If we ever needed any evidence that people’s nerves are a little frayed at the moment, I would ask the court to consider the facts about a recent argument between two neighbors about a fence between their properties, a dispute which was carried out in broad daylight on Facebook.

Nobody in their right mind would have an argument like that in the public domain, and I suggest it is only the pressure of modern times that brought them to digital blows.

Better than fisticuffs, at least.

* * * * *

We certainly understand how it feels to live a life that is not quite normal at the moment. Certainly we all do the best we can with whatever we’ve got, to keep things rolling along in some direction.

For example, we paid our first visit to Beth’s farm stand in Warren April 18, and bought Yukon Gold spuds, Beth’s biscuits and a blueberry pie. The spuds went into a chowder, I believe. Yummers, as my late friend, Terrible O’Meara, would have said.

* * * * *

Lamenting the temporary loss of Rockland Public Library as a lending institution is one thing, but suffering a loss of books altogether is another. I think I mentioned I have been taking books from my own library to read again, and I think I whined and complained a little about a certain Hemingway novel I now have less respect for than I thought.

Many bookstores are selling books online, which is fine if you know the details of a certain book you want. But for many of us the greatest pleasure in a book store is to browse aimlessly and long, to seek out unexpected ideas and possibilities, to boldly go, etc., and that’s hardly possible online.

So I have been trying to content myself with whatever I can sweep from my own book collection: Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe”, Suetonius’ “Lives of the Caesars”, “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson (a particularly fine gothic novel) and various other whatnots.

None of them, other than the gothic, was really what I needed. I must drag up some of my vast collection of detective novels, and start in on them. What I need is a good murder; and as for authors, I have the pick of the best Americans, Scots, Swedes, French, Italians, English, Icelanders and sundry others.

* * * * *

On April 20 I swear I heard the spring peepers, little chirruping frogs waking up from winter in their swamps and swales, singing their seductive songs.

* * * * *

With as much respect as I can muster for the dear ol’ newspaper, I think the time is long past by which Courier Publications should have removed its various signs and insignias from off the Breakwater Building in Rockland.

Lately, several customers have been seen wandering around the building, trying to find The Courier, which was once on the fourth floor but now is not, and I doubt ever will be again. It was with a profound sadness I had to explain to these customers that the Rockland paper is now based entirely in Camden.

One would think the least the paper could do is to admit it, and take away the cold blue signs that linger like ghostly presences in the Lime City, a city that loved and nurtured its dear hometown rag, in one form or another, since 1846.

* * * * *

As I unhappily anticipated a few weeks ago, both our Blues and Lobster festivals are canceled for this year. So is the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbor show. And so is the Summer Solstice street party.

It remains merely for Thomaston to announce that the July Fourth parade is off, and for the Union Fair to be canceled, and that will be a sweep of all the summer’s major events in western Knox County. Gone, and much lamented.

The National Geographic organization took a photo of two scarlet-clad local ladies dressed as cooked lobsters during the 1952 Lobster Festival, and that image surfaced again on the Interthingy May 1, illustrating an article about the cancellation of this summer’s event. Even a British newspaper has taken note of it.

Coincidentally, I uncovered a piece of sheet music composed by E. Moss of Thomaston, also in 1952, called the "Sea Goddess Waltz." I found it the other day when I decided it was time have a smaller collection of possessions stored up here in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

I have been putting off this much-needed spring-cleaning for years, and it is both a joy and heart-break to see the stuff I have hung on to. I am sure many other Lime Citizens have similar collections of bric-a-brac in their own attics and cellars.

The worst of it is, we can’t even have a good yard sale at the moment, although I saw pretty much the equivalent of a yard sale out of a barn on Old County Road last Saturday. It looked so tempting.

One Rocklander from Park Street suggested the Goodwill store on Camden Street can look forward to getting a heap of donations when it opens up again, as surely many of us have been sorting through our unneeded stuff during this semi-eternal curfew.

I hope she is right!

* * * * *

Perhaps the shock of losing our summer festivals in 2020 will help some people recognize the seriousness of the public health situation we face. Maybe, but maybe not.

After all, democracy is not about promoting the desires of a handful of individuals. It often requires us to take a long look at hard facts, and do the best we can under trying circumstances.

Nevertheless, there are always those who feel democracy means freedom is theirs to define and to enjoy, no matter what cost to themselves and others.

Amidst the tragic ruins of the brave but most ill-advised Lower Midwest town of Darwin Falls, whose mass accidental suicide (by the ingestion of bleach-laced Kool Aid) I reported on last week, a list was found of several other suggested Plague Preventions and Cures, all printed on White House notepaper, unfortunately.

The list suggests a range of repulsive curatives, etc., including pool chemicals, weed killer, handfuls of thumb tacks, cat litter, and (most unhappily) artificial suntan in a bottle.

* * * * *

I saw a dead mouse at the dump, last weekend. At least he is now free.

* * * * *

Against all belief, there are still trees resting on power lines along Route 17 in West Rockport, some three weeks or more after the snow that brought them down.

* * * * *

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a minute’s silence while we reflect on a summer with an estimated 35,000 fewer visitors. Not to mention their considerable economic investment in our fair city.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com.