Friday, March 29, 2019

Aubuchon Hardware stores “Hammer Away Cancer” for the Jimmy Fund

Customers receive Aubuchon Rewards when they make a donation

WESTMINISTER, MA – Aubuchon Hardware, a family-owned hardware store chain in the northeastern United States is proud to announce a fundraising campaign, Hammer Away Cancer, benefitting the Jimmy Fund, which supports the fight against cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Through April 14, Aubuchon Hardware customers can raise funds for patient care and research at Dana-Farber by donating any amount at the register. When customers donate $5 or more, they will receive an Aubuchon Reward good for $5 off their next purchase. The campaign’s goal is to raise more than $50,000 for Dana-Farber.

This year’s patient partner is M. Marcus Moran Jr., former CEO/Treasurer of Aubuchon Hardware. He has been a long-time supporter of Dana-Farber, where he was treated for colon cancer more than 20 years ago. As a patient partner, Moran will encourage employees and customers to participate in Hammer Away Cancer and may appear in marketing materials, including social media, to help promote the fundraising campaign.

"We are extremely pleased to once again partner with the Jimmy Fund, supporting the fight against cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,” said Mike Mattson, vice president, marketing, Aubuchon Hardware. With so many lives touched by this terrible disease, it's rewarding to join forces with our customers and employees in an effort to raise meaningful dollars to help fund continued life-saving research."

Aubuchon Hardware has a long history of helping the communities and neighborhoods it serves by giving back to numerous charitable causes and local community organizations.

Family owned and with over a century of history behind it, Aubuchon Hardware proudly operates more than 103 stores throughout New England and upstate New York, as well as an online store. For more information on the company’s history, locations, or its products and services, please visit:   
About the Jimmy Fund
The Jimmy Fund ( solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for all forms of adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. It is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the official charity of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

Before the memory fades: Windham’s New Marblehead Militia

By Walter Lunt

Their military uniforms were handmade from sewing patterns, their firearms made from musket kits and their inspiration from a sense of hometown history. The reactivated New Marblehead Militia was born during the lead-up to America’s bicentennial year of 1976. It began as a casual remark made by one teacher to another over lunch at Windham High School early in 1975.

“Wouldn’t it be fun if we had Revolutionary War militia,” mused Industrial Technology instructor Everett Millett. The reply, from natural sciences teacher Bob Hunt was, “Good idea, Everett. Why don’t you go ahead and do it.”

He did. And Windham’s New Marblehead Militia, complete with color guard and fife & drum, was marching in parades, re-enacting colonial style military battles and performing commemorative salutes at veteran gravesites in time for the United States’ 200th birthday on July 4, 1976.

Although well-known and popular in Windham, where it originated, the militia performed throughout New England from 1976 through the 1980s, re-enacting the major battles of the Revolutionary War.
The New Marblehead Militia was the resurrection of an earlier call-to-arms when one of Windham’s (then known as New Marblehead) early founders, Richard Mayberry, responded to Gen. George Washington’s call for able-bodied patriots to defend the colonies against British tyranny.

“Mayberry’s Company,” made up of local farmers and merchants, would become the fifth Company of the 11th Massachusetts Regiment and would serve at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78.
Millett’s revived militia of 1976 was comprised of several dozen volunteers from Windham and other Lake Region towns. Authenticity became the watchword.

Period muskets were produced. “There were three types,” according to Millett. The British Brown & Bess musket ironically provided to colonists earlier by the British in the defense against Indians and the French. Another type was the French Charlieville. Both were smooth-bore flintlock muskets used in close quarter battles. The third, known as the Pennsylvania long rifle (or Kentucky squirrel gun), was of German origin and made by colonial gunsmiths. Its rifled barrel was useful for distant shooting. Each volunteer in Millett’s militia chose his own preferred type of firearm.

Millett ordered the gun kits in bulk and taught an adult education course in their construction.

The uniforms, handmade by family members of the volunteers, were eye-catching, especially those of the Continental line (regulars) and fife & drum units. The Continental soldiers sported field-color blue coats with white button-down fronts. The shirts, ruffled collars and sleeves and knee-length trousers were shiny white. The fife and drum unit, comprised of eight to 12 junior and senior high school students, led the marching militia in three-pointed tricorn hats and equally colorful shirts and vests.

Millett credits individual and business donations for the financial support of the militia during its 15-plus year run. He said, during its heyday, the New Marblehead Militia volunteers numbered between 25 and 30 members and would often split into multiple contingents for simultaneous appearances around New England.

Militia volunteer Bill Hager of Windham recalls one particularly exciting re-enactment in Rhode Island. It was a recreation of the Battle of Aquidneck Island, one of the largest battles of the Revolution, and considered one of the most significant shows of resistance by the Continental forces (1779).

