:30 a.m., on Tuesday morning! This is the first for me, but I turned and twisted since midnight so I decided to start the day early. I laid in bed thinking, what shall I write and how shall I write it? so here goes…! I received the official notification from the selectmen last evening that the “Welcome to Solon” signs that they had painted would be unveiled on Monday morning, September 29. I was told that the selectmen were going to have signs made several weeks ago and had tried to convince them that they should let the people vote on what would like to say on the signs since we’re having a special town meeting, and these signs were to represent the town. When I had been told about these welcome signs I asked how much they would cost and was told $400, and when I asked what account that sum would be taken from, Smiley said, “Scrap metal”. Since I am a firm believer in democracy and the right of the people to vote, if given a chance, this entire matter has disturbed me greatly. But it has also proved to me beyond a reasonable doubt why apathy abounds in our country today. At this point some of you are probably saying, ” Why doesn’t she go back to bed? I had, and as I laid there thinking, why can’t I go with the flow and not care, as is the tendency these days. I think the question was answered by a quote from Thomas Jefferson. “In matters of principle, stand like a rock, in matters of taste, swim with the current.”

And now for one more bit of information about a really good friend of mine. This in the December 5, 1997, Carney Brook Chronicle. On November 10 Benjamin Safford was presented with the Boston Post Gold Cane by Solon Selectmen Charles Johnson, Robin Robinson, , and John Sillars Jr.’ as Solon’s oldest resident. The cane was presented to him at his home on York Street where he has lived for the last 25 years. Two of his daughters, Glennis Rogers and Gladys Rogers, and his granddaughter, Linda French were present.

Ben was born in North New Portland on April 29,1904, the son of Russell and Emma Jackson Safford. He went to school in Dead River, then to Anson Academy for one and a half years, and Kingfield High School for one and a half years. He married Methy Morris on September 30,1922, and they had four daughters: Glennis Rogers, and Gladys Rogers, both of Solon, Betty Wyman, of Stratton, and Elsie Laughin, of Raymond. Ben worked as a watchman on Mt. Bigelow from 1922 until 1930, brought a truck and worked on the roads in Dead River. While working as a watchman he took courses in drafting, blueprint reading, and surveying from the international Correspondence School. He worked for Glen Viles building a cookroom, dining camp, and guide camp at West Carry Pond. Ben also trapped and had a Maine guide license. He was a very busy man and had several other jobs as well. After he retired, Ben wrote a book, Some History of the Dead River Valley, which sold over 290 copies. He joined the Mason and OES at the age of 21 and has been an active member ever since. My love and best wishes go out to Ben.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Life’s Rainbows: Oh, I wish I had a rainbow, I am waiting for a sign, To brighten things around me, Leave the shadows all behind. Then I put aside the wishing, And the waiting time is gone, Now it’s time to make things brighter With some rainbows of my own. (Mildred H. H. Bell)


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