Waldo News

By Carolyn Zachary | Aug 25, 2018

Waldo Town News

By Tom Seymour



What a great time of year for life in Waldo, Maine. Salubrious temperatures, azure skies and fresh veggies coming in from the garden make late August a memorable time of year.

Speaking of time of year, garden/general journals make it easy to look back upon previous year’s doings. For instance, it helps to know when, on average, plants come into season. Also, special events of all sorts are worth noting in a continuing journal. As for me, I use my Forager’s Notebook, Just Write Books, 2011, to mark down things natural and otherwise important to me.

This book has a five-week calendar so that it can work for any year, Leap Year or not. It also contains pen-and-ink sketches as well as 100-year-old household tips from newspapers from the early 20th century. For me, knowing on average when the first tomato ripens, when the hummingbirds arrive in spring and when corn ripens has immeasurable value. Check out my website, tomseymour.maine.com, for more on this. Alternately, Forager’s Notebook is available from Amazon and also from justwritebooks.com.

Real estate

While not inclined to promote real estate sales, I shall mention that the old Penobscot Hatchery and land are up for sale. This property lies kitty-corner across the road from me. Since the 1950s this building was used as a hatchery for Penobscot Poultry. Old-timers will recall when Penobscot owned countless acres in Waldo and indeed, all around Waldo and Knox counties.

When the company went out of business, much to my and most everyone else’s chagrin, the land was bought (advertised in TRJ but already sold, a sham advertisement. I tried to buy it but found that the for sale ad was in name only) and subdivided into house lots.

But now the place is up for sale again and since the land is already zoned for commercial use, it seems like a good investment for a small business. It would be good to once again see some commercial enterprise spring up in Waldo. If a large enough company purchased the place, perhaps property taxes would go down a bit, always a welcome bit of news.

In the garden

My own sweet corn is of a late-maturing variety, so for the time being I must buy my corn. To that end I visited the Belfast Hannaford’s and bought what looked like good, fresh corn. But upon eating it, I found it tough and flavorless, something I have noted over the past several years.

However, the small stores in our area carry fresh corn and it has proved superior to the commercial stuff from the big chain stores. Caveat emptor.

New pipes

Many folks know me as a bagpiper and indeed, I have played at many functions over the last 40 years. But chronic back pain and an inner-ear problem makes it physically difficult, indeed painful, to keep on playing.

I still have my pipes and will, at least for the near future, accept jobs for emergency reasons. But because it hurts me and because I have other pipes to play, I will soon hang up the Highland bagpipes for good. It’s been a good run and people all around Maine have enjoyed my music. And of course, I have enjoyed playing for all those wonderful people.

The good news, at least for me, is that I am quite conversant on the Uilleann pipes. These are an Irish instrument, played by means of an arm-pumped bellows. Uilliann, in Gaelic, means “elbow” and alludes to the arm-pumped bellows. These pipes have a range of two octaves, making them extremely versatile.

Additionally, I have recently acquired a set of Northumbrian pipes, a smallpipe with a haunting, indeed almost eerie, sound. And given my regimen of regular practice, I’m able to play these exotic (for Maine) pipes, with a growing degree of sophistication.

These pipes work well with all kinds of traditional music and if any musician, whether guitar, whistle, concertina or bohdran, would like to get together and jam, I’m here and willing. Just think, perhaps Waldo could become known for its down-to-earth folk music.

Weekly quote

“The government that governs the least governs the best.” ― Thomas Jefferson



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