Three crows for Rockland!

By David Grima | Sep 19, 2019

Be warned that the most dangerous part of the entire summer-long South End road rebuilding project is upon us!

It is getting very difficult to tell which roads are open, which roads are still closed, and which way people are driving on various stretches at various times of day.

Some roads have been posted closed for weeks, despite very obviously being open. There has been no eastbound traffic east of the gas station for weeks, yet a car heading east into town caught me quite by surprise at the Water Street intersection this week. These are just examples.

In other words, as the road surfaces have become less worse, the risks of accidents rise. Complacency abounds, both by road-posters and road-users. Beware!

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Speaking of complaining, as we ate breakfast at the little inn where we recently escaped, two Canadian couples at a nearby table were heard comparing notes on their respective home cities.

The French-speaking couple described Montreal as a place going to wrack and ruin, with construction taking place everywhere and nothing how it should be.

The English-speaking couple from Toronto couldn’t have agreed more, saying that their fair city is likewise being improved in a very unhappy way.

All four of them seemed pleased to be in New England. I considered warning them off Rockland until our roads are properly sorted out, but decided not to add to their current troubles.

* * * * *

Speaking of travelers, as I woke up one day last week I saw the entire field at Snow Marine Park filled with itinerants on bicycles and in tents. Knock me down with a feather duster if one of them did not try to blow reveille on a trumpet at dawn’s early light, too!

This noise was most distressing to a poor chap such as myself, trying to get the last few of his Forty Winks in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

According to various news media, this pack of cyclists appeared to be grazing its way steadily north, stopping off at each fair-sized community to be fed by anxious locals hoping the pack would move on if sufficiently victualed.

I imagine that, cross-country cyclists or not, some of them must have put on a few pounds during the week.

It reminded me, just a little, of stories told in the Olde Country of royal progresses through the land, by monarchs bored with London’s semi-poisonous atmosphere and desiring to get a bit of country air.

So off they would go, in huge caravans of horses and wagons, landing at castle after castle in town after town, staying at each locality until they had eaten the poor aristocrat-in-charge out of house and home, and then moving on like locusts to the home and wine cellar of their next noble victim.

* * * * *

Speaking of arriving, I spoke the other day to the managing director of a local animal shelter, who assured me that many critters from the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas would soon be arriving in Maine as refugees. Officialdom had apparently been persuaded to waive some of the paperwork and quarantine rules, if I understood things properly.

* * * * *

Speaking of catastrophes, I hear than an emergency planning exercise with an exotic hypothetical theme was undertaken this summer in our beauteous Lime City.

The basic plot for the exercise involved a large antique warplane from the Owls Head Transportation Museum plummeting helplessly from the skies into the so-called Boston Financial office building on Water Street during the height of the annual Lobster Festival taking place at Harbor Park, next door.

Such mayhem! Such slaughter!

Horrifying as this scenario sounds, just imagine how much worse it could be with the addition of a pack of ravenous cyclists milling about at the same time.

Dearest reader, what would you do if faced with this terrifying situation?

I would sincerely recommend running away.

* * * * *

A while ago I put down good money to buy one of the first commercially available Maine 200th Anniversary flags that have been approved for use during our forthcoming bicentennial festivities in 2020.

Fond as I am of Maine, the flag itself is something of a disappointment.

A good flag should be clearly readable from a distance, and the best designs use contrasting shapes and colors to achieve this effect. The bicentennial flag selected by our secretary of state uses three shades of color that are barely distinguishable at anything more than 100 yards.

Completely overlooked is the fine design adopted a century ago, with a simple dark green pine tree centered against an off-white background. You could look at it from the moon and still know it was for Maine.

Still, I bought the new one and will gladly fly it when given an opportunity.

To make amends and to console myself, I also bought an Episcopal Church flag, which obeys all the rules for flag-making. A blood-red modified St. George’s cross on a pure white background, with a blue quadrant slightly in the manner of our national flag. How it stirs the blood!

* * * * *

Speaking of grand symbols, many years ago a householder who grew up for the second half of her childhood in the Lime City, but who now lives elsewhere in Knox County, bought herself a pair of ornamental black crows to decorate her living room.

But as anybody with half a brain knows, two crows are not enough for anyone with even a shade of true Rockland in their heart. A third one is demanded, as three crows are an unofficial marque of Rockland, once home to the Bird company (based in the Bird Block on Tillson Avenue), whose brand and label was three black crows.

So this summer she went up to Camden to the shop which sold her the original pair, and against all odds found they still had a third bird waiting to be sold. Now all three grace her home with a very definite atmosphere of Rockland.

Three crows for Rockland! May God bless them, every one.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 19, 2019 16:32

As I tip my nightly wine I will lift up in cheer for you and your informative though witty news of our beloved Rockland, Maine!



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