This Week in Lincolnville: That Time Again

Mon, 07/08/2024 - 7:00am

    As summer progresses in this year of 2024, something is starting to pop up along the roadsides and front yards of Lincolnville and the entire country. Yes, it is a presidential election year, and it is time to announce our preferred candidates to the world. Or at least to our neighbors and passing tourists.

    The less said about the candidates, the better. Very few people seem overly thrilled about our options this year, but so be it. In this democracy of ours we still get to choose our favorite. Or least disliked.

    Lincolnville is a politically diverse town, and the signs will likely be pretty evenly spread between the two gentlemen most likely to win, with some scattered signs for the third guy- Mainers do love the independents.

    I think of a story about Lou Polan, a Ukrainian born, New York City raised actor, who bought an old house on North Chester Dean Road with his wife Myra in the late 1940s. Lou’s work meant he was largely in New York, while Myra went about canning blueberries and real venison mince meat and socializing with her neighbors in Lincolnville. 

    Lou had returned home to Lincolnville after one acting job or another, and headed up to Knight’s General Store (now Owen’s) on a summer evening. Passing the Grange, he saw that it was full of cars. Asking the store clerk what was going on she whispered, conspiratorially that, “It’s the Democrats’ meeting. They are allowed to, you know.”

    Now, Lou had been called up before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s and put on the “Blacklist” of actors not allowed to perform due to their perceived communist sympathies. He got around this by performing at “summer stock” theaters, across the Northeast, though he returned to the big and little screens later in his life. He passed away on the road in Freeport in 1976, on his way to the Lincolnville Town Meeting. The Redscare folks can say what they will, this was a man who loved Democracy. And Lincolnville.

    I try to stay positive, to remain hopeful about the future, something which seems increasingly rare, at least if you are the kind of media junky I am. My screen is usually filled with some news site or the other, of varying degrees of accuracy or bias. I consume it all. And not a lot of it is happy. So much fear in this world of ours. I have learned to avoid engaging with politics on social media too much, lest the algorithm take over and my feed get filled with topics that it thinks I want to see and catered to my political bias. As a result, I get to see far more pictures of babies and pets and anniversary announcements. Far more soothing.

    So, this last week, a picture memory came across my social media feed. My middle boy, taken 11 years ago, where he lay in a hospital bed, connected to all kinds of wires and beeping machines, bald and skinny. While this photo certainly brought back the fear and uncertainty of that time, it also reminded me of the love. So much love from this community.

    The outpouring of support we received during that time continues to awe me. Not just from Lincolnville of course; he was prayed over by Buddhist monks in Taiwan, and daily I would hear from far off friends, friends of friends, complete strangers. 

    It is so easy to be cruel behind the cover of a screen. We forget that behind that image, that opinion you detest is a real person. My social media posts of my son and my family during that time not only helped me to express my own fears, but was also an opportunity to share the joy that continued to occur during an extremely difficult time. To show myself as a real person.

    I saw a sign outside of a business the other day, just across our northeastern (Downeast?) border. It read “Fear Less, Love More”.  I appreciate these sentiments. As we continue toward November, and what is increasingly touted by those who rely on your eyes and clicks as a choice for “the future of our civilization”, think about these words. The sun will still rise on November 6, and the person with the sign of the person you hate in their dooryard will still be your neighbor, and will still be there with a pie, or to stack your firewood, or to offer a kind word should tough times come.


    School Budget

    Last Monday the school presented a new budget to the School Board, reducing the proposed increase to 9.9%, thanks to clearer projections. The vast majority of these increases continue to be contractual obligations. The School Board approved of the recommendations, and on Tuesday, the Budget Committee met, and also recommended the current budget. There will be a town meeting on the budget on July 22 and then it will go onto the ballot at a to be determined date. Stay tuned!


    Strawberry Festival

    Speaking of that time again, the Lincolnville UCC Strawberry Festival is coming this Saturday. From 9 to 12 on July 13, there will be hot dogs and strawberry pies and shortcake. The parade will start at 10, heading down Main Street from Drake Corner Store. If you have little ones, gather at the Library to decorate their bikes and trikes, and join the parade as it passes.

    I will be painting faces, but I think we have recruited a few more talented face painters as well. I can still do a decent strawberry, though.

    There will also be live music, baked goods, and activities for the kids!

    All money raised will go toward the historical 1821 church, and its missions, including the Good Neighbors Fund, which offers support to all those in need. The Lincolnville United Christian Church is an Open and Affirming congregation, open to all.

    While you are in the Center, stop by the bake sale at 233 Main Street, put on by the LCS eighth grade class to raise money for their end of year trip. And the Lincolnville Library will also be hosting a free decorate your own birdhouse for the youngsters, once they are full of hotdogs and strawberries.


    VFW Auxilliary Lobster and Clam Feast

    After strawberry shortcake, why not head over to the Belfast Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall at 34 Field Street for lobsters and clams and all the fixings. The VFW Auxiliary will be holding their annual dinner from 12-4 p.m. on June 13. Meal tickets are $35 dollars presale, and $40 on the day of. A burger or hotdog meal will be $12. There will also be a silent auction.

    Money raised will go for veteran and community services, as well as toward the Carmine Pickerelli scholarship fund. For information contact the VFW at 207-338-2358 or Connie at 207-322-8327. One more way communities support each other.


    So my boss gave me a week off, and I am looking forward to enjoying some summer free of responsibility for a bit. Be good and kind, bake a pie for someone who could use a pie. And who couldn’t use a pie? Reach out at ceobrien246@gmail.com.


    CALENDAR

    Monday, July 8

    Lincolnville Historical Society Museum open, 1-4 p.m., 33 Beach Road

    Recreation Committee, 4 p.m. Town Office

    Land Use Committee, 4 p.m. Town Office

    Select Board Meeting, 6 p.m. Town Office


    Tuesday, July 9

    Library open 3-6 p.m. 208 Main Street

    AA Meeting 12:15 p.m., Community Building, 18 Searsmont Road

    Budget Committee Meeting, 6 p.m. Town Office


    Wednesday, July 10

    Lincolnville Historical Society Museum open, 1-4 p.m., 33 Beach Road

    Library open 2-5 p.m. 

    Planning Board, 7 p.m. Town Office


    Thursday, July 11

    Conservation Commission, 4 p.m. Town Office

    Heart & Soul Team, Safe Access, 6 p.m., Breezemere Park


    Friday July 12

    Lincolnville Historical Society Museum open, 1-4 p.m., 33 Beach Road

    AA Meeting 12:15 p.m., Community Building, 18 Searsmont Road

    Library open 9-12, 208 Main Street


    Saturday, July 13

    Library open 9-12, 208 Main Street

    Strawberry Festival, 9-12, 18 Searsmont Road

    Main Street Parade, 10 a.m.


    Sunday, July 14

    United Christian Church, 9:30 a.m. Worship, 18 Searsmont Road

    Bayshore Baptist Church, 9:30 a.m. Sunday School, 11:00 worship, 2648 Atlantic Highway