Waldo Town News
By Tom Seymour
Independence Day came and went without incident here in the little town of Waldo. I mention this because for the first time since 1949, Mainers could legally purchase and use consumer-grade fireworks.
The good news is that, barring several injuries in other parts of the state, nothing of any consequence occurred. No one got blown to kingdom come and, as people used to write in these town columns, “a good time was had by all.”
As the sun sank in the west on July 4th, visitor John McMillan was firmly ensconced in a beach chair in front of my place, while his son John Henry, and I lit off some fireworks. That, it seems to me, probably resembles the way people in rural areas used to observe Independence Day, with family and friends at local gatherings.
The only thing I noted this year was that the quality of watermelons has deteriorated. In my youth, Grandpa would buy a huge, oblong-shaped watermelon and cool it down by placing it in a galvanized washtub filled with ice. The melon was dark red inside, juicy and oh, so sweet. And, it was filled with hard, black seeds, the likes of which youngsters delighted in spitting at targets both legitimate and forbidden. Today’s seedless melons aren’t very sweet, lack that deep red flesh and, of course, are nowhere near as juicy.
Has anyone noticed how rapidly grass, weeds and brush grow now? The warm, wet and humid weather precipitates this jungle-like growth.
At least this gave me a chance to try my new DR Trimmer on the saplings and weeds along my driveway. The little red machine performed admirably.
The same rampant weed and brush growth also makes roadsides shabby looking and, at least around sharp bends and intersections, somewhat dangerous. I note that Belfast has already trimmed its roadsides, a sound idea in my judgment. Hopefully, Waldo won’t be far behind in tending to its roadside weeds.
For those interested, I’m leading a wild plant walk at Holbrook Island State Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Brooksville on Saturday, July 14, at 1 p.m. There is no charge and for those who have never visited this jewel of a state park, the trip is worth the effort just to get acquainted with this wild and beautiful section of the state of Maine. And for those interested in mackerel fishing, bring a cooler and a fishing rod, since word has it that the mackerel are here in Penobscot Bay.