Saturday, September 10, 2011

Read it again..

Brewer, Maine            Photo by City Staff
...books, magazines and papers, all stuff like that,
read to small children Seuss and Cat in the Hat;
libraries are a resource, of things of many kinds,
but they got a lot of stuff, to loosen up your minds.

Don't be afraid, go on right in,
ask the Librarian, where to begin;
grab a novel from the shelf, check it out, and take it home,
wear a path, go back and forth, it's not too far to roam.

There are nice people working there,
go ask questions, they don't care;
and they won't give you dirty looks,
if you snicker while reading books.

Camden, Maine, the new addition is underground, it's nice too.
Photo by MyCamdenWedding store
Houlton, Maine, is that "Reading Rainbow?" 
Photo by Library Staff
Rumford, Maine
Photo from Wikipedia

Friday, September 9, 2011


Levant Heritage Library, Levant, Maine
  I like libraries, even though I don't go to one very often.  I like the buildings a lot, but I really like the purpose of them.  Some folks think we don't need them anymore and I think they're wrong.  Linda, my wife, reads more than I do, she reads more than most people do, she is a regular visitor to the Levant and Brewer Libraries, with an occasional visit to Bangor thrown in just for fun.  I don't read as much as I should, from books anyway, I get most of my information online, but I could download a book from a lot of libraries and read it, right here, right now.  I could buy an e-reader and download hundreds of books from the Bangor Library (yes, we even have that in Maine)!
  But I like the function of a "bricks and mortar" library, but even they have changed, ohh they still have a card index but they use computers too, a computers checks you out, finds what you're looking for too, but it spoils half of the fun - I used to love card indexes.
The card index at Baxter Library, Portland, Maine (now closed)
this was a double sided affair, lots of drawers, all oak
  That card file system up there served me greatly when I started college, I spent a lot of hours in the library, it was before PC's were as common or as powerful as we have now (you know, floppy disks and all that).  When I was in one of my schools in the Navy my "duty" station every fourth day was at the base library - it was a damn good thing I knew the alphabet and that I'd learned about the Dewey Decimal System in high school - it got me that cushy job.
  So, go get a library card, if you don't have one, and don't forget to ask to see the "museum" (card catalog, or index file) and have fun!
The Veterans Memorial Library, Skowheagan, Maine
Isn't this just beautiful, built in 1889 as a memorial to veterans of the U S Civil War, you should see the oak
woodwork, stained glass and fireplaces.
Gardiner, Maine Library
built in 1881, with a lot of add-ons, a beautiful brick place, I never got to go inside.
Garland, Maine Library
all stone construction, stones from local fields (this is Maine, after all)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How did they turn the corner?

Turning the corner
  Over in Western Maine, well from the other side of the state really, wind tower projects are on the move.  A new group of turbines are being pieced together in the Roxbury area, enough to generate 122 million kilowatt hours per year.
  The concrete bases have been put in, next come the towers, in 240 foot sections.  The parts arrive in Maine by ship from Denmark, in this case, and loaded on to special "trailers".  Each trailers is supported with hydraulic jacks to help when crossing bridges, or where there are wires - the trailers can be lowered or lifted as an assist.  Another person follows the rig in a pickup to help when someone needs to steer just the back wheels.  That's how the truck turned this corner.  There will be one load every 3 days, then the blades, which are hauled the same way, and the turbines which are transported by train to a closer location.
Made it around the corner
A staging area for the parts (this one is in Germany)
Blades for the turbines, ready to roll

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maine Academy of Natural Sciences

