November 2017 Maine Seniors

Page 1


The American Legion

Also Inside: • The First Thanksgiving • Spicy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars • The Promise of America ...and so much more!

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Publisher's Note


David. S. Nealley


Ellen L. Spooner


Ian J. Marquis


Catherine N. Zub Lois N. Nealley Mark D. Roth Clyde Tarr


Victor Oboyski Joe Sawyer


Christine Parker Kimberly Reid Laurie Winslow Linda Coleman Leonard Russell Jim Gorham A. Peter Legendre Judy Legendre Roseanne Bolduc Dale Overlock Stephanie Lachance Deborah Batting Victor Oboyski Clyde Tarr Diane Nute Laurie A. Poirier


Paulette Oboyski Dr. Len Kaye Jane Margesson Shelagh Talbot Ellen L. Spooner Hunter Howe Chloe Jon Paul Brad Eden Dr. Cathy Genthner Donna Halvorsen


At Maine Seniors magazine we are proud to dedicate our November Issue to our Veterans and those who serve to protect our freedoms.


t is nice to know that the majority of us show honor and respect for all who serve these United States of America. Although, we recognize that some play politics with our National Anthem and our flag, we also understand the perspective of Waldo Clark in the article “A Change in Uniform”.

Our feature story is about The American Legion of Maine. This group of almost 19,000 strong, is all about veterans helping veterans. Given that Maine has almost 130,000 veterans, this organization is of great value to our state. Also note the extensive list of charities and programs (at the end of the article) that The American Legion of Maine supports. In this country, the struggles throughout our history and of today still allow us a sense of hope. As I was told as a child, and told my children, we must keep the faith and strive towards “a more perfect union”. Please read “The Promise of America”, by Hunter Howe in this month’s From the Porch column. A special thanks of gratitude to all of our veterans and those who serve.

Shane Wilson


87 Hillside Avenue, Bangor, Maine 04401 Phone: (207) 299-5358

Maine Seniors Magazine is published in the State of Maine by Maine Seniors Magazine, L.L.C. in association with Maine Media Consulting, L.L.C. All information herein represents the views of individual writers and their understanding of the issues at hand, and may not represent the views of the Maine Seniors Magazine, its management, or editorial staff. For more information about Maine Seniors Magazine, visit

God bless America Land that I love, Stand beside her, And guide her, Through the night with the light from above; From the mountains,

To the prairies, To the oceans, White with foam… God bless America, My home, sweet home. God bless America, My home, sweet home.


10 issues for $29.95 by making a check, payable to Maine Seniors Magazine. Mail to Maine Seniors Magazine, 87 Hillside Avenue, Bangor, Maine 04401.

Recycled paper made in Maine

—David S. Nealley, Publisher NOVEMBER 2017 • 2


It is unfortunate to see very highly paid athletes and other “famous folks” sitting in protest about our flag and national anthem.


merica and its safety and ideals are being challenged throughout the world and here at home, too! And we cannot even enjoy a football game without seeing a political protest against these United States of America. I guess our athletes and the famous “Hollywood types” have determined that we all truly care about their opinions on just about any given subject. Yes, they may play a good ball game. Just pondering though… Does this translate to knowledge about history, current events, economics, international issues and even good public policy here at home? Even if the answer is yes, do we really care about their opinion or did we tune in to watch a football game?

piles of cash, and putting on a uniform of a police officer or maybe even the uniform of our military? Jeesh, they would have to sell the big houses, fancy cars and lose all the glitz that comes with the celebrity status. Yet, they would learn to see the world in a different perspective.

A solution is at hand.

Maybe, just maybe, when they try to walk in someone else’s shoes, they may realize that just like they try to play a good ball game, most everyone else in uniform tries to do their best, too.

How ‘bout taking off those uniforms that allow them to make

God Bless America!






Brad Eden

Paulette Oboyski

Ellen L. Spooner

Jane Margesson

Hunter Howe

Dr. Lenard W. Kaye

Cathy Genthner

Chloe JonPaul

Donna Halvorsen

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550 College St. • Lewiston, ME • 207-786-7149

Page 8

NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE 1 Publisher's Note


3 Just Pondering: A Change in Uniform


5 Contributors 8 Prime Mover: The American Legion Maine

Page 21

State Headquarters • BY PAULETTE OBOYSKI

21 Prime Mover: Ed Walden


29 Prime Mover: Reverend Lou Phillips


37 History: The First Thanksgiving


39 Legacy: Maine Association of Retirees


Page 29

43 Sage Lens: Aging Athletes


47 Just Pondering: My Brain's Leaking Oil

Page 59


49 The MAINE Point: The Vet to Vet Program


51 Chloe's Corner: What is Your Legacy?


53 A Trail Less Traveled: Our Fascination with

Antlers • BY BRAD EDEN

55 Residential Review: Plant Home


59 Food for Thought: Spicy Pumpkin

Cheesecake Bars • BY ELLEN L. SPOONER

61 From the Porch: The Promise of America


NOVEMBER 2017 • 6

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PRIME MOVER • The American Legion

Left to right: Amedeo Lauria; Kelly Mulcahy, Commander Randall Kluj, Jason Hall, Adjutant Paul L’Heureux

The American Legion is a patriotic veterans’ organization consisting of

veterans helping veterans. Per capita, Maine has the most veterans of all the states in the nation. There are over 2 million American Legion members nationwide. Maine has 18,500 American Legion members of which approximately 750 are women. BY PAULETTE OBOYSKI PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY VICTOR OBOYSKI & THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF MAINE NOVEMBER 2017 • 8

PRIME MOVER National Commander Denise Rohan

Thank You

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he American Legion, Department of Maine will be celebrating its 100th Annual State Convention at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor on Father’s Day weekend: June 14-16 in 2018. This will be the kickoff point to a year-long celebration of its 100th Anniversary, which will conclude at the Annual State Convention in June 2019.

This distinguished organization was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans’ organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. Denise Rohan, elected on August 24, 2017, is the National Commander of The American Legion. She is the first female National commander and will preside at the 100th American Legion National Convention in Minneapolis, MN on August 24-30, 2018. The Maine Department of The American Legion was established in St. Louis, Missouri in May 1919 when a small group of Maine men, representatives of the soldiers and sailors of our State, attended the organization meeting of the

932 Ohio Street, Bangor, ME 04401 9 • MAINE SENIORS

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PRIME MOVER • The American Legion

Temporary National Organization. The first gathering of Maine Legionnaires was held at the state house in Augusta on July 23, 1919. Plans were adopted at that meeting to hold a state convention. The first Department Convention was held in Bangor on September 24, 1919. The Department of Maine Headquarters is located in Winslow, Maine. It is the only American Legion state headquarters to house the Legion, Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion together in one compound. The buildings reflect a sense of pride and service to the organization and are owned in full by The American Legion, Department of Maine. They serve 17 American Legion districts within the State of Maine with 176 active American Legion Posts.

Adjutant L'Heureux with Riders

Randall G. Kluj is the Department of Maine Commander. He was a Navy crew chief/door gunner and flew Army Huey helicopters in Vietnam and was part of the most decorated unit in the Vietnam War. Kluj says Maine has a wealth of young veterans and he encourages them to join The American Legion.


Service & Dedication.

American Legion Riders

Thank you. 75 Western Ave • Augusta, ME 207.623.1123 •

POW/MIA Monument Groundbreaking NOVEMBER 2017 • 1 0

Served Our Country PRIME MOVER

During his one-year term, he hopes to educate veterans about The American Legion’s services to veterans and to the Maine community. POW/MIA Monument

In In Honor Honor Of Of The The People People Who Who Have Have Served Served Our Our Country, Country.

Happy Veteran's Day! From all of us at Uncle Henry's.

