I want to start this column by extending my sympathy to the members of the Stockton Springs Church for the grievous attack to their church on the eve of the election. The members and townspeople have worked so hard to bring the church back to its splendor, and then something like the vandalism with spray paint happens. I do not go to this church, but I feel a sense of personal violation. May the people responsible be discovered and made to clean up the mess.
This will be too late for those who only read this column in print, but for those online, the Stockton Springs American Legion Jerry W. Dobbins Post 157 will host a Veterans Day ceremony Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. in the Stockton Springs Veterans Park. The ceremony will be followed by a Legion Hall open house from noon to 2 p.m. at 5 Sandy Point Road, just off Route 1. Area residents and veterans are cordially invited to attend. The open house will recognize the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and honor veterans of that era. The Maine Veterans Services organization is expected to participate also.
Many thanks to all the people who came to the Prospect Community Club’s hunter’s breakfast Nov. 3. I think it was the biggest breakfast that we have ever had. Do hope that the Fire Department breakfast this coming Saturday, Nov. 10, will be the same. Both organizations use the funds raised for community projects. The winner of the 50-50 was Marvin Harriman of Bucksport. His share was $85. Congratulations, Marvin.
Although the Community Club will hold its last business meeting of the year tonight, it does not mean that the club will be idle. There will be a big Christmas Party scheduled for Prospect children Dec. 15 noon-3 p.m. in the dining room. Santa is already checking his list, so I hope all kids will be good. The party starts off with pizza, drinks and ice cream. There will be a time for a craft -- I'm not sure what it will be yet, but it could be messy, so don’t dress the children in fancy clothes. Then each child is given a big gift bag with handles and told to go to the back two tables, which will be filled with slightly used stuffed animals, toys, puzzles and etc. They will choose one item and return to their seat, and if there are any more items left on the tables, they will be told to go back again. Last year they went back four times! I want to say a big thank-you to all the people I met this summer as I attended yard sales, and when I told them what I was looking for and what they were going to be used for, they very generously gave me bags of stuffed animals, bags of Matchbox trucks, lot of baby toys and charged hardly anything for the ones that I did buy. Christmas carols will be sung just before Santa is scheduled to arrive. Santa will present each child with a new wrapped present after he talks with each child.
The children will go upstairs after the presents have been opened, and on tables up there will be gifts from which they can select a present for Mom and Dad and it will be wrapped. We hope that the parents can stay downstairs, so their gift from the child will be a surprise. Again, these gifts have been donated by individuals and items bought at yard sales this summer; they may not be new, but slightly used and last year the children were real happy that they could get something for their parents. If you would like to come and see the children enjoy the party, please come and we will give you cake and coffee.
This election really wore out the people working at the polls. Here in town, they never left the office until 1:30 a.m. There was a big turnout, and also the state had made some changes in the procedure of counting the ballots which took more time. Regardless of the results, everyone should be proud that they took the time to cast their vote. Yes, they all do count, as they say, but I have a problem with that statement, because the presidential vote is not a popularity vote, but is decided by the Electoral College. I really want my vote for the president to stand on its own! I’ll never live to see it, but hope that someday it could be changed, and also the amount of billions that were spent on the elections was asinine, when it could have been used to help people with programs for food, medicine, shelter and many other needs. Guess you know that I could never be a politician.
There is a time in most people’s lives when they reach the ripe old age of 50. On Nov. 3 that is what happened to Fred Swift. His wife, Diane, and family gave him a bang-up birthday party in the Community Center. Diane said there were a total of 100 people who dropped by or stayed for a while to see the big event. Fred was told to sit in a chair in the middle of the room and guess what? They know he expected some exotic dancers, but instead he was entertained by three young men dressed in drag. Needless to say, everyone had a great time and, no, Fred, you can’t be 50 again next year.
One not-so-good item is the fact that Fred’s sister, Althea Grover, is in St. Joe’s hospital after suffering a bad stroke last night. Prayers go out to her and the entire family -- when one is sick, they are all sick.
Several years ago when I was tearing down our kitchen ceiling, one of the things that dropped on my head, besides an old soda bottle, was an old agreement from 1905-1908 for the Mount Waldo, Maine granite company. Some of it is hard to read, as it has been stained by water, but it was for The Mt. Waldo Cutters National Union, and reads, in part, "the following agreement shall govern the cutting and tool sharpening. The rate of wages for all granite cutters and tool sharpeners shall not be less than 37 cents an hour, except those that operate surface cutting machines will receive not less than 40 cents an hour.
"Eight hours will constitute a day's work, over time, when worked, will be counted once. One Apprentice to be allowed to every thirteen journeymen or fraction thereof. The term of Apprenticeship will be 3 years. Payday will be on or before the 15th. on each and every month." So how does your job stock up to this? It was not uncommon for the men in later life to suffer ”stone cutter's consumption” from breathing the stone dust.
I want to wish you all a safe and healthy week, and please remember those who need a card or a prayer. God bless you all.