Stockton Springs Report
Town committee meetings and event
The recycling committee pulled a fast one on us and had former Selectperson Sara Bradford signing up volunteers at our polling place. I tried to look away, but her eyes caught mine and she reeled me in like a bass. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Jeff from the Stockton Springs Single Stream Recycling committee." Ms. Bradford advises me that all is going well with our new program. I am proud to serve alongside of this icon of our elderly population.
I received no emails about meetings or events. I guess I could copy and paste from the town website, www.stocktonsprings.org, or tune into our government access channel 7 that Sam Fuller diligently maintains. But that would be redundant, and I just slide in pretty decent twist to direct you there.
Once in a blue lobster
Holly Wyman does not let grass grow under her tiny feet. Every week she has something going on at that store that is newsworthy. I could write a book just about her. I walked into the store the other day and she was holding a blue lobster. I've been here a long time, and it was my first actual sighting. She is seeking an aquarium or museum recipient to take the natural oddity, so that it may be shared with others. I don't recall ever hearing about a blue lobster in Stockton Springs. But I will not make that claim until I clear it with Mrs. Fisher. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am capable of learning.
Missing cat owner
Please be on the lookout for a missing cat owner. About a month ago an orange, fluffy, very sweet and de-clawed cat appeared at the Station Street home of Bert and Rhonda Maddocks. He was seeking his lost owners. The cat is a male and has not been neutered, according to Bert. I asked him how he knew, as I am a cat layperson. He told me, but I shall not share that here. Let's just all agree with Bert's findings and be done with it.
Bert, fearing an impending trip to a veterinarian and Petco, pretended not to hear the knock at the door. But Rhonda had sensed that one of God's creatures was in distress and was at the door by first meow. She has taken in the animal, much to the chagrin of the other cats residing at that location. They have joined Bert's side and are treating the poor little fellow like a homeless waif.
Rhonda has gone into full-blown nest mode and is holding down the fort. The cat offers no reward, but finding the missing owners is the right thing to do. Surely, they are frantic after a month, knowing the animal, whose natural defenses have been stolen, is out there in the wild dutifully looking for his charges, the brave soul. It's almost enough to make me rethink my cat position. Please help. You may contact the cat at Bert and Rhonda's: 567-3163.
Taxes are past due
We just paid our property taxes. I didn't want to do it. It's not that I feel that I am a sovereign citizen and believe the state has no right to tax me. I'm just cheap. Also, I like to glance at my bank book from time to time and see a positive balance. It happens three times a year: pre-Christmas, pre-vacation and pre-tax time. Come on, Christmas!
I was planning on holding off paying until the Christmas shopping season. Honey has her eye on a Keurig. I didn't think the town would mind. I mean, I once owed them eight grand. Surely they can wait a month for one year's taxes. But I wrote in our column about the Harvest Parade and my phone rang off the hook when I didn't attend it. I haven't had a child in school in two decades, but because I wrote about it, I am supposed to attend. Then, like a fool, I kind of harped on paying property taxes. Thinking back, I may have mentioned it in two or three issues. So ... brother, could ya spare a dime?
I'm just kidding. I don't mind paying the high taxes that one is required to pay to live on the shore. As a middle-class American, I feel it is my duty to keep at least these three acres of the coastal United States out of the hands of the rich people. And as God as my witness, I will do it, even if I have to give up Oreos.
Now, if you have not paid your taxes, don't feel you have to run right down there just because I did. You don't write for the paper. Apparently, it is expected of me. But after the In-the-black-bank-book grace period, the girls will be expecting you.
From the columnist
On the day after the election, I went to get a haircut. When men are through processing a major event, we like to go get a haircut and talk about it. Unfortunately, there was no one there but the barber, and she has heard my thoughts before, as I have heard her cerebrations. However, I did have a plan B, and after the haircut, I stopped in at Perry's store to get our lunch and discuss the election there. Now before you check the date of the paper, I know that Ed and Miram are retired, but the store is still called Perry's and they still make a tasty cheeseburger.
Plan B was a flop, as no one was at Perry's. I guess the word about their cheeseburgers is not out yet, hence the plug. I didn't know the lady making the cheeseburgers and didn't feel it right for me to broach the subject of politics. That is the problem one encounters when purchasing fast food at a local store. There is no drive-through window and manners dictate that you strike up a conversation with the cook. If you are looking for a scapegoat to blame for the decline of polite conversation, might I suggest the drive-through window? It is virtually impossible for a sane person to hold a meaningful dialogue with the face of a clown. I try every time I go, but the kid playing the role of the Great Oz just turns off the speaker and turns up his iPod.
Most of the subjects of conversation that I am fluent in are not things a gentleman should discuss with an elderly lady. I had narrowed my decision down to fishing and Florida. Maine women fish. And every Mainer over 50 likes to talk about Florida. The snowbirds will be discussing when they will leave. Some will talk about the times they went, and some will tell you why they would rather burn in the flames of hell than the heat of the Florida sun. I am still in the time-we-went phase and engaged her about our travels to Bradenton. She wasn't listening. She was cooking cheeseburgers. I know because I threw in a huge fish story and she didn't bat an eye.
While I was waiting for her to wrap up our tasty burgers, one of the boys from the DOT came in to get a slice of pizza and a Red Bull for his lunch. He was a very nice young man and actually very happy for a guy who had to work out in 30-degree weather. I told the lady to put his lunch on my tab. I have always wanted to say that. I have kept a folded twenty in my wallet on standby for years. I didn't feel sorry for this young fellow because he had to work in the cold. I did it. I chose to purchase his lunch because receiving a free lunch from a stranger leaves you with a good impression. I felt that he must have seen the ugliest that invaded our town in the dark of night. The boy works right by there. The construction is almost over, and soon the DOT will leave. I didn't want him leaving town with such an ugly image in his mind of the beautiful Stockton Springs.