On Stage at Gould Academy
“Lucky Stiff,” a musical farce, hilariously entertained the audience at Bingham Auditorium last Thursday. The plot involved a six-million dollar inheritance from Uncle Anthony, but with the condition that if Uncle Anthony doesn’t get a trip to Monte Carlo the money goes the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn. We think Uncle Anthony is accidently shot and for the rest of the show rides in a wheel chair supposedly still alive.
A number of students who had lead parts in last year’s “Sound of Music” starred in “Lucky Stiff.” The highlight of the show was a telephone call between Vinnie, played by Zee Krstic, last year’s Good Old Max, and his never seen wife, Mary Alice. Reed Thurston played the dead man who was supposed to be alive and made nearly every scene sprawled in his wheel chair.
Of the spring student productions in the last few years, this was the first farce we have seen on stage – very entertaining and very professionally done.
Faye Taylor Memorial Art Show
The Bethel Historical Society held its 34th Faye Taylor Memorial Art Show last Saturday. Jordan Berry, who won first place as a second grader last year, repeated this year by winning first place in the division of grades 3 and 4. Payton Berry followed her with a second place showing in the Division 1 (Grades 1 and 2). Congratulations Berry’s.
The theme this year was “The Old, Historic House” – the Moses Mason House. Division 1 winners were Nyla Scott, first grade, Woodstock; Payton Berry, second grade, CPS; and Matthew Bean first grade, Woodstock.
Division 2 winners were Jordan Berry, third grade, CPS; Juliann Francis, fourth grade, CPS; and Orion Fournier, fourth grade, CPS.
Division 3 winners were Caroline Newell, fifth grade, CPS; Ella Blair, fifth grade, CPS; and Chaia Alford, fifth grade, CPS.
Special mention has to go to a third grader with a fine sense of humor; the art work was a boy glancing to his left but wearing the Moses Mason House commemorative medal. Out of all the entries in the show this one was the most eye-catching.
Caroline Newell, a fifth grader who placed first in her division, had a drawing of a girl holding up an open tour brochure with a picture of the building she was looking at just beyond her. Ella Blair, who placed second, exhibited a really fine piece – the old house done in oil pastels.
The “court of judges” welcomed Cailin Kavanagh into its membership this year, along with regulars Gemma and Dennis Dreyer and Don Bennett.
Memorial Day Observance
Peter Mills was the guest speaker for Bethel’s Memorial Day ceremonies. From what I could gather from the Internet, Mr. Mills lives in Cornville, Maine, in Somerset County, north of Skowhegan. In March, 2011, he was appointed by Governor LePage to be Executive Director of the Maine Turnpike Authority. Mr. Mills is a Republican. He served five years in the Navy during Vietnam. He served 16 years in the Maine Legislature and ran for governor twice, unsuccessfully. He is 70 years old.
Mr. Mills spoke on the general topic of democratic debate in national decisions to go to war versus the way dictators such as Hitler and Stalin drove their respective countries to war. His speech was gratifyingly brief and very well delivered. He had marched in the parade up Main Street.
The crowd at this year’s observance was thankful for the sunshine after nearly a week of rain. The Mahoosuc Community Band performed admirably, recognizing the different branches of our armed forces by playing their service anthems.
The History Club
On May 14, 1936, my grandparents lost their entire Mayville homestead to fire. In all, eight people were homeless at the end of the day. The place was about 100 years old; all bottles, cans and equipment used in the milk business were lost as well as two pigs, a bull and a horse in the barn were lost. All the dairy cows were outside – saved. The family had lived there since 1914. All household furnishings were saved with little damage.
Luckily, only two houses away, the house and barn of recently deceased dairy farmer Alonzo Chapman and his wife Emily were available. When Alonzo and Emily Sidelinger married in 1913, “Lon” bought the Mayville farm from James Bartlett, renovated the old house and the next year replaced the old barn with a modern dairy barn. In 1924 after the old house burned, the Chapmans had a “beautiful new residence erected near the site”.
Alonzo Chapman had “kept a fine herd of purebred cattle and conducted a milk route in the village”.
Mr. Chapman had been born in Bethel on January 22, 1878 the son of William Ladd and Sarah Frost Chapman. (The Ladds lived on the farm where more recently Jim and Pat Hudson lived.)*
Alonzo Chapman was at Gould Academy in 1894. After finishing Gould he went to Montana where he worked on the sheep ranch of Daniel S. Hastings. Later he returned and was employed by the Brown Company both in the woods and in the office at Berlin.
*Before the Hudson’s, the Chapman’s daughter ran an antique shop there. Often riding by her sign I learned early on how to spell “antique.” One day, my fifth grade teacher asked if anyone knew how to spell “antique” – I was the only one in my class to know it, and maybe the only one to know what “antiques” were.
References: Oxford County Bethel Citizen, May 21, 1936, and Alonzo Chapman obituary Citizen November 13, 1934.