This September 15th, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the POW/MIA Monument at the Legion’s headquarters in Winslow for Maine servicemen who were lost in wars. Commander Kluj says that this monument project is dear to his heart. There are 479 missing soldiers from the state of Maine, dating from WWII to the present. The project, sponsored through the local posts, will be completed when enough money is raised through their fundraising. The posts are offering bricks for the Monument walkway for a donation of $50 each. Paul L’Heureux has been the Department of Maine Adjutant for 4 years. The Adjutant position is similar to a CEO in the business world. He is a 40-year member of the American Legion

This Page: ALR Rally 11 • MAINE SENIORS

PRIME MOVER • The American Legion and has held leadership positions in his local Post, District, State and National levels. He served in the U.S. Navy on a submarine tender ship and in the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Unit in Auburn, 1125th U.S. Army Hospital. Adjutant L’Heureux states,“We make a difference in a Veteran’s life, their families and their communities. We do it every day – worldwide. The reason that I joined The American Legion was because of the influence of William Rogers, from Auburn, who was a WWII pilot and a National Commander of The American Legion. He mentored me and now, the legion is my passion and I study its accomplishments and history.“ The Legion Riders in Maine

There are 500 Legion Riders in the State of Maine. Adjutant L’Heureux helped start the Legion Riders Maine Chapter and he still rides with them. The motorcycles keep them together as Veterans. There are Legion Riders members from Sanford

The American Legion is all over our state helping veterans with over 170 offices in Maine.

NOVEMBER 2017 • 1 2


Rachael Currie & Paul L’Heureux with Winning Publication

join us for a remarkable documentary In partnership with the Smithsonian Channel, AARP Maine is proud to bring free screenings of the remarkable new documentary, Americans Underground: Secret City of WWI, to Augusta, Bangor, and Houlton. Each event features Q & A with one of the film’s historical advisors and free refreshments. Please RSVP by calling toll-free 1-877-926-8300. Bangor Screening Wednesday, November 8 | 4:30-6:30 p.m. Gracie Theatre at Husson University Houlton Screening Friday, November 10 | 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Houlton Higher Education Center Augusta Screening Wednesday, November 15 | 4:30-7:00 p.m. Maine State Museum, Library and Archives AARP Maine thanks the Maine State Museum, Library and Archives, the Houlton Higher Education Center and the Smithsonian Channel for their kind support which made this program possible.

to Madawaska. The Riders get together in the summertime and congregate at a chosen post. Legion Riders have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children’s hospitals, schools, veterans’ homes, severely wounded service members and scholarships. The Riders also provide support at military funerals. Award-Winning Publication

The Maine Legionnaire is the official newspaper of The American Legion, Department of Maine. Their average circulation is 22,000. Paul L’Heureux is the Editor and Rachael Currie is the Assistant Editor and Layout Editor. This year, the Maine Legionnaire won 1 st place nationally for American Legion departments, which have fewer than 40,000 members. Service Office

The American Legion acts as an advocacy group and a gobetween for veterans and the Veterans Administration. The American Legion Service Office knows all the benefits that 13 • MAINE SENIORS

PRIME MOVER • The American Legion

Chick Ciciotte & Matt Jabaut

veterans are entitled to and recommends that veterans with VA issues should come to The American Legion first. You do not have to be a member of The American Legion to receive their help. They offer their assistance free to any veteran or active-duty service member and their families. Amedeo “Deo” Lauria is The American Legion, Department of Maine Service Officer and is an 18-year member of The American Legion. He has had 29 years of total military service in the Army Signal Corps, Army Reserves and Commissioned Service. Deo has been accredited by the VA and The American Legion, and is trained to recognize when someone needs VA services.

Iona Lachance Osnoe

Deo noted that The American Legion Service Officers are sometimes like “Yoda” and sometimes they are like the St. Jude of the VA for Veterans. Yoda was the old sage mentor in Star Wars who helped the good guys and St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Hope and impossible causes. “We are Veterans serving Veterans.” Deo noted, “The Service Department helps veterans and their families with claims for

Pat Callaghan at Boys State NOVEMBER 2017 • 1 4


service connected disabilities after their service to their country and helps veterans and their family members get all the help and compensation to which they may be entitled. The American Legion is a safety net and it does not cost a dime for Veterans and their families to use our service in order to get help from the Veterans Administration and other state and federal agencies when they need it. We steer them in the right direction, help them with paperwork and figure out who is the approval authority.” Kelly Mulcahy has been an American Legion member for 4 years. She is the 2017 State of Maine Service Officer of the Year. She served as a Boatswain’s Mate in the Coast Guard for 4 years. Kelly Mulcahy She is a suicide survivor and feels that she has survived in order to help other veterans and to let them know that they are not alone. She has helped 68 veterans through her Post.

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PRIME MOVER • The American Legion

Special Mention: The 5th Annual Women’s Luncheon for Female Veterans will be at Post 24 Rumford on November 4, 2017 at 9:30 AM. For more information about the Service Office, contact The American Legion, Department of Maine Service Office at: 207-623-5726 or email Amedeo at: or Maureen Malley at: Juniors and Seniors in The American Legion Local Posts

Jason Hall is The American Legion State of Maine Judge Advocate and is the Adjutant of Post 86 Gray. He is an 8-year member of The American Legion. He was Air Force MP Active duty for 4 years and an Army Carpenter/Mine sweeper for 3 years. Jason related that the Post 86 Gray building is also used as a community center for many town functions. Jason and his very active Post members raise money for good causes such as high school scholarships, funding for 3 local food pantries, sending kids to Boys and Girls State, and for donations to

Jason and his very active Post members raise money for good causes —including Camp Sunshine.

Camp Sunshine. This year, they held a BBQ fundraiser and raised $3,500 in two hours for the Travis Mills Foundation, which is a get-away camp in Readfield for wounded soldiers and their families. Iona Lachance Osnoe served in the Women’s Army Corp during WWII. She is a 96-year-old very active member of The American Legion. She is the Honorary Commander of Post 20 Brunswick; Chaplain of District 8; and is a 69-year member of the American Legion. She has been an officer ever since she joined The American Legion. She helped start Post 202 in Topsham by collating a list of all the WWII veterans in that area and, using a postal mailing, got many of them to join the Topsham Post.

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The American Legion Quick Facts: The American Legion was founded in Paris on March 15 – 17, 1919 by members of the American Expeditionary Force.

The American Legion, Department of Maine Charities and Programs:

GI Bill of Rights: In 1943, Harry W. Colmery, past national commander of The American Legion, wrote the first draft of the GI Bill of Rights. The bill ushered in monumental changes in United States (U.S.) society.

The American Legion Charities is a non-profit trust which allows Legion Family members and friends to make a general donation to the American Legion or choose a specific program to support. The Legion’s grassroots programs are based in love of country and commitment to veterans, their families, and their communities and young people.

Subsequent legislation has modernized the original GI Bill, helping millions of servicemen and women receive educational benefits after serving their country. In 1989, The American Legion fought for the Department of Veterans Affairs to become a cabinet-level department. Four pillars of The American Legion: 1. Care of our Veterans: Programs, services and advocacy efforts that improve the lives of veterans and their families. 2. Encourage a strong national security: Long-held American Legion value that the key to peace and world stability is a strong, well-resourced defense. 3. Inspire Americanism: The Legion is the foremost authority on the U.S. Flag display, education and the protection of the flag. 4. Care of our children and youth: The main objectives are strengthening the family unit; supporting quality organizations that serve children; and providing communities with wellrounded programs for young people. Eligibility If you have served federal active duty in the United States Armed Forces during any of the war eras and have been honorably discharged or are still serving, you are eligible for membership in The American Legion. The American Legion Family The Sons of the American Legion The American Legion Auxiliary Legion Riders The American Legion, Department of Maine 5 Verti Drive, Winslow, Maine 04901-0727 Phone: 207-873-3229 Email: Website:


Charities: National Emergency Fund Endowment Fund Legacy Scholarship Fund Child Welfare Foundation Operation Comfort Warriors Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Maine Veterans’ Homes Homeless Vets Special Olympics Veteran’s Assistance Programs: Legion Riders Boys State American Legion Baseball High School Oratorical Scholarship Contest Boy Scouts Junior Shooting Sports Youth Scholarships Operation Comfort Warriors National Emergency Fund Youth Cadet Law Enforcement

PRIME MOVER • The American Legion

William “Chick” Ciciotte is 85 years old and has been a member of The American Legion for 57 years. He served in the Air Force for 22 years and he was also the Inter-services Boxing Champion – Flyweight 112 lbs in 1958. Chick is a Trustee of Post 20 Brunswick. He was State Commander and has held every position that there is in his home post, including Commander. He was also a National Vice Commander. He writes a weekly news story about the American Legion for the Brunswick Times Record. After actively holding the respected position of Chairman of The American Legion Legislative Committee for the Department of Maine, Chick has recently passed the mantle on to Matt Jabaut. Matthew Jabaut has been a member of The American Legion for 4 years. Matt was an Army Medic in Iraq. He is attracting the new generation of Veterans to the legion. He is the State 2nd Vice Commander and the Post Commander of Corey E. Garver Post 202 Topsham. The Post was named after a post9/11 veteran who grew up a few blocks from Post 202 and who died in Afghanistan.

