by Donald G. Bennett
Saturday, May 29, at the Moses Mason House on Mason Street, the Faye Taylor Art Show for SAD 44 students in grades 1-6. Theme this year is winter sports.
May 29 is also Gould Academy’s commencement day.
Monday, May 31, Memorial Day observed.
Tuesday, June 1, at town office and Davis Park, selectmen are meeting, full agenda not yet available.
Saturday, June 5, at Angevine Park, this year’s Fishing Festival.
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 8 and 9, town elections and Town Meeting.
Thursday, June 10, the Bethel Masonic Lodge will observe its 150th Anniversary.
Who needs Broadway? Telstar’s production of “Guys and Dolls” last week surely rates enthusias-tic, spirited raves for a truly outstanding performance by the more than 50 students, faculty and friends involved. Kathy and I enjoyed every minute of Friday night’s performance. We have watched the 1955 movie many times and thought Telstar’s stage production was better and more fun to watch.
I go as much for the music as for the acting and the pit orchestra outdid themselves. When I asked the group which number they liked best the first answer was “Guys and Dolls.” From where we sat I thought that Simon Smith’s playing the baritone horn gave their performance a lot of muscle in a very musical sense. Jennifer Bennett who does such an outstanding job leading them said that Simon played the trumpet’s part in the arrangement. Kathy told me to make sure that I gave all the band high credit and to name them: Hunter Verrill and Jennifer Aldrich, flute; Samantha Tibbetts, clarinet; Tyler Aldrich and Megan LeCroix, saxophone; Tabitha Corriveau, trombone; Errol Silver, bass guitar; Dylan Coolidge, percussion; Simon Smith; baritone horn; and Lynn Arizzi, piano.
The stage layout with its newsstand and phone booth helped make the play gain life. I particu-larly liked the “voice of Joey Biltmore, from Chicago.” Friday night’s show had Victoria Forkus taking the part of Adelaide; she was a real scene stealer. The Hot Box chorus line could not have been better. And the scene of Nathan Detroit finding out that Adelaide had been telling her mother they were married and had five kids was perfect.
Nic Kingsbury was perfectly cast as Sky Masterson; he was better in that role than Marlon Brando in the movie. Nic’s height and manner gave him the commanding presence the character he played required. And Nicely, Nicely Johnson, Dusty Bailey could not have handled his part bet-ter. Great jobs!
We give a whole lot of credit and applause to James Rose and Jennifer Bennett for such a fine pro-duction.
Saturday morning I looked at my e-mail at 7:55 and saw a message from Jeff Parsons that about 8 o’clock he expected Dean Richmond and his son to show up with a load of goats for a pasturing ex-perience on Hastings Island. I jumped into our car and made it to Bethel Outdoor Adventure to find only one person stirring, a camper waiting for the door to be opened so he could shower. After look-ing around, I was backing out to leave when a large pickup and livestock trailer pulled in and Jeff appeared.
Jeff guided the Richmonds to the unloading spot. We moved three canoes to the water’s edge. Dean Richmond, son Bryce and Jeff led seven goats in all from the trailer to the canoes where they were hobbled and loaded unceremoniously into the canoes. Jeff pointed out the route to take past a sandbar and to the nearest landing spot on the island’s shore. Just like it was rehearsed the pad-dlers, canoes and goats took off for the island. By 9 o’clock the goats, freed and landed, were looking over their new summer estate.
What I didn’t know was the Richmonds had bought the Smith farm in West Bethel. Jeff wanted me to say something about the farm. Edmund Smith came to Bethel in 1916 to manage the farm then known as Birchmont Farm. Mr. Smith gained the reputation of being a scientific farmer. He was a Mason and a member of the Grange. When he came to Bethel the farm consisted of 600 acres in Be-thel and Mason. The farm specialized in Guernsey cattle and in 1931 had 40 head.
As far as I know, since I am missing a map, Daniel Freeman Bean (1810-1893) and his family lived at the same farm in the second half of the 19th Century. Daniel Freeman Bean’s granddaughter was Frances Perkins who was FDR’s Secretary of Labor. Alpheus Bean, the lumber baron of West Be-thel, was his son.
New Book on Bean descendants:
Saturday afternoon the Bethel Historical Society hosted a book signing open house for Roberta Gibson Pevear and co-editor Ann Chandonnet of Vale, N.C. The title of the book, “Write Quick,” came from the ending of a letter from Eliza Bean Foster to her brother near the end of the Civil War. Eliza and her brother Andrew were in Bethel.
A huge collection of letters, diaries, photos and documents from the Civil War era was given to the historical society. The collection inspired the authors to compile the book.
Roberta Gibson Pevear is Frank Gibson’s sister; she now lives in Exeter, N.H., and has served in the state legislature. Roberta graduated from Gould Academy in 1947 and Frank the next year. Forty-plus people attended the signing including Frank. Frank told me that so far his orchard looks like it came out of the winter quite well. Bumblebees were buzzing to get the pollination started when trees were ready. If I understood Frank correctly, a bumblebee can do the pollination work of 40 honey bees — but of course no honey.
Bethel Masonic Lodge to celebrate its 150th:
A special meeting to observe this anniversary is scheduled for June 10 at the Bethel Lodge. Stephen Seames is preparing a presentation of the Bethel Masonic Lodge 97 history. He has asked that anyone having old photographs or memorabilia which they might share for this occasion con-tact him. You can catch him at the post office around mid morning or by leaving a message at the Bethel Historical Society. His e-mail address is MrArchive@aol.com.
Bethel Walking Paths:
The Mahoosuc Land Trust and the town of Bethel are jointly involved in extending our local walking trail system. This plan entails a path from Davis Park along Walker’s Mills Road (Route 26) to the Intervale Road where a pedestrian crossing would lead to the “Gateway Trail.” Once across the road the trail would follow the Gateway boundary to a point where it would turn south and parallel Sunset Road. The town in 2008 and MLT in 2009 have submitted grant requests for fi-nancing the project.
The town would handle trail construction from Davis Park parking lot to the Intervale Road crossing. The MLT will look after the trail legs along the Gateway property. Maine DOT will pre-sumably decide on the location of where walkers would cross Intervale Road to the Gateway path. Long-range goal is a trail to Telstar High School from Davis Park. The necessary archaeological green light for this project has come on.
An online map is at: www.thebetheljournals.info/Trails/Bethel_trails_map.jpg.
In constructing a pathway next to Route 26 which has steel guardrails the idea is that the steel posts will be given wooden jackets to ward off injury if tripped and fell against the guard rails. The riverbank side of this path would be fenced to form a channel for walkers. According to Jim Mitchell, MLT’s Executive Director, the town plans to have Cross Excavation do the actual trail work.
Fund applications were submitted through the Maine Grants and Community Relations Division, of MDOT but the actual money is expected to be federal dollars. On the other hand with all the po-litical hot air being vented against earmarks, and the current state of the economy, it will be inter-esting to see if the requests are approved.
New in Mayville:
Western Maine Water Service, LLC, has opened an office in the Mayville Junction building that was formerly occupied by the Choice mortgage and finance office.
Dressage drill at Gould
Saturday afternoon the Gould Academy Equestrian team put on an end-of-the-year show for the public with synchronized riding performed to music. It turned out to be a perfect day for the event, which drew a sizable crowd. A good sized crowd lined the banks along Church Street to watch how well the students and horses performed. Many commented on the beauty of the horses.
On May 15, Jim and Nancy Young, Bethel, and Joshua Young, New York City, attended the graduation of Shonna Young at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va. for her Master of Education teacher licensure. While there they stayed with Carla (Holiday), Ollie, Maria and Keana Starbird.