Bethel Aug. 5
Sundays at 4 p.m. – concert series on the Common which started Aug. 1.
Sunday at 1 p.m. – Newry is hosting a hail and farewell reception at the Peaks Restaurant, South Ridge at Sunday River for retired selectman Steve Wight – (maybe he will get the Roger Hanscom Award).
Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and 14 – Summer Heritage Festival at the Bethel Historical Society.
Sunday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. – the Middle Intervale Meeting House Society will unveil the National Historic Register Plate that will be mounted inside the meeting house. The ceremony is part of the society’s planned annual meeting.
Monday, Aug. 16 at Bingham Hall – Mahoosuc Community Band, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28 – Sunday River – Tough Mountain Challenge, a 10-stage race (See Sunday River’s website.)
World Guy – Walking for Diabetes Awareness
Friday afternoon the World Guy, his dog and his partner walked through Mayville headed toward Rumford then on to Acadia along Route 2. The world is a globe about eight feet tall covered with a world map which had “WorldGuy.org” lettered over the Indian Ocean. From the website we find that he is Erik Bendl walking for Diabetes Awareness. When I got photos of the two men and dog they had stopped at the entrance to Birch Wood while their dog, Nice, got a drink from drainage ditch water. Although his Blog sort of rambles, one could gather they had just previously climbed Mt. Washington at least part way and from there headed to Maine. This year Bendl’s walking commitment runs from Washington, D.C., to Acadia.
Bethel Ambulance Service—Completed 36 years of service on July 1.
Bethel Ambulance Service is run by trained, dedicated citizens. For over 36 years it has been a publicly operated service. Recently Cheryl Bennett, director of the BAS, and David Pratt one of the service’s paramedics gave me a tour of the center and their newest ambulance. They would like to see others come for the same kind of tour I received.
Mr. Pratt wrote a nutshell summary of how he sees the ambulance capabilities: “A modern ambulance is a rolling ER (Emergency Room) and has direct contact with ER doctors. Modern EMS providers treat everything from a cut on the finger to heart attacks and everything in between – minor surgery to help people breathe, from choking to trauma; restart hearts that have stopped; shocking hearts that beat too fast and give medications for various medical emergencies.”
Mr. Pratt has been with Bethel Ambulance Service 15 years. He is employed full time by the Portland Fire Department and as part-time paramedic in Bethel.
On board supplies for an ambulance include 120 items ranging from stuffed animals, bottled water and band-aids to an OB kit and catheters. Additionally the ambulance “med box” holds another 40 items.
Mrs. Bennett took me on a walkthrough of the center itself. There are four main sections. One for training, a combination lounge and work area for online reporting, two bedrooms for on-duty members who live over six miles away, a director’s office plus bathrooms and a small kitchen. Large wall closets in the training room are loaded with supplies for ambulance use.
There have been six directors since the ambulance service was created: John Greenleaf, Laura Pialock, Florence Merrill, Arlene Greenleaf, Dustin Howe and Cheryl Bennett. For the 1975 report, Mr. Greenleaf wrote: “The Bethel Ambulance Service went into service on April 1, 1975, with a vehicle loaned to us by the Miller-Meteor Sales while our new unit was being made ready for us. After much delay caused by labor strikes at the Wayne Corporation Plant where our unit was being made, delivery was made on July 17. We made the first run with the new unit within a half hour after delivery.
During the period April 1 through December 31, (1975) we responded to 103 calls. This projected over a 12 month period would be about 138 calls – 18 more calls than the high expected. (By comparison, from April 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009, the service responded to 243 calls.)
“The Bethel Emergency Ambulance and Rescue Service -- a nonprofit service organization – supplies the Bethel Ambulance Service with licensed attendants and manages the service. The attendants, in teams of two, are on call in 12-hour shifts, 6 a. m. to 6 p. m. and 6 p. m. to 6 a. m. The area is very fortunate to have these men and women who have given so much of their time, not only in being on call, but in training and giving aid when needed.”
