Bethel July 22
Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and 14, Summer Heritage Festival at the Bethel Historical Society.
Aug. 28, Sunday River, Tough Mountain Challenge – a 10-stage race (See Sunday River’s website.)
Mollyockett Day at 50: Fifty years ago who would have imagined parade watchers and crowds on the Common with cell phones to their ears and plastic water bottles in hand? When the Bethel Bazaar was in its early years, the parade started at the Common and went down Main Street. The evening’s big event was a street dance in the area between the Community Room (now gone) and the Common. In 1962 in the same area the crowd gathered for a special M-Day Auction.
In the 1960 Bethel Citizen annual review it was reported that “Mollyockett Day” sponsored by the Bethel Health and Service Council attracted large crowds – $1,000 was netted. In April 1967 the Bethel Lions Club was organized; Dale Thurston was elected its first president. June that year, the Bethel Health and Service Club announced that due to the lack of a chairman the Bethel Bazaar, Mollyockett Day, was cancelled. Thereafter and for many years the Bethel Lions Club sponsored Mollyockett Day.
During the last of the '70s and beginning of the '80s highly popular chainsaw contests on the Common drew large crowds – individual competitors had their own informal fan clubs who cheered on their favorite guys. Names I recall from that time were Jeff Fleet, Don Feeney and Sam Chapman. The power of the saw determined a contestant’s category – from amateurs with regular chainsaws, real loggers with their “industrial saws” to the professionals with super saws.
One year there was an actual Indian teepee on the Common. However, in general, other than the name and costume of Miss Mollyockett, missing then and still is any symbolic presence of our local Native Americans from whom people like Mollyockett and her part-me husband, Sabattis came.
Mayville Business Report:
Artistic Endeavors: Last Week Norman Milliard, still enjoying his retirement from post master duties, opened his new business in the BearHaven Crossing building. Artistic Endeavors has three departments: first comes the gallery; second is the business desk with frame and matting samples. There are a lot of frame samples to choose from. The rearmost space houses the framing shop. When you enter the store and gallery you will be impressed with its size, airiness and décor. I don’t think that you will find another commercial space like it in the Bethel/Mayville environs.
The gallery has about 20 pieces of artwork and pottery. Paintings are displayed on free-standing panels. All the work was produced by local artists. Business hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. To 4:30 p.m. or by appointment by calling 824 3273. There is plenty of parking. Website address for this business is www.artisticendeavors-llc.com. The website lists what the business is prepared to do including molding, mats, glazing, fillets, mounting, assembly, the art gallery and what is available for retail purchase.
New at Gourmet in a Pinch: The Legaults continue adding features to their food service business. Most visible of the additions is a row of outdoor eating tables and benches – each table has a large umbrella for shade. Paul has just finished adding more landscaping in front of the outdoor eating section, a new lawn area bordered with marigolds – very attractive. (Since our kitchen window looks over to the BearHaven Crossing building, we can report that the outdoor “dining room” has been well used.)
Secondly, they have added a drive-thru breakfast feature. This includes a hot breakfast sandwich and coffee. Charisa said that the drive-thru window has also helped people who in some cases preferred to stay in their car for reasons of slight disability. The window is on the end of the building.
Thirdly, ice cream is now available. Gourmet in a Pinch is now a third Bethel ice cream outlet along with Bethel’s Best and Hungry Harry’s. Flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip, coffee, pistachio, cookie dough and raspberry sorbet.
Look for Gina to welcome you. Maybe she’s just a manikin, but – Gina’s role is figurehead of the Gourmet clipper ship – out there pointing the way in.
Their hot Panini sandwiches are made of breakfast bread, eggs, cheese and breakfast meats – grilled on a Panini grill – served hot to the customer. On nice days eating breakfast outside comes with a gorgeous view looking across the river; Mt. Abram and Farwell Mountain are in the background. Their website covers most servings in detail and lists ingredients: www.gourmetinapinch.net.
NTL: Sunday and Monday 39 staff and participants registered for the current lab sessions at the Bethel Inn Conference Center. Participants came from virtually all regions of the lower 48 and from Alaska. International arrivals came from the Netherlands, Germany, Oman and Canada.
Christine Greenleaf handles all the administration; she is the only link connecting a resident lab group with NTL headquarters in Virginia. Previously, labs in Bethel had an assigned lead staff member but not this year. In past years when NTL Bethel was based at the Gehring house, Christine said ten staff from NTL came to Bethel to administer summer sessions; the number shrunk to three and now Christine is the one.
Most of the current lab members are staying at the Bethel Inn with some staying at the Bethel Village Motel and others, mostly staff have rented houses.
When Christine was 15, Mrs. Nickerson hired her to work in the dining room at Gould for the summer. Then Nancie Coan, whose name has long been associated with NTL Bethel hired Chris in 1973.
Recently Ms. Coan told me that during NTL’s peak years here, 65 houses were rented for NTL staff and participants. One year NTL rented Brown’s Tourist Home (now Philbrook Place), except for one apartment where Eva Bean was living, for the Bethel headquarters – office space, etc. , for NTL administrators and staff from NTL’s main headquarters. Another year NTL took over the entire Edwards/Conrad home (now Holidae House) and contracted with the Norseman and Sudbury inns for lodging and meals.
The Rambunctious, Skake’em Loose Jazz Combo: My personal favorite for the Mollyockett Days 2 feat was the Saturday evening Jazz session at the Gazebo. As people wandered back into the Common from 7:30 to fireworks time, a crowd of well over 200-300 gathered. If you were to compare a jazz band of 50 years ago with Saturday night’s combo I would say the difference is in adding the keyboard, electronic amplification and the influence of rock music on today’s jazz. esides the musical expertise of the players, this group came at you with the power of a freight train. I loved it.
Mason Street parking:
RE: Last week’s discussion about parking and traffic flow on Mason Street. Randy Bennett has pointed out that for the last 30 years, the curbside stretch from Broad Street past the Moses Mason courtyard, entrance and meeting room has been posted “No Parking between 7 a.m. And 5 p.m.”
Moxie – the official Maine soft drink:
An 1886 edition of the Oxford County Advertiser printed an article about The Moxie Craze – in 1884 a Lieutenant Moxie had discovered a plant (gentian root) with remarkable power as a nerve food. The city of Lowell, Mass., was cited as a place caught up in the craze.
Having Moxie meant one had strength of purpose, determination and a can-do attitude – among other things. Real Mainers have Moxie.
Even today in Bethel, there are some who stand by their Moxie. Woe to the grocer who fails to stock it. Bethel Shop and Save keeps a supply on hand – Big Apple, Irving, etc., have token supplies. Lisbon Falls celebrates with an annual Moxie festival. This year’s theme was “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Moxie.”
Union, Maine’s Matthew Museum claims the largest Moxie memorabilia display in the country. Dr. Augustin Thompson, Moxie’s actual creator, was born in Union. Included in Union’s collection is a 32 feet tall, 10 feet diameter wooden Moxie bottle. It was made by the Moxie Company in 1905 as an advertising gimmick.
So this summer repent; try Moxie – old-timers supposedly quit liquor for Moxie and felt better for it.
Next week – read about the Mt. Zircon Moon Tide Spring lunch stand shaped as a huge bottle; one resides in Bethel. Learn what happened to Mt. Zircon’s Moon Tide Spring water.
For photos that accompany this week’s Bethel column go to – www.thebetheljourjals.info – and click Weekly News.