Frequent caller and reader Leroy “Roy” Peasley of Rockland was back on the Black Cat’s phone line this week with an interesting request.

Roy has been playing his guitar and harmonica every Thursday at the St. Bernard’s soup kitchen in Rockland for some years now. At times he has been joined by a number of musical friends, playing old standards including “Danny Boy,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Good Old Summer Time.” He added that playing “Wild Irish Rose” could bring a tear to your eye.

At the moment, he said he is down a few players and is looking for someone with a fiddle, a banjo or an accordion to join in. However, he said no one with a musical interest, young or old, guitarist or keyboard player, tambourine tapper or other will be turned away.

It’s all for a good cause, and it’s not much of a time commitment. He said the musicians usually show up around 10 a.m. and set up and play from 11 a.m. to noon while the people in need receive their food.

Those interested can call Roy at 594-2982 or just show up. He said mostly, they play the old songs in the key of C.

 

Patriotism and pyromania

Many have commented lately that they are hearing unscheduled, amateur fireworks blasting behind their homes and off down the street.

In part this is due to a relaxation of Maine’s rules against fireworks. (Be warned, firecrackers are still not allowed in Rockland). It’s also getting closer to July 4 and the celebration of our independence.

It’s not uncommon while driving in the Midcoast to see the sudden spectacle of purple or blue or red star blasts accompanied by smoke hanging against the sky. The tricky part when you just hear the fireworks is telling the difference between firecrackers and the neighbors shooting tin cans out in the back yard.

If you partake in combustible pleasure, please be careful.

 

Neptune’s court

Rockland’s new city manager, James Smith, is to be commended for his weekly reports, which inform the public about most everything going on in the halls of city government. His write-ups are much more thorough than they have been in the recent past.

One point of interest in his June 1 report came under the heading, “Office of the Harbor Master.”

“Went to Boston to attend the Change of Command ceremony of USCG (U.S. Coast Guard) Admiral Neptune to Admiral Abel for the first Coast Guard District,” the report states. “It was in Faneuil Hall, and was very similar to the ones that we have in Portland and here in Rockland: there were just more gold stripes on the uniforms.”

A quick search on Google shows there is indeed an Admiral Neptun, missing just the “e,” but we can understand that leading to some confusion.

Either way, it seems if your last name is Neptune, you’re pretty much destined for a life at sea.

 

Rats!

The city manager also noted he has followed up on citizen concerns about rats coming from the former MacDougal School property on Broadway. Residents would like the city to bring in an exterminator.

A few weeks ago, we were writing about Lynn Archer’s efforts to keep rats out of Winslow-Holbrook Park, and now this.

 

‘It’s alive!’

Editors across the country are getting sick of hearing from self-appointed doomsayers “print is dead” or “newspapers are dying.” Turns out many are simply talking themselves into this nonsense. Newspapers remain vital, viable and popular.

In a letter to customers recently, Patrice D. Foster, publisher of Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H., quoted Mark Twain, saying, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Too true.

If you would like to contact the Black Cat with an item of interest, please email to news@courierpublicationsllc.com with “Black Cat” in the subject line. You can also snail mail items to 91 Camden St., Suite 403, Rockland, ME 04841.