Egg yolks by mistake?

By David Grima | Dec 04, 2019

The South End is apparently doomed, which I assume is the ghastly meaning behind the story saying our dear neighborhood is to be hit hardest by the forthcoming city-wide property value reassessments.

As they knock down our ordinary homes and replace them with soaring palaces, it will be claimed that the value of our humble shacks will rise, therefore meaning we will surely be able to afford to pay more taxes.

It must be like that trickle-down thing that Ronald Reagan invented. You know, if the people in the mansion next door are rich, then surely you will become rich too. Must happen through osmosis, I imagine.

Well, there’s only one thing for it. Time to load up the handcart with both my worldly possessions and join the line of refugees making the forced march to live in Warren.

For although it's true that the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live, are not charged property taxes at all, the squib of a muddy parcel of land I still own on Linden Street will surely be worth a cool million, or even more, by the time they are done reassessing it.

So, unable to afford the taxes that will be due on such a magnificent patch of mud, I will have to abandon it to the property-tax man and become a wandering minstrel, a thing of rags and patches, singing sad slow songs for my supper.

It was only a small patch of mud, but I helped raise two charming boys there, and we only ever had to call the fire department once, I think. As mud patches go, it has great sentimental meaning for me. I will be sorry to see it disappearing over my shoulder as I leave.

* * * * *

What with fears about the property reassessments flying around, mixed with rumors of snow moving this way from the southwest, Monday afternoon was the perfect time for the state to send a highly important public service message to all subscribers.

Yes, gentle readers! At 4:31 p.m., I received an urgent notification for the highest civil authorities, explaining that now through mid-April is the perfect time to eliminate browntail moth caterpillars.

Thank heavens I did not miss that bit of information.

* * * * *

Had a note from one of my four readers about what I mentioned last week, namely the recent performance of “Occupant”, a play about former South End resident Louise Nevelson on stage in Georgetown near Our Nation’s Capital:

“Hi David...I hoped to see you at church yesterday so I could rush up and tell you that I actually saw the play, “Occupant”, off Broadway a few years ago.  I have been interested in Louise Nevelson since I was growing up here and saw some of her pieces displayed in the lobby of the Thorndike Hotel.

“Over the years, I have seen her work at Julliard and the Museum of Modern Art, and I am always looking for other locations. When I saw the play mentioned in the newspaper, I ordered a ticket to a matinee performance, took the bus into Manhattan from my home in suburban New Jersey, and had an afternoon at the theater.

“I don't remember much about the play itself, but I do remember being surprised that the Nevelson character spoke with a bit of a Maine accent. This was not a high point in theater-going for me, but I was pleased that I went. However, not until now have I had an opportunity to talk about it with anyone.”

* * * * *

My suspicion is that Louise Nevelson, born Berliawsky, had to leave Rockland because of soaring property taxes in the South End. Just a hunch.

* * * * *

The other day I saw an obscene vanity license plate, in Augusta I think. I don’t know who approved it at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, but I suspect the citizen whose car it decorates got away with it by using the letter Q instead of the last three letters of the word “duck”.

Needless to say, no duck was implied. Instead it appeared to be a rather rude comment about our Beloved Lord Prez Reginald K. Trumpleton, currently also appearing in Washington D.C.

Really, just why people think they can treat him so badly, I have no idea. Thank goodness he is a saint, and would never stoop to such language himself. People ought to be ashamed, etc.

* * * * *

Returning from Augusta on Friday (see the bit about the car license plate, above) we sat at a window table at the ever-popular Park Street Grill to eat our supper.

The food was up to its normal high standard, and not to mention the remarkable fluid that was delivered in green glasses with stems shaped like cactus. Excellent quality, I say.

But the entertainment that particular night was really first class, too.

Crowds of people kept rushing by our window in the direction of the South End, simply acres of them pouring past us on both sidewalks. Must have seen at least 100-plus people rush by in the first 15 minutes, most wrapped in coats and blankets, many with hats and children.

Of course, it was for the annual tree lighting just half a block away that they were out in the wind and bitter cold, under the merest sliver of a moon. And you could tell the instant when the tree lights were switched on, because it was as if the tide had suddenly turned, and all the people came rushing back in the opposite direction, no doubt anxious to get back inside and warm up.

* * * * *

Don’t you just love those colored globes that hand in the trees along Main Street? Much more joy in them than the stringy light of last year. See how things improve?

Except, waiting at the intersection outside the Park Street Grill (see the bit above, etc.) it is sometimes difficult for drivers to tell the illuminated globes from the traffic lights. There is always a green light shining there! Also a red! All the seeds of chaos have been planted, and we just hope they will not flourish.

* * * * *

Speaking of the South End, which we seem to have done rather a lot this week, I see that the freshly painted yellow stripes down the middle of South Main Street are already almost faded completely away.

Once the summer-long road rebuilding project came to an end, we waited with abated breath for them to remember to repaint the yellow stripes, too. This was finally done about two or three weeks ago, and not much more.

To see that the stripes have almost vanished so soon after being put down makes one wonder if perhaps they forgot to use real paint. Possibly just egg yolks by mistake?

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

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 05, 2019 11:15

It would be an interesting article to take Crescent Street; for an example; and see how long the residents have lived in their home, their income and how the tax increase will affect them.  1/2 of those  from Main Street to Suffolk  have lived in their home for over fifty years and are on a fixed income.  :(

Posted by: Bernard George Shaw | Dec 05, 2019 07:25

Enjoy your wit David, keep it coming! Merry Christmas!

Patricia Shaw

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Dec 04, 2019 15:44

I love your tongue and cheek comments. True humor prevails. Happy Holiday's David!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown)McKeever ...+:0)....

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 04, 2019 10:35

The ball lights are a welcome addition to the Winter decorations. Hope they stay lit at least until the daylight gets reasonably longer. Can't help perkin' up a person's spirits and we can all use a bit of that before being driven out of our "million dollar abodes".

Did anyone see the picture of the plow truck flipped after hitting a pothole? Not a pretty sight. Seems like the town crew had plenty of time to repair our potholes during the past Summer; at least on their main route out of the garage on Pleasant Street.  Evidently not.

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