The Camden Spyglass, Nov. 2

Nov 03, 2017
Source: Photo Illustration Christine Dunkle; Seagull photo, Kelly Woods Joe Seagull

Clocking in... We are told it will be at least December before the town of Camden can tell time again, at least if people are going by the town clock on the Chestnut Street Baptist Church.

This is not the first time the clock has been stopped for some time during a restoration project, nor is it the first time the newspaper has written about it. We happened to come across an article published in November 1994 by Carolyn Marsh that starts with the line: "Don't bother lifting your eyes to the Camden town clock from whence cometh the hour this winter."

The clock was in the process of being restored at the time by the Balzer Family of Freeport, who have specialized in repairs to clocks like this one since 1970.

The clock was given to the town in 1910 by E. Howard, a summer resident. It was a weight-and-pendulum device for many years, but was converted to electric in the 1960s. Prior to that, it had to be wound regularly. Many readers will no doubt remember winding their watches and clocks. Younger readers may need to ask a relative or consult Google for an explanation.

The Howard Tower Clock was actually a replacement for the original Stevens clock, which was installed in the bell tower of the church in 1868.

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We consulted columnist and historian Barbara Dyer as we were developing this new column, considering the various creatures who have made observations in local newspaper columns in the past. In Rockland, for many years, they had The Black Cat, and we wondered if Camden had any comparable critters.

Barbara recalled Old Joe Seagull.

George Thomas, who was a fuel dealer in town, used to put ads in the Camden Herald every week and always mentioned "Old Joe Seagull." Everyone always read his ads, so there was a reward for this creativity.

Dyer wrote about this in one of her books, "Camden, An Old Maine Harbor," published by History Press.

She notes that Joe left a lot of relatives around here who see many sights in Camden.

If anyone remembers what those ads said or has clippings, we would love to hear more. See below for how to get in touch with us.

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Weather report from Tyler Southard of VStv: The week began with a howl as a historic storm slammed the region, bringing powerful wind gusts that knocked down trees. This made for a darker and bone-chilling Halloween for those without power across the state, as outages surpassed the ice storm of 1998. Cold air moved in Tuesday in the wake of the storm, which dropped temperatures for trick-or-treating, so maybe a last-minute switch to an Eskimo or mummy with a triple layer of wrap would have made for a warmer outing. Frost coated jack o' lanterns as we woke up Nov. 1 with a chill still lingering in the air. Wet weather will make a return for the late week, but you won't need to blow up the raft for this one with only light accumulations expected. Hopefully by the weekend you'll have power back on and get to leave the in-laws' house. For those still in the dark and huddled around a candle for warmth, it will get a bit colder, with lows dropping below freezing Saturday night and highs only reaching the 40s on Sunday, despite the return of sunny skies. The cold is going to set the stage for parts of the state to see a little snow on Monday and a cooler trend into mid-November.

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Matt Sutton at Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe on Bay View Street informs us that his best sellers this month have been Halloween novelties. No surprise there. We asked what the second-highest seller was, and he said, "Now brace yourself, it's called 'Box of Boogers.'" We looked it up on the computer and found them advertised as being gummy and tangy while looking and feeling real. After that, we almost didn't dare ask about number three on the list, but he said that had to be the assorted chocolates and truffles in his glass case. We had expected the top sellers to be our favorites, Gold Mine Bubble Gum Nuggets and chocolate-peanut butter fudge, but we should move on while our pants still fit.

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In the news business we often hear about various awareness months. We decided to look up November to see what was on the list and it was lengthy, including Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Prematurity Awareness Month and American Diabetes Month. In Canada it is CPR Awareness Month. We also found some food-related ones: National Peanut Butter Lover's Month (Food Allergy Awareness Week is in May), National Pepper Month and Vegan Awareness Month. For newspaper people, November always looms large on the calendar as Election Awareness Month.

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It was nice to hear that the board of directors of the Retail Association of Maine named Loyal Biscuit the 2017 Retailer of the Year. This business has shown a real community spirit since it started. Since 2011, Loyal Biscuit has hosted 12 “Pints for Paws” fundraising events, raising more than $28,000 for local animal shelters. In 2016 it hosted more than 30 events, including raising funds for the Maine Pet Oxygen Mask Project. You couldn't find a business more loyal to our furry friends.

Send the Spyglass your Camden-area observations, humor, history, trivia, bits of New England poetry, photos, proverbs and wisdom. Handwritten notes and postcards are accepted and encouraged. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email. If your item is chosen to appear in The Camden Spyglass, we'll send you something from the Camden Herald swag box: a pen or mug, maybe a can of Moxie, and best of all bragging rights. Email spyglass@villagesoup.com or regular mail to 91 Camden St., Suite 403, Rockland, ME 04841.

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