Friday, February 22, 2019

Calling all high school juniors for Boys State

By Dave Tanguay

Attention all Junior Boys in the Windham-Raymond High School area. The 73rd annual Dirigo Boys State will be convening at Thomas College, Waterville, Maine, June 16-20, 2019.  This is a great opportunity for motivated young men to immerse themselves in a week of comradeship and an opportunity for those junior boy candidates to learn how to run for office and carry out the functions of state government.

The Field-Allen Legion Post 148 of Windham is sponsoring candidates for this unique program and will pay the tuition cost of $300.00 for each selected candidate. Candidates are, however, responsible for their own transportation to Waterville.  Last year over 220 junior boys from all over the State attended Dirigo Boys State.  The goal this year is to have an even greater number. 

The selection process is as follows: Junior boys interested in attending Dirigo Boys State can make their intentions known by contacting the school’s guidance office prior to the end of March. A general briefing will be held in early April for all candidates followed a week later by interviews by the Legion Staff. All BS applicable forms must be completed and submitted by the interview date. Following the interview, those selected will be designated as either a primary or alternate candidate. 

If a primary candidate is unable to attend, then an alternate will take his place, Participants must commit to attending prior to their application being submitted to Dirigo Boys State. 

For further information, contact your guidance officer or Field-Allen Post 148 Commander, Mel Greenier (207 892-7449).

Future articles will address how local businesses can support candidates for both Boys and Girls State.


Before the memory fades: A century of snow fighters

A snowroller at Boody's store. Boody's Corner, North Windham
By Walter Lunt

Windham resident, Raymond Philpot, has an unusual hobby; he studies the history of snowplows, and re-creates them in miniature.

“There’s more to (snowplows) than meets the eye. The way they’re designed, all the moving parts, the physics (behind) moving snow. Over the years, snow fighters worked with what they had.” explained Philpot.

Utilizing 22-gauge sheet metal; hobby wood; strips of vinyl; micro nuts and bolts; brazing rod wire; jewelry chain and parts of old, discarded toy trucks, Philpot fabricates working models of old-time snow fighting equipment, including V-shaped wooden draggers, snow rollers and 1920s and ‘30s vintage tractors.

As seen in the accompanying photo, the wooden V-plow (A) from the 1800s was horse drawn and used to clear one lane along a road way. “The operator would then turn his rig around and, using only one side of the V-plow, clear the other lane. And it could clear a parking lot (sized yard) by operating in circles.”  said Philpot.

Philpot's recreation of snowplows through the centuries
The snow roller (B), is a giant, wide wheel used in Windham into the 20th century. The horse drawn implement would pack snow to accommodate sleighs and wagons equipped with skis or runners. The snow roller had a rear-mounted scraper to clear the snow and ice that would stick to its wooden planks. Often, boxes filled with rocks were fixed to the back of the roller for added packing power.
In most towns, including Windham, the municipality owned the roller; farmers with teams of horses were hired to roll the streets. Philpot said his research turned up humorous stories about Windham’s roller operators. It seems the farmers were paid both money and grog for their services. Grog, a diluted rum beverage, was said to “warm the body” of those working in cold weather. The story goes that operators would frequently imbibe heavily and pass out in the snow roller seat. The horses, familiar with the route, would finish the job.

“More than one “old-timer” in Windham told me that story,” said Philpot.

In an article written many years ago, the late Ken Cole, Jr. described snow removal in Windham in the 1930s. “A bull dozer (C) would be put into a (plow) frame.” In the days before hydraulics, a three-man crew consisted of a driver and two ‘wing men.’ In order to raise and lower the front V-plow, the big rig had to be stopped. Operators would make the adjustment by hand, utilizing the built-in ‘pry bar extensions’ that ran the length of the tractor. Cole reported “It was a slow, hard task. And it would not begin until the storm was over. The great plow could be heard a mile away, “venturing forth at a top speed of six to eight miles an hour.” Farm families along the way would provide hot drinks and snacks to the operators.

Philpot said a similar tractor plow was sheltered near Boody’s Store during the 1930 Thanksgiving Day fire in North Windham. “Someone drove it out just in time – it narrowly escaped the blaze that destroyed the store.”

By the late 1930s and into the ‘40s, heavy trucks pushing straight-bladed plows became the norm. Before the days of the familiar yellow plows, the blades were black and silver (D). There were two operators; one drove, the other raised and lowered the plow by means of a second steering wheel connected to the plow. Philpot’s working model recreates the lift assembly using a plastic worm gear secured from the heater of a present-day automobile. The facsimile tire chains were fashioned from necklaces. “Those chains,” said Philpot, “took 2 ½ weeks to make.”

Soon, Philpot’s working models will be on display at the Windham Historical Society’s museum on Windham Center Road.   

