Creepy veep

By David Grima | Oct 05, 2017

Obviously, I am unlikely to have anything new or helpful to say about the recent Las Vegas gun massacre, so I won’t even try.

But in my typical nit-picky way I have to say that I am always dismayed at the number of news broadcasters who seem to think the desert city is called Los Vegas.

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After a fine Saturday afternoon spent in the Land of Cush, which lies in that dragon-infested territory betwixt Thomaston and Friendship, I have developed some thoughts about the political leanings of the late Bernard “Blackie” Langlais (1921-1977).

The evidence suggests to me that Mr. Langlais was a closet Republican, for not only is his old homestead simply overrun with giant wooden elephant sculptures that he built, but there are also sculptures of two GOP presidents.

Tricky Dick Nixon’s likeness is fairly well known. It used to sit in a pond on the property, near the road by the large wooden horse. These days it has been relocated to a pond behind the house, and has been repainted. Rather looks like a vampire to me, but then you know how I sometimes let my imagination run away with me.

Not so well known is the fact that Gerald Ford also haunts the Langlais place, although his wooden likeness is awaiting restoration. I believe Langlais sculpted at least one other version of Ford, which lives elsewhere in northern Maine. Possibly they will someday be reunited.

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With stories about two escaped pythons and a dog that kills chickens, it seems that Camden is returning to a state of nature. All these years of outward sophistication seem to be wearing off and Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw, seems to be taking over again. Pretty soon there will be alligators in the streets.

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The word is that the Maine State Beekeepers will hold their annual meeting at Oceanside High School in Rockland, on Oct. 14.

At least, that’s the buzz…

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The Blessed South End is apparently being considered as the home for a new brewery and beer-tasting room. If this rumor proves to be true, it will be the second brewery to open in our fair city recently. The Pease family just opened one up on Route 1 South. They own the Rock Harbor bar and restaurant down town.

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A week before September was done, I wandered so far off the beaten path that I found myself in Damariscotta. All afternoon there were boys jumping off the bridge to Newcastle into the river, climbing out and running up to the road to jump in again.

It had a very end-of-summer feel to it.

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It’s been a long time since we had a decent explosion in Rockland, and I am glad everyone seemed to come out of last week’s Wharf Street acetone combustion incident alive.

Apparently, acetone is a solvent and de-greaser, not to forget nail-polish remover, among many other things. It sounds like a fairly common industrial thing.

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Listening to reports on the radio of rescuers digging for survivors in the rubble of a school in Mexico City after the earthquake reminded me of when my dad went up the valley to Aberfan to help dig people out of the little Welsh village, which was partly buried in an avalanche of coal slurry in late October 1966.

The death toll there was 116 children (their school was engulfed) and 28 adults. Most of the youngsters were aged between 7 and 10.

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A little bird tells me they are hoping to recreate the old keeper’s barn at Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde.

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Meanwhile, the ‘Keag bridge is being replaced, a little operation guaranteed to spread as much joy and good feeling among the people of South Thomaston as the eternal roadworks provide for the folks in Thomaston.

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Speaking of Tricky Nixon, the Ken Burns movie about Vietnam includes film of the Creepy Veep using a map to demonstrate to TV viewers how the loss of Vietnam would lead inevitably to the spread of Redness all the way down the page and into Indonesia.

It was not too many years before making that broadcast that he was in Rockland for a campaign stop on the public landing, announcing that we had lost Red China without a shot being fired. (How we could have lost what we never owned remains a mystery, resolved only by the peculiar rules that govern cheesy political speech.)

At this point in his visit to Rockland his wife, Pat Nixon, tried to pick up a lobster from a barrel, but it fought back and she dropped it altogether. If that wasn’t a mysteriously predictive metaphor for what was going to happen in Vietnam, then I don’t know what is.

* * * * *

This summer was a certain kind of disappointment to me, as I watched it unfold from the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. Hardly more than one decent thunderstorm graced us with its dramatic presence, and temperatures were on the moderate side with little sign of the occasional measurement above 80 we have come to love so much.

So as soon as summer gets done, fall decides to give us a taste of what we had sorely missed. That first week of the third season was delightfully hot, but still no honest thunderstorm to wash the dust away.

Am thinking of asking for my money back.

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

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Oct 06, 2017 17:42

...and still you make me chuckle while learning new and interesting happenings!

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