Saturday, July 2, 2011


Medford Town Office
  I was asked to run for the Board of Selectmen (some are women), was nominated and elected in a quick vote at Town Meeting.  I was elected Chairman by the rest of the board.  Now I was the Tax Assessor in one place and the Tax Collector in another.  The Medford work was at night and on weekends and could be very time consuming - but - the pay was $1200.00 a year, it worked out to about five cents an hour.  I was to serve two terms while we lived in Medford.
  On the Brewer front we continued to receive more and more work to do.  In addition to property taxes we also registered vehicles and collect those taxes and fees, sold hunting and fishing licenses, dog licenses and a host of other things from time to time.  My Deputy, Sharon, and Tax Clerk, Linda, were busy at the counter, while for the most part my work was out back.  The counter was in a refurbished room that had been, years ago, the Police Department, my office next door had been a janitors closet!, it was small and cramped with two computers and shelves full of printout, my own printer and file cabinets, there was barely room to move.  All of that changed with a "re-build" after I retired.
  At home all four kids where with us for a part of the year, Jeff moved back to Portland some time during the year.  He had been riding back and forth with me to a job in Bangor.  Winter of 91-92 was colder than usual and the Subaru flooded easily so I kept spare spark plugs.  But changing plugs when it's -20 degrees (we didn't have a garage) out was miserable.  I'd change one plug, bring the tools in and put them under the wood stove to warm up, to back out and do another one, thankfully there were only four!  I think my hands are still cold, I wasn't able to do that with gloves on - I am a very poor mechanic, I tell people that I have the mechanical ability of a new born poodle.  Note:  Sorry poodle owners, no degredation is intended, and maybe poodles make great mechanicsd.
  And so it went, a few meetings everyweek of various sorts, lots of work and a great wife that could hold stuff together.  The kids weren't too bad either - one at a time - but there were four.
Brewer City Hall.  My off was the one two windows to the right of the door.
City Hall showing the Church Street Entrance

Tax Collectors have fan clubs!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A notice

I'm taking the day off to round up photos, please come back tomorrow so I can bore you some more.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


A Subaru, not my original
  I bought that car new in 1988, it was a good one!  My drive to work was 37 miles, each way and the mileage added up fast.  Besides going to work we drove all over the place, Hollie could be quited by riding.  The railroad had abandoned a lot of track in the Medford area, and the construction of Interstate 95 had left gravel pits and "roads" all over Lagrange, so we drove on those a lot.  By the time five years had passed the car had 243,000 miles on it.  I had replaced a water pump, 3 windshields and 2 cigarette lighters - that's it!  Except for the routine and required maintenance those were the only things that broke, no clutch or brake jobs ever.  It really was a good car.
  I also changed jobs again (surprise, surprise) but this one was at the same place.  Elaine had retired as Tax Collector and I got the job, it turned out to be the longest I ever worked at one job, 12 years.  I count my Navy time as different jobs, each place I went I did different stuff.  So tax office here I come, remember I had already balanced all of the accounts.  My first job was to tackle all of the overage stuff, there were taxes due on things from 12 or 15 years before, all small amounts, about $4.00.  I asked Elaine once why one account wasn't "written off"; I said this man moved 10 years ago, and she stated "well, the son of a bitch is still alive!".  I asked City Council to write off that account and a bunch of similar stuff.  I can truly say that it was an enjoyable job, even with two death threats and one man coming into the office with a pistol - serious business, we had a button to push that brought the police.  All in all it was peaceful and relatively quiet, and busy.
  On the home front, Rhonda came home from Ellsworth, her work done at that school, so we had 2 high school students and a five year old, who still was a few years away from diagnosis.  I knew now that she wasn't deaf; she started to talk at age 3 (quite a bit late), and was using language.  Hollie went to a kind of pre-school in Bangor called the Childrens Garden and worked with a speech/language person and some others.  One of the kids (Luke) is now in the same day program with her, they finished high school in the same class too.  So Hollie needed a lot of rides which she enjoys to this very day.

The rail bed from Medford to Lagrange

A beaver dam, there were a lot of these, one dam was very old and large and the road was right in front of it, you
could look up to see the dam.

Some peoples idea of a tax collector.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1988 continued

Everyone there at Christmas including a family of Snowmen
  So, let's job, sold a house, bought a house and then the parade started.  First Jon goes back to Portland with his friends, calls the next day and wants to be picked up.  The same night Jeff calls and wants to be picked up in Portland.  That could get expensive.
  Brad, who helped us moved won the Moose Lottery (he was able to hunt moose) and came up with his friend to hunt.  He didn't shoot a moose, he did shoot a black bear.  When he went to check on the bear it scratched him, right where it hurts (Ouch!), and was taken, by his friend, to the ER at the Lincoln hospital.  He never shot another bear, but did get a moose another time.  Linda's other brother Bob came from Hawaii with sister Deb and my mother in law Yvonne.  Everyone had a great time, I was working by the way, and rode around a checked out the sights.  The other brother Thom came at Christmas.
  Our good friends Ralph and Lila spent a few days too.
  During that winter we had an ice storm, not an unusual event, on a morning that I had to take Rhonda back to Ellsworth.  The City Manager had a son who I would also pick up for the trip.  We finally made it to Bangor (a long drive in bad conditions), and slid sideways down a long hill, almost into the river!  After a couple of hours break we continued down to Ellsworth, about 40 miles east.
  So that was 1988 and while it wasn't typical, I am glad it wasn't habit forming.
Bob and Debbie pose for this snapshot.
Hollie and Grandma, first snow of the year - it was early October.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


