Bethel July 1
Continuing at Angevine Park – summer swimming lessons.
Saturday, July 3 is the Art Fair on the Common and Porch Plays.
Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11 – annual Mineral and Gem Show and Fair at Telstar.
Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19 - the Molly Days. 6 p.m. Saturday – Band Concert on the Common.
Maine Minerals, Gems and Memorabilia Museum:
News from the Maine Mineral Symposium held in May in Augusta reported that Bethel would be the location for a Maine Minerals, Gems and Memorabilia Museum. The museum will probably be on Main Street in Bethel and a final decision by the founders should be made soon. Dr. Lawrence Stifler and Mary McFadden are the patrons/founders of the museum.
Last July these parties held a symposium at the Moses Mason House to open the proposal up for public discussion, hear other points of view and consider the possibility of entering into a partnership with the Bethel Historical Society. Dr. Carl Francis, Curator of Harvard University’s Mineral Museum, was guest speaker at the symposium.
After further consideration of a joint museum, it was determined that a larger and more central location would be best for the Museum.
If the current plan can be carried out, a new museum would hopefully be ready to open within three years, maybe as soon as 2012. The prospective new owners have already acquired major one-of-a-kind collections that could attract a worldwide audience.
Jim Mann has been working on behalf of the Stiflers toward establishing a mineral museum in Bethel. His collections and exhibits of rare species and teaching displays would likely be included in any new Bethel museum.
Oil to Wood Pellets: This week a property owner in town talked about his experiences in switching from an oil-fired boiler to a wood pellet one. When he had made the decision, oil was selling at $4.599 a gallon and equivalent wood pellet fuel costs were half that amount. His hot water heating system was in fine shape but the oil fired boiler was worn out. A new oil boiler was expected to cost about $9,000 less than an equivalent wood pellet boiler. However, with oil double the cost of wood pellet fuel, changing systems seemed to be a financially sound move. Plus changing to wood pellets would help the environment and cut oil demand.
Now after two winters’ experience with wood pellets, the owner is pleased with performance but found that the ash needs to be removed monthly – more often than originally planned. Currently he anticipates that wood pellet prices will rise and for now anyway oil is running at $2.70 a gallon, well below the $4.00 level. Would he do it again? It would be much harder to decide.
Bailey’s Outdoor Power: Nearly two generations ago Laurence “Timer” Bailey founded Bailey’s Sharp-All in the age of push power lawn mowers. From then on Mr. Bailey provided the Bethel area with an important, essential service that has continued until today. Five years ago, Mr. Bailey’s grandson, Shawn Bennett, joined him. By then power had replaced most of the push in lawn mowing. The business name also changed to Bailey’s Outdoor Power.
Mr. Bailey passed away last July at the age of 80 but Shawn and his brother Thaddeus have kept the Bailey tradition and service going without a hitch.
Outdoor Power has three main departments: sales of new and used equipment, repairs and a large stock room of parts. They stock parts for Ariens, B&S, Kohler, Toro, Poulan and Troy-Bilt. If a part is not on hand, they can normally get it in 48 hours. Bailey’s operates pickup and delivery service. The brothers work on anything to do with lawn equipment. Bailey’s sells new Toro push walk- behind lawnmowers and snow blowers; they sell Troy-Bilt lawnmowers, rototillers and riding tractors. New equipment for sale also includes turn-on-a-dime walk-behind mowers and brush mowers.
Three winters ago you may recall that a heavy snow load on their Quonset style garage caused a cave-in. A new Quonset building has replaced the old one. However, Mr. Bailey did not have insurance on the building and he had to replace it at his own expense.
Surprise 60th Anniversary Party: At Littlefield Beaches Saturday June 19th, 200 friends and family of Phyllis and Richard “Sonny” Blake threw a surprise party to celebrate the Blakes’ 60th wedding anniversary. Arrangements were put together by Littlefield’s owner, staff and friends. The party included a potluck supper, cake and a Champaign toast. The Blakes have spent their summers at Littlefield’s almost since it opened.
