Perfect shade of Halloween

By David Grima | Oct 30, 2019

Did you ever stop at night to stare up into the starry sky, and ask yourself how many satellites there are zooming around up there?

According to a new book by Bangor native, Sarah Pacak, there are around 1,700 of the little things, and she loves them all.

Her book called “Space Archaeology” tells how she and other diggers of ancient dirt are now using satellite images, photos taken from space, to locate hitherto hidden archaeological sites around our poor planet.

New photos are very useful, but so are older ones as they can be compared with modern images to detect new things; and the looting of archaeological sites can be shown by using these comparisons, too.

For those who love space, science, and even very old things (such as my dear friend Motionless O’Meara, late of the Bangor Dreadful News,) but who do not spend our every waking moment keeping up with all the latest developments, books like this are a fascinating way to get occasional updates on the state of the art.

In fact, it is quite possible in theory that satellite imaging could also tell us if O’Meara has been off his couch at all this year. Must look into this.

* * * * *

Well, this is the week of Halloween, so here are a few tales of the season.

On Saturday morning I watched with growing excitement as a certain Lime City gentleman bid online for a band-new, Lego-inspired Halloween character developed by a Chicago company. The item was released for sale at 10 a.m., and after three minutes of feverish bidding he had won it. (Price undisclosed.)

“My ghoulish heart is fulfilled,” cackled the successful purchaser, who is probably the premier Lego expert in all of Rockland.

* * * * *

Did you realize that the trash bags the city sells at the dump are the perfect shade of Halloween pumpkin orange?

Stumped for a last-minute costume for the kids this Thursday night? Try dressing them as garbage monsters, with the bags cinched lightly near the neck and arm holes cut in either side and leg holes below. Stuff the bag with newspapers and other simulated trash first, of course!

Guaranteed to deliver hours of harmless fun, etc.

* * * * *

Then there this the story of movie-star devotion from Halloween long past, around 1997 according to one estimate.

Two sisters decided to take their daughters trick-or-treating in the neighborhood of Traverse Street, off Talbot Avenue, because this was “where all the teachers lived.”

After a certain period of candy-gathering, one of the girls came back breathless from one doorstep to the car and announced to her mother that, at the last house she had been to, John Travolta had answered the door.

It is well understood that this famous chap has been seen around here for some time, flying his jet to the airport at Owls Head, buying dinner at the old Mai Kai Chinese restaurant on Park Street, and camping out in a mansion on Islesboro, etc.

Why, there was even a nice rumor, neither proven or disproven, that he stopped in to catch a few scenes of the musical “Grease” when it was performed by the students at Rockland District High School, maybe 10 years ago. (I see the school is doing it again this year, too. Although of course it is no longer RDHS.) So the little girl’s excited report of seeing him on Traverse Street at least seemed plausible.

Her mother grabbed a large plastic trash bag (see how useful they are?) and pulled it on as a sort-of instant disguise, while running up to the house to try and meet the heavenly star.

Alas, ‘twas not he.

* * * * *

In other news, I see state government is trying to get someone to install an electric car charging station in Rockland, using certain financial incentives to spur this advance in modern motor science. Belfast, too.

All in all, the goal is to install 47 of these modern things in 23 Maine communities, according to a government press release that found its way to me the other day.

Unless I am much mistaken, did not such a charging station already appear in the nearby Independent Republic of St. George? Down at the Humble Farmer’s place, I believe.

It makes you wonder, though, how all those poor people in California are able to charge up their electric cars to escape from the flames as they burn horribly across the state.

After all, in order to prevent itself causing such monster fires with its outdated and somewhat faulty transmission lines, the utility company has been switching off all electricity to many communities, which nevertheless have managed to catch alight.

* * * * *

Speaking of the defunct Rockland District High School and the over consumption of too-sweet food, I now reproduce a short but poignant conversation that took place there in the school’s weight room, some time ago in the 1990s.

STUDENT: (Groaning loudly) Coach, I don’t feel so good!

COACH: Well, what have you been eating?

STUDENT: Just four Pop-Tarts and a couple of diet Cokes…

* * * * *

Speaking of fires, I see that the house that burned down on Clark Island Road the other day was set alight by its own emergency generator, which was in use because the power was out after a bad windstorm the night before.

I also heard of a near-miss generator event up in West Rockport, where a householder set the machine too close to the house and left the garage door slightly open. The garage naturally filled with fumes and caused some alarm, although with no known casualties.

Maybe it’s time for the county to teach safe generator classes once a year? Maybe the insurance companies could kick in some money to help, too. It would be worth everybody’s while.

* * * * *

So, I wish you all a happy and reasonably safe Halloween this year.

As usual I will be on high alert in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. Most years I am able to repel juvenile boarders by firing my candy cannon in their general direction. Had to defend myself from almost a hundred of the little tykes, last year.

This year I have been training the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse to dive bomb trick-or-treaters, dropping wharf rats from 50 feet down their darling little necks.

Not sure how well their training program went, but here’s hoping!

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Linda Hillgrove | Oct 30, 2019 14:11

.....I KNOW for a fact, that Motion-less (O)Meara WAS in fact, OFF the couch !!!    BLUE EYES wanted him to rake the leaves, pile the wood, pick up that lovely living room AND make up his bed_____Believe he may have wanted to stand tall during that ordeal++++++++++

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