The night Lord Trumpleton was elected

By David Grima | Nov 05, 2020

Oh, it was a sad and quiet Halloween in my part of Rockland this year.

If you wanted any evidence that more people are taking the Modern Plague seriously than they did earlier in the year, just compare the numbers of trick-or-treaters who showed up outside the ruins of my now-highly taxed piece of gothic property on Linden Street.

For the past three years where I have kept count, there have never been fewer than 70 costumed callers annually at my old broken-down front door. Last year, I believe we had upwards of 90.

This year there was just one.

A few others were seen before darkness fell, on Crescent Street. Unlike the case in previous years, though, their sweet success on that one street did not persuade them to venture around the corner.

The result was a supernaturally quiet doorstep, and a mountain of undistributed candy.

I did everything right. As usual my life-size cardboard Vincent Price leered severely through the front window, the electric pumpkin lighting up his features; and a Halloween wreath was hung in the baleful glow of the porch light. All candy were sealed, five pieces at a time, into new plastic sandwich bags. But to no avail.

I can only hope others in town had a better time of it. But I wonder if it was so.

As I trailed back to my solitary quarters in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live, I could only reflect sadly on what might have been, if only the Lord Prez Trumpleton did not cancel his planned Halloween visit there, wearing his exploding Coronavirus costume.

The ol’ boy had conservatively estimated a crowd of up to eight million was to have shown up to take part in what surely would have been a Rockland Halloween to Remember.

But perhaps it was for the best that the Prez and his adoring millions did not attend. Every day, we hear of new cases of Plague in Maine, even in Knox County itself.

The sole evidence of mischievous normalcy visible to me the next day was a single smashed pumpkin in front of the house on Pleasant Street that lies immediately behind the hotel at 250 Main St.

* * * * *

On a positive note, a former neighbor in the Blessed South End took a further step along the Way that has been calling to her for many years. Virginia Peckham has taken her final vows as a nun in Maryland, according to an online Catholic news service, The Dialog.

“She was married for 23 years when her husband died in 2011,” the story reports. “She had friends in the area and knew she had an inkling to serve people, but it was her visit to that Catholic church in Rockland, Maine, that set her off on the next part of her life.

“’I thought ‘This seems like the real deal.’ The Mass just kind of blew me away,’ she said in an October telephone interview, about a week before she professed her final vows with the Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary at their convent in Princess Anne, Md.

“The sisters – all six of them – operate Joseph House in Salisbury, Md., that includes the Crisis Center, where services include a soup kitchen, financial assistance, food pantry and a day shelter for the homeless, among other ministries. They have been in Wicomico County since the late 1970s, a few years after the late Sister Mary Elizabeth Gintling founded the order in 1974.”

In a world where many people feel somewhat rootless and without a good sense of direction, nor even much of a belief that life has meaning beyond what we can squeeze out of it for ourselves, it is pleasant to report that some are still capable of hearing the call that sounds out above and beyond the mayhem of contemporary existence.

* * * * *

I am very sorry, but there is little I can say this week about this week’s elections. I am in the same boat I was four years ago, the night Lord Trumpleton was elected.

With a cruel but unbending newspaper deadline to meet, a sharpened guillotine that falls far too soon to catch the election news, I am again left until the week after to deliver my essential insights and sharp observations.

* * * * *

I must content myself with reporting on a small news item that, perhaps, should have been taken care of last week.

WCYY, a radio station in Portland, made a bid to juice up the facts about The Limerock Inn, by publishing a story on its website about the time, some years ago but not too many, when Dr. Lawry lived there and conducted his medical practice at the house.

According to this deeply researched and highly authoritative article, guests at the inn that now exists at the house claim to have seen the ghosts of many of Dr. Lawry’s patients still waiting for their appointments with him.

Naturally, the story states paranormal experts have been brought in, and even more naturally, the experts report encountering the happy spirits of many patients in the place.

It is a remarkable tale, and its placement just before Halloween was of course a marvelous coincidence.

Personally, I would have thought The Limerock Inn is attractive enough in itself, without having to spice it up with such curious tales.

* * * * *

Next Thursday, Nov. 11, is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower with its sea-weary passengers at Cape Cod, in the harbor where Provincetown now is.

Imagine arriving in New England at this time of year, when there wasn’t even the hospitality of such a place as The Limerock Inn to warm their chilled bones. Talk about rotten planning.

As told on the website, a few weeks after making landfall, the newly arrived undocumented immigrants “sailed up the coast to Plymouth and started to build their town where a group of Wampanoag People lived before (a sickness killed most of them).

“The Pilgrims lived on the ship for a few more months, rowing ashore to build houses during the day, and returning to the ship at night. Many people began to get sick from the cold and the wet; after all, it was December!”

They should have had Dr. Lawry with them, because by the following spring half of them were dead.

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Drucinda Woodman | Nov 06, 2020 14:58

Well, never fear, Halloween will be back IN FULL next year! Thanks for the news about Virginia Peckham, David!! So exciting.I remember from PBMC.


Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Nov 05, 2020 11:49

Grateful to Lord Trumpleton:

Thank you, Mr. President, for showing us what we have become as a country. Otherwise we might have continued slowly down the slippery slope of self destruction that we were heading. America was built from the sweat and tears of men and women faithful to the call of service. America is still filled with that type of folks who serve on city councils, select boards, state legislatures for little or nothing other than to do something for the common good.
Thank you, once again, for bringing us to the point of looking into the mirror while asking ourselves, "Is this really what I want to be?".
Ricardo McKusic (Yes, I am proud of my Cuban heritage and compatriots. )

Posted by: Paul Chartrand | Nov 05, 2020 10:48

Looks like another of your beloved South End neighbors has also recently taken "a further step along the Way that has been calling to her for many years." I thought you were referring to the South End Tomato Lady when I first read your sentence, but I am pleased that you found someone called to higher notes than a repeat appearance on the Rockland City Council. But that, too, certainly begs mention in your next column.  Paul Chartrand

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