Stockton Springs Report

By Jeff Davis | Oct 12, 2012
Stockton Springs residents gather around the bonfire on Sandy Point Beach with members of the Sandy Point Community Club.


No e-mails this week

The topic pretty much sums it up. I didn't receive any e-mails or calls this week. However, I am not complaining. I understand. Winter is about on us. It is natural for Mainers to turn inward as winter approaches and prepare their homes for her seasonal onslaught. Although Laverne and I still have the grill out and the bench under the maple tree, I have gotten the porch furniture in and put some firewood where the glider and rocker had sat since spring. We had a fire last week, when it was wet. And we had the furnace on already to take the nip off the room.

So, this week, and perhaps in weeks to come, it will be up to me to keep you informed and hopefully entertained. I'll begin with telling you what's going on in the Town Office.

Town Office news

The Select Board will convene for regular business on Oct. 18 at 6 pm. I don't know who will be heading the meeting, as they no longer have a First Selectperson and take turns. They were all in attendance at the recent forum on the school and appeared to speak with one voice. It was quite refreshing.

The next single-stream recycling pickup is Oct. 25. For a printable list of items accepted, see the town website at Universal Waste Disposal is available at the Public Works facility at 194 Cape Jellison Rd. on Oct. 27 between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. The disposal is available to all Stockton Springs and Prospect residents.

Just a reminder that property tax is due Oct. 31. I know. Who am I telling? I haven't sent mine in yet, either.

Library news

Those who have not read the article about the successful local fundraiser known as the Stockton Springs Library Tea should dig last week's paper out of the single-stream recycling and read it. I am proud to say that I am the one who turned the ladies on to the idea of approaching a real reporter to talk about the tea. They sent me the information and beautiful photos and ... well, a man must realize his limitations. So I referred them to a specialist. It was a wise decision. Thank you, Republican Journal, and thank you to all who participated in this annual event.

The Stockton Springs Library is open on Monday and Wednesday from 3-5 p.m.; Tuesday from 4-7 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, the library's volunteers are ready to serve patrons from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thank you to the many library volunteers and patrons.

Sandy Point Community Club

Allow me to remind you about the Harvest Supper being hosted by the Ladies Aid of the Sandy Point Congregational Church. It is on Saturday, Oct. 20, with seatings at 4:30, 5:15 and 6 p.m. On the menu are ham, turkey, fresh vegetables, mashed potatoes, rolls and homemade pies. Cost is $9 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under. The supper will be held at the Sandy Point Community Club on Route 1, four miles south of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. You can find out more at 567-3204. Thank you, Mac Smith, for the information. I told you I would mention it twice. I'm only here to serve you better.

From the columnist

Since there isn't all that much going on, I'd like to use the space to tell you about my father-in-law, lifelong resident and octogenarian Jack McLaughlin. Greyhound Bus Lines opened their doors in 1914. Prior to that, the residents of the area from Rockland to Bangor left the driving to the McLaughlin Brothers Deluxe Coach Service.

Originally offering service from Bangor to Belfast, John and Archie McLaughlin purchased an 18-passenger Cadillac coach to extend their runs to Rockland. The 175-foot wheelbase bus was a product of the Superior Motor Coach Company of Lima, Ohio, and was purchased from the Bangor Motor Company. It was lettered by A. J. Infiorati and, perhaps by previous agreement, both companies are mentioned in the announcement of the service. The announcement hangs in Jack's den and in the Stockton Springs Historical Society.

The McLaughlins sold the bus line to Greyhound with the provision that their sons would have a job with the company and have the local runs. Although other sons took the offer, only Jack went on to stay with the company. A black-and-white photograph hangs in his living room of a younger Jack receiving a gold mantel clock for years of service from the company. It sits on his mantel now.

After taking the local runs, Jack started going from Bangor to St Stephens, Canada. After years of his disc taking that pounding, he went out on a disability, no longer able to do the thing he loved to do. It was the only job he ever had, and I know he loved it. I have heard numerous tales about his days on the road. And many were told through tears of laughter.

Not a man to take things lying down, Jack and his partner, Jimmy Shaver, formed Fort Point Cove Inc. Jack purchased 50 acres off Denslow Road and the company built a spec house. After it sold, they built another next door. They ended up building seven before Jack's back forced him out of that business as well. Before they were done, they built the town's post office and the town's medical center. However, Jack's dream of bringing a bank to Stockton Springs died when his back forced him and his beloved Kitty to spend their retirement at their home on Ocean Drive and their condo in Florida. He lost his loving wife to cancer this year.

When I met Jack, he was a gardener. His skill is well known and his gardens have been the envy of his neighbors since he was 18. Back when I met him, I was a novice at the hobby and told him that my veggies were beautiful, but didn't produce. I didn't understand that, as I put Miracle Grow on them every day. He still laughs about it. Some things about Jack I don't want to write. He reads the column every week and we are private men. One thing that I do want him to read is that I love him. And I am glad he let me marry his daughter. And I am proud of the contributions he made to the town of Stockton Springs.

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