Friday, June 22, 2018

Special ceremony at Windham Veterans Center to retire torn and tattered flags

There are several ways to respectfully dispose of the American flag without showing disgrace. The most common method is burning the torn or tattered flag in a special ceremony. This occurred at dusk on Flag Day, Thursday June 14th when the Field-Allen Post 148 and Scout Troop 805 joined together at the Windham Veterans Center in a Special Flag Retirement Ceremony. (L-R), Post 148 2nd Vice Commander, Jeff Cook; Post Sgt. at Arms, Larry DeHof; 1st Vice Commander, Rebecca Cummings; and in the background members of Scout Troop 805 holding flags to be retired by burning. These flags were collected from the graves of Windham veterans this last Memorial Day as well as those left at the Scout collection sites around Windham.

Christina Warren makes a connection with students through art by Matt Pascarella

Warren with her fans (aka students)
Christina Warren is a practicing artist and an art teacher at Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond. She works in encaustic wax, or hot wax painting, which involves adding colored pigments to melted wax. She has a studio in her home where she has shown her work, sold her work and is currently working on a Maine series with postcards.

Warren has been going to art school since the 5th grade, which at that time was the Portland School of Art. By the time she was 18, there was no doubt in her mind she wanted to be an artist. She got her fine arts degree at the Portland College of Art, now the Maine College of Art.

Making it as an artist is not easy, so when her kids began school, Warren began subbing in the Windham district. This made her a better art teacher, as she understood more about classroom teaching. While subbing, the teachers encouraged her to be a teacher and go back to school. She went to the University of Southern Maine and got her teaching certificate. She was quickly hired at Windham Primary School. She taught there for a while and after some district restructuring, moved to Jordan-Small Middle School where Warren enjoys the small classroom and learning environment.

“I’ve gotten to know the kids, I can teach to their skills,” she explains. “I can have a sequence. I start in 5th grade and build their skills right to the 8th grade. The kids’ work is coming out phenomenal.” She gets to know them personally and that makes a difference. The students take care of the teachers as much as the teachers take care of the students.

Warren went back to get her master’s in Integrated Arts and Curriculum Development through a weekend program at Lesley University; graduating in 2009. She integrates her curriculum with other subjects like science, by creating stop motion movies of planets; or health by studying advertising, discussing persuasion and then making a piece of art out of an ad.

Warren’s goal as an art teacher is to have students think and problem solve like artists once they leave her class. If they can approach any project the way an artist would; reflect experiment, practice and maybe add color – then she’s done.

The Windham Eagle newspaper staff awarded for ongoing support of veterans

The Windham Eagle newspaper was honored last Wednesday, June 13th by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars when they awarded a citation, stating “In recognition of and sincere appreciation for the consistent wholehearted efforts through which this newspaper has promoted citizenship and education of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.” We are always honored to serve those who have served for us.

L to R: Walter Braley (VFW), Melissa Carter (Advertising), Kelly Mank (Owner), Willie Goodman (VFW), Mary Emerson (Office Manager), Lorraine Glowczak (Managing Editor) and Roger Timmons (VFW).

Raymond Village Community Church to dedicate window panel art

A two-year project, by members of the congregation to create colorful window panels depicting seven major passages from the Bible, will come to a joyous end on Sunday, June 24 at 10 a.m. This is when the panels will be formally dedicated during the regular Sunday Service at the Raymond Village Community Church, 27 Main St. in Raymond Center.  Everyone in the community is cordially invited to attend the service and dedication.

Over twenty of the church’s parishioners had a hand in painting the panels, spending over 200
Church members with two of the window panes
workhours during a series of seven workshops. The panels were made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship. That grant paid for all materials and made it possible for the church to retain the services of UCC Pastor and artist Rev. Diane Wendorf, who designed the panels and facilitated the parishioners who collaborated in paining them.

Each of the seven pairs of 15-foot-high panels, frame one of the seven large windows in the Church. The panels can be closed to darken the Church during special services and to allow the projection of multi-media presentations during worship. Most of the time, they are open, “looking like stained glass, only sitting beside each window, not in it,” said RVCC Pastor Rev. Nancy Foran. “And when they are closed, they look like stained glass from the outside.”

