War is hell, somebody famous once said.

And so are the roads in Rockland, I say to myself at least half a dozen times a day as I try to navigate betwixt the sunken drains, the potholes where slabs of roadway the size of elephant ears have come loose, and the general cracks and discomforts that we put up with every day while driving in the Lime City.

It amounts to an unauthorized tax, payable in car repairs and general bone-crunching misery. As with many taxes, legal and otherwise, the poorer you are the more of your money you will be required to hand over.

I had thought to write a list of the worst holes in our roads, if only so that innocent drivers could try to avoid them. For example, there is the one that keeps being fixed then being unfixed at the corner of Park and South Main, opposite the Park Street Grille. I really have to look out for that one, as it lies at the Gateway to the South End.

But then I realized that to list some holes would be to miss many others, and who wants to ignore a good hole in the road? So, no list this week.

Nevertheless I did see a city pickup truck towing a smoking trailer full of hot road patch stuff around the South End last week. Some effort is being made to temporarily fill the appalling holes and gullies over which we have to drive. One should at least appreciate the effort, while not giving up hope for a more permanent solution.

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I was in conversation with a certain person the other day, and his remark on the role of the pope was rather interesting. The pope has to make many decisions, he said, and his main job is to come to the same conclusion every time.

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I see our Methodists still have a sense of late-winter humor. An ad they placed in last week’s Courier asked whoever is praying for snow to please stop.

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It was good to see Fred Goodnow’s photo in last week’s paper. I think the lady on the lunch counter stool in the background was Dorothy Larrabee. If I’m wrong, please let me know.

What the caption failed to mention is where Fred’s pharmacy was. For those who have slipped quietly into town in the past few years and have no idea of such necessary things, it was at the corner of Park and Main where Camden National Bank now is.

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The weather this Sunday afternoon is so bleak up here on the north grain tower that all four Seagulls of the Apocalypse have gone and left. Little remains standing as the snow sweeps across the turret, and I am again obliged to sit under my bed to get a bit of peace and quiet to get this piece of nonsense written.

But this is the end of February, not the beginning. Daylight savings starts on March 10, which means I will have to do something about the sundial marks I have painted on each corner of the tower.

All the same, let’s retain a healthy sense of pessimism. Spring theoretically starts March 20, and Passover and Easter are early this year. With luck, any of these events could easily be accompanied by a howling gale or blizzard.

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Speaking of pessimism, am I the only one who couldn’t care less about the manufactured annual excitement about the Oscars? For that matter, about NASCAR too?

(NASCAR is easily defined as a sport that involves cars turning left all afternoon, and lots of people paying to watch as they do it.)

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I see somebody from California has finagled $60,000 of good old fashioned money to write a report on the possibility of public transportation between Thomaston and Camden. This includes $1,650 of money from your honest Lime City taxpayer.

At least the story about all this in the last edition has the sense to point out that several attempts to create public transportation in this area have so far had “dismal results." Why?

If there were an opening for someone to make money on public transportation around here, I assure you they would have already seized the opportunity. In other words, not a prayer.

The lack of such transportation is a hardship for many people, I understand only too well. Yet if we are to have such a thing, we will almost certainly have to help pay for it with public funds, which is what we have to do with all sorts of things we need but which do not offer an opportunity for profit.

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I understand that Sandra Sylvester has a blog called “On being a South Ender.” I did take a look at it recently, hoping to find stories of life in the South End that I could shamelessly borrow and improve upon. Not a lot of such material there when I looked, but one lives in hope. Anyway, try southendstories.blogspot.com.

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During a brief meteorological lull last week I was able to get a glimpse from my tower of some of the back yards in the South End, and saw that several of us have not yet got rid of our Christmas trees.

They are lying there, half buried or half free of ice, which ever way pleases you to think about it. No doubt at some point they will be hauled off to the dump. However I would like to mention what a wonderful firebrand a Christmas tree can be.

Many times I have tossed one upon a bonfire and watched it go sky-high with crackling roaring flame. Of course I wouldn’t advise lighting such a thing in your back yard, not unless you are very friendly with the fire department. But find some willing person who lives out in the willywags beyond our city limits and has space enough, and a good spring bonfire can be had by all. Bring your own Christmas trees to burn, and warm up to the new season.

Of course, such a celebration could easily be accompanied by a howling gale or blizzard.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com, or by setting fire to a Christmas tree and waiting for him to show up.