Rockland Gothic

South End girls are 'sweetness and light'

By David Grima | Dec 14, 2012

There is a report from reliable sources that the governor himself had a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s, the morning of Dec. 4. Black. He was in town to talk to the chamber of commerce, at the Samoset.

* * * * *

I have found that I can approximately tell the time by watching the shadow of my bed move around the edge of the east grain tower, here above Mechanic Street. I think that by painting permanent marks at intervals around the parapet, each one scientifically corresponding to an hour of the day, I will be more able to accurately know the hour.

I wonder if anyone else has ever had that sort of idea?

* * * * *

Mrs. X tells me she has finally sold the snake-filled car from her backyard. I am not sure the fact that it is full of snakes was apparent at this season of the year. What do snakes do in winter?

Have you ever noticed how there are never snakes in the nativity scene? Donkeys, cows, sheep, Mary, Joseph, the Wise Guys, but never a snake. Snakes are everywhere else in the Bible, but there is no mention of them in the Christmas story.

* * * * *

Speaking of Christmas, I have been studying this problem long and hard, and have come up with the following interim conclusions.

You can either do Christmas the way everyone else does, with reckless attempts to fill the spiritual void by buying stuff in great quantities, or at least by dreaming of buying stuff in great quantities.

You can try to ignore the whole rigmarole.

You can choose to do it differently.

* * * * *

There should be no shame in being a poor person at Christmas (or any other time of the year.) I understand the founder was quite poor, too.

Actually, poverty is more of an indictment upon the rich than upon the poor themselves, if you think about it. This is where political thinking in benighted certain sectors of our modern population is completely backwards.

The so-called morality that blames the poor for their own poverty is a perversion, for if the poor had the influence upon their own situation that certain foolish people claim they have (I am trying not to mention Glenn Beck, for instance) then they would certainly move out of poverty at great speed.

Not that the poor are any wiser than everyone else. But it’s not a question of wisdom, is it?

* * * * *

I was talking to a woman who grew up in the North End, and she was remembering the days when the grade school children from the different ends of Rockland started going to the junior high school together on Lincoln Street. This was back in the early 1970s.

Back in those ancient times we kept our grade school children far apart from each other, attending North School and South School.

To my friend, a native of the North End, all the South End girls she met for the first time in junior high seemed to be “mean and snarly.” Poor kid. We modern mortals know that South End girls are sweetness and light.

I asked her about the South End boys, how did they seem? She said she doesn’t even remember them.

Now they are tearing down North School.

* * * * *

How do you lose socks, especially when you do your laundry in your own house?

B says she once had 10 pairs of socks, until one day recently she could only find two. She blames the mysterious woman who lives in her house who also will never refill the ice cube trays in the fridge.

* * * * *

According to certain imaginative individuals, there are now only two editions of the Courier left before the end of the world, which I am told has been set for some time on Dec. 21.

I should point that, if true, this means we will probably miss Christmas altogether this year. On the other hand, there is no reason not to spend every last penny we own, either. Unless it is not true after all.

Of course, predictions about the end of the world do tend to be fairly common, and as far as I can tell not many of them have yet come to pass. Maybe we will be fortunate again, this month.

* * * * *

Sitting in a restaurant in the Lime City last weekend with my old friend Amnesia O’Meara and his patient consort, we admitted we could not recognize a soul in the place. Ten years before, we said, we would have known just about everyone there.

In fact, if it had not been for a young fellow sitting in the place who was wearing a baseball cap, we would not have been completely sure we were even in Rockland.

* * * * *

Even when we read the court news in the Courier, it is getting difficult to recognize the names of the people who are still being arrested and charged. The familiar names getting fewer and fewer with each passing year.

What is happening to everyone? Who are all these new people who are getting arrested and charged these days? Where are they all coming from? What have they done with the other people we used to know, etc.?

* * * * *

For pity’s sake, the mayor of Rockland is some pipsqueak in his 30s. (No disrespect intended to pipsqueaks in general…)

When I was in my 30s I didn’t even know enough to pour my own breakfast cereal unassisted, let alone get the milk in the same bowl. Now 30-year-olds are running the city?

Maybe these really are the Last Days Of Civilization As We Know It. Rockland is doomed.

* * * * *

On Sunday morning at the ‘Keag, they had just hauled in the annual Christmas Tree catch, and were busy selling them at the dock. Not sure what they are getting per pound, these days.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at, at least for the next two editions.

