Money makes everyone happy

By David Grima | Jul 23, 2020

I see the assessors must have driven along Linden Street in the dear South End, where I still own the ruins of a small property.

This week, I received notice that they have added $58,500 to the property’s value, but I swear I never heard it happening. Not even a peep. It must have been in the dark of night, while I was asleep in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

I cannot imagine how the value should have risen so noticeably without the slightest sound being detected. For almost 60 grand I would have expected to hear at least a loud pop, or perhaps a sort of whistle.

* * * * *

There wasn’t much sleeping Monday night, up in the towers, due to the late July heat. Not that I am complaining too much. But so far summer has not been particularly hot, and with July normally being the hottest month in Maine we certainly seemed to fall short on many occasions this year.

I suppose we could put it down to not having several thousand visitors in the city this year. Each person radiates heat, and by missing a few thousand of them we probably lost the emanation of their collective temperatures, too.

* * * * *

Thanks to all the people who sent in comments and ideas on the subject of painting my beloved towers. I had no idea how much you cared.

I suspect things will settle down soon, and the idea will eventually go safely away.

* * * * *

Thanks also to the reader from distant Port Clyde, a fairy-tale community of great beauty said by many to exist down at the foot of a peninsula near here. It was from this fabulous place that comments reached me about the value of public libraries, which I had reason to discuss last week.

* * * * *

Speaking of tourists, the chamber of commerce announced last week that two vessels of the Midcoast commercial windjammer fleet have decided to set to sea, after all.

The schooner Ladona was to have sailed from Rockland with passengers last Saturday, and the Stephen Taber is expected to sail this July 23, also from the Lime City. The six other floating businesses belonging to the Maine Windjammer Association have apparently chosen to stay out of the game in 2020.

It’s all part of the delicate dance that so many businesses have had to do this year, to judge if and to what degree they can risk being open, and likewise how much they can abide being closed.

For the record, the MWA fleet consists of Victory Chimes, Taber, Heritage, American Eagle, and Ladona, which sail from Rockland; and Angelique, Lewis R. French, and Mary Day, which sail from Camden. Please do not commit the grievous error of simply calling them all schooners, for there lurks at least one among them that certainly is not.

Dear reader, do you know which it is?

* * * * *

I regret announcing last week the impending sale of the Time Out Pub at the public landing, for I have since learned that the sale is off. I did not speak out of turn, for the news was shared with permission. However I have since been advised it ain’t going to be so.

My apologies.

There is a rule that I invented for myself that says one should not write too far ahead about the weather in a weekly newspaper. I will now try to extend that rule to news about the sale of things in which the public also has an interest.

* * * * *

I helped put on a small birthday gathering outdoors last week, and I think we handled the question very well of how wise it might be to blow out the candles on the cake, which in this case was actually a homemade banana cream pie of elegant quality.

It turns out that, in a time of Plague, we don’t blow out the candles at all; too much danger of creating a poisonous coronacake. Instead we flap at them delicately with an open hand until they are extinguished. We called it "wafting," and very nicely it worked, too.

* * * * *

I hope I am not the only one to notice, but Lord Prez Trumpleton’s hair has changed color, recently.

His hair used to be a sort of chemical orange, although it was never really a good match for his sunscreen lotion. These days, though, his hair has gone quite gray.

Possibly it is a result of the stress of having to do a difficult job that he never really wanted in the first place, and which for reasons I do not understand he is obliged to ask for again. It had been my assumption that, once he reached the end of his term of misery next January, he would be very glad to get away from the whole dreadful mess and retire to what is left of his private life.

Certainly the Lady Melancholia Trumpleton has dropped strong hints to him, in my hearing, that this would be a rather good idea.

But it occurs to me that there might be another reason his hair has gone gray. Possibly the change is a quiet tribute to former president Bill Clinton who has likewise gone as gray as fog. Also to the Irish guy who also once had the job, O’Bama, who is also turning gray.

* * * * *

Well, orange or gray, it has not stopped the Lord Prez from sending me e-mails asking for money to pay for his extended suffering. I also got a personal message from Senate Majority Leader Moscavitch McConnell, expressing outrage at the Democrats, and also asking me for money. Not sure how he thinks he can connect the two ideas, though. The most likely idea would be that he intends to raise a large sum to pay the Democrats to be nicer to him and to the Lord Prez, for once.

I had thought of sending them both a decent sum as they seem so miserable these days, and we all know that money makes everyone happy, but as it seems my personal expenses are likely to rise shortly (see bit about property values, above) I find I am unable to oblige.

So, as a result of me being unable to financially support him, the Prez has been forced to start doing short commercials from the Oval office. The other day, he did an ad for Goya food products, and I hear he is in negotiations with several airlines for a commercial spot aimed at boosting air travel. Also, that he is working out an agreement in which he will spend August running the government aboard an otherwise empty cruise ship, touring various Caribbean ports, to try and encourage more people to book cruises.

I hear he is to be paid very well for these ad spots, and possibly this will help him pay for his campaign.

If your business is also interested in Lord Trumpleton doing an ad to boost your sales, just drop me a line and I’ll mention it to the old boy.

* * * * *

It was a great pleasure, Sunday, to treat a dear friend from out of town to a visit to the Farnsworth Museum. We arrived late and only got half way around the galleries, with not too much time for standing and staring, before closing time at 4 p.m. But we can always go back again.

Visiting a museum involves delight at seeing some familiar paintings as well as some not seen before. In the latter category was a large wooden relief assembly by the late Blackie Langlais (1921 to 1977) of Cushing, showing the City of Rockland from the harbor, and including all sorts of buildings that are no longer here, or which have changed.

Langlais did have a naughty sense of humor. Many years ago, he managed somehow to upset the town fathers in Cushing by building a large wooden sculpture showing childbirth, on his River Road property. Asked to remove it, he agreed. But he replaced it with another sculpture that, until this day, not many people realize is a response intended to show that he could still express strong opinions.

Likewise, buried in the detail of his Rockland portrait at the Farnsworth is another expression of his mischief, for he has engraved on the image of the Farnsworth itself the words "Wyeth Museum."

Remember, admission to the Farnsworth is free to all Rockland residents, but you have to mention it, as they will not tell you.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: George Terrien | Jul 24, 2020 10:10

Of the eight vessels advertised as constituting the MWF armada, if you were thinking of the Victory Chimes as the outlier because she carries three masts, is she not still a schooner?

Perhaps I would not have passed the fabled "Cognitive Test" after all, though.

See--or read--you next week, I hope!



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