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  • Published
    February 27, 2020

    A belly-dancer at the City Council meeting

    About a week ago David Grima and I met for a couple of beers at the Time Out Pub and we drank a toast to our friend Emmet Meara, who recently passed away. Meara was one of our strange tribe of local newspaper people, someone with ink in his veins. When I first started writing for The Courier-Gazette in 1998, I would run into Meara at events that were assigned to me. He was writing for The Bangor Daily News. …

  • Published
    June 6, 2019

    Memory remains of Flight 46

    I had to write my column about the crash of Downeast Airlines Flight 46 on a tight deadline last week to have it ready in time for the 40th anniversary. The twin-engine De Havilland Otter turbo jet plane crashed in Owls Head May 30, 1979, killing 17. After writing that column, I had a chance to interview John McCafferty, who was the only survivor of the crash. He was 16 at the time, is now 56 and lives in …

  • Published
    May 29, 2019

    The crash of Flight 46

    It was 40 years ago today that one survivor crawled away from the wreckage of Downeast Airlines Flight 46 after it crashed in the trees in Owls Head, killing 17. John McCafferty, just 16 at the time, was the sole survivor of the plane crash, which was the worst civilian air disaster in Maine history. The twin-engine De Havilland Otter turbo jet plane crashed as its pilots attempted to land in dense fog at the …

  • Published
    May 17, 2019

    Famed liner Manhattan tested in Rockland

    I found myself missing my beloved 1930s and so booted up the time machine for a stop in the Depression era. The largest U.S.-built passenger ship, the S.S. Manhattan, was here in Rockland July 25, 1932. At daybreak it began a series of tests on the government course off the Rockland coast. I found information about it on sources including Wikipedia and, which in turn used sources including Bonsor’s …

  • Published
    April 18, 2019

    Go simple or go nuclear

    In early April 1979, people in Rockland joined the rest of the country in worrying about the potential consequences of nuclear power. The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania started March 28, 1979, and caused small amounts of radioactive gasses to be released into the atmosphere. This sent shock waves through the country and severely damaged the public’s trust in nuclear power. The Courier-Gazett…

  • Published
    April 4, 2019

    Two if by sea

    A few weeks ago I brought you the story from 1919 of a special gavel made of 62 different kinds of wood that C. Clifton Lufkin of Glen Cove presented to the Knox Academy of Arts and Sciences. Rebekah Woodworth responded, writing, “I clicked on your column today and nearly fell out of my chair. C. Clifton Lufkin (the “C” stood for Claud), was my great-great-great-uncle. My family has lived on the same property in …

  • Published
    March 28, 2019

    Raining bones

    Last week found me at the Cushing annual town meeting, where they were talking about what to do about an abandoned barge that had been mired in the mud at Pleasant Point Harbor for 14 months. One of the questions posed was whether there was any way to destroy it without bringing in a crane and so on to save money. I found myself picturing someone with a shoulder-mounted missile launcher firing on this barge from …

  • Published
    March 21, 2019

    Waiting for the hammer to fall

    “Here we stand or here we fall; History won’t care at all,” Brian May, Queen An April 1919 headline caught my eye, stating: “A REMARKABLE GAVEL.” “The Knox Academy of Arts and Sciences has recently been presented with a gavel by C. Clifton Lufkin of Glencove. It is a unique and wonderful piece of workmanship, composed of 62 different kinds of wood as follows : The handle — Ash, hackmatack, locust and maple. The …

  • Published
    March 14, 2019

    The day they ran Walter Jones down

    The following story appeared in the Tuesday, March 18, 1919, edition of The Courier-Gazette: “PURSUED INSANE PATIENT “Former Marathon Runner Led Rockland Police a Lively Chase, But the Patrol Was Too Much For Him. “Considerable excitement was caused in the western part of the city Sunday afternoon, when the police and a number of citizens gave chase to Walter Jones, an insane patient, who had escaped from the …

  • Published
    March 7, 2019

    Name-dropping Rockland's famed actress

    The March 4, 1919, edition of The Courier-Gazette includes a front-page letter home from Jesse Rosenberg, who had been traveling in Europe and reported meeting one of two famous actress sisters, who were born in Rockland. The headline was: “MET GERTRUDE ELLIOTT.” “This is not a particularly pretty city,” Rosenberg says of Saint Nazaire, France. (This struck me as funny, but when I looked it up online, others seem …

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