Nearly all the snow fighting machines of the past have vanished into history’s graveyard. But thanks to the artistry and craftsmanship of Raymond Philpot and his unusual hobby, we get one last glimpse of snow clearing the way it used to be, before the memory fades.  <


Friday, February 15, 2019

Second in a series: Calling all juniors for Girls State

By Dave Tanguay

Junior girls at Windham High School or those who live in Windham and Raymond but attend other schools are invited to participate in the 73rd Annual Dirigo Girls State. It will be convening at Husson University, Bangor Maine, June 16 to 21, 2019.  This is a great opportunity for motivated young women to immerse themselves in a week of comradeship and an opportunity for those junior girls’ candidates to learn how to campaign for state office and carry out the functions of state government.

The Field-Allen Legion Auxiliary Unit 148 of Windham is sponsoring candidates for this unique program and will pay the tuition cost of $320 for each selected candidate. Candidates are, however, responsible for their own transportation to Bangor.

Last year over 200 junior girls from all over the state attended Girls State and the goal is to have a greater number attend this year. 
http://windhamrecreation.org/
The selection process is as follows: Junior girls interested in attending Dirigo Girls State can make their intentions known by contacting the school’s guidance office prior to the end of March. A general briefing will be held in early April for all candidates followed a week later by interviews by the Legion Auxiliary. All GS applicable forms must be completed and submitted by the interview date. Following the interview, those selected will be designated as either a primary or alternate candidate. If a primary candidate is unable to attend, then an alternate will take her place, Participants must commit to attending prior to their application being submitted to Dirigo Girls State. 

For further information, Contact your guidance officer or Field-Allen ALA President, Pam Whynot: 892-4720 or pwhynot81719@roadrunner.com         
                                 
Future articles will address: Boys and Girls State and how local business can support or sponsor candidates.

Music with a Mission features The Collins Band in concert Saturday March 2


On Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m., Music with a Mission is proud to kick off its seventh season by featuring The Collins Band for an evening of great music.  The Collins Band provides the upbeat music of Progressive Americana: a mostly acoustic mix of blues, jazz, folk-rock and the good stuff in between.  Based here in Southern Maine, they're known for soulful ballads, optimistic toe-tappers, from-the-gut blues solos, and intricate harmonies. The Collins Band includes: Dave Collins: vocals, acoustic and electric guitars; Rudy Gabrielson: blues harmonica, keyboards and vocals; Crista Koerber: vocals, percussion; and Paul Riechmann: stand-up bass and vocals. 
  
The Music with a Mission concert series is sponsored by the North Windham Union Church, which donates a portion of the proceeds to area non-profits.  During the first six seasons, MWAM provided over $60,000 for mission support to the church and other community organizations.  The Collins Band has chosen to support Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors with the community proceeds from this concert. Since starting in 2007, Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors has provided emergency one-time fuel assistance to people in need throughout the community.

http://standishrec.com/info/default.aspxTickets will be sold at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students, children, and seniors.  They are also available online at mwamconcerts.com.  The box office opens at 6 p.m. and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The North Windham Union Church is located at 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.  For more information please call 892-7149 or email MWAMconcerts@gmail.com.
Music with a Mission – Celebrating great music with concerts for the common good.

MWAM Committee: Jim McBride, Rick & Linda Nickerson, Michael & Ruth Kepron, Allen & Dawn Sample, Peter & Dorine Ryner and Chick Marks

WHS senior shares an excerpt from her book

Below is an excerpt from a book written by a senior at Windham High School. Karyn Dion will be a 2019 graduate and as a part of her Capstone Project, is making the publication of her book (no title as of this publication) a part of her educational requirements for graduation. To help Karyn with her publishing endeavors and to reach her goal, we accepted her writing as publishable by The Windham Eagle newspaper standards and are publishing the following material. Enjoy.        

“One Morning”

By Karyn Dion

The next day I woke up to Riley staring at me from the other end of the couch. 
"Hi" I mumbled as I stretched and sat up. " Morning," she started, " So I'm just wondering, why am I in your house?" I chuckled a little and replied, "Because I knew if I took you back to your place you wouldn't sleep, again." 

She looked at the floor in front of her, suddenly very interested by it. 

 I decided it was time for coffee and headed for the machine. Riley got up and followed me as I started putting a k-cup in the machine. It started to brew, and I said " I'll be right back, I'm gonna go get dressed. If you want some coffee, you can have that cup or make your own. That one's hazelnut." I finished, pointing to the cup of coffee that was still brewing. Riley nodded and I walked off to my room and looked in the mirror. " Oh God." I muttered, seeing the state of my hair. I grabbed a hairbrush and got to work. 

