Bethel July 15
Friday, July 16 – At the Shelburne Bridge in Shelburne, N.H., to paddle to Gilead─Fly fishing expert Bob Milne will discuss the revitalization of fishing in the northern Androscoggin.
Saturday, July 17 – At the Gilead Bridge to paddle to Bethel Outdoor Adventure Center ─Jim Mitchell, executive director of the Mahoosuc Land Trust, will educate trekkers on the Mahoosuc Initiative, a regional conservation effort.
Sunday, July 18 – At Bethel Outdoor Adventure Center to paddle to Hanover─the trek will be joined by a contingent from Maine Handicapped Skiing and Michele Windsor of the Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District. Windsor will discuss aquatic insects.
Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18 at the Common and its surroundings – Mollyockett Days: Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and at 6:30 p.m. band concert.
Oxford County Mineral and Gem Show: The 49th annual Oxford County Mineral and Gem Association show opened at Telstar Saturday morning. Norm Davis told me that the first show was held in Rumford at the Recreation Center on Congress Street (maybe the same place that was previously known as the Mechanic Institute). Hugh Chapman was the show chairman this year. The Gilead Fire Department had a grill set up to accommodate hungry show goers. Near the entrance to the dining room, John Ward and Kandi Lilley had a panning for gold demonstration going which attracted the younger rockhounds.
Along the wall of the main hallway a number of excellent exhibits gave visitors an opportunity to see what the most interesting parts of the mineral and gem world are all about. Sunday River Gems came first with large quartz crystal cluster from Mt. Ida, Arkansas. Rocks to Gems from Chester, Maine, exhibited calcite crystals in clamshells from Fort Drum, Fla., that are from two to three million years old, maybe from a time when Florida was mostly under water. Another exhibit showed specimens from Australia such as a fossilized wasp nest. Another exhibit from overseas was a layout of handmade burl wood boxes that are made from a species of juniper tree that grows in the Western Atlas Mountains of North Africa. Boxes are made by residents of a small village in Morocco.
In the main show room collectors-vendors had many inexpensive items for sale. Kathy’s specialty runs to earrings for gifts and there were certainly a lot of choices.
At Tom White’s studio: Walking into Tom White’s work shop is sometimes amusing, sometimes a trip into fantasy land─people of many different sizes are standing around amidst various body parts that range in size from inches to greater than life size.
Clarence Sasser, a Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient, is just being finished. As a combat medic dropped from a chopper into an open rice paddy, he ran though a hail of fire to treat wounded soldiers and rally others from their paralysis of fear to defend themselves. Sasser was so badly wounded that he required months of rehabilitation before he could use his legs. From the field where he had struggled to save so many, 38 men were killed and 59 were wounded.
You don’t see Tom’s sculpture though, you see Clarence Sasser in a crouching run as he looked forty-two years ago. Sasser’s image grew from a desktop creation to life sized in several stages, all still hanging around for one to see.
The second work which is growing in the studio is titled, “The Sower and the Soils.” This sculpture will become an eight-foot man with an open book in his outstretched left hand, the traditional seed bag slung at his hip, striding over the soil. His stride suggests he is sowing the book’s message. To see how the sower was born his “fetus” stands with other body parts on Tom’s work table. The final piece will grow to an eight-foot-tall figure headed for the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.
Tom and Marcey went to see Franklin Graham with their proposal. While there, Tom was asked to make up a model–an audition - for Graham and his assistant to see – put words and drawings into three dimensions. So off the Whites went to a Hobby Lobby store (similar to Michaels) to get some clay. Back at their hotel room, Tom created the model, and it was accepted. Now on his work table, you can see the original “Hobby Lobby” sower and another figure – the sower that grew up.
A new Main Street porch: My in-town eyes and ears, Steve Seames, tipped me off to look at the new porch the Bonnemas built recently. The new addition looks to be a close copy of an earlier porch in the same place. In 1931 The Citizen printed a special edition that included a photo of the Ernest Walker house, owner at that time, with porch.
From 1941-1955, the Chadbourne family lived there. During that time, the “1931 porch” was still there. Bob Chadbourne said that a larger wrap-around porch covered the side of their house which faces the Lenny Shaw office. And it was a great sleeping porch in the summertime.
The Bonnema’s barn contains the more interesting story in my opinion. It was built with timbers salvaged from the only town hall Bethel ever built; that event was in 1841. Town meetings were held in the “new” town hall until 1871. The building was located on the Intervale Road between the Eypper/Farwell road and School House Brook Road.
