joycesirota@gmail.com; mickeysirota@gmail.com

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Time flies

When the clocks turned back an hour this past weekend, and it got dark before 5 p.m., you had to wonder where the year went. It all seems a bit confusing, with fall leaves gone less than a week after peak foliage, Christmas displays already up before Thanksgiving and the baseball World Series being played while the football season is in full swing. It’s almost as if 2022 were suddenly aware of its calendar and rushing to squeeze everything left into less than eight weeks.

Luckily, the barrage of midterm election advertising is over and (most of) the “vote for me” signs will be been taken down soon.

Searsmonters are fortunate to be able to open their doors, take in a deep breath of autumn air, walk around the dooryard or down the road and find a short rest from the scurry.

Sad news times three

This column rarely reports the passing of a Searsmont resident. This week the news is sad three times over.

Jane Russo, a town resident with her husband Jack since 1984, died Oct. 17 at the age of 90. Jane devoted her life to raising her five children (John, Paul, Steven, Andrew and Heidi) and working with Huston Tuttle, the family business in Rockland and The End Shop in Camden. Never truly retired, Jane was a well-known hostess and cook, a proud grandmother and nine times a great-grandmother. She loved the Searsmont Town Library, serving on its board, volunteering, and organizing the book sale and silent auction. She also helped raise funds for the Community Center and was involved with the Searsmont Historical Society.

Robert Hills, born in Belfast, died unexpectedly at age 53 on Oct. 19, his wife Dayne by his side. Bob loved his family, his garage, deer hunting, and racing his Dodge Charger at Unity Raceway. He leaves Dayne’s sons Joshua and Dylan and grandson Ryan, his parents Carl and Barbara Hills, brother Alan and his wife Donna (all of Searsmont), and a large family.

And Joyce Collins Rose left us on Oct. 25 at the age of 75. Joyce was born in Hope, grew up in Appleton and lived in Searsmont almost all of her life, including the years when she ran the Rose ’n Blooms flower shop in Belfast. An excellent cook, gardener and writer (a member of the Romance Writers of America), Joyce’s novel “Three Small Round Stones” was published in 2018. She leaves a large extended family including two great-granddaughters. She asked that remembrance gifts be made to the Appleton Historical Society or Appleton Library.

Three losses in one week is almost too much to bear. Searsmont is saddened and diminished by their deaths, and will miss each of them.

Town Office

It was a busy two weeks for the selectmen. At their Oct. 24 work session, after the usual detailed discussion of roads, they got down to other business. The soon-to-be-purchased McLellan Property will be surveyed, a new town auditor may soon be selected, and the town will post an opening for town clerk since long-time Clerk Kathy Hoey is retiring in 2023.

When they met again on Halloween, the selectmen reviewed and approved the town’s snowplowing contracts, discussed winter equipment for the transfer station and Town Office payroll matters, considered Community Building storage spaces and (surprise, surprise) talked about roads and road repair.

There are about 450 or 500 dogs in Searsmont. So far, about 50 owners have licensed their animals for 2023. That means at least 400 more licenses are renewable by the end of the year. Don’t worry, this column will remind you.

Town Library

The library’s “Transitions” art show featuring the work of Rockport artist Kathy Gass is proving quite popular and is worth a look.

A generous and anonymous donor bid $50 and walked away with Bertha, the 50-pound Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin. The money all goes to the Tri Town Music Program run by the Searsmont Town Library and Belfast Flying Shoes.

Your correspondents visited San Francisco in October and are glad to be home. Photo by Joyce Sirota

Bits and pieces

Your correspondents spent a week in the San Francisco area, being tourists and visiting family. We then tested positive, with cold-like symptoms, for COVID-19 and are now staying pretty much at home. Good to be back in Searsmont, even with the galloping crud.

Every autumn-dropped oak leaf in town ended up on our lawn. If you would like some, we have plenty.

A popular mode of transport in San Francisco. Photo by Mickey Sirota