This Page: State Convention

Matt is the new Chairman of The American Legion Legislative Committee for the Department of Maine. He was mentored and introduced to this position by Chick. He says, “The American Legion is not bound to any political party but supports legislation in veterans’ interests. We need more mentors and advisors like Chick.“ Boys State

The American Legion, Department of Maine members believe, “There is no better way to assure the survival of our republic and state than to train our young people in the ideals and objectives of American Government.” Boys State is an example of one of the youth programs of The American Legion. The purpose of Boys State is to provide Maine high school juniors with the opportunity to participate in a program that supplements their high school courses in government and its functions. In this program, young men role-play as they learn to campaign for local, county and state offices and then organize and carry out the functions of the state government.

NOVEMBER 2017 • 1 8


Pat Callaghan, WCSH6 TV News Anchor, has participated in Boys State mock elections for the past 10 years. He relates, “Over the last 37 years I have been involved with many candidate forums for actual candidates for statewide office in Maine. Since I moderate the debate between the candidates for 'Governor of Dirigo' [in Boys State] it brings a little realism to the Boys State gathering, and perhaps encourages the participants to step up their preparations. Many schools are placing less emphasis today on teaching government and civics. These are things that bind us together as Americans, and when students show enthusiasm about these subjects, they should be encouraged!” Prominent Maine and U.S. Alumni of Boys State

Thank You to the men and women who have proudly served our nation past and present. We Salute You.

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Governor John McKernan (71st Governor of Maine) Governor John Baldacci (73rd Governor of Maine) Councilor Joe Baldacci (Mayor of Bangor 1998-99 and 2016-17) Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Astronaut Neil Armstrong News Anchor Tom Brokaw U.S. President William J. Clinton The American Legion advocates for veterans and is one of the strongest veterans’ service organizations in the nation. The members contribute volunteer hours at VA hospitals, fundraise for veterans with programs such as Operation Comfort Warriors and help deliver those donations to wounded, injured and ill heroes. It holds the Veterans Administration (VA) accountable to ensure veterans receive the health care and benefits they deserve. The Legion is a leader in transition assistance from military to civilian life, providing resources for careers, education and childcare. Thank you to The American Legion, Department of Maine for all the vital work that you do for our veterans. As a result of our research for this story, the author’s husband, who is an Army Vietnam era Veteran, has joined this very noble organization. Membership keeps programs viable and enables The American Legion to support veterans, their families and youth. MSM

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Ed Walden in 1942. (Photo courtesy of Vivian Walden)

ED WALDEN World War II Veteran




Edwin (Ed) Schuyler Walden has roots

he can trace back to the early 1800’s when Greenville, Maine was first settled by white folks.


is ancestor Deborah Walden was the first white woman in the tiny settlement near Moosehead Lake. According to Ed, she arrived on an oxcart with three children in tow to keep house for her father. Deborah quipped that she was the best-looking woman around – in fact, she was the only woman! Through the generations, her spirit, pluck and humor have been handed down to family members and Ed is no exception. Despite being 95 years old, he is a consummate storyteller, still living on the family farm established so many years ago. In 1942, Ed volunteered for service and went to Yale, which during wartime had transitioned to offering the Army Air Force Technical Training Command. His specialty was Armaments

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Ed Walden chats with former Senator Robert Dole in Washington, DC. (Photo courtesy of Vivian Walden)

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“All we saw as we crossed the Pacific was lots of flying fish,” he recalled. “And then it happened – we ran across a Japanese submarine which fired on us. We were lucky that our ship was fast – she cruised along at 22 knots. We were able to maneuver out of the way. It was pretty tense for a while,” he added. The Sea Witch finally arrived safely in Numea, New Caledonia, a lush tropical island.“When I got to‘New Cal’, the commanding officer really didn’t know what to do with me, what with being in armaments and gas,” Ed chuckled.“So he had me running the small airport in Numea. I became engineer for the squadron. It’s funny,” he said thoughtfully. “Wherever I go I get these opportunities, meet people that change my life and so forth. I guess my feet are to blame – they always pointed me toward responsibility.” He saw his share of tragedy during the war but does not speak of it.


“Wherever I go I get these opportuni-

ties, meet people that change my life

and so forth. I guess my feet are to blame – they always pointed me

toward responsibility.”

A bright moment came when he heard from an aunt that his cousin Lad was also stationed on the island. He knew she shouldn’t have written him that information, it being wartime, but he was thrilled. He hopped into a jeep and took off. According to Ed, the soil on the island was mostly a fine red dust. “When we first arrived and were staying at some holding place, we were covered in the stuff!” he exclaimed. As he roared off to find his cousin the jeep kicked up a lot of dust; by the time he got there he was covered head to toe. When Ed walked into his cousin’s tent, Lad had his back to him, concentrating on writing a letter.


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An early photograph of Walden Farm, circa late 1800s. (Photo courtesy of Vivian Walden)

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Ed leaned in.“So I said,‘What’s this all about? All you have time for is writing letters home to Mom?’ Lad turned slowly around, and tipped his hat back on his head. He didn’t recognize me,” Ed laughed.“Well of course, I was covered in dust and sporting a new moustache. He thought I was just some young jerk fresh off the boat. And then he recognized me and we hugged. We were so glad to find each other.” As it happened, Lad flew the P-38, the plane that according to Ed really helped turn the tide against the previously invincible and extremely agile Japanese fighter planes. Since Ed was running the airport, he had an opportunity to fly with him. His eyes grew misty with the memory. “I used to ride with him,” he said. “They called that plane a piggyback because of the seats. I was practically sitting on his head behind him! Lad was always in the middle of everything,” he continued.“He had an amazing life. I think it was because he took such an interest in things.” Fast forward more than 70 years and Ed, again, had an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He was invited to participate in Honor Flight Maine and travel to Washington, DC. He was delighted, even more so because his old uniform, carefully preserved all these years, still fit.


After he got there, he rode in his wheelchair with the Veterans to various sites and memorials. According to his daughter-inlaw Vivian, he was getting weary from all the rushing around. They arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in time for the changing of the guard. Because he was in uniform, Ed believes, he was asked to stand at attention when a wreath from Maine was laid on the tomb. He replied,“Yes, Ma’am, I would be honored. He arose from his wheelchair and stood at attention – for forty-five minutes! Vivian and her husband Kimball, Ed’s son, are dedicated to the preservation of Walden Farm. She created the farm’s website and writes remarkable blog posts. According to her special blog about this event, entitled First Lieutenant Edwin Schuyler

Vivian and her husband Kimball, Ed’s son, are dedicated to the preservation of Walden Farm. She created the farm’s website and blog.