The sanctuary of the church is already decorated with trompe l’oeil designs on each wall and the ceiling was painted by a former pastor approximately 150 years ago. “The new panels are meant both to complement and contrast with the historic decoration,” says Rev. Foran. “They add new life and vibrant color to our almost 200-year-old church, reminding everyone that no matter how old an institution, the church needs to be vital, and always growing and changing.”

The panels depict seven different passages in the Bible from Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah, Matthew, John, and Revelation. 

For further information about the panels and the dedication, email Rev. Foran at, or call the church at 655-7749.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Student of the Week: McKenzie Keeney

McKenzie Keeney, a fifth-grade student at Jordan-Small Middle School is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Keeney, age 10, enjoys participating in 4-H, drama and cross-country.

“McKenzie always has a smile on her face and is friendly to everyone,” stated her teacher. “She always participates in PE activities and gets along well with her peers. She is a diligent worker who strives to do her best in whatever she attempts.”

Kenney states that Project Based Learning is what makes learning fun and her favorite class subject is science. Her favorite holiday is Christmas. During her free time, she enjoys reading and watching T.V.

Windham woman embraces newfound brother by Elizabeth Richards

Louise Coal Beal with her brother Timothy Johnson
Life can be full of twists, turns and new information that changes everything. Windham resident, Louise Cole Beal has been through many ups and downs in her 77 years. A revelation of a long held secret recently sent her to a new high when she learned she has a younger brother that she never knew.  

Beal received a message through Facebook out of the blue one day a few short months ago. In that message, Timothy Johnson named some of her siblings, asking if she was the Louise Cole related to them. He said her father, Charlie Cole, had married his mother, Gladys Johnson, in 1959. They had a child, he reported, and that child was him. He asked her to contact him if she was the one he was looking for.

Beal said the information he’d given was accurate and she remembered her father’s marriage to Gladys Johnson, though it had only lasted a few months. Though suspicious, she took a chance and wrote back to him.   
So began a back and forth correspondence that culminated in DNA testing that showed evidence that Johnson and Beal were, indeed, siblings. “I was in shock,” Beal said. “It’s a mind boggler,” she said about the whole situation.
Once their blood relationship was confirmed, Beal embraced Johnson into her family. She invited he and his wife, Suzanne, to her house for lunch so they could meet in person. “It was nice, and I got to know what kind of a person he was. He’s a very nice person. I said that doesn’t surprise me because Ionly have nice people in my family,” Beal said.

Beal and Johnson communicate every day, via phone, facetime, and social media. The Johnsons will visit again in July to meet some of Beal’s children, grandchilden, and great-grandchildren, along with some neices. She has reached out to everyone, introducing their long-lost family member, she said. The family response has been nothing but positive, she added.

Johnson said that a couple of years ago, one of his brothers called asking if he was looking for his real father. At the time, he dismissed this conversation, because he said he’d believed with all his heart that Winifred Johnson, whom his mother remarried after her divorce from Charlie Cole, was his father.

Then, a few months ago, Johnson said his wife and her family were doing some DNA testing, and he thought he would as well. That old conversation with his brother resurfaced in his mind, and he called his sister to ask her about it. “She went silent,” he said, which tipped him off that something was up. Finally, his siblings told him the truth – he did, in fact, have a different father.

Although he was angry at first, Johnson said, he does not have any animosity towards the siblings who kept this secret. And though he’s getting to know his new family, he still has constant contact with the siblings he’s always known as well.

Others can learn from their story, said Beal and Johnson. Beal, who is very interested in geneology and has traced her roots back to the Mayflower, said she believes everybody has a right to know where they came from, who they are, and their family’s medical history. “There’s so many people in this world wandering around that don’t know where they belong or who they are. And that’s sad,” she said.

Beal believes that had her father known he had another son, he would have gone to all lengths to contact him and be part of his life, “like I am doing.”
   said he thinks his story could be encouragement for others who may be in the same situation, deciding whether or not to tell another family member the truth. “It can be such a wonderful blessing to know that  there are other family members willing to accept you and take you in as their own,” he said. While he added there may be legitimate reasons not to tell someone, being accepted into a family even though they had no idea you existed, has been great for him. “It’s like a human response when somebody knows that they’re related to each other, it’s like a bond that forms instantaneously. That certainly happened with Louise and myself,” he said.