“We were firing cannon from shore at a sailing force of British square-rigged schooners. Quite loud and very spectacular.” The battle cost the British one of its few strongholds on the Continent at the time. Hager added the huge reenactment drew thousands of spectators, who watched scores of militia units totaling an estimated 2200 reenactors from all over New England.

“I felt pride and a sense of satisfaction (by participating),” said Hager, “It was (part of) the struggle that founded our country.”

The Windham militia was a popular and welcome presence at parades. They were in heavy demand at area Founders, Old Home and Memorial Day parades. The fife and drum would herald the militia’s approach; a color guard promenaded the U.S., the state of Maine and the fifth company flags – the latter portraying a green pine tree and blue cross on a field of white. The minutemen and Continental line followed. The captain, flanking the marching men, would shout the commands for cadence, “Hut-2, hut-2. And occasionally, “Left shoulder, arms” or right shoulder, arms” (because the muzzle loaders, weighing up to 8 or 9 pounds, would begin to feel too heavy on the same shoulder).

One self-proclaimed and solemn duty of the New Marblehead Militia was to honor their forebears. The blue-uniformed Continental line visited the grave sites of each member of “Mayberry’s Company” and fired off an honor salute (pictured here).

The New Marblehead Militia no longer graces our parades and special events. But Millett says that 6 to 10 of the members gather once a year for a pot luck supper to remember the glory days and to view, once again, the 5th Company flag and the uniforms.

And who knows, with Maine’s 200th birthday just around the corner in 2020, perhaps, over lunch, someone will make a casual remark, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if…….”   

Friday, March 22, 2019

Raymond Elementary student’s artwork on display in Augusta

Summer Bush with her artwork
By Lorraine Glowczak

The Maine Education Office in Augusta celebrated March as Youth Art Month with an exhibit coordinated by the Maine Arts Education Association. Student artwork from around the state is on display in the main corridor of their offices. Summer Bush, a fourth grader at Raymond Elementary School, contributed her Cat on a Limb artwork to the exhibit. She was selected and recognized at an opening celebration on March 3.

It all started from an art assignment by RSU14 Art Teacher, Robin Greeley. Greeley, who teaches art
at both Raymond Elementary and Windham Primary Schools, provided a step by step artwork assignment on how to make a cat. Little did the young artists know that there was a possibility their creative endeavor would be among those to be chosen, sent to Augusta and selected to be display at the Maine Education Office.

“To make it fair, I do not choose which students’ artwork is to be chosen in any competition,” stated Greeley. “What I do, is select the top 20 students who show some potential and then let the principal, vice principal and teachers choose their favorite art work, without the name of the artist attached so they have no clue who they are voting for. Once they have voted, I then take those final votes and ask the staff to vote on the remaining art. As a result, the students are chosen based solely on artistic merit.”

After going through the selection process, it was determined that Bush was the winner. Greeley stated that she contacted Bush’s mom first to get consent and permission to move forward. “My mom told me that my artwork was going to be on display in Augusta,” explained Bush. “Although it seemed exciting, I had no clue what she was talking about. ‘What do you mean’, I asked.”

It was after talking with Mrs. Greeley the next day that Bush fully understood the honor she received
as a young artist.

It seems Bush comes from a family of artists. Both her mother and father enjoy artwork and create their own drawings and sketches. “My mom calls me an artist,” Bush said. And, although Bush loves to draw, she doesn’t’ see art as a potential career. “I want to be a veterinarian,” she said, explaining that art would only be a hobby when she is an adult.

When asked how she gains inspiration for her new-found hobby when she is not in the classroom, Bush states that she looks at items around her house for creative insight. “I sit in my bedroom and look at everything that is in the room,” she began. “And I happen to look at something and decide it would be fun to draw what I am looking at.” for other budding artists, she encourages individuals to draw, paint, etc. from what life has to offer. “My dad likes to draw what is in the garage,” she explained. “We also took a trip to Boston recently, and he drew things that inspired him from the city.”

Bush’s professionally framed painting will remain on display until November of 2019. Then, it will forever remain on the wall of the young artist’s home, where her parents will be eternally proud.

High school to middle school mentoring to make transition stress-free

Dakota Emmons and Molly McAllister 
Middle school can be a challenging time for many students, and the transition from middle school into the high school can cause tremendous anxiety. Through a new initiative, however, Windham High School and Windham Middle School are teaming up to make it a little easier.

The new mentoring program asks Windham High School students in good academic standing and with free periods in their day to volunteer to walk over to Windham Middle School. They are partnered with a sixth to eighth grade student, with pairs chosen based primarily on shared interests.
Once a middle school student is paired with their high school mentor, they meet weekly for the rest of the year.

