Longest crosswalk in Maine

By David Grima | Sep 08, 2017

I am pleased to be able to report this Labor Day week that, according to a well-informed source, almost all the people who worked at JC Penney in Rockland, which closed for good July 31, have found other work.

It would have been surprising had they not. Given the condition of the labor market in Maine as I described last week, I am sure almost all of them had job offers pretty quickly. It’s really good news, all the same.

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In other old business, I am passing along a comment that Mr. Lorax made after he read last week’s column about the Chestnut trees in Rockland, which seem to be turning prematurely brown.

“David, the horse chestnuts are again suffering from Chestnut leaf scorch and the Norway maples have their black spots again, the tar spot disease. Both can be lessened next year by carefully raking up all affected leaves and burning them if allowed, composted so they are well decomposed by heat or hauled off to a composting operation so that the spores that overwinter in the ground under the trees do not reinfect them next year. Regards, Pete Lammert, Tree Warden, Thomaston.”

Many thanks for that.

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Here is an article I stole from the British press about the author of the 41 novels in the Discworld fantasy series. Many authors take care to make sure that their work is taken care of according to their wishes, up to and including requesting that any unpublished work be destroyed after their death. This fellow had a rather specific request to make.

“The unfinished books of Sir Terry Pratchett have been destroyed by a steamroller, following the late fantasy novelist’s wishes.

“Pratchett’s hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co. steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the author’s life and work.

Pratchett, famous for his colourful and satirical Discworld series, died in March 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“After his death, fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s close friend and collaborato , told the Times that Pratchett had wanted ‘whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all’.”

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Speaking of JC Penney, Fabulous Bob says he worked there years ago, and one quiet Monday night he and another employee, who shall not be named here, passed the time by shooting up the mannequins with a BB pistol.

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My correspondent Mr. Limerock is overjoyed to see that Rockland now boasts what he thinks could be the longest crosswalk in Maine, on Tillson Avenue.

His main concern, however, is that the crosswalk is so long that there really ought to be a refreshment stand halfway across, so that weary pedestrians can stop for a rest and a glass of energy drink before launching out for the other shore.

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There has been a lot of fuss about the removal of Confederate statues in the South recently. A reader wrote to the editor last week to argue that the men commemorated by these statues were traitors, because they took part in an insurrection against the country they had sworn to defend. It’s a thought I’d had myself, but I did not want to be the first to mention it.

My more thoughtful notion is that the removal or retention of these statues really is a Southern issue. The North is not lobbying for them to be cut down, neither is the federal government really involved, despite the unhelpfully odd remarks made on the subject by my dear friend Lord Prez Trumpleton.

This, and the previous decision by many states to take down the Confederate flag, strikes me as a piece of business that arises in the South because of its unique history, and because of (what shall we call it?) our current social and political conditions which are, of course, linked to that history. And Southerners are taking care of their own business.

You have to support them in their efforts, but remember how sensitive the South still can be to what many see as insufferable Northern righteousness.

I could say more about this, getting into many of the evident genuine complexities of it all, and there are many. But let’s just let them get on with it, shall we?

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Speaking of Confederates, according to Mr. Wikipedia, Gen. Robert E. Lee turns out to have been distantly related to the late English movie actor Christopher Lee, who starred in many a Dracula film and numerous horror movies to my gothic delight, in the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun,” and in two of the more recent Star Wars movies, where he played naughty County Dooku. He was also once a guest host on "Saturday Night Live."

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Speaking of things painted on the road (see Longest Crosswalk in Maine, above), I am seeing many new stenciled signs on the pavement around here, featuring a riderless bicycle and a pair of corporal’s stripes.

I have no idea what these road markings are supposed to mean. Ride a bike and join the Army? Any enlightenment you can provide would be appreciated

Well, this piece of weekly nonsense being written late on Labor Day, I had better get it finished and sent over to Courier Towers in the North End. I often write it on the inside of a Cheerios box, and there was a time I would attach it to one of the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse, the feathered monsters that live up here with me, in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street where I am forced to live.

But I gave up on that when I realized the wretched birds were as likely to eat it as deliver it whole.

These days I attach it to a pigeon, which is more likely to find Courier Towers, anyway.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 09, 2017 16:20

As usual, wit and truth together!

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