Walden, 93, Reports for Duty, Ed was thinking of those men who had died in war, specifically those who had been buried unknown and unnamed.“He felt it was a solemn and sacred duty given to him and he took it seriously,” Vivian writes. “Gramps, who in his regular life seldom stands for even short periods of

Ed Walden reminisces as he holds the special scrapbook a buddy had made for him in New Caledonia. (Shelagh Talbot photo)

NOVEMBER 2017 • 2 6


A view of Wilson Pond from Walden Farm (Shelagh Talbot photo)

time, stood straight and tall for three quarters of an hour. The sun cast his shadow before him and when he saw his legs begin to bend and wobble, he made sure to stand tall again. The strength of his will was stronger than the frailty of his body. He felt privileged to give honor to the fallen.” The family home, Walden Farm, is once again accepting guests, as it did back in the late 1800’s, when Ed’s grandmother, Abby Varney Walden took in folks who wanted to escape the oppressive heat of city summers. Visit their website at and find out about lodging information and browse Vivian’s fascinating and well-written blog. Vivian is working on a book about the farm and Walden family history. Can’t wait to read it! MSM A look at the cover of Ed Walden’s treasured scrapbook. (Shelagh Talbot photo)




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Rescue dog, a Maltese-Shih Tsu is the “top dog” at the Catholic parishes in the Sebago Lake region.


owner. “In many cases, Padre introduces me to people. It’s not unusual for people to greet Padre first, and maybe say hello to me afterwards—which is OK. Padre is especially adept in greeting children - he thinks they are his litter mates.”

t’s just after 5 pm and the parishioners are filing out of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Windham following Saturday night mass. As they go through the church doors, the parish priest, Father Lou Phillips is waiting to greet them and chat a bit. Parishioners are smiling broadly and the sounds of laughter echo across the church parking lot. Of course, they are happy to greet their pastor, but there is reason for more joy - Father Lou is never without his best friend, Padre, who also does some post-mass handshaking of his own. After all, both wear a collar.

Padre travels along with Father Phillips as he officiates at masses, visits the sick and performs other church-related duties. Sometimes he waits in the car, sometimes he goes along with the Father. He typically spends a lot of time in the parish offices for the Sebago Lakes Region, which in addition to the Windham parish includes St. Anne’s in Gorham, and St. Anthony’s in Westbrook. All parishes are dog-friendly and his

“Padre’s favorite activity is to greet people before and after Masses, usually at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Windham because that’s where he lives in the rectory with me. He also enjoys joining the after-daily Mass group at “Our Lady’s” during the week for coffee and muffins,” said Father Lou Phillips, Padre’s

Father Lou is never without his best friend, Padre, who also does some post-mass handshaking of his own.

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“I have been very fortunate to live in an independent living apartment at St. Andrews Village during the last two winters. On the first floor below, my wife lived in Gregory Wing long-term care for several years. Visiting my wife every day, I had a good chance to observe the total operation of St. Andrews Village. Honestly, all staff members are extremely cooperative and always willing to answer my requests. In addition, the food is the best and the care is excellent. Nowhere else can I find such a wonderful place to live and get the necessary care for my wife.” John Druce, World War II Veteran and St. Andrews Village Resident

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canine companions Bella, Charlie, Chris, and Philip are often at the parishes waiting for his arrival. However, Chloe, a Japanese Chin, is his girlfriend, and her owner is Carol Kennie, an active parishioner and volunteer for the church. “Padre is a real ice breaker. People who come out of the church are immediately drawn to him, especially the children,” said Kennie. “He is like a magnet.” Melissa Dlugos was at Saturday night’s mass with her two children, Sophie, age two and Matthew, age seven.

Life wasn’t always so easy or safe for Padre. Padre was rescued from an animal hoarding situation in Louisiana. Father Lou adopted him through a local organization called “Puppy Love Maine,” a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to 31 • MAINE SENIORS

Jamie Hogan

“We love seeing Padre. It is great to see all of God’s creatures,” said Dlugos. “Padre brings out a very sweet and reachable side of Father Lou.” Sponsored by

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rescue dogs from the south. Many of the dogs rescued by the organization became orphaned as the result of natural or manmade disasters. Dogs are also rescued from high-kill shelters. The dogs from the south are rescued and placed in appropriate homes and shelters in Maine. All animals are provided with veterinarian care, foster homes and permanent loving homes. Puppy Love transports dogs from the south (mainly western Louisiana) about once a month, making the three-day trip in a climate-controlled vehicle for the dogs. Annually, over 90,000 pets are euthanized in Louisiana shelters. Padre, thankfully, was saved from that fate. He was originally named “Peanut” but Father changed his name as soon as he got him. Some dog experts claim that changing an adopted dog’s name helps the bonding process. Padre is also skilled in the art of pastoral care, caring for parishioners as well as his pastor. “Padre is very good at communicating with me—he lets me know when I’m too keyed up or anxious. He lets me know when it is time to go to bed and when it’s time tto take a break from NOVEMBER 2017 • 3 2


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work and go for a walk with him of course,” said Phillips.“Dogs make us exercise and take care of health—probably because they are concerned that we stay in shape so that we’ll be able to take care of them.”

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Father Lou has taken care of many dogs throughout his life. He has fostered puppies that would later become guide dogs for the blind. He has worked at various parishes throughout Maine for the past 20 years. He has been the priest at the Sebago Lakes Region Parishes for over two years and is a member of the on-line faculty at St. Joseph’s College of Maine for the Education department.

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“Padre cheers a lot of people up when they see him,” said Jackie Duran, a Eucharistic minister for the Sebago Lake Region Parishes.“He is simply adorable.”



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Father Lou’s most memorable visit with Padre occurred when 10/9/17 he 9:36 AM went to a nursing home in Casco for a sacramental anointing of a patient who was in danger of death. It was a hot day, so Father took Padre with him. As they were leaving, an elderly woman sitting in a wheel chair lit up when she saw the pup. Father Lou placed Padre in her lap. She smiled and petted him for several minutes and not one word was said. It was the unspoken language of love, between a dog and a human.

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“Dogs, like God, give us unconditional love. Unlike God, dogs are absolutely dependent on us. So, dogs need a lot of time, attention and care,” said Phillips. “Dogs are expensive and rack up big veterinary bills, grooming bills, and food bills. The good news is that dogs don’t go to college, so that’s one expense you don’t have to worry about.” However, while dogs don’t go to college, it is said that all dogs go to heaven, and if this is true, Padre, who has answered a higher calling, will be at the head of the pack. MSM For more information about adopting a dog visit Puppy Love Maine at: or visit your local shelter. NOVEMBER 2017 • 3 4

HISTORY • The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving BY DONNA HALVORSEN

It's time for Massachusetts to give up the idea that the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth in 1621.


hey’ve had a good run with their living history depictions of colonial life, which this year include serving a Thanksgiving dinner for $65.95 a pop. But it’s time to give someone else a chance – someone worthy, like Maine. The Popham Colony in Phippsburg celebrated Thanksgiving in 1607. Mainers haven’t made a big deal of this. Still, the story is out there. Seth Bradstreet III told it on the Maine Department of Agriculture web site in 2006. Bradstreet, a Newport farmer, was agriculture commissioner at the time. Here is his account: In 1605, English explorer George Weymouth returned to Plymouth Harbor in England after having spent a summer exploring Maine’s coast. Weymouth brought with him five Native 35 • MAINE SENIORS

The First Thanksgiving • HISTORY

Americans and tales of abundant fish, fur-bearing animals and land “fit for any nation to inhabit.” James Rosier, Weymouth’s chronicler, wrote of the voyage of Weymouth’s ship Archangel at “the maine”—“we digged a plot of ground, wherein, amongst some garden seeds, we sowed peaze and barley, which in sixteen days grew eight inches above the ground; and so continued growing every day halfe an inch . . .” Reports of Weymouth’s voyage excited English businessmen. In 1606, King James I divided a region between what is now Cape Fear, North Carolina, and Canso, Nova Scotia, between two companies organized for colonization. Members of one company . . . became known as the London Company. Members of the second company…were known as the Plymouth Company. The prime mover of the Plymouth Company was Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice of England. The London Company sailed to the New World and settled in Jamestown, Virginia. The Plymouth Company settled at Popham Beach at the mouth of the Kennebec River. The Plymouth Company arrived in “the maine” in August of 1607 aboard

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HISTORY • The First Thanksgiving

Reflections by Waldo Clark

Old clocks perch on mantels all over Maine. Many need lubing, new gears, and tender loving care, just like us seniors. Many miss a few minutes here and there. But, I like the inexact, comforting, restful ticking that takes me back when, back then. New clocks stay on time marching to the beat of today’s fast pace. My clock slows me down. Tick, tock, tick, tock …

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The First Thanksgiving • HISTORY two ships, Gift of God and Mary and John. Shelters were built for about 45 settlers, as were a storehouse, a church and a fort. A map recently discovered shows plans for 18 structures . . . but most of those plans were never to be realized.