Comments (9)
Posted by: Ben C. Perry | Dec 17, 2012 17:23

Shame on Mr. Grima, and shame on the Courier for publishing such an article.  I've known Will Clayton since he was in the 7th grade and a very, very fine young man he is.  How fortunate Rockland is to have a young citizen that cares about his hometown.  It bodes well for a positive future.  I applaud Mrs. Clayton for such a wonderful response, with which I totally agree. 

Posted by: Deborah Dyer | Dec 16, 2012 12:43

It seems Mr. Grima isn't doing too well these days at making friends.  I agree with all the above regarding Will....a new face, new ideas and new pride.

Now to bash him for the Southend Girls.   I was one of those girls and just to get the record set...the Jr High started long before the early 70's.  I graduated from HS 1970.  Speaking for all of my fellow southend girls....we were never "mean and snarly".  When we all came together in the Jr High we were all excited to have new friends and still have them today.  And I remember the "northend boys".....they were pretty sweet also!!

As I see it, Grima should really give up.....or consider writing just in his own journal.  No one would ever want to read that!

Posted by: Nicki Powell-Fiske | Dec 15, 2012 15:44

@ mr mckusic ... it may have poss been considered light hearted until the last sentence.   "Maybe these really are the Last Days Of Civilization As We Know It. Rockland is doomed".... you really think that is lighthearted, poking fun ?? I call it a nasty jab, from someone who can't handle change,, esp. with a Young eager adult, at the helm of Rockland's future..  Kudos to Will wanting to try to change the "OLD" way of thinking, and get Rockland moving forward again,,, lighthearted/nasty jabs are just unnecessary at this point, when there should be excitement to see what Will can bring to the table....

Grow up Mr Grimma is my thoughts

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 15, 2012 15:05

As a former reader of MAD magazine, may be wrong, but have taken all of Mr. Grima's writing as satire to  lighten us all up a little bit. Thought this was poking light hearted fun at Will whom most of us have come to sincerely appreciate.

Posted by: Alan P. Leo | Dec 15, 2012 14:22

As for Mr. Grima's comment. That my dear friends is a form of bullying. That also is not what should be taught to our youth. And they certainty do not need to see it in print. 30 year old people today are in a much better place than when Mr. Grima was 30. And as for pouring his own milk at 30, I am sorry you where unable to do that. At. 30, I was making much harder decisions than pouring milk. But we won't get into that here. Needless to say I learned to pour my own milk before I was 10. Times change, that is why we learn and study to help make positive change for ourselves and those around us. I know Mr. Clayton and have for years. I have watched him grow into the fine man that he is today. He will help your city. You Mr. Grima owe Mr. Clayton a very PUBLIC APOLOGY. And ignorance is no excuse for BULLYING.

this post will show my husbands name. But rest assured this is BARBARA LEO WRITING.

Posted by: Nicki Powell-Fiske | Dec 15, 2012 13:45

I have meet both Mr Grima & Mr Clayton,, the professionalism & maturity of Mr Clayton both at his position at the Samo & and as a coach .. Is well beyond his years,,, then all my experiences with Mr Grima has been of rudeness and disrespect ,, both of his writing and of his service at the food pantry ,, that it surprises me that he is allowed to do both... I would take direction from this 30 year old pipsqueak, over a angry old man with nothing better to do than criticize everyone around him,, I have stopped reading mr Grima's boring rambling articles long ago ,, only to read this post because of Mrs Clayton..  Give Will Clayton more than a month before you make a cruel remark ...

Posted by: Jennie Demmons | Dec 15, 2012 12:35

Well said, Mrs. Clayton!!!!  If a "man" in his 30's can not pour ceral and milk in a bowl  unassisted THEN I think something MUST be wrong , my grandson at 12 years old could do that !!!!  You go Mr. Mayor and prove them wrong.. Give your Mayor a chance please. Great piece you wrote Mrs. Clayton..

Posted by: Jim Gamage | Dec 15, 2012 12:05

Well said.

Posted by: Christine Clayton | Dec 15, 2012 11:46

Mr. Grima, I just want you to know that the person you are name-calling in your editorial happens to be my husband and also happens to have two young children, one of which happens to know how to read. I'm not sure that she could sound out the word "pipsqueak" yet, but I would appreciate it if you would consider this the next time you decide to bash my husband.  See, in our house, we don't allow name-calling, but what we do is promote respect and gratitude especially for those who choose to serve their city and spend countless hours away from their families.  My husband, the Mayor, has just begun at this new position. Have you asked him questions? Have you met with him to see what his vision might be for this city? My guess is no. So I ask you, before you condemn him to failure, maybe take a minute and realize that you just bashed a 5 year old boy's dad. Have some manners. And if you don't like how the city is run, get some signs made next November with your name on them, stick them on some lawns and lets see how you do at the job.

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