End of the line

By David Grima | Jul 05, 2018

Did you ever wonder what it would be like if the Founding Fathers had signed that scrap of paper on the Fourth of January instead?

No parades: no bands riding on the back of trucks, no veterans in their retro uniforms, no Scouts carrying flags, no baseball teams collecting pennies, no fire trucks, no hot dogs, and no particular reason for fireworks; none of this would now be part of our lives.

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You can tell how desperate employers are feeling these days, as they face the labor shortage. Not only are many of them posting Help Wanted signs outside their places of business, but a number of them have begun to post the wages, too.

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We have been without one of the green lights on Union Street opposite the county courthouse for several weeks, now.

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I am told there has been another sighting of actor Gabriel Byrne, who visits up here most years. This time he was seen at Main Street Markets. Thanks to Spy Number 15 for this info.

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At 5:22 p.m. Friday, June 29, I heard the first thunder of the summer over Rockland. Others might possibly have heard it earlier, I suppose, but not me. It was just a brief shower in the South End.

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You can tell the summer people are gathering, as there are usually various signs and indicators. Last Sunday I went into the South End Market to buy my annual Sunday New York Times (it takes me a year to read a whole edition), and there were none available if you had not already made reservations.

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On July 9 in two years, Owls Head will at last turn 100 years old. It is pretty much the baby town around here, having been calved from South Thomaston in 1919. South Thomaston itself was separated from Thomaston the same time as was East Thomaston, in 1848.

East Thomaston was later renamed, in a fit of great imagination, Rockland. I suppose we can be satisfied there isn’t a North Thomaston somewhere. Not yet, at least.

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I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here in the South End we seem to have a plague of new squirrels. I am sure I have not seen so many of the things in the almost 20 years I have lived in this part of the city.

Some years ago, squirrels became such a problem in a certain Southern community that the city allowed residents to shoot them. I hope it doesn’t get that bad here, as I can just imagine what it would be like with armed bands of people like me going around blasting away at trees, etc.

“I swear I saw something moving in that tree, officer!”

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Speaking of shooting things, what about that rabid otter than assaulted a human on Sandy Beach the other day?

If I wanted to make a sharp point out of that sad little situation, I would mention that people were quickly posting bitter and sarcastic remarks on Facebook about how people should leave animals alone, and how the poor wee otter was only protecting its pups from rampaging humans, etc. You should have heard the outcry, as these entirely ignorant and self-styled defenders of nature poured scorn and castigation upon the whole circumstance.

Of course, the beast wasn’t protecting anything. It was stark raving bonkers and looking for blood, but an absolute lack of facts did not prevent the babbling types on the internet from accusing, trying, condemning and hanging the people involved, all sight unseen, based on no information whatsoever.

Sounds like much of America today, unfortunately.

But I won’t go there, as there is already too much bad feeling going around.

Instead, I will simply point out that if there had not been so many kids and grownups on the beach during the otter invasion, I would have had a very clean shot at the creature from the west parapets of the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

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I am afraid I am slowly coming around to the opinion that our beloved Lord Prez Trumpleton might not be the best president ever, after all.

It occurred to me the other day that we might be much better off, in the end, if we could elect someone like Teddy Roosevelt to run the show.

After all, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce starts complaining about the effects that dear Lord Trumpleton’s import tariffs are having on American business, you just know something ain’t right. Sigh.

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Talking of anniversaries, it was 10 years ago this week since I last worked in a newsroom. I was among many laid off when the Village Stew people from Camden brought all the Courier papers from Rockland to Bar Harbor, and tried to make a go of them without really knowing how.

The afternoon of June 30, 2008, was rather quiet in the Herald offices, where I was assigned as editor, and we sat there like lumps on a log waiting to be sold (or not) like so much stuff.

I sat at my desk and played “End of the Line” by the Traveling Wilburys on a computer, waiting for the end of the line. As soon as I heard the Stew people come in the front door, I left via the back. No point hanging around.

And as the door closed behind me, I heard the Great Recession begin.

Three years later, in my new job with the Department of Labor, it was my ironic duty to show up at the Stew offices in Rockland to assist as everybody who still worked for them was laid off, their brave experiment in community journalism having come apart.

Still, it was a relatively quiet end. These days, they shoot newspaper people, don’t they?

Comments (3)
Posted by: TOWN OF THOMASTON | Jul 07, 2018 08:33

Um, the Town of Owls Head web site says "Owls Head, which had been a part of South Thomaston, became a town on July 9, 1921."

Posted by: Susan Barnard | Jul 06, 2018 16:26

I see his math is still as bad as ever. July 2019 is only one year away. (signed) David Grima

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jul 05, 2018 16:35

Oh David, you never change and I hope you never will! always such a fun informative read!

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