Elwyn Dickey was town manager when the service was formed. For ten years housing the service was a problem. First it was at the fire station, then in a rented space at the SAD 44 bus garage. In 1985 when Rodney Lynch was town manager a new garage on Cross Street was approved and occupied in October 1985. In 1992, BAS received approval to operate at the Paramedic level. On Sept. 19, 1995 the ambulance building was moved from Cross Street to Main and Railroad Street where it stands today. After the move and before it was occupied, a lot of work was done to the building by George Olson and crew. Madeleine Henley was town manager and the Bethel Station development project was in full swing.
Big Auction at Clantons
Preparation for Saturday’s auction at Norm and Sylvia Clanton’s house had cars stopping two days before the event. Gaidis Auction Company of Bryant Pond was in charge. With over 80 cars – many out-of-state plates – of registered bidders and onlookers parked along the highway, auctioneering started promptly at 10 a.m. The entire day’s unfolding and earlier setups were very well organized. Joe Gaidis was the auctioneer; he auctioned nonstop until about 3:30 – never taking a break. Registration was handled indoors. A lunch stand with hot dogs and sodas was conveniently set up near the big tent. Stuff passed under the gavel fast and there were lots of big furniture items, a canoe – even a case of old milk bottles. The most noticeable high-value item that I saw was a baby grand piano which had been in the house since the early 1930s.
It has been nearly 40 years since an auction like Saturday’s happened in Mayville. That one was to auction off the furniture and other artifacts that had belonged to the late Violet Campbell. She had lived in the house now owned by the Murphys and next to the White’s. That auction allegedly was handled by a New York outfit.
Bethel Bicycle’s Hybrid Bike
If you have noticed, all season Bethel Bicycle’s special message board has “tweeted” about their hybrid bikes. I finally stopped in to see what the bikes look like. They are not electrically-powered bikes with solar panels and small gas engines. They are Schwinn bikes that have combined all the good features everyday bikers want – in contrast to the racing bikes, mountain bikes, etc., that are designed for a special purpose. The hybrid has tires that are fatter than the racers skinny tires but not as fat as mountain bike tires. The handle bars are higher relative to the seat so riders don’t have to crouch over the handle bars with their butt higher than their shoulders. And like your grandmother’s bike the hybrid has fenders and a rear carrier. In a word, the bike design’s goal is comfort. Stop in at Bethel Bicycle and try one out.
Lincoln Street shopping
Last week two new mobile vendors were testing the Lincoln Street market. A couple from Upton, Ed Bennett and Nancy Thew, doing business as Northern Lights Farm offered fruit spreads, crochet items, postcards and printed business accessories. Nancy Thew is the owner of this business.
The second party had set up a modern chuck wagon with hot dogs, kielbasa, and jalapeno and cheese smoked sausage with drinks and chips. Wait till next week for me to get her name.
New pieces for Sunday River history
For the dozens anxiously waiting for news on Sunday River history’s progress –
Early this summer Randy Bennett received an 84-page manuscript from researcher Howard Kaepplein which include many details about Benjamin Barker’s arrival in Sudbury Canada thence to that unnamed river in 1780. An amusing story fragment is: Benjamin Barker arrived at Fryeburg from Methuen, Mass., after going down the Merrick River, up the Atlantic to Saco then up the Saco River to Fryeburg. He got there to find that his contact, James Swan, had left Fryeburg for Sudbury Canada. Swan advised Barker to follow him because Swan thought that Fryeburg was getting too crowded. Swan’s message also told Barker that it is only 30 miles and if you walk quickly you can make it in a day.
Other material that is new to the collection includes the story of how Outward Bound was established in Sunday River – courtesy of Jeff Parsons. Profiles of Julia Fleet, Floyd Verrill and Eva Jackson Bacon were found in the 1980 Citizen. Barbara Honkala sent me a detailed profile of Charles Hastings and Suzi Harrington has opened the door to the history of the Eames-Philbrook-Roberts-Harrington farm. To see what has been done so far, web search (Google, etc.) to quickly find Brief History of Sunday River Valley or go to the Bethel Journals home page.
For photos that accompany this week’s Bethel column go to – www.thebetheljournals.info – and click Weekly News.