Saturday, July 16, 2011


This has nothing to do with 2002, Linda took the photo yesterday on Outer Ohio St. in Bangor
I just wanted to share it.
The Shipbuilders Memorial, dedicated to the men and women who worked at the South Portland shipyard
during World War 2, my Dad worked there as a welder.
  Okay 2002 now, I did get to visit that memorial during the year, and Hollie and I took one trip to Massachusetts and the Northshore Mall, we had been in Massachusetts for the second time and enough was enough, but we did get to see the lighthouse on Plum Island, Newburyport (I think).  It must have been around 2002 when I started taking Hollie for the twice a year "Vacation Days", we've done since so I guess that was it!
  Work was going well, it really was a good job, and easy to do; it was the micro-management that was difficult, it got a little worse as time went on.  What I don't need on a job is to be second guessed by somebody who knows very little about what I'm doing, but enough to be dangerous to himself and others, if you get what I mean.  But, even with that, it was a good job and great place to work, only six of us and some volunteers in the building most of the time.
  My sleep disorder was growing worse as the years went by, by now I was up at maybe 3:00AM and getting earlier as time passed, by 2006 I was awake at 11:30PM and started work at 4:00AM and left at 2:00PM (they were good about that!).
  It was certainly quieter with all of the children gone and Linda a I enjoyed some time by ourselves, although we were so involved with Hollies affairs that we were still busy.
Moppet and Brat, two of our "grandchildren"
Jon and Hollie enjoy lunch with Mom
Mom and Dad visit Hollie at her home.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2001 more stuff

Hollie in 2001 at the door of her new home
  Hollie moved ten years ago, she really likes her home.  There are two residents and the staff rotates days and/or nights.  Hollie can't cook (won't go near a hot stove) but she helps with meals, cleans her room and bathroom and helps with shopping.  She was still in school when she moved there, but now she has a job on Monday mornings and a "day program" on weekdays.
  I retired on June 30th, and started working briefly for Snow and Neally, a Bangor Company with a proud history.  S&N started out making axes and other tools for lumberjacks, but the recent things are gardening tools and axes, hatchets things like that.  I was only there for a couple of months when I got a call from The Salvation Army, where I had applied before, to come in for a talk with them.  I was hired there in October.  I was the Business Administrator; it entailed all accounting functions, except payroll, budgeting, insurance, hiring/firing of store personnel and Seasonal workers (Bell Ringers), building and vehicle maintenance schedules, etc.  You get the idea, I did everything but preach I guess.  It's a good thing you don't have to belong to a church to get the job.  I don't get along with churches very well.
  We saw Hollie every weekend on Saturdays, she could call us and she did.  She once called 17 times in an hours, finally we made a rule that she could call on Thursdays only.  Now it's every other week for calls and outings, phew!  She also gets some holidays, and two weekdays during the warm months.
  So that's how 2001 went down, it was busy with her moving, me retired and new jobs and all of that.
Me with Master Chief Personnalman Phil Bullard, another Navy Retired guy.  Phil was the last boss I had in the Navy he was also a Maine guy.  I ran in to Phil when we came north in 1988 at the mall while walking, happy to see each other.
Phil wrote a book "Republican Bastards" which isn't really about politics (just a little) and a mystery, he had his first book signing when this photo was taken, in Dover-Foxcroft Maine.
After five years Linda's Lupine patch had more than doubled, she worked hard for that.
My Mom and Hollie in Wolfeboro New Hampshire, while we were out for a ride and lunch.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Out on the "Airline", or Route 9 on the way to Calais
  This was a monumental year!  Hollie will move in to her "own" place, I will retire from the City of Brewer and the world as we know it will begin to crumble (or continue).
  Things on the home front were just miserable to start the year, when we "finally" got word that Hollie would have a house of her own there was much relief.  We love her dearly, but a large, agressive person is hard to "like".  We'll write move about the move tomorrow.
  Jon got married in 2001, the wedding was out west without guest at the request of the happy couple.  Darlene is a wonderful person and they both love their "children", which currently consist of three dogs and three cats.  True dog lovers, cats too, who take great care of their charges.  The first time they came to visit, before they were married, Darlene had never met us (of course).  It was just after the Dallas Cowboy coach had been found with a gun in his suitcase at an airport; and Jon and I had a running gag on the phone about "do you have your gun"?  Well he brought Darlene in to the house and they were sitting at the kitchen table when I came in from another room; I asked Jon "did you bring the gun?"  He replied that he had forgotten and left it in the bathroom at home.  My reply (carefully watching her face) was; "Great!  The grandchildren are coming, and now they have nothing to play with!".  The look of disbelief was priceless!  Darlene is a gentle soul who has no use for guns.
  In February I submitted my resignation and plans to retire, the City Manager said he wasn't surprised, and heaven knows I wasn't surprised either!  I retired on June 30th, the next day being the first of the new fiscal year so taxes wouldn't have to be re-committed to someone else.  I always liked to read the committal document because if refered to me as "Lawrence S. Grant, Esq."; now back in the 1700's and 1800's being a "squire" was a big deal, it was reserved for Judges, Attorneys and for some strange reason Tax Collectors, I cannot imagine why.  The tradition has continued so at lease once a year I was a squire.  Before I left I wrote and illustrated a guide to everything the job entailed, both on paper and as a "power point" presentation.  It was very detailed, right down to what key to push on the keyboard, they still paid me to come back and do the tax bills!  I almost couldn't believe it!

