322-7572; 322-5671

Mickey and Joyce Sirota

Welcome rain

We’ve had more rain lately, putting a crimp in the daily walk, but it’s great for the garden and maybe we can reverse the near-drought conditions locally. Hearing about the awful fires in the West and seeing the red full moon this week reminds us of how we all rely on “Maine air conditioning.” Summer days can be in the 80s and low 90s but once the sun goes down, Searsmont usually enjoys temperatures in the 60s overnight. Somehow the rain seems to bring us back to the cool Maine woods.

Tragic loss

Nine-year-old boys are perpetual motion machines, full of life and noise. That’s why the news about young Bryan Lee William Totman hit all of Searsmont so hard. Bryan, all smiles and energy, passed away on July 19 after an accident in Belfast. A July 24 visitation was attended by friends, neighbors and caring people who only knew that a boy’s life ended too soon. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family, and a potluck benefit dinner is scheduled at the Liberty Community Building Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.

We extend our sincere condolences and caring thoughts to Bryan’s parents Nikki and Ryan, sister Jazlynn, grandparents Brian and Susan Totman, Jamie and Hal Leathers, William and Sheila Philbrook and Kay Dinsmore, and all of the Totmans. Messages can be shared online at ripostafh. All of us are diminished by this tragic loss.

Town Library

The joint is jumping. Volunteers provided more than 230 volunteer hours to make the July 17 library Book and Bake Sale a success. Some days, dozens of patrons are using the library.

This message is from the Library Director: “Saturday Morning Storytime returns to the library! From 9 to 10 a.m. every week, come hang out in the children’s section with your little humans. Read aloud by librarian and volunteers. Building blocks, puzzles, and more! (Everyone masked, please.)”

The July 24 “Live OUTSIDE the Library” Shirt Tail Kin concert was joyous, with more than 60 people enjoying the music outside on a gorgeous day. The next free performance is coming right up on

Shirt Tail Kin entertains the crowd at the Searsmont Town Library July 24. By Mickey Sirota

Saturday, Aug. 7, 4 p.m., with jump and swing blues performed by The Juke Joint Devils. Thanks as always to Onion Foundation, Maine Community Foundation and Friends of the Searsmont Library for all the free-to-us music. Call 342-5549 or email to reserve your place on the lawn.

Broadband Task Force

The Broadband Advisory Task Force meets Thursday, Aug. 12, 6 p.m., online or at the Community Building. For the Zoom link, call Contessa at 342-5411. Nearly 100 Searsmonters have responded to the online broadband survey at, and that helps define the “what, where, and why” of expanding broadband access and speed in the Southwest Waldo County Broadband Coalition towns of Searsmont, Liberty, Montville, Freedom and Palermo. Stay tuned for more information.

Bits and pieces

We hear the July 31 Vicky Morgan benefit for the Cunningham family was very successful. And the Muzzy Ridge Concert series set to begin here in Searsmont on Aug. 15 is getting quite a bit of attention. Local composer Robert Sirota tells us that there are still tickets available for the Aug. 15 and 22 one-hour chamber music performances at

We did not tell you about the Searsmont United Methodist Church’s July 31 “Lobster Feed to Go” because we didn’t hear about it in time. If you or your organization have an event coming up, please let us know the details. Like The New York Times (sort of), we are dedicated to the motto “All the News That Fits, We Print.”