Monday, March 2, 2015

When I’m 74

My running mates in high school all have birthdays in February and March. The first one of us just had her 74th birthday. She is a grandmother and great-grandmother. All of us will turn 74 this year and I would guess that by now we are the oldest generation living in our families. Hard to believe.

When my classmates all turned 70, Lynda nee Goodnow, held a summer party at her lake home. We all brought birthday cakes and other eats to celebrate that landmark age. I could not be there but I attended in spirit. How did it get to be four years later already? How is it that we are now the matriarchs and patriarchs of our families?

The funny thing is, some of my good friends from home are not all that savvy on the internet. As much as I prod them to get on Facebook so that I can “talk” to them every day, guess what? I end up talking to their kids instead, who are all on Facebook. When I want to send a message to one of their mothers or fathers I pass it on to them via their children on Facebook.

As I approach my own 74th birthday on Thursday, March 5, I think about where I came from. Who were the generations before me? I am not the genealogist in the family. I leave all that to my niece, Brenda Sylvester Peabody. She has done a great job compiling our history (on both sides).

As it is March and the month of the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d look at the Irish people in our line. It’s said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. Well my family actually is, which was a big surprise to me. Most of my father’s family came from England in the 1600s (we have ties to the Mayflower); and my mother’s family came from Germany in the 1700s. We have one descendant, Jonas Loker, who died at Bunker Hill. His name is on the memorial there.

The names that Brenda found sound like familiar local names to me. I recognize Calderwood, Keller or Kellock, and Robinson. We actually had a Calderwood in our church growing up. We could possibly be related.

Here is some of the Irish-related information Brenda included in her 84-page report which she sent to me.

John Calderwood, born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1725, died on Vinalhaven, in 1808.

James Calderwood, born in Londonderry, in 1700, died in Rockingham, New Hampshire, 1749

Thomas McCurdy, born in Ulster, Ireland, in 1706, died in Dedham, Massachusetts, 1758

Jeanette Kilpatrick, born in Ulster, in 1708, died in St. George, Maine, 1750

Finley (Killough) Kelloch, born in Antrim, Ireland, in 1711, died in Thomaston, Maine, 1795

Robert Kelloch, born in Antrim, in 1681, died in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1737

Moses Robinson, born in Cork County, Ireland, in 1728, died in Cushing, Maine, in 1764

Mary Fitzgerald, born in Scotland or Dublin, Ireland, in 1708, died in Warren, Maine, in 1764

Daniel Fitzgerald, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1682, died in Cushing, Maine, in 1762

Notice, of the nine people mentioned here, only three lived to their 80s. Four died in their 30s-40s; and two lived to their 50s. We forget that life then could be harsh. There was no cure for diseases that existed at that time like smallpox. Many women also died at a young age in childbirth. Some men married several times for this reason.

So these people, who for the most part lived in the Knox County area, where my ancestors have lived for a long time, are remembered in my mind this St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s to my Irish relatives; my English relatives; my French relatives; my German relatives. You are not forgotten.

