Speaking of old rascals

By David Grima | Aug 11, 2017

As I listened to it all from the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live, the band playing the Saturday night concert at the festival was in the middle of performing “Ghost Riders in the Sky” when the lightning and thunder began to roll above the crowd.

It was raining and thundering seriously by the time the song ended, and after one more song, everybody decided to head for the hills, as the heavens opened up and the streets of Rockland ran like rivers to the sea.

Am not saying they brought it on themselves, but perhaps next year the concert playlist could include songs more conducive to dry weather?

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Naughty Uncle Ed was hired to shoot photos of the Saturday night band, and, as he mentioned to me earlier, the last time he heard that band was at his high school reunion – 150 years ago. They were known as the Young Rascals back then. Not so young now.

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Not going to go into too much detail about why Uncle Ed deserves to be called naughty, but he knows, the old rascal!

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Speaking of old rascals, it has been widely reported that Lord President Trumpleton is on what he calls a working vacation at some golf course he owns in New Jersey. The truth is that he has been visiting me incognito and was hanging around the Lobster Festival last week.

To avoid publicity, he has been wearing an old orange wig.

As we chewed on some North Korean fried dough Friday night, he admitted that the hardest thing he has faced this past week or two was being asked to send back the crate of medals the Russians sent to him via that boat in Camden, in appreciation for all he has done for his buddy Vladdy Putin in the Kremlin.

Imagine his despair, then, when he was forced to sign a new bill creating various penalties for the Russkies, on account of their meddling with the election last year.

Vladdy believed he had Lord Trumpleton in his pocket, so when news of the sanctions bill reached Moscow, he immediately demanded that Trumpleton send back the medals. This was irksome to the Lord Prez in the extreme, as he was naturally quite fond of his Russian medal collection.

He has a whole room in the White House devoted to evidence of how he is an exceptional president, and the medals were a welcome addition to this collection, alongside photos from Mexican state security showing 4 billion people at his inauguration, and a receipt signed by the head of the Boy Scouts proving that he won the election by 28 million votes.

Losing the medals was a blow. It can’t be helped, I told the poor fellow. It’s just the way the fried dough crumbles.

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There is some talk among Main Street businesses about the recent shoplifting incident that was caught on a security camera, and in more general terms about the idea of introducing more security cameras in stores up and down our main drag.

Unfortunately, the shoplifter in question has not been caught yet, although her security camera image was posted on Facebook, which is often a method by which suspects can be identified. For example, I think of the person who broke into whatever our high school is now called, not too long ago, and was caught on camera.

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The Lord Prez was interested in this story. Said he might try to use cameras to stop the eternal leaking that goes on at the White House. I suggested that if he tried to spend a bit more time there, he might find the leakers on his own without resorting to gadgets.

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The sidewalk construction project at the 'Keag seems to include two large flat gravestone-like pieces outside the post office. Let’s hope this is not ominous.

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Talking of Lord Prez Trumpleton at the Lobfest, am I the last person to hear that Sen. Angus King was in town for the Blues Festival last month?

I am told he was seen, among other places, at the Fog bar. I believe he often visits for the Blues, so it is not too surprising he was here again.

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The Union Fair schedule features something remarkable called a Blueberry Spitting Contest this year. Is this new, or do they spit every year?

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The Rockland wall painters are at it again, this time decorating the wall of the Grasshopper Shop on School Street. We will wait to see what the finished job looks like.

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Speaking of the Lobfest, which we were, Channel 5 WABI out of Bangor had a sharpish remark to make about it after broadcasting an interview with Festperson Chuck Kruger on opening day.

Once the interview tape had run, a couple of news anchors tried to yuck it up with time-filling news banter. One said the festival’s growth is “pretty impressive, especially for Rockland, Maine.”

Ever been to the Bangor Lobster festival?

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City Council looks set to consider adding $2 per passenger to the fees cruise ships pay to visit Rockland. They are to vote on increasing it to $10, or not, at the Aug. 14 council meeting.

The age-old question, then, is will this sort of thing merely raise more money for the city, or will it also discourage visitors? What do you think, dear reader?

I believe the Chamber of Commerce is against raising the fees, but would rather attract more cruise ships.

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Speaking of businesses, one Main Street store reported doing 22 percent of its sales last Saturday with customers who shopped before the Lobfest parade.

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Have you seen the wooden horse sculptures near the foot of Pleasant Street on Route 1 south of town? I find them a bit spooky, but also quite fascinating.

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I think most would agree that summer has not aspired to its normal scorching levels of heat so far this year, and I have only once heard a cicada, the electric bug that buzzes in hot summer afternoons. I heard it on July 30.

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Finally, the Lobfest included a food vendor called Sylvester’s Fish and Chips. This reminds me of the late Ted Sylvester of the Bangor Dreadful News who ran its once-upon-a-time Rockland bureau for decades. Ted used to write an opinion column in the BDN called Fish ‘n’ Chips.

Bit of a coincidence? And haven’t I mentioned this before? It’s possible. I forget all kinds of things these days.

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