Jon and Darlene

At the Special Olympics
Hollie at Hampden Academy (high school) in front of the Hampden Bronco.
she was a Freshman.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We made another trip to West Quoddy in the spring, we did not take this photo (click to enlarge)
  This was the year that started separations, two of them.  One was the search was on for a house for Hollie, so we, the parents, could reclaim ours.  Number two was my getting ready to leave, retire actually, from the City of Brewer.  Both of these really got underway in 2000.  Hollie had become very aggressive by now and could be considered a danger to us, especially Linda, it was time for her to be placed in a safer environment, soon.
  My beef with the City began in about May when the new budget was under consideration (the year starts on July first); for whatever reason the City gave raises to all Union employees (Fire, Police, Public Works, Waste Water, etc.), and for some other reason decided that non-union employees, mostly financial and clerical, wouldn't get a raise.  Now, this was a time of economic growth, the tax base had grown a lot, the National economy was going great guns, the real estate market was very good, so why that decision?  Nobody knows.  The following morning, after the City Council meeting, I sent an email to the City Manager (who had this grand scheme) and the City Clerk (who backed him up).  It was a simple message, "Shame on you!".  It got a rapid response first by the Assistant City Manager, and then by the man himself, his guess was that I was a "people person", I think he was right.  It would end up being my last year working for the City, I'd be 60 and could retire.
Hollie needed some cavities filled, for that she'd need general anesthesia so her school teachers were getting her "ready".
We took a very rare "three person trip" to Vermont and New Hampshire.  In Vermont we drove around mostly on
dirt roads, this photo taken in Victory Vermont shows one of the only buildings in town.  Hollie likes license plates too.
Leaving Vermont for New Hampshire over the Connenticut River, was up in the north country, but not as north
as Maine.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The "big guns" are in more than one place.  The one in this photo is at Fort Knox Maine
near the mouth of the Penobscot River, it was built right after the War of 1812.
  Those "big guns" were coming out of the woodwork, so to speak.  Hollie had become aggressive, and if we weren't on the road we were spending a lot of time downstairs in the cellar.  I'm guess the hormones were raging, or, Hollie was a "normal" teen age girl - they all go a little "nuts".
  There was also a tension building at work.  The City had gone from a "homegrown" finance guy to a person "from away" who worked for the City of San Francisco, and a graduate of the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.  In my opinion a little over qualified, but she was a nice person.  The trouble was her surroundings weren't adequate, what with offices in remade closets and 1937 wiring that seemed to be "jury rigged" with cables in the ceiling.  Anyway there was a lot of shifting and moving and talk of this, and talk of that.  It was a poor atmosphere for me, I just wanted to get the job done, and I was satisfied with what I had.
  Jon came up to visit for a week or so, that was an immense help.  Hollie and Jon had always, still do, get along exceptionally well.  It's fun just to sit and watch.  At lease there was one week with a number of smiles.  Rhonda and her family had moved to Florida for year-round work, construction of bridges isn't to good in Maine winters, and the layoffs were too long.  Jeff was in Indianapolis, he was working in the arboretum at Butler University.  So the family is quite dispersed.
  So, another year of good times and bad times - typical American family.
Jon looks out at the world from Fort Knox
They really do get along well, that's as close as Hollie will get to anyone.
Hollie at the top of Mount Battie, Camden Hills State Park in Camden Maine