Wish me a happy birthday, everyone.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This column, written for the March 16, 1973 Bangor Daily News, includes the history of our present Memorial Pier and its tie to the ambulance service in Rockland. The pier is where Lobster Festival activities take place every year.
Dramatic physical changes to the Memorial Pier at the public landing are in the planning stages by the Seafoods Festival Corp., an authoritative source told us this week.
Being considered is a face lifting of the Memorial Pier complete with a roof. The plan is to give the stage area an amphitheater effect. The stage area also would be completely resurfaced. It is our understanding that the project is in the hands of an architect to come up with sketches to be presented for consideration.
Previously presented for council approval were plans to rebuild the ramp in back of the stage into permanent steps.
The pier is the center of attraction during the festival, both the coronation and stage entertainment.
The newest idea to roof the stage came after the council rejected the Festival Corporation’s offer of a new ambulance at a cost of about $15,000. A prerequisite was, you remember, that the city agrees to cross city lines with the ambulance. This was something the council refused to do.
Every time the question of ambulance service pops up, the theory that the new Penobscot Bay Medical Center scheduled to be built at Glen Cove would be the ideal location from which to operate an ambulance service for the entire mid-coastal area is presented. We asked Executive Director Lee Pridgen if this was a probability.
Pridgen said the question of ambulance service had been quite thoroughly discussed. He said it was the opinion that once Pen Bay is built—operation is some two years away—the center could act as a coordinator for ambulance service for the entire area. Pridgen said, however, it was the opinion—and the opinion of those in the ambulance business--that the base of the ambulances themselves should be in the respective communities much as it is now.
The director noted that if the area wanted PBMC to act as the center for ambulance service he is sure that it would be considered.
Lockup “Adequate”
Sheriff Carlton V. Thurston is pleased with the report received this week concerning his jail. In the words of State Jail Inspector, Richard P. Haskall, “although it is a small facility, it certainly appears that it can become one of the better lockup and holding facilities within the State of Maine.”
Sheriff Thurston said that all deficiencies which were cited in 1971 had been corrected. The only deficiency noted this time was in the area of food services where the inspector noted that there should be at least a three-week menu written in advance.
Further noted by the inspector was “this jail is exceptionally clean, the kitchen and eating area are outstanding in all respects, and the administration of this facility is certainly noteworthy.”
Recommendations for the Knox jail were:
“Serious consideration should be given by the sheriff and county commissioners in obtaining an acceptable area for women and juvenile inmates.
“More time and effort should be spent in the area of rehabilitation and recreation.”
Other recommendations concern changes inside the jail to meet standards for county jails. Included are practically all changes which the sheriff has recently proposed. Besides a new women’s and juvenile quarters, there are recommendations for new locks, exhaust ventilation, beds, sufficient storage area, adequate space for consultation and visiting, and necessary equipment for bathing and disinfection of prisoners.
The county commissioners are scheduled to tour the jail facility Tuesday. The sheriff is seeking $15,000 which he feels can be matched with federal funds.
Fly to Florida—Forget It!
We have a friend—who shall remain nameless—who recently vacationed in sunny Florida. In itself that’s not too newsworthy, but his experiences getting there and back, well that’s something else again.
Having a distrust of those flying machines, our friend nevertheless was persuaded to take to the airways. The day of departure came and with it also came snow squalls. Fly in the weather, forget it!
After motoring to Portland, a flight to Boston was scheduled. Our friend was miserable, according to our information. So at Boston it was enough of that, it was the train for him. Never mind that his friends arrived in Florida a day and a half ahead of him.
On the return home, he left a couple of days early and we imagine enjoyed the train ride. His friends came via airways again.
On Wednesday morning of this week the national news carried stories and pictures of a derailed Florida-bound train—the same route our friend had used—in which 19 vacationers were injured.
We asked him what he thought about train travel now. He stood by his convictions and said as far as he was concerned it was still the only way to travel. We have to admit that also reported beside the train accident story was one concerning a plane crash in which two fatalities occurred.
Beat the Meat Prices
Want to beat the high price of meat? The Maine Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries have some suggestions.
The Maine agency notes that, through an extensive survey of European markets, that Americans tend to shun many sea foods which are relished in other countries.
Some species mentioned were mussels. It is claimed that meals of high protein for under $1 could feed three to five persons. Another is skates. With required processing, these rival the flavor of scallops and sell for more than $2 per pound abroad, the report stated.
Another product mentioned is dogfish. A portion of the dogfish is smoked and sold in Germany for up to $2.50 per pound while all of the dogfish is utilized as a finfish in other parts of Europe. It is commonly used for fish and chips in England.
One of the most sought after species abroad is the common eel. According to the report, smoked eel has frequently sold for twice and three times the going price for live lobster in many foreign countries.

Thomaston Library News

Librarian Joanna Hynd with kids enjoying exotic foods during Story Hour.
 Photo by Eileen Skolds
March Story Hour
Let’s see, where are we going to travel to next? This March Story Hour: Join the Thomaston Public Library on Thursdays at 11am in the Children’s Room to learn about India, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and other far off locations! Try new foods, listen to new music, and enjoy learning about different cultures.

Sonny’s Sunshine Corner

March! At last! My birthday month! And Spring is right around the corner here in Georgia. Soon the azaleas, dogwood and peach trees will blossom and allergy sufferers will head to their allergists. I suffer some during this period; but it’s all worth it to me with all the beautiful fresh colors surrounding me.
Up north I know Spring will be a long time coming by the time they get all that snow melted. A couple of my Southern friends welcomed the little snow we got here and wanted more. I informed them that some northern folks were selling snow to whoever wants it. They said, yes, send it on. They’re nuts I think.
Our boy, Butchie, is all healed up from his sore face from scratching incidence. He has his M back on his face (the Mark of Mary) and is back to his handsome if grumpy self. He did not enjoy the cold weather here lately (in the 20s) and he poked his head outdoors only to back off and come back into the warm house. He’ll be glad to sit in his porch chair in the sun soon.
Readership of the blog space is now up over 62,000 and Village Soup showed over 1,000 views for the last four stories posted. The most popular story of February was the Grange story. It was nice to hear from Aaron Englander of Erickson Fields, who I mentioned in the story. He is involved with Maine Coast Heritage Trust which focuses on saving small Maine farms.
Look for special St. Patrick’s Day recipes this month. Ted’s column relates the reconstruction of Memorial Pier down at the landing which resulted in its present look. Also mentioned is the “building” of Pen Bay Hospital and formation of the ambulance service in the area. I don’t have any ideas for special blogs at this point, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. Of course, I always welcome suggestions from you, my reader. I would be very interested in sponsoring a guest blog having to do with nature, focusing on Maine. It would mean a monthly commitment. If you have ideas along this vein please email me at:
My personal news includes no bronchitis this winter. My sinus infection did not turn into that dreaded condition. I took it very carefully and stayed home until I was out of the woods. However, being idle like that has set my PT back a little. I will return to PT next week.
The good news is that Nanci and I will head to Savannah next month so she can try out for Jeopardy once again, we think this is the seventh or eighth time she’s done this song and dance. We went to Savannah together once before and I thoroughly enjoyed that old city. It will be a fun trip. Wish her luck. We sure could use a trip to California. If I can be on Wheel of Fortune at the same time she is on Jeopardy that would be a dream come true.
So here’s to Spring and the promise of good things to come it brings. See you next time. Head bumps from Butchie.