Bradstreet’s account is well-researched and credible. The Smithsonian Institution says that British colonists held several celebrations before 1621, and “some historians believe that the Popham Colony in Maine conducted a Thanksgiving service in 1607.”

In the winter of 1608, the storehouse burned. That winter, the Popham settlement’s president, George Popham, nephew of Sir John Popham, died of unknown causes. Raleigh Gilbert—a relative of the maritime adventurer, Sir Walter Raleigh . . . succeeded Popham. The following spring, a ship bringing supplies to the Popham settlement also brought Gilbert news that his brother, John, had died in England leaving him a vast fortune. Gilbert returned to England in September of 1608, bringing with him the remainder of the settlers.

The Plimoth Plantation itself says that Florida, Texas, Virginia and Maine all declared themselves the site of the first Thanksgiving, “and historical documents support the various claims. However, few people knew about these events until the 20th century. They were isolated celebrations, forgotten long before the establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday . . .”

The settlement at Popham Beach lasted only 13 months, but historians Gould and Hatch document that the settlers having safely arrived from England, built their shelters and prepared for the coming winter, held a celebration of Thanksgiving in the fall of 1607, a full (14) years before the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving.

In 2007 Phippsburg celebrated the 400th anniversary of the colony’s founding. Excavation over the years has produced important information about early colonial life. “There’s no question that this is one of the foremost historical sites in the country,” said archaeologist Jeffrey Brain, who led the excavation.“A lot of the lessons learned at Popham enabled the Pilgrims to survive, so it was crucial to the foundation of English America.” MSM

NOVEMBER 2017 • 3 8


Maine Association of


The Maine Association of Retirees, Inc. (MAR) longevity dates back to 1981 when a small group of public service retirees established the association for the purpose of providing pertinent information to public service retirees, acknowledging the contributions the retirees provided to the State of Maine and protecting the Maine Public Service Retirement fund.


ince 1981 MAR membership has grown to nearly 14,000 retirees who continue to serve the State of Maine in a multitude of ways from volunteering at local schools, hospitals, food banks, etc., as well as caring for grandchildren, parents, elder neighbors and working at Maine businesses. As the Executive Director of MAR and a fellow public service retiree, Barbara J. Van Burgel, states, “MAR members are a joy to work for due to their dedication to continuing to make Maine a wonderful place to live. Their life stories of public service are uplifting and inspiring.”


Maine public service retirees represent several generations of retirees with diverse talents, needs and interests. Covering the gambit of demands proves to be a challenge but with individuals like the three member profiles below, the challenge is very rewarding. Arthur Allard grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1963 he joined the Coast Guard at the age of 19. “I didn’t want to get drafted,” he said. And the Coast Guard recruitment office was across the street from his job at the local shoe factory. “I was told when I signed up that I’d never leave New England,” Allard said. On his last day of basic training in New Jersey, JFK was assassinated. After marching in President Johnson’s inaugural parade, Allard was sent to Mobile, Alabama, then on to Hawaii. So much for never leaving New England! His main duty in the Coast Guard was to rescue people as well as ships that had gone aground. But he spent most of his time on weather patrols in the middle of the Pacific. “This was before satellites,” Allard says. “We’d go out into the ocean and let weather balloons go up every three hours to get weather re-


MAR members are a joy to

work for due to their dedication to continuing to make Maine a wonderful place to live.

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ports.” Allard says he stepped foot in Vietnam during the war for one day—to deliver supplies. He spent his last eight months in the Coast Guard in South Portland, Maine. His uncle, a blacksmith, lived in Lewiston and Allard would visit him on occasion. That’s where he met his wife, Claire. When his enlistment was up, he moved to Lewiston and married Claire. They still live there today. Allard is what some people would call a “workaholic.” He’s always had three jobs! He spent 35 years working in the nutrition program for the Lewiston School Department. During this time, he also volunteered as an EMT and worked in the local funeral homes. Even today, in his “retirement”, he has several jobs. He delivers flowers for Val’s Flower Shop, volunteers as the vice president of the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society (MFGSO), and is a Regional Director for the Maine Association of Retirees. “I’m addicted to work!” he says. “Gotta keep busy to stay young.” Paul Gilbert was born and raised in the town he still lives in to this day—Jay, Maine. “Every once in a while my wife Jean and I will talk about moving, but the people keep us here,” he says. “People here have a smile on their face and they care about you!” Gilbert decided to enlist in the Army in 1965 while he was living and working as a young man in Boston.“I was walking back home to my apartment and people with clipboards were in Boston Commons trying to get others to sign petitions to end the war in Vietnam,” he says. “I thought, you know there are some people who are giving their lives and here I am safe and sound. I joined the Army.”

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Gilbert carries this selflessness to this day. His commitment to serving others and his community is paramount in his life. His career as a job service manager with the Maine Department of Labor helped countless employers and employees in northern Oxford County, northern Androscoggin County, and Franklin County. He has served as a volunteer on countless committees both in his local community and on the state level. He was elected to the Maine State Legislature in 2008 and served for eight years.“When I was sworn in to the legislature, tears came to my eyes,” Gilbert says. “My father came down here from Quebec and had nothing. And here I am serving as a legislator in the State House. It was so meaningful.” Gilbert’s humility speaks volumes. “I think people have an obligation to work for the betterment of their community,” he says. “Including those that aren’t as fortunate as we are.” He mentions that he would not have been able to be so involved without the love and support of his wife, Jean. One of his proudest accom-

NOVEMBER 2017 • 4 0


plishments came when he was working with Literacy Volunteers of Maine. He was asked by the director if he would help a new immigrant from Turkmenistan learn to read and write English. Gilbert was unsure at first, because he had never done anything like this before, but he agreed. Gilbert helped this young man become fluent in his third language. When he took his citizenship test, he aced it, and invited Gilbert and his wife, Jean, to his swearing in ceremony. The Gilberts are both in their early 70s, and they both enjoy staying active, traveling, and spending time with their three children and eight grandchildren. Born and raised in Bangor, Maine, Hugh Morrison joined the Air National Guard to learn how to fly planes. He served his country for 33 years, including during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.“I’d always had an interest in flying,” he says. He met his wife, Eda, in grade school. Her family lived across the street from the Morrisons. After flight training in Texas and Florida, Morrison had his pilot’s license and worked for 23 years flying planes for Pan American out of New York. He and Eda raised their children in Bangor and he kept an apartment in New York for when he was flying. As their children grew and left home, both he and Eda went to the University of Maine, earning their Master’s degrees in education. Morrison worked as a junior high Advanced Placement math and science teacher and Eda was a guidance counselor, both in the Bangor school system.