Monday, July 11, 2011


Now, I think 1998 was a very busy year, when it was 1998 I'm not sure I did. Some things worked very well, and something was deteriorating.
 Hollies relationships with her parents was turning ugly. She had become combative and would hit. Already at 14 she was over five feet four inches, and strong. The next couple of years would prove to be a test of wills.
 On the light side Jon and I were able to spend three days on the road at the Baseball Hall of Fame, in New York State and at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Cooperstown is a great place to visit. It's a small town with at least two large museums, the Hall of Fame and an Agricultural Museum, this one I'd seen before and didn't visit this time. While we were there, HOF, they had a special exhibit of the old Women's League - very interesting players and stats. On the way home we stopped in Springfield for basketball. This was the 'old' Hall which was much smaller than the current one, but it was a great place with a lot to see.
  Hollie, on her good days, was still the same girl she'd always been, it was the in between days that were bad. She got to visit the Commissioner of the Bureau of Mental Health Services and by chance the Governor, Angus King. She liked his phone, it was a miniature Harley-Davidson, that she knew he had. He did let her use his phone, and was very hospitable for Hollie and her mother.
 There were some things at work that weren't going as I would have liked, new management had changed the way some things worked (I didn't think it was done for the better - my opinion only), but we were working right along bringing in the money to run the place.
Another grandchild, Stuart, was born in October, he is Rhondas' second so Nick became a big brother, who was proud of being just that. Everyone was healthy and happy down there in Florida.

Jon at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Hollie with Governor Angus King

Hollie holding Stuart

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Larry goes to night school - Reeds Brook Middle School, Hampden Maine
  This is a year that turned out alright.  Being closer to work, 15 vs. 37 miles, was making a difference.  Hollie was one year away from attending the school in the photo, and I was going there already.
  Because I was home "on time" I was able to spend one night a week, for a couple of hours, and not much money on a night class, watercolor or art in general.  The instructor is a local artist who is very talented and willing to share with others. 
  Things were now as stable as they would get for a few years.  Hollie "quit" school again briefly, but in the long run we can look back with a smile.
  There was another grandchild, Amaroq (am a rock) born, he was now a year old (forgot it yesterday), and living in Indianapolis.  The name is an Inuit (Eskimo) word for "of the wolf".  I had always called his dad, Jeff, "Wolfie". Karma!
  Things at work were going well, with a couple of exceptions; Linda had moved on-to the City of Bangor, and we had hired "Cathy".  Cathy was a huge mistake, and I won't go into detail but when I make a mistake it's a big one; she was let go after the initial 90 day period.  Then we brought Ann Marie, the Sewer billing clerk, into our office; that meant I got the counter help but also now we had Utility Billing with the attendant liens etc., to do in addition to an already full load - it worked out okay in the end.
This is the top half of some of my classwork.
"Waterworks", taken from a photo of the historic Bangor Water Works, there is one long building out into the river
with twelve of these pumps, they were used in the 1800's.