At the 1871 town meeting voters instructed the selectmen to hire Pattee’s Hall on Spring Street for future town meetings. At the same time the moderator auctioned the town hall building to the highest bidder. Abernathy Grover, who built the Bonnema house, was high bidder at $67; the next year he moderated the annual town meeting at Pattee’s Hall. After 1871 Bethel voters never agreed to build another town hall; but in 1889 they did vote for a lock-up (the article was for both a town hall and a lock-up, or one or the other). At the 1982 town meeting, voters approved buying the Cole Block from the Bethel Savings Bank for $1.
Anonymously Submitted for the Bethel column in memory of “Stanley”
Obituary- STANLEY TURKEY
Stanley Turkey, that popular resident bird of Mayville, died July 1, 2010 after being viciously attacked and eaten by a cruel predator. Her feathered remains were discovered by Hays Bennett while he was out for his daily walk.
No more will Stanley brighten the days of her many fans who looked for her appearances on the yellow line of Route 2 as she performed her daring antics. She will especially be missed by her neighborhood friends that live from Rite-Aid to Gourmet in a Pinch. Her dare-devil episodes never failed to entertain those who witnessed her many close calls, especially the ones that involved big trucks.
Farewell Stanley, you will be sadly missed.
The Fishing Trip: In the last several years, drift boat fishing on the Androscoggin has emerged as a new sportsman’s vacation activity. The essential elements of this sport seem to be: (1) river regularly stocked with fish (2) a drift boat with some crew and (3) patience.
Various websites have this to say about drift boat fishing: roomy, allows stand-up fly casting, used primarily in the West’s big rivers, expensive and requires a trailer. Prices I found on the Internet ran from $2,000 to over $12,000. High-end boats are made of wood and the ones around here are fiberglass composition.
Friday, Jeff Parsons invited me to go along on a fishing trip from Gilead. Dan Emidy would be the guide. Fred Seibert from the Jolly Drayman/Briar Lea would be going, too. A drift boat trip from Gilead to Bethel would be an all-day trip. We exited at West Bethel. The day was sunny, the water was warm and the fish stayed home. Fred had the front-seat position and got a fine lesson in fly casting from Dan. I did too but I practiced my technique later from the riverbank and not from the boat.
The boat had an anchor which we dropped quite often to allow fishing from a spot that looked promising; they were not that day however. The river was low and we scraped bottom a number of times. Overall I would say that drift boat fishing would appeal to the more than casual fisherman.
Maine Mineralogy group: Last Thursday a large group from the Fernwood Cove Summer Camp for Girls in Harrison spent a good part of the day at the Maine Mineralogy Sluice located at Bethel Outdoor Adventure. Groups like this one represent a sizable part of the pubic attracted to our local mineral and gem experiences. Under the big tent, girls were gathered into three groups, some at tables searching through a gravel and mineral mix for a possible gold nugget, clustered around Seabury Lyon asking questions and at the sluice trough.
The Maine Mineralogy Expeditions consists of the Parsons’ Bethel Outdoor Adventure, Jim Mann and Mt. Mann‘s museum and crystal cave and Seabury Lyon. This group also runs mineral expeditions to the Bumpus Mine. The mine is open to group tours run by MME through the auspices of Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden who own the mine.
The MME has an excellent website that tells you all about their activities – found by searching for Maine Mineralogy or by going to wwwrocksme.biz. This website includes e-mailed comments sent in by individuals, families and groups. One e-mail came from a family that enjoyed having the Mt. Mann museum and cave available for them to see as a rainy-day option. These e-mails also praise Seabury Lyon for the way he handles mine tours and answers questions. What you see and do on a mine tour is covered very well by a video tour that is part of their website. It does not take a great stretch of imagination to see how the MME’s program could be folded into the future Maine Mineral, Gem and Memorabilia Museum.
Selectmen’s meeting: Mr. and Mrs. Woodleigh Hughes attended the public hearing on their applications for town licenses to be innkeepers and to sell alcoholic drinks at their forthcoming new business, Mill Hill Inn. The inn is due to open Sept. 9, both applications were approved.
Bethel members on a Regional Wind Power Committee: Stan Howe and Lawrence Engdahl will represent town government; Town Manager Doar will appoint two members of the pubic for the same committee. Two other agenda items dealt with traffic on Mason Street; it will remain two-way unless new circumstances dictate otherwise. Contents of a draft citizen survey were discussed; the length of the proposed survey sounds ominous. It may be mailed with tax bills in September.
For photos that accompany this week’s news – www.thebetheljournals.info – click Weekly News.