In his retirement, Morrison served on numerous local committees as well as serving for six years in the Maine Legislature. At 82, Morrison says he isn’t as active as he used to be, but he loves reading and spending time with his family. He and Eda have five grandchildren; one lives in Texas, one in Alaska, and the other three are local. Morrison reminisces on the changes he’s seen over his lifetime in the Bangor region, including the redevelopment of the Bangor waterfront. “When I was young the waterfront was totally different,” he says. “They were still bringing logs down the river so there were lumber mills and coal yards. Sailing ships would come in, including ones from Barbados bringing molasses.” Bangor’s growth has him missing the smaller community of his youth where everybody knew everybody. While he uses FaceTime to talk to his great grandchildren who live out of state, Morrison says the “face time” of his youth was literally talking to someone standing in front of you! As a reader of this article, if you know Maine public service retirees, thank them for their service and if you are a Maine public service retiree, consider joining this active and positive Association. You can join Maine Association of Retirees, MSM contacting the office at (207) 582-1960. Give MSM a call at 207-299-5358 to find out how you can tell your story to our readers in your very own Guest Article.

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Much has been written and discussed lately about the fact that Tom Brady, the superstar quarterback of the New England Patriots, has reached the ripe old age of 40 and is still playing exceedingly well.


very time he completes a pass or throws a touchdown we are reminded that he has managed to do that even though he is on the verge of apparent advanced old age if not approaching senility. Born August 3, 1977, Brady is, to be sure, a superb athlete. He has already accumulated in the 2017 season eight touchdowns, 1,092 yards, and a quarterback rating of 121.5 (which is excellent) at the time of this writing. But why do we need to be constantly reminded that he is accomplishing all of this in what we are led to believe are his twilight years. Brady doesn’t buy it, nor should we. In fact, Brady has simply joined a long line of professional athletes who have decided to remain in the thick of competitive sports in their forties and well beyond.

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Nowadays we are turning the so called rules of the game on their heads. More and more individuals in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond, are taking the leap and starting anew. Dwelling on Brady’s age may, at first glance, seem to extol the capacity of older individuals—a good thing in some people’s eyes. But not mine. I have grown weary of hearing claims that our physical capacities can be expected to not only be on the decline by our late thirties, forties, and beyond but plummet precipitously. I would remind the reader that Brady does not necessarily set the standard in this respect (and this has nothing to do with the fact that I am a die hard New York Giant fan). How about the great Satchel Paige who threw three scoreless innings in professional baseball in 1966 at the age of 59. Or Gary Player at 79 years old, appearing to be in better shape than professional golfers half his age. Player still competes in the Annual Masters Par-Three Contest at Augusta National and he participates in the ceremonial tee-off at the Masters alongside fellow golf legends Jack Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer. And, then, there is Bernard Hopkins who held the World Boxing Middleweight Championship at age 48 and defended it at age 49. Now that he has turned 50 he still wants to fight competitively. Morgan Shepard is the oldest driver to ever start a NASCAR race at age 71 (he has been racing since 1970)! Perhaps lesser known by the general public, is Olga Kotelko, at 94 years of age, who holds some 17 world records in track and field events in her age group. Olga has been called one of the world’s greatest athletes. These athletes, and so many others, remind us in no uncertain terms that one’s chronological age does not define who you are in terms of physical capacity, skill, drive, or competitive spirit. The age-old saying that “you are only as old as you feel” rings so very true in this regard. Don’t let your age or other’s reaction to your age keep you from doing whatever you want whenever you want. It used to be that the study of aging spoke of “age appropriate” behaviors providing an informed guide as to when in our lives we should get an education, start a career, get married, have children,

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and retire. Nowadays we are turning the so called rules of the game on their heads. More and more individuals in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond, are taking the leap and starting encore careers, returning to school, meeting their true loves and partners in life, having children, raising grandkids, and so much more. Many of these life decisions by older adults would have been frowned upon in past years by one’s children and friends who bemoaned the fact that those individuals were not “acting their age.” But Dylan Thomas got it right; consider his wise and prophetic words: Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp.

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My Brain's Leaking Oil BY WALDO CLARK

Geez, I’m so popular. Everyone wants my feedback on how they’re doing.


veryone? Yup, car dealerships, medical providers, insurance companies, retail stores—you name it, they desire my opinion.

You see, I’m bombarded by the burgeoning survey industry. The sheer number of surveys smother not only Joe Public but Old Waldo as well. And I don’t like it. Without warning, a tidal wave of these groan-worthy data seekers creates a deluge on our privacy and time, appearing with the force of a category three hurricane or the suddenness of a swarm of bees. The onslaught feels like a fast-moving disease, starting with Survey Fatigue progressing rapidly to critical Survey Code Blue.

Last week, I returned from an appointment with my medical provider and checked my e-mails. You guessed it, the Survey. After answering seven questions, a green bar graph informed me I’d finished approximately 25-30% of the questions. Say what!? Click, delete.

Market research firms call them Satisfaction Surveys. Am I missing something here? I’m not satisfied, I’m annoyed. My response, the Survey Wastepaper Basket.

Ya know, my research uncovered that 80% of customers abandoned a survey halfway through. Fifty percent said they would not spend more than three minutes filling out a feedback form.

These thirsty bloodhounds shout out, “We care. We want you back. Do us a favor, take our short survey—it’ll only take a minute.” Yeah right. Hey, you want a favor, I want a prize—I’m not talking about a five-dollar discount on my next purchase either.


Don’t survey pundits understand that when consumers hit the delete button or hang up on a sweet-voiced young lady, that their highly sought-after data suffers a credibility problem? Low returns, suspect results. To point, an article in Money Online stated,“The upshot is that

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Ya know, my research uncovered that 80% of customers abandoned a survey halfway through. Fifty

percent said they would not spend more than three minutes filling out a feedback form.

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customers are subjected to so many survey requests that they shut them out entirely creating a negative feedback loop.” I’m getting a Survey Headache. That said, I chuckled reading this tidbit: “Infant who begins Babies ‘R’ Us consumer satisfaction survey dies of old age.” Can you imagine couples agreeing to take a survey on the status of their marriage? Sounds like a bad idea, eh? The instructions, “Be honest with each other.” We’ll call this the Divorce Survey. There’s no end to the folly. A major retailer wanted my feedback on a 2” by 2” cheapo clock ($9.99) I’d purchased for my bathroom. Get real. My brain’s leaking oil. And the ultimate. Timmy, the cash register checkout clerk, circles his name on the receipt and throws me a sad smile. Get it? A “New York Times Business Day” section (online) revealed,“Sales clerks who once concluded a transaction with customers with ‘Have a nice day’ now plead with customers to fill out surveys and award good marks because ‘My job depends on it.’” Are you kidding me? You think I’m going to waste my time with, “Timmy did a great job punching in my purchases and swiping my credit card.” Sorry Timmy, you’re fired. Had enough? Oh, I’d sure appreciate your feedback on my insightful observational humor column: How would you rate Waldo’s “Just Pondering?” The choice: Absolutely the best I’ve read in Maine. See, that’s how surveys should be: Brief. And truthful. I thank you for your time.


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Be a Foster Grandparent! enjoy the opportunity to work with disabled, disadvantaged and developmentally delayed children in one-on-one and small group settings. Foster Grandparents: • are income-eligible volunteers aged 55 and over • volunteer 15 to 40 hours a week Benefits include: • a stipend for hours worked • paid holidays & earned time • assistance with transportation and meals For more information, call 207-973-3611 or 1-800-215-4942 or visit

Foster grandparents are just ordinary people who reach out and take a child’s hand and together make a difference that lasts a lifetime.” —Foster grandparent from sedoMoCha, dover-Foxcroft NOVEMBER 2017 • 4 8

Eric Mihan and Vernon Huestis. Matched in 2014 through the Vet to Vet Program, the two recently celebrated their 100th visit. Photo courtesy of Betsy Mihan.

A Wonderful Match: The Vet to Vet Program BY JANE MARGESSON

Many studies have brought to light a growing concern among older adults as they age and

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this is the problem of loneliness.


he struggle to feel connected with their community (particularly if a person has mobility concerns) and to even feel they have a purpose in life can eat away at a person’s confidence and color their day-to-day existence. Over time, loneliness can result in serious health and emotional problems. Older veterans, it seems, may be particularly vulnerable to feelings of isolation and loneliness. It can be hard to find friends who understand what it means to have served in the military whether during war or times of peace.