Getting to know Beal is an exciting moment in his life, Johnson said. “She’s just a wonderful, wonderful person. She’s full of life and she puts her heart in everything she does. I just really love her and she’s an awesome sister. I’m so so glad that I finally was able to meet her in person,” he said.

A matter of historical record: The story behind Gambo’s mysterious dog grave by Walter Lunt

Last of a two-part series

As reported in part one (The Windham Eagle-June 1, 2018), a lonely gravestone overlooking the quiet flow of the Presumpscot River in South Windham belongs to a greyhound dog named Malsee. The inscription identifies Malsee as the faithful friend of Gen. Hooton and suggests a connection with the First Regiment at Chickamauga, Spanish-American /War.

Gen. Hooton in 1898. He was a fan of greyhounds. He buried his beloved greyhound, Malsee, in Windham. The exact inscription on the stone states: "In memory of Malsee, General Hooton's faithful Grayhound. Born in Montana 1894. Died 1908 with First Regt at Chickamauga in Spanish War"

Research by local resident Alan Anderson, confirms Malsee was the favorite of several greyhounds owned by Gen. Mott Hooton, who spent nearly a lifetime in the U.S. Army over three wars

Evidence suggests that Hooton’s half-sister, Sally Rhodes, cared for Malsee in South Windham, a location far from the general’s life experiences. It is likely he would trust only family to look after his beloved and “faithful friend.”

Malsee’s solitary gravesite, with its inscription (see box quote) was a decades-old mystery until Anderson, after years of searching, discovered that the general has a biographer.

Kevin Brown and Amy King, two Pennsylvania writers, are currently collaborating on a book about Hooton, who, they have learned had a classic and triumphant military career.
Mott Hooton was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1838. He attended Bolmar’s Academy in West Chester; which is described as semi-military in discipline.

As Hooton recorded humbly in his military memoirs, “Shortly after Fort Sumpter was fired on, I enlisted in a company (and) mustered into the 1st Infantry Pennsylvania Reserve Corps.” The historical record reveals a modest man who had deep respect for the uniform he wore and a profound love of country (and greyhound dogs). He glosses over his many promotions and minimizes the reasons for them. He rose through the ranks during the Civil War, having fought in numerous major battles, including the Peninsula campaign, the second Battle of Bull Run (where he was severely wounded – 1862), Gettysburg (1863) and the Overland Campaign (1864).

In 1865, he was promoted and recognized for gallant and meritorious service in the Wilderness Campaign.

By 1866, Hooton was engaged with the 22nd Infantry and spent the next 30 years as an Indian fighter on frontier posts in Montana, Colorado and Texas where he took part in one of the most famous incidents with Sitting Bull, during the Centennial Campaign of 1876. His gallantry in the two-day battle would see him rewarded with a brevet of Major in the U.S. Regular Army.

Details of this and other running battles with Sioux Indians can be found at 1898, as noted in his military memoir, “When the Spanish-American War broke out…I commanded the first troops that moved in the war.”
As a major in the 5th Infantry (the famed Negro Regiment) that made the historic charge up San Juan Hill, Hooton again distinguished himself and was promoted to lieutenant-colonel.
In 1901, as he neared mandatory retirement, Hooton was charged with organizing a new infantry, and in the process found yet another way to bring honor to his name.
Reports of drunkenness and disorderliness among enlisted men were somewhat common on pay days. In an effort to establish order early-on, Hooton addressed the over 600 new troops just prior to their first 2-month pay: “Your commanding officer indulges (in) the hope that your behavior (will) reflect credit upon yourselves, this new regiment and upon the army as a whole. (Let) no act bring disgrace on the uniform you wear.”
A local newspaper observed the order to be, “dignified and an appeal to the soldiers’ better nature…true American manhood responded (because) not a single case of disorderly conduct occurred.”
Hooton retired in 1902. He had been promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He came to Windham to help his sister, Sally, care for their dead sister, Annie Charey’s children. Gen. Hooton had become their surrogate father.
Eventually, they moved to Gardiner, Maine where Hooton passed away in 1920 at the age of 82. His connection to the town Windham rests with Malsee on the marble gravestone near the Presumpscot water at Gambo.