  The newest High School in Maine started classes yesterday with 21 students from all over Maine.  These are students with an interest in Agriculture, Forestry or Environmental Science.  This school is the second magnet school in the State, the first, Maine Academy of Math and Science is located in Limestone at the former Loring Air Force Base.
  This school located in Hinckley, on and in the former Goodwill-Hinckley School that was established in 1889 by George Walter Hinckley after he witnessed a boy arrested for stealing food.  He found out that boy was an orphan and had been assigned, at age 9, to work in a restaurant.  He founded the school for troubled youth and it operated until 2008, with the mission or type of students changing over the years.
  This is a large farm, 1200 acres, (that's large for Maine) which has been and will be active, that's how the students will learn to practice what they study in the classroom.
  MANS is planning to work in partnership with the Kennebec Valley Community College, which will open a new campus on the grounds, to offered Associated Degrees in Agriculture and Forestry.  What that means is that this campus could be home for a student for five years.  Students in this years class come from all corners of the State and most will live on Campus.
The Visitors Center
Moody Chapel (click to enlarge)
  Please note that these are the original names of the buildings - some may change, or have changed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to school

North Lebanon Maine
  The day after Labor Day used to be when kids went back to school, not so now though, at least here in Maine.  The photo above is where I started in 1946, 1st grade - that would have been the door on the left, first row of seats on the left, and I had five classmates.  There were four rows of desks, one for each of the first, second, third and fourth grades, in 1950 I went upstairs for grades five, six, seven and eight.  When my father went to the upstairs room it was the high school - I had the same teacher!
  There was no running water, an outhouse in the woodshed, we had a wood stove, and two boys went to Fred Hanscoms well every morning for a pail of water; the water was kept in a stone crock with a spigot, we all shared the same tin cup - none of us got sick from sharing that cup.  (I suspect that would be a real outrage now).
  At recess we played a lot of pickup baseball, or sometimes we just went crazy.  On my very first day of school I got a bloody nose.  There was a huge elm tree in the schoolyard, I was running around it one way, Eldon Woodman was running the other way, oops!  Eldon is a retired Algebra teacher now, so that means I got the most damage, nose and head - don't you think?
This is a fair representation of the schoolroom in Lebanon, this one was in Poland Maine - click to enlarge
Nanticoke School, Union Maine
Harriman Maine
Tomorrow: Maine's newest High School!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hard work on Labor Day

Hard at work
  It's low tide in Maine and the mud flats are busy places.  This is the "workplace" for wormers and clammers.  It's hard, it's back breaking but it's constant; the tide changes every six hours.
  A wormer will dig a row picking out all of the worms large enough to sell, bloodworms and sandworms, used for bait by fishermen in New England, other East Coast states and California.  The pickings are placed in trays - 125 at a time, the dealers who wholesale the worms pack them in seaweed in 125 or 250 pound crates and they are sent to market.  Each person in the chain is careful to keep only the worms large enough for sale, the small ones are returned to the "flats" to make sure there is always work.
  It's not a high-paying job, in 2010 wormers sold each worm for twenty-four cents, one couple recently sold 1065 worms dug during a days work, the paycheck - about $235.00, you need a lot of "good days" like that to fill a home oil tank during the winter.
  Wormers work year round, so it's either hot and hard, or bitter cold, with swollen hands, and hard.  But, the people who dig are proud of their profession and will do the work for years.
Anna German
Richard Sprague
Walter Rhode (click to enlarge)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Schoodic Point Maine

Main building at SERC, former Naval Station
  Schoodic Point is a part of Arcadia National Park and the site of a former U S Navy Communications Station and training facility.  The two of them have a long history - the Navy used to occupy land at Otter Cliff in the Main part of Acadia and moved to the "point" when the Park Service took over the land from Mr. Rockefeller.  The "backward swap" came about after the Park Service was using the land but not the buildings - the building passed to the Park Service in the 1980's(est.).
  The site and the land are beautiful and, of course, the very point at the ocean is difficult to put in to words, but I'll try anyway because I'm a loud mouth.
A view in the winter, a stormy day(click to enlarge)
  I have favorite parts, the "point", Blueberry Hill and the cobble beaches blow me away.  The vegetation that varies over the course of a year is interesting too.  The buildings should be an attraction all by themselves, especially if your like me and love old brick buildings.  Of course over the past couple of years the International Sculptors Competition makes available some fabulous work in Maine granite, some now have gone to points east, but some are still there, I'll let you know later this month when I visit.
On a windy day
A cold day, the "black" rock is Basalt, fine grain rock formed by rapidly cooling lava, the rest is pink granite,
this is "the point".
Looking east