At the bottom of the Medford, it's closed.
  Well, with a new degree I guess I was eager to prove my worth to the world.  I don't know if I "taught" myself to move every couple of years or not, but here we go again.  Beverly Hillbillies of the north.
I found an ad in the Bangor Daily News, they sold the weekend edition in South Portland, and was invited to interview for Deputy Treasurer of the City of Brewer.  I was hired and I came up to Brewer in July of 1988.  The house in South Portland was sold, we were waiting on a closing, and we had bought a house in Medford.  Out of the whole bunch I was the only one to have lived in a small town.  Medford had a population then of 183, that's small.  Jon thought he was at the end of the world, Rhonda hadn't seen it yet, she was still in Elsworth.  Jeff had moved out, but  the rest of us, with the help of my friend Ray and Linda brother Brad finally loaded up the truck and hit the road.
  We weren't out of Portland when the cat, Midnight, escaped the box she was in, she was right under my foot as I accelerated to get on the Interstate!  Finally she slept on some clothes in the back, stayed there the whole trip.  As we were unpacking the goldfish, in a plastic bag of water, fell on the ground, unharmed.  Hollie thought the fish were hungry so she gave him some tobacco from a pouch, dead wrong, flush!
  The house was very different from what we were used to, from a house 90 or 100 years old to one that was 4.  It was very nice, if you like wood, the exterior was cedar shingles, and inside a lot of pine and cedar.  Downstairs was wide open, half open to the roof, the bathroom and one bedroom were enclosed.  Upstairs were two huge bedrooms and a loft on the "closed in side" and space on the open side.  There was plenty of room for all of us.
  My work was enjoyable, with a great group of co-workers and a great boss, The Finance Director, Jane.  I spent the first year checking and balancing the accounts for taxes receivable, there were some very old accounts there, but I enjoyed the work and the auditors loved what I had done!
That's Brewer on your right and Bangor on the left, it doesn't show much, but I find very few photos of Brewer.
There used to be a paper mill on this spot.  Eastern Fine Paper was demolished after it closed, Cianbro Company
bought the site and use it to assemble "modules", these are for an oil refinery, now
they are making 6 story "rooms" for electric equipment for some mines in Canada.
The modules are shipped by barge, the barges are loaded in that "notch" (bottom right).
Click to enlarge.
The house in Medford.
Midnight on one of the inside rafters.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Miss Larry goes to work on Halloween
  That is what happens when people decide to dress up, the keyword for me was dress.  We really had a good time that day, of course the Middle School kids were a bit curious.
  1987 studies were finally over, whew!  We drove up to Bangor for my graduation, it was my very first time on campus.  My parents and brother also drove up to watch a 46 year old man graduate from college.  Linda was with me but couldn't attend, Hollie was having a really bad day; we didn't know then what her diagnosis would be, if we had it may have been a lot different.  So, graduation, a nice lunch and a "crying" trip home, well worth it.  The degree gave me new ideas and things were going to happen that surprised even me.
  Work was going well, except I was chosen to be the negotiator for my union of School Support workers for a new contract.  That is something I would run from now, never again.  It was an extremely tough go, and that's when times were good, I can't begin to imagine what it would be like now!
  Things at home were chugging along, Floyd had moved out to live with a lady friend, Jeff was off to parts unknown and the rest of us were progressing, each at our own speed.  OH!, and before I forget, Rhonda was at a school in Ellsworth, over 100 miles away, to deal with some emotional issues.  The longer we go on the more complicated we get; at the end it was a very good thing.  Oh, and don't forget the braces for her teeth, those can be expensive.
  But, I did graduate from college.
The Husson College campus.  It's Husson University now, with more buildings.
With my parents and brother, and look, all dressed up again.
Sister Larry on another work day, was it "habit" forming?

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Dad with his girls, Rhonda and Hollie, Easter 1986
   Things just kept moving right along, without much time to catch our breath.  Looking back I don't know how we kept up with stuff; just busy, busy, busy.  Jeff graduated high school but the others had a long way to go still.  Jon and Rhonda were always gone one place or another and we were always looking for one or the other for meals and all that stuff.  Hollie was getting into the "investigation stage" where everything is worth a look, or a taste - supervision can't be quick enough.
  Work was going great, there were some new computers to work with, Macs - it was a school thing after all; and new software for me to learn.  We hired a new Deputy Superintendent, and not long after a large Siamese cat showed up on our "new" deck.  I name him Yowl Brenner, for the actor in the King and I, and the new Deputy wanted a cat so he got Yowl; who was promptly run over and killed in the street.
  And that's the way it was - 1986.
Jeff got his first car.....
Hollie got musical, and...
...Rhonda visited her birth mother in Arizona.  This is how she was dressed when she got off the plane at home.