Washington news

By Charlotte Henderson | May 19, 2017

Book group reads 'LaRose'

This evening (Thursday, May 18) the Gibbs Library Book Group will discuss “LaRose,” by Louise Erdrich. This is the story of what happens after the man responsible for a child’s death gives his own little boy to the dead child’s parents. An unusual scenario, indeed, and a premise for lively discussion. Everyone is welcome to sit in, remembering if you haven’t actually read the book, please refrain from commenting until the readers have shared. The book group meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at Gibbs Library. The June 15 selection to read and discuss is, "The Handmaid's Tale," by Margaret Atwood, a novel published in 1985 that is currently enjoying renewed interest. The July 20 selection is “Elegance of the Hedgehog," by Muriel Barbery. Books for club readers are available on Kindle and in book form for checkout at Gibbs. Call the library 845-2663 for more information.

Old Cemetery group gathering

Washington native and historian Cheryl Mank Swift was a featured speaker at the recent meeting of Maine Old Cemetery Association in Union. Cheryl described her efforts to collect, clarify and document graves in Washington’s cemeteries and assemble the information in archive-quality notebooks, complete with photographs. Her project has led to the discovery of many interesting facts and anecdotes about local families and town history. Later in the day, Cheryl led a walking tour of Maple Grove Cemetery in Washington Village pointing out significant gravestones and stories about the people interred there.

Swift has been working on this project for many years encouraged by interest in her own family history and her belief in the value of bringing genealogy to life. MOCA is a membership organization that fosters discovery, restoration and upkeep of old cemeteries and publicizes information about preservation, cemetery provenance and inscriptions, and active restoration.

There were a number of instructional displays at the meeting, including directions for cleaning gravestones. A critical takeaway from that advice is never to use bleach on gravestones. It causes irreparable damage. More on that and other expert advice from MOCA at http://moca-me.org/.

Guild garage sale

This year, the Ladies’ Guild Garage Sale was really at a garage – Bartlett’s – which proved to be a very good location with lots of room and loads of traffic going by. As always, there was a good selection of items and mouth-watering baked goods. Volunteers Mildred Melgard, Priscilla Packard, Charlotte Young, Pat Medeika, and Marianne O’Dell, along with the other members of the Ladies’ Guild, thank everyone very much for supporting their yard sale over the years. A special shout-out to Gerry Bartlett for the use of his place.

Memorial Day activity

Washington Historical Society will hold its Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 29. Starting at 9 a.m. friends and neighbors can gather at the fire station for coffee or juice and muffins. Youngsters are invited to decorate and bring their bikes. Decorating is not required, but we surely like seeing them! At 10 a.m., all those who have gathered will parade together to the town monument for a short memorial ceremony and the raising of a new flag. Everybody is welcome to take part in any or all of this observance to honor men and women who have died in the service of our country.

Fire Department dinner and auction

The annual Washington Fire Department dinner and auction is scheduled for Saturday, June 10, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The auction begins at 6 p.m. with plenty of time beforehand to peruse the items. There are always plenty of surprises and useful things to bid on, and we can’t think of a worthier cause than our firefighters.

The cost for the supper is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Please make a plan to attend and join in the fun. If you would like to donate a food dish – casserole, salad, or dessert – just bring it to the fire station that evening. For more information, call Debbie at 845-2576.

Swimming lessons – reminder

Swimming lessons will be available at Beaver Lodge on Alford Pond this summer. There will be six lessons for $36. Participants should make a commitment to attending all the classes, which are scheduled for mornings on July 5, July 6, July 10, July 13, July 18 and July 20. Children should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. To learn all the details and get placed in a class, call Clairlynn Rountree at 785-2287. She will assess the learner’s skill level and assign a class time. Clairlynn is a certified swim instructor and manager of these swimming lessons. It’s definitely not too early to sign up, so call to get your reservation confirmed.

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