Halloween, drugs and Andre the Seal

By Louis Bettcher | Nov 03, 2016

A search through The Camden Herald archives revealed the following:

One year ago, 2015

Taxpayers in Camden, Rockport, Hope, Appleton and Lincolnville, were asked to approve up to $156,000 to be used for out-of-district student placement and special education funding at Camden Hills Regional High School. Voters approved the measure with a total vote of 1,968 to 518.

Russell "Rusty" Brace, the former head of United Mid-Coast Charities, who was sentenced to four years in a federal prison, reported to a Pennsylvania facility on Nov. 4. Brace was convicted in October 2015 of federal mail and tax fraud charges stemming from the embezzlement of more than $4.6 million from UMCC during a 15-year period.

Five years ago, 2011

A naked man was tasered after threatening to jump out of the second story window of an apartment building on Union Street in Camden. He kept mentioning something about a shotgun and wanting his girlfriend to marry him, but it was difficult to understand him. He also was seeing people who were not there, said Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne. Gagne indicated the man was more than likely using bath salts.

Painkiller overdoses in the state were already on the rise in 2011. According to a report released on Nov. 1 by the Centers of Disease Control, more people were dying each year from prescription painkiller abuse than cocaine and heroin combined. The CDC report concluded that one in 20 people in the U.S., age 12 and older, used prescription painkillers nonmedically in 2010.

10 years ago, 2006

Rockland firefighters responded to a fire within a 12-ton trash compactor at Back Cove Yachts on Merrill Drive. The cause of the fire: spontaneous combustion. A backhoe was used to pull the dumpster unit apart so that the fire could be put out efficiently. Fire Chief Charles Jordan said the fire was the result of "spontaneous heating of materials discarded in the dumpster."

In November, a 150 year-old stuffed and framed common seagull was taken off the walls of Cappy's Chowder House in Camden and donated by Johanna Tutone to the Penobscot Maritime Museum. Tutone had been told by agents of the Department of the Interior that she illegally possessed a migratory bird, and she had originally feared that it would be confiscated.

25 years ago, 1991

On Nov. 1, Dave Landry, of Superior Maintenance, took more than 300 gallons of water off the field at Camden-Rockport High School to prepare the ground for a boy's soccer game later that afternoon. Landry also arranged for Ben Magro, of Coastal Helicopter Inc., to hover over the field for some extra drying-out. It was all in a good cause: the boys won 1-0. The Windjammers would go on to win Camden-Rockport High School's first-ever soccer state championship the following week.

A community open house was hosted at the Center for Creative Imaging on Mechanic Street in Camden. At a time when cellphone cameras didn't exist and everyone had their pictures developed at pharmacies, CCI offered a "stunning display of more than 140 electronic art images," and hands-on demonstrations of how to create electronic images on their state-of-the-art computers.

50 years ago, 1966

On Nov. 3, "Andre the Seal" opined in the Weekly Report of the Rockport harbormaster, expressing feelings of rejection for not being included in Halloween festivities:

"Didn't get my hollow punkin' Jack-o-lantern. Didn't get it. Nobody loves Andre enough to him a hollow punkin' Jack-o-lantern for Halloween....Well, there's just one thing left for little old Andre to do. When Harry lets me out of here I'm leaving. I'm going where I'm appreciated. I'm going where people will let me celebrate the holidays too.

After I work hard all summer and do my stuff for them every day, as soon as the summer is over they forget all about me. I'm a nothin'. I'm a nobody. I'm a lost chord. I'm just a blob of seal-blubber. Woe is me, I've had it!

On second thought I'm not leaving. I'll stay here just for spite. And when summer comes I wont do my stuff for anyone. If Harry refuses to feed me I'll catch my own grub. I can do it. And when I see anyone on my wharf that raised punkins I'll splash water all over them and drown 'em most dead and then they'll wish they'd been more thoughtful."

In the wake of ghosts, goblins and local pranksters, Tim Wetterlow penned the following letter to the editor: "The youths of Rockport are to be commended for the consideration shown in using soap rather than hard-to-clean-off paraffin in writing their annual obscenities in observance of Halloween last night. Their vigor more than compensates for their lack of imagination."

100 years ago, 1916

On Friday, Nov. 3, a column appeared on the front page of The Camden Herald providing a historical/spiritual perspective of Halloween:

"Hallowe'en is really a pagan festival. One might infer from the pranks and fantastic festivities that accompany it that it is not a festival of the church. The day after Hallowe'en is All Saint's Day and witches and goblins take advantage of the night before to play their pranks. It is something like the carnival that precedes Lent."

Before people used social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise their location and activities, it was common practice to submit such information to the local paper and have it printed on the front page. In the "Personals" column in 1916, it was reported that: "Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Knight were in Searsmont, Sunday, calling on friends. E.B. Small is home from Whitinsville. Paul Gowen went to Whitinsville last Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford Young have moved into Mrs. Hopkins rent on Chestnut Street."

At a meeting of the Camden Public Library trustees on Nov. 7, the land where the library and Harbor Park now exist, was given to the town: "Mrs. Edward Bok, one of our public-spirited summer residents, had presented the Ocean House lot, corner of Main St. and Atlantic Ave., to the town for a home for a future library building and a public park for the town."

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