Rockport news

By Stephanie Kumble | Dec 20, 2012

Holiday schedules, closings

The town office and the library will close at noon Monday, Dec. 24, and will be closed all day Tuesday, Dec. 25, for the Christmas holidays. Friday, Dec. 21, is an early release day for both the CSD and SAD 28 schools. All local schools will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, through Tuesday, Jan. 1, with normal schedules resuming Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.

Friends & Neighbors

All of us wish fellow columnist Francina Pearse a speedy recovery. One of the highlights of my weekly trek to Cassie’s Doggy Day Care at Hope Unleashed is driving by the Pearse Farm - evokes thoughts of Francina and her family and also of my growing up years spent on my grandparents large dairy farm in upstate New York. Get back to us soon, Francina!

Wreaths Across America

The culmination of this year’s Wreaths Across America’s trek last Saturday was largely overlooked because of the horrific events that emanated from Newtown, Conn., early Friday morning. More than 20,000 volunteers caused traffic tie-ups Saturday morning during their annual pilgrimage to Arlington National Cemetery, as they descended on our nation's most hallowed ground. This year, 34 tractor-trailers full of wreaths were unloaded and volunteers placed more than 110,000 remembrance wreaths on the graves. This is the 20th year for the Wreaths Across America event, begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Company to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. One volunteer spoke for so many of us: "It's incredibly overwhelming, emotional. I found myself tearing up when the trucks came in this morning. I'm honored to be a part of it," she said.

Town meetings

A zoning Board of Appeals meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 26, at 7 p.m. at the opera house, televised on channel 22.

Ashwood Waldorf School

The 10-week session of parent/child classes with early childhood educator Cherry Short-Lee, continues today, Thursday, Dec. 20, and Dec. 27 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Classes (children 18 months to age three and a parent), feature activities such as circle rhymes, songs, bread making, a puppet story, outdoor/indoor play and everyone shares in a snack. Visit for more information. And! Ashwood’s Winter Revels will be held at Camden Opera House Friday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon. This delightful program features Ashwood's performing arts on parade with song, dance, music, holiday skits and a few surprises. Free and open to the public, all welcome!

Books, plus

Poets’ Corner with local poets George Chappell and Jim Ostheimer will take place today, Thursday, Dec. 20, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. For more information about the library or any programs, call 236-3642 or visit

Irish Christmas in America

Bay Chamber concerts presents this family-friendly show that features Irish and Scottish ballads, lively instrumental tunes and thrilling Irish dancing tonight, Thursday, Dec. 20, at Camden Opera House at 7 p.m.

Penobscot View Grange 388

The grange will meet Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. preceded by a 6 p.m. potluck supper. Call Gladys Hardy at 763-3720 for more information. The event will be at the grange, located on Route 1 next door to Denny’s.

Holiday offerings at The Strand

Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2:30 p.m. "Christmas in Connecticut," a perennial Christmas favorite starring Barbara Stanwyck and Sidney Greenstreet will be shown. A live in hi-def performance of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic, "The Nutcracker," will be performed by the London ballet Sunday, Dec. 23, at 3 p.m. Then, Boxing Day, Wednesday, Dec. 26, the classic adaptation of "Little Women" directed by George Cukor, will be shown free of charge.

Night skies

Winter Solstice, the first day of winter and the Sun’s farthest point below the celestial equator, occurs Friday, Dec. 21, at 6:12 a.m. Venus, Mercury and Antares will form a triangle low in the southeast at about the same time, an hour before sunrise. Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, Jupiter will be the bright “star” just above the moon. And, December’s full moon (the Cold Moon, the Long Night Moon, and the Moon after Yule), the last of the year, will occur on Boxing Day, Dec. 26.


I’ve found myself unable to think about much else since last Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. At the same time, I cannot imagine what the parents and families of the 20 dead 6- and 7-year-olds and the six school personnel are going through. I cannot imagine losing a child under any conditions, much less in this way. My first reactions were those of a mom, even though my son is almost 45 years old.

Pictures of him during his elementary school years flashed through my mind as did pictures of first grandson Lucas, now 9 months old. I wanted to reach across the miles and hold Lucas and his parents in my arms.

Husband Alan and his first wife lived in Newtown, started raising their three kids there, sending them to Newtown schools until the family moved to Danbury. I lived just across the Connecticut border, in Carmel, N.Y., and taught in the nearby New Milford (Connecticut) School System. My teaching career started with first-graders and although I’ve taught K-12, first-grade was always my true love. Since the first news, a kaleidoscope of all my first-grade students during a 20-plus year teaching career, flashes through my mind along with all the school administrators and teachers I’ve worked with. As I write this, I still cannot get my head around what has happened and only wish there were a way to move time back and prevent what happened.


Although I truly love everything about the Christmas season, after last Friday's events, this year it's hard to be joyful and to blithely wish folks a "Merry Christmas," perhaps because one of the true joys of Christmas is children, especially young children. Thinking about the 20 slain 6- and 7-year-olds, their siblings and their parents as well as the slain school personnel and their families, and even the families of the assailant and his mother, it's hard to visualize what this Christmas and future Christmases will be like for them. Hopefully, the true meaning of Christmas, the promised hope, will bring a semblance of peace and serenity to all, each of you included.



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