The mentoring program is beneficial both for the mentor and the mentee. The mentor is provided with an opportunity to develop leadership skills, and the mentee has the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with someone they admire. Many of these middle school students will now have at least one connection when they enter high school.“Younger students look up to older students, and this program is an opportunity for middle-schoolers to build relationships at the high school before they even enter the door as 9th graders,” said Kim McBride, Assistant Principal of Windham Middle School, “Middle-school students are at the age where they are trying to figure out who they are going to be, and having a caring older friend who is a strong role-model can be life-changing.”

In this pilot year, the mentoring program is intentionally remaining small with only 10 mentoring pairs. With a small group, the program has been able to remain flexible and provide solid support for all participants.

“As with any new program, there have been challenges to work through,” said Lanet Hane, Director of Community Connections, “Our mentors have been excellent about sharing their thoughts and ideas for improvement that will be implemented next year.”

As program structures develop, additional mentors will be added to meet the growing need. Applications for high school students interested in serving as mentors will open in late-April, with initial orientations occurring before the end of the end of the school year. In the 2019-2020 school year, the district hopes to match 25 mentoring pairs.

Student of the Week: Lachlan Witten

Lachlan Witten, an AE Team student at Jordan-Small Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Witten states that he enjoys participating in scouts, drama, baseball and spends his free time speeding on Go Karts and Hot Wheels.

Lachlan is always encouraging to others, he is a hard worker who stays focused, is always quick to ask clarifying questions, provides on topic comments and help others understand [the subject matter],” stated his AE Team teachers. “Lachlan is a positive role model both in and out of class. He always participates with a positive attitude and is respectful to everyone.”

Witten’s favorite movie is “Narito” and his favorite musical group is 21 Pilots.

Witten lives at home with on annoying older brother and their dog, Lulu.

Music with a Mission features Side by Each in concert on Saturday March 30th

Music with a Mission is proud to present Side by Each featuring Don and Cindy Roy along with Erica Brown and Matt Shipman who together meld their talents of French Canadian, Celtic and Bluegrass music and step dancing. The event will occur on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at the North Windham Union Church, 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.

Don and Cindy Roy are firmly rooted in the Franco-American musical tradition. A champion fiddler,
Don is also a celebrated luthier, playing his beloved music on a fiddle he crafted himself. Don embraces each part of the music and audiences are quickly caught up in the infectious joy he shares. Cindy Roy is known as the heartbeat of the group, marking the pulse of each tune with her percussive footwork as she accompanies Don on piano.

Cindy also showcases her footwork with the occasional stepdance. Don and Cindy live in Gorham and are dedicated to passing on their tradition and love of music to others. Since 2000, they have led Fiddle-icious, a community fiddle orchestra with more than 100 members. Last year, Don and Cindy were awarded a National Heritage Fellowship — the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts—recognizing their artistic excellence and continuing contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage.

Erica Brown studied fiddle under Don Roy at an early age and was competing in fiddle contests at the age of seven. As a 9-year old, she was traveling throughout New England, Canada and Louisiana with the Maine French Fiddlers. Erica brings a special energy and style to the Maine music scene, and she is widely recognized as one of the best fiddlers in Maine. 

Erica lives in Portland with her husband Matt Shipman where they operate a teaching studio offering lessons and perform together as Darlin Corey and in various other groups, ensembles and jams.  Matt is a very accomplished musician playing guitar and mandolin, bouzouki and clawhammer banjo.  Erica and Matt performed at Music with a Mission last fall as the popular Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection.

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. Side by Each has chosen to support the Windham Food Pantry that provides food assistance to people in need throughout the community.

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.  They are also available online at  The box office opens at 6:00 and the doors will open at 6:30.  For more information please call 892-6142 or email

Music with a Mission – Celebrating great music with concerts for the common good
MWAM Committee: Jim McBride, Rick and Linda Nickerson, Michael and Ruth Kepron, Allen and Dawn Sample, Peter and Dorine Ryner and Chick Marks

Scottish legend, Dougie MacLean to appear in Windham

Dougie MacLean

Dougie MacLean will be appearing at the Windham Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. and The Windham Chamber Singers will appear as special guests.

Billed as Scotland's pre-eminent singer-songwriter, MacLean is internationally renowned for his song 'Caledonia', a piece that has become a staple in the Windham Chamber Singer’s repertoire. His music was also featured in the movie, “Last of the Mohicans”.

He has received two prestigious Tartan Clef Awards, a place in the Scottish Music Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement Award from BBC Radio, Two Folk Awards and an Order of the British Empire.

He was dubbed “a musical hero” by the Wall Street Journal. 

According to Chamber Singer’s conductor, Dr. Richard Nickerson, “This will certainly be a night to remember! We are thrilled that we have the opportunity to share the stage with the Dougie MacLean and excited to continue our tradition