I recently discovered a remarkable program in Maine that is designed to recognize the need for veteran-specific companionship and assistance. Managed through the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging (SMAAA), the Vet to Vet

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Sue told me that in some cases,

veterans who had fallen into deep depression found new spirit through their connection with their veteran volunteer.


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program matches a dedicated team of volunteers, all of whom are veterans, with older veterans who could use a friend. I spoke with the Vet to Vet Program Coordinator, Susan Gold, who described the way the program works and why it has become such a vital service in York and Cumberland Counties which are SMAAA’s service areas. “The Vet to Vet program is the result of a needs assessment that was conducted in 2013 when I was working with SMAAA as a VISTA volunteer,” Sue explained. “We found through our research that less than one third of veterans in Southern Maine age 60 and older were taking advantage of the VA benefits to which they were entitled. In addition, many were living alone and felt isolated, even if they were living in a community that was familiar to them.” What followed was a huge undertaking to develop the program into a meaningful and largely volunteer driven effort that could make a difference in the lives of veterans in Southern Maine. The first training took place in May of 2014 and the program has grown to include over 60 veteran volunteers who are matched with local veterans. “We find that the peer to peer approach is really working,” Sue says. “Even at the initial contact, some veterans who may have been resistant to working with us open up when they realize that it is a fellow veteran who has come to spend time with them. Trust builds quickly. Even if they don’t share the exact background or military experience, they still share a common bond.” Volunteers in the program complete nine hours of training and indicate through a survey their interests and background so they can be favorably matched with a local veteran client. Some volunteers take their new veteran friend out for a walk or for lunch. Others love to sit together and talk, read or visit

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with other friends and family. Sue told me that in some cases, veterans who had fallen into deep depression found new spirit through their connection with their veteran volunteer. Sue hopes that the program will expand to other counties in Maine and she stands ready to offer guidance to any interested parties who may wish to learn more about this successful initiative. To contact Sue, send an email to or call 207-396-6521. What a wonderful way to celebrate veterans in Maine through such a thoughtful, creative volunteer program. MSM

"Trust builds quickly.

Even if they don’t share the exact background or military experience,

they still share a common bond."

NOVEMBER 2017 • 5 0

Chloe's Corner

What Is Your



Mention the word legacy and invariably

people tend to associate it with bequeathing sums of money to family and organizations. We get satisfaction in knowing that we can leave our estate to our loved ones and that is perfectly natural and good.


here is, however, a more far-reaching legacy that one can leave which can pass on from generation to generation in a very special way. Your values, strengths, beliefs, and accomplishments are gifts of immeasurable value.

My grandmother, an Italian immigrant, left me a legacy that I treasure. Although she was totally illiterate, this woman kept correspondence with family and friends here and abroad. For years, my mother was her "secretary". By the time I was able to read and write, my grandmother would dictate those letters to me in Italian and I would write them in English.


We know that the desire may be strong to create an endowment that will keep your dream, your legacy, alive for years to come. We can help make that happen. The Catholic Foundation of Maine administers over 112 endowments that support Catholic ministries in the State of Maine. If you wish to give to any of them or open your own in memory of a loved one, or for a special purpose, please contact the Foundation in confidence. Charitable gift annuities, gifts of life insurance, stocks, proceeds from a retirement account, and real estate may also be given to the endowments as well as outright bequests. For more information, please call Elizabeth Badger, Executive Director, at (207) 321-7820 or email


Chloe's Corner

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This experience taught me the value of communication— keeping in touch. It blossomed into a teaching and writing career for me. Having mastered the art of communication to a considerable degree, I now articulate my thoughts to a large audience. I can see my grandmother smiling down at me from Heaven each time I submit a new article to Maine Seniors or meet up with friends on Facebook. Another legacy she left me was the desire to help the less fortunate. I can remember vividly our visits to the Italian prisoners of war at Ft. Meade during World War II. The men loved her!

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The long table in our cellar would be piled high with clothing and other goods ready to be packed and shipped to war victims who had lost everything. I remember how generous and kind she was to beggars who knocked on our door. Today, family members and I strive to continue this legacy, helping those in need. On a personal note, I feel blessed to have started the Good Samaritan Project at my church while living in Maryland. So, what will your legacy be? On a final note, here is something to think about. If you were to write your own obituary, what would you want it to say? MSM

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NOVEMBER 2017 • 5 2

A Trail Less Traveled


with Antlers To understand the allure of antlers one must understand the animal wearing them.


hy are people in general, and particularly hunters, so fascinated with deer antlers? We collect them and adorn our barns and sheds and the walls in our homes with them. They are used to create elaborate chandeliers, desk lamps, coat racks and a variety of other objects.

To better understand the allure you need to understand the animal. All the male deer in North America including whitetailed, mule and black-tailed deer, elk, moose and caribou grow antlers. Antlers are made of bone composed of calcium and phosphorous and other minerals. They fall off or “shed” and re-grow every year. Horns on the other hand, like on a cow, are made of keratin, which is the same as hair, and they are never shed. Deer antlers are the fastest growing formation 53 • MAINE SENIORS


in the animal kingdom. They grow at the astonishing rate of a quarter inch a day during spring and summer. While growing they are covered in a skin that’s called velvet, and is filled with blood vessels. Bucks take great care not to damage their headgear during this sensitive stage. When the days begin to shorten in late summer the bucks begin to produce testosterone in anticipation of breeding season, or the rut, which causes the antlers to harden. The velvet starts to dry out and the buck rubs and spars with trees and bushes to rid himself of the velvet. By the time does are ready to be bred he sports a swollen and strong neck and a well-polished rock hard rack. The number of points or tines doesn’t determine his age. It’s good genetics and nutrition that produce a sturdy well-racked mature whitetail buck, whereas poor conditions will result in a spindly underdeveloped specimen. The bigger the rack usually means a bigger bodied and more dominant buck. Although fights do occur between bucks, the

A Trail Less Traveled

Deer antlers are the fastest growing formation in the animal kingdom. They grow at the astonishing rate of a quarter inch a day during spring and summer. head down, ears back and posturing routine usually settles the score before any crashing of antlers. Occasionally two bucks of equal strength will clash and fight to the death, but normally it’s a pushing and shoving match. The result is usually some broken antler tines, a bruised ego for the loser and breeding rights for the victor. On rare occasions two bucks will find their antlers inextricably locked, and one or both die from exhaustion trying to free themselves. When the fall rut or breeding season is over, the buck's testosterone level decreases, causing an“abscission layer” to form between the antlers and where they attach to the skull, called the pedicles. Eventually the antlers loosen and fall off, leaving the once regally racked buck looking like an awkward and rangy doe. As the snow melts in late winter and early spring, antler collectors head into the woods in search of shed antlers before the mice, squirrels and porcupines gnaw and chew them down for the calcium. This is a season all to itself, and some people train their dogs to find and retrieve antler sheds. These folks poke around in deer yard areas where the herds have been holed up during winter, as well as sheltered woods filled with coniferous trees like hemlock and spruce. They look for deer trails and crossings where the deer have to jump over stonewalls or fences. Often this will knock off the loose antlers. Antlers hold a mysterious, instinctive and even primitive fascination. They are symbols of strength and power, and ultimately conquest for some. It doesn’t matter if the antlers were shed, attached to a live animal, or on a taxidermy mount. They are art in the most primitive form, created in nature with no two sets exactly alike in coloration, mass, or shape. It's no wonder we covet them. MSM


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Veterans Day at the Plant Home

Veterans Day is on our doorstep. November 11 is observed in the United States in honor of all military veterans and in commemoration of their service.