Maine Summer Traditions: Along with antiques, moccasins, lobster rolls and fried clams comes home-made lawn and camp furniture
In South Bethel on Route 26 only two hundred yards from the Baileys, Keith and Marilyn Hamel have opened a roadside outlet called Onederworks (One-der-works). Their roadside marketplace displays a variety of wood products made in their own large work shop behind the store. The Hamels are continuing the same line of Adirondack chairs started by Al Sumner for his Railroad Street business years ago. In fact, when I stopped by on Saturday, the retired Mr. Sumner was hard at work at the table saw. Al’s passed his designs on to the Hamels. So he is officially a consultant for designs and manufacturing.
To keep with the current trend, chairs are available in natural wood finish or painted in a variety of pastel colors. Eventually Mr. Hamel plans a product line of 40 items. He has already tried out some of the Onederworks items at a stand on Route 1 since it has the reputation of Maine’s finest tourist trap. He is hoping for a similar marketing experience at their store and display on Route 26.
Onederworks is easy to find and get to – if you are looking for a comfortable lawn chair or one for your boat dock or camp, this is the place to stop.
2010 Rotary Auction: Last Saturday’s Rotary yard sale and auction enjoyed fair weather and more than fair results. Auctioneer David Murphy emailed me that the initial tally showed a gross of just over $7,000 for the yard sale and auction. That number is likely to rise a bit more in the coming days. Last year’s news showed the net figure to have been $6,100 – making this year look better.
One must admire the dedication and effort that the Rotary members put into their annual auctions. Collecting goods, storing them, setting up tents and tables, bookkeeping, cleaning up, tearing down, disposing of left-over items (some call junk) cannot be labeled exciting work.
Book Award for Arla Patch: Arla Patch of Bryant Pond has been awarded a Gold Medal by the Independent Publishers Association for her most recent book, “Finding Ground: Girls and Women in Recovery”. Her book received the highest award for the Inspiration/ Spiritual Books category, winning over five other shortlisted competitors including well-known author, Annie Dillard. “Finding Ground” is Arla Patch’s follow-up to her first book, “A Body Story,” which was nominated for an Outstanding Book Award. To read more about her writing, visit www.arlapatch.com.
Last week the Bethel Inn Golf Course hosted its annual early summer golf week for juniors. Twenty-two young golfing aspirants attended. Mark Mallory and Travis Brooks were the hosts and teaching pro’s for the week.
The Mason Street sidewalk construction looks finished. Some cleaning up is the only work left to be completed. Despite what some critics have said about no walkers being around to use it, I have seen a number of people, mostly young, using the new walkway. It ends at Crescent Park School.
Poet retreats to island
Poet and author Bruce Guernsey next week begins a two-week stay at the Norton Island Residency Program, off the Maine coast.
Bruce and his wife, the artist and jeweler Victoria Woollen-Danner, divide their time between Charleston, Illinois, where Bruce is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, and their Bethel home on Paradise Road.
The recipient of numerous academic and literary awards, including two Fullbright lectureships, Bruce most recently had an essay published in the anthology “Afield: American Writers on Bird Dogs,” which also includes the works of such writers as Thomas McGuane, Howell Raines, Jim Harrison and Tom Brokaw.
For more, go to bruceguernsey.com, or, better, stop the fellow in town with the Prairie State license plate: “Yaz – 67.”
Walking with Hays - Mayville rewards dog walks with wild life sightings. Last week, however, was exceptional. First we were able to approach three young foxes that “denned” in the stone wall leading into Birch Wood. While they were out sunning one afternoon we got to within a dozen feet of them. Two days later while walking along the edge of corn field and river bank, Hays signaled that he smelled something special in the river bank’s brush. A few minutes later, after we passed, a deer popped out and bounded over the field – Hays tugging at leash. Sunday we tracked a moose along the edge of the same field and caught up with him at the far end of the field. From our front row seats we watched as he walked into the river then swam across, climbed out and walked up the bank out of sight.
For photos: news and auction items – www.thebetheljournals.info – click Weekly News.