SOLON & BEYOND – Grams: very cute and grandma’s to boot

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

Here it is, Monday already and I’m just starting to write this column! We spent the weekend visiting with Lief’s relatives and friends up in Aroostook County! It was lots of fun and so very beautiful!

This week I call this column; Gram’s: Very cute, and grandma’s to boot. It is taken from an article that was written in the Somerset Reporter way back in June 30, 1983. It brings back happy memories to me and I hope you will enjoy it also.

It’s hard to figure when you get to Gram’s, a gift shop on Route 201, Solon, what will be cuter: the many handmade items lining the walls of the shop, or the three proprietors, all real, honest-to-goodness grandmothers. Marilyn Rogers, Merle Rancourt, and Ellen Hills have a total of 12 children and 17 grandchildren amongst them.

They decided to open their own shop after renting space in a building for two years. This year they purchased an old camp and had it hauled to their site on Rte. 201. After painting, and redecorating it they christened it Grams. (It doesn’t say who wrote the first part of the story for the column but I’m going to change what was printed next so credit can be given to my wonderful sons who did a lot of work to make it the wonderful place that it was!)

It is a clean, pleasant place to browse through their many items. Just about everything in the store is handmade. They carry some Solon Manufacturing Company items for variety.

Merle makes mostly clothes and sewn items. She makes lots of baby clothes and quilts. Ellen creates sock dolls and Maine mementoes while Marilyn makes toys and other baby items.

In addition the shop is stocked with balsam pillows, lap robes, pot holders, and puppets and dolls of all sizes and description. There are even some teddy bears.

“Every time you come in here, there’s something new. ” Ellen said. And Marilyn added. “Most of the items are one of a kind.”

Grams will be open through the summer, and after that it depends on the weather. Besides come December, they all have something to look forward to. That’s when each of them expects to become grandmothers again.

At that rate Grams will never run out of customers or summer help.

Hope to find more information as to how long I kept the Grams store in business with lots of help from my friends! It was truly an inspiration for me to keep doing the things I loved to do. Hope as I continue to go through the many stacks of old papers I may come across more information to share.

As I sit here this morning hoping to write what many of you have told me that you enjoy reading about, one of them was the river drive! Was surprised when a woman called and said she truly enjoyed reading about it when I wrote some before…..But I think this is a different story that I am taking from a Somerset Reporter dated 1835-1976. The headline states: A SALUTE ….. There is a picture of some of the men and it says: Three generations—This crew of log-drivers posed for a photograph outside a camp roughly 65 years ago. They are standing Dell Stewart, Will McLaughlin, Albert Reynold, Milt Reynolds, Granville Beane, (first name unknown) Collins and Chris Rollins. Sitting, Tom Bigelow and Miles Cates. McLaughlin and Bigelow were the grandfathers of men bringing up the rear on the last log drive. The Somerset Reporter was the largest weekly newspaper at that time and it goes on to say Bert Morris remembers: Long logs and good men. It looks interesting to me; but way too long to put it in this week!

Do hope I haven’t been putting in too much of this old news and putting you to sleep, but at my age I find it really interesting and good to remember the good ol’ days.

And now for Percy’s memoir: Trying to hang on to youth, trying to hang on to what was really great 20 years ago, throws you totally off. You’ve got to go with it and seek the abundance that’s in the new thing. If you hang on to the old thing, you will not experience the new. – words by Scholar Joseph Campbell.


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