n many places November 11 is celebrated by observing a two-minute silence at 11:00 in the morning, the hour at which hostilities ceased in 1918. In this busy society, we once again find ourselves looking forward to an “extended weekend”. Possibly we are anticipating a few “down days”, finishing fall chores or enjoying a short getaway. Perhaps we could take a page from our United Kingdom cousins. Visiting Europe on November 11 while in a woolen store in Glasgow, Scotland a clerk approached customers and quietly announced that at 11:00 a.m. all activity would cease as we observed two minutes of silence to


recognize what the British, Australians, and Canadians call Remembrance Day. As the hour struck, all activity in the store stopped. Many bowed their heads, others stood quietly. As church bells pealed, the view outside the window was one in which all traffic had stopped. Most motorists stepped quietly outside their vehicles and stood with their heads bowed. For two minutes, all listened to church bells and reflected on the life, liberties and freedoms we enjoy because of the noble sacrifice of others. The honor shown to veterans in Scotland was profoundly moving. Such a small gesture but it communicated volumes and united all present at that moment in time. It is an inclusive message we need to reintroduce to this country. Parades, speeches and ceremonies are wonderful; however, they are not universal in all communities. The servicemen and women found today at Walter Reed and other military hospitals are America’s treasures. They carry themselves


The servicemen and women found

today at Walter Reed and other military hospitals are America’s treasures. They carry themselves with dignity, grace and a sense of purpose. with dignity, grace and a sense of purpose that defies mere mortals and ask nothing in return. Those facing life altering injuries will tell you they would not change a thing. Today’s soldiers, sailors and airman have learned their respect and patriotic reverence from family, esprit de corps and from the discreet and humble example of our most senior veterans. The Plant Memorial Home has the privilege and honor to provide a dignified and respectful environment to the many

Thomas Cottage NOVEMBER 2017 • 5 6


The beautiful village in Bath of the Plant Home and Thomas Cottages

veterans who call our facility home. During these troubled times and concern for an uncertain future, look to the past and feel reassured that when Americans are pressed, we are at our finest. Yesterday’s young pilots, soldiers and sailors are today's esteemed senior veterans. Remember our dead. Thank our senior veterans. Remember the young men and women who have answered the call and are presently serving our nation with dedication, honor and wisdom beyond their years. Today’s service men and women are tomorrow’s revered veterans, thank them for their service. The Plant Memorial Home thanks our resident veterans for their service and sacrifice. As citizens, wherever you are at 11:00 a.m. on November 11 please consider stopping for two minutes and reflecting on the gifts we have received due to the sacrifice of our veterans. MSM Give MSM a call at 207-299-5358 to find out how you can tell your story to our readers in your very own Guest Article.


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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars BY ELLEN L. SPOONER


very year the holidays roll around and we begin pulling out our time-tested recipes for special gatherings. This year, why not take a step outside the box and try something new. Here’s a delicious alternative for your traditional pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving! ...from all of us at Maine Seniors 59 • MAINE SENIORS



2 1/4 cups finely crushed gingersnaps 1/4 cup chopped pecans 5 tablespoons butter, melted 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Combine gingersnaps, pecans, butter, sugar and cinnamon 2. Press gently into lightly grease a 9 1/2 x 13” pan or, for easier handling, line pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. FOR FILLING:         

1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin 1 tablespoon flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 3 eggs

6. Drop pumpkin mixture by spoonful over the cream cheese batter and gently swirl the two together using the tip of a table knife. 7. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes until center is just set. 8. Cool on wire rack, then chill for at least 4 hours before cutting into squares. *Here’s where the parchment paper comes in. It allows you to lift entire dessert from pan and transfer to cutting board for cutting. 9. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares (approximately 3”x3”) and place on the serving plate. Note: These squares can be a bit “messy”. If you are serving them as finger food I would suggest smaller squares. If not, serve them on individual plates to be eaten with a fork. Squares will keep in refrigerator for two to three days. 10. Enjoy!

3. Combine pumpkin, flour, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. 4. Beat cream cheese until smooth, then add sugar and vanilla until mixture is blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat gently until combined. 5. Blend approximately 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese batter into the pumpkin mixture. Then pour remaining cream cheese batter over crust.

NOVEMBER 2017 • 6 0


The Promise of


November gives us pause to reflect back over the long year.


ith uncertainty, we look forward to the new year. But winter looms ahead. We wonder, what’s to come?

November broods. It’s a twilight month, dusk touching the impending darkness. It brings bleary, gray-pale skies and dim light. Flowers rest; the forest, with bare trees, reveals itself; the soil lays quiet, waiting; shadows deepen; the ocean churns tossing battered driftwood higher up on the barren shore; sounds confuse, unsettled, the restless winds speak fitfully, hear me, hear me; the flames in fireplaces flicker and waver. Poet Sara Teasdale wrote about November, The world is tired, the year is old, The little leaves are glad to die, The wind goes shivering with cold Among the rushes dry.

In November, we embrace Veterans Day. We honor those heroes who served our country. There’s a sense of solemnness—we’re uneasy. With the ferocious tidal wave of daily nerve-racking news, many Americans harbor a deep pessimism about our nation’s future, fearing our best days are behind us. Perhaps November’s a metaphor of sorts. We’ve come a long way, we’re tired. We wonder, what’s to come? Yet, since the founding of our country, Americans have debated this same question many times, no more so than during the Revolutionary War. Brave patriots stepped up and fought for the 61 • MAINE SENIORS

survival of their new republic, for the birth of a secure nation. We remember those famous names: Washington, Hancock, Adams, Madison, Jefferson, and Franklin. We remember those not so ordinary men and women who left their shops and farms for a common cause, freedom, liberty, and justice. Historians often single out the farmers who toiled in the rock-strewn fields, tilling the ground, scratching the soul of our country. America produced a fresh crop of activists. Undaunted, these patriots rose above the silence of others and carried the torch for independence, for the life of our country. One has only to read David McCullough’s 1776 to appreciate what a desperate struggle, against overwhelming odds, our gallant rebels faced. Dark days indeed. Defeat followed defeat, but our resolute patriots prevailed. George Washington said,“Perseverance and spirit have done wonder in all ages.” In the November of their times, many wondered, what’s to come? This November, we look for a new crop of patriots to rise above the disenchanted crowd, to lead our nation, to put country before party, to seize upon the American dream of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” While America simmers, the world waits. Albert Einstein said, “The world’s a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who didn’t do anything about it.” During Veterans Day ceremonies, citizens in blue and red states will show their collective pride raising the Stars and Stripes high for all to see. We’re here. And, they’ll look skyward, beyond the flag, to those who lost their lives, for us to continue on.“You did not die in vain.”


Edgar A. Guest wrote, in reverence for this tribute,

In the November of our own times, many think of Benjamin Franklin,

Show the flag that all may see That you serve all humanity. Let it whisper to the breeze That comes singing through the trees That whatever storms descend You’ll be faithful to the end.

arguably our greatest American.

In the November of our own times, many think of Benjamin Franklin, arguably our greatest American. In fact, H.D. Brand titled his book about Franklin, The First American. Gordon S. Wood, another biographer, wrote, “Franklin was a hero of moderation throughout his life, and he is a hero of moderates today … he wanted to get things done.” He wanted to get things done. And he did. Among his many accomplishments, Franklin signed the four major documents establishing the country: The Declaration of Independence, the treaties with France and Britain, and the Constitution. Referring to the War of Independence, Franklin said,“Our cause

1.800.239.0954 63 • MAINE SENIORS


is the cause of all mankind … we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.” After the British defeat at Yorktown in 1781, he heard this, “It looks as if the battle for independence is finally over.” Franklin countered, “Sir, you are mistaken. The Revolutionary War may be over, but the battle for independence has just begun.” In the November of our times, we wonder, what’s to come? We’ll navigate the bending winter road, following our fallen heroes’ footprints, on and on, unending. Spring beckons, the lantern’s glow shining on the promise of America. What’s to come? Tomorrow, and the next day. We must rely on Franklin’s prophetic, determined, and hopeful words: We’ve just begun. MSM

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