Just as I got out into the living room, I saw Riley plopped on the couch clutching her coffee mug like a lifeline. I smirked and grabbed a mug out of the cupboard. The coffee started, and I walked over to her. I sank down a couple feet away from Riley and switched on the TV.  Some crappy kids cartoon came on and I sat back and mentally followed the show’s interactive instructions. I looked over at Riley and realized she was trying to muffle laughter as she doubled over on the couch. I blushed a deep red and realized that maybe I had followed the show aloud. Riley stopped laughing for the most part for a second so she could get out a few words.  

“So is this what you do with your free time.” 

https://www.mssm.org/summer-programs/summer-campI laughed awkwardly, “N-No.” I stammered attempting to sound like I actually had a life and failing massively by the way Riley just burst out laughing again. I laughed along with her as she went to take a sip of her coffee and ended up spilling it a bit. I immediately jumped up and got her a paper towel. She dabbed at her shirt gingerly and smiled up at me as thanks, her face now turning a shade of light   
pink.
       
Later on, we headed out to get some proper food instead of just coffee, which was all I had in the house. So, we headed for the diner we went to the night before and ordered some breakfast. I giggled as Riley got ketchup on her nose as she lifted her ketchup-covered eggs to her mouth. She gave me a questioning look, which made me laugh even more. I pointed to my nose, and she turned bright red. She took her sleeve and wiped her nose a couple times before uncovering it and seeking confirmation it was gone. I nodded and excused myself to the bathroom.

When I returned, Riley had paid the bill and was waiting by the door. 

“Ready to go?”



Friday, February 8, 2019

Five ways to protect your vacant house and property


Article brought to you courtesy of Tricia Zwirner, Windham State Farm Agent

If your former home hasn't sold, your vacant property could fall victim to the elements, system failure, vandalism, or burglary. Take steps to lessen the risk for potentially costly issues.

1)      Maintain the exterior. Don't let your property look neglected. Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed, or in winter, your driveway shoveled. Trim branches that could fall and damage your roof during a storm and clean out clogged gutters to avoid water damage. Check that exterior lights are working.

2)      Take precautions with the interior. Install working deadbolts on exterior doors, and make sure all windows are securely locked. Set your thermostat at a constant temperature (high enough in winter to prevent freezing) and replace the thermostat's battery. Seal up pet doors to keep out pests, animals, and other potential intruders.

3)      Enhance the vacant property's security. Add motion-sensor lights and entry alarms. Keep bushes trimmed to remove potential hiding places for burglars. Close the curtains and blinds to prevent people from seeing in. Use timers for lights and consider adding a unit that simulates a flickering TV to deter criminals.

4)      Round up support. Enlist neighbors or friends for additional vacant property protection. Ask them to alert you of any concerns and occasionally park in the driveway to help make your home seem occupied. Notify the police and the fire department that the house will be vacant and leave your phone number with them.

5)      Protect your investment. Be aware that if your home is vacant for a month or more, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover losses that occur while it's vacant. You may need to add a vacancy endorsement to your policy. Talk with your homeowner’s insurance agent about your options.



Book Review of “The Duff”

Reviewed by Reegan Burke, 9th grade student at Windham High School

Kody Keplinger has brought her readers a compelling, witty, and laugh out-loud romance novel with her release of “The Duff”. Bianca is a witty eighteen-year-old girl with two best friends and a tongue sharper than daggers. When Bianca’s life begins to fall apart piece by piece, she becomes more vulnerable than she has ever been before. What does not help her situation is when Wesley Rush, womanizer of Hamilton High, gives her the nickname Duff: Designated, ugly, fat friend.

Bianca is hurting more than she ever thought possible. Throughout her pain, Bianca tries to stay normal as to not worry her best friends, Casey and Jessica. Life is not getting better as people from her past begin to show themselves, and Bianca throws herself at the first distraction possible which just happens to be Wesley. Bianca struggles to keep her shameful relationship with Wesley a secret, while still fighting with every other aspect of her life.

Keplinger shows throughout the story that you can know someone and not really know them at all. Bianca, as well as the reader, begins to realize that maybe Wesley is not someone to compare to Satan; in fact, she might actually like him.

Keplinger shows character progression throughout this entire novel; there is no character that stayed the same during the progression of this novel. Readers will forever be changed while reading this novel and will soon realize we are all duffs in our own special way.

Readers who enjoyed “Duff” and are eager to get their hands on another book that will fill the hole that this book left in their hearts, should pick up the book “Obsidian” by Jennifer L. Armentrout. While this book is a fantasy romance, it has the same witty banter and grasping plot line that “Duff” contains. “Obsidian” is just the cure to the bookish hangover that is left after finishing “The Duff” by Kody Keplinger.