It's hard to tell with frogs

By David Grima | Nov 09, 2017

Rarely does our fair city receive the national attention it obviously deserves, but the other day I found this little sketch of Rockland in something called Financial Advisor, an online magazine:

“Maine is second only to Florida when it comes to the number of residents aged 65 years and over, according to Bankrate, and a rising number of retirees are moving there.

“‘Stronger hurricanes are happening more regularly in Florida and the politics have been highlighted of late and some people just don’t want to be around such conservatism,’ said Angela Heath, a gerontologist in Maryland. ‘Seniors are exploring other coastal communities.’

“Chris Avery, 71, and his wife, Kathryn, tried Maine as a potential retirement destination after vacationing there in 2013. ‘We bought and renovated a Victorian sea captain's house in Rockland with the idea of turning it into a vacation rental-by-owner property,’ said Kathryn Avery, 60. ‘We split our time between Lakewood, Colo., and Maine with an eye on Rockland as a place to retire permanently.’

“But after spending a year in Rockland, the Averys are on the fence about their desire to permanently retire in Maine.

“‘There are portions of the state that have very little infrastructure,’ said Avery. ‘You can't get broadband, you have no wi-fi and sidewalks in some areas are so narrow that they cannot accommodate a large number of slow-traveling pedestrians or wheelchairs and walkers.’

“Some 20 percent of the population of Rockland are seniors and 28 percent of seniors are military veterans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The state is buckling under the pressure of becoming a go-to retirement destination.

“For example, Meals on Wheels is popular among the elderly nationwide, but the nonprofit organization will need to raise $150,000 to cover the cost of delivering 30,000 meals in Knox County, according to Avery.”

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Halloween was a bundle of fun. We had exactly 70 small and medium-size visitors to the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

The first showed up in daylight, at 5:39 p.m., and by 6:08 we had received our first 10 little guests who took away 95 pieces of candy between them. The last of these was a very small person dressed as a green frog, apparently making his (or possibly her) first Halloween foray. At that age, it’s hard to tell with frogs.

Half an hour later, after the usual ones and twos, we had 11 children show up all at once in a sort of roving gang. One of them seemed to be in an electric wheelchair, but it was brilliantly disguised as a lobster boat. Truly wonderful!

Our 61st guest was pounding on the drawbridge door by 7:30, and our final nine arrived a little before eight. So far as we could tell, there seemed to be only one double-dipper all night, and that was quite OK with us.

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The Bangor Dreadful News ran a help-wanted ad last month, for a regional political coordinator and office manager for the Bangor office of an outfit calling itself the Donald Trump Patriots.

I have no idea whether it is a genuine ad, or some kind of spoof. After all, we all know that newspapers are simply stuffed with fake news these days. Why not fake ads, too? It was probably planted there by some of my dear friend Lord Prez Trumpleton’s friends in Russia, now that Facebook is no longer a safe place for them to lurk.

At least the wages in the ad were attractive: $50,000 to $60,000 a year. And it is probably fair to assume that if Lord Trumpleton really is behind it, then the lucky employee would almost certainly not need to worry about paying taxes.

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My weird headline for October comes from none other than our own beloved Courier-Gazette. Garden columnist Tom Seymour’s article appeared under the brilliant headline “Plan for continuing drought.”

Why on earth anyone would want to plan to make a drought last longer is beyond me. Anyway, it didn’t work.

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Uncle Ed reports from Cushing that a local email network sprang into action after the Great October Wind last week ruined the electricity service. Someone sent out a message offering the use of their water to people whose wells could not be pumped from because of the loss of power. Very public-spirited.

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Finally this week, I see that the old Tolman Cemetery on Lake Avenue has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tombstones there carry dates from between 1788 and the 1850s. Several are for veterans of the Revolutionary War, if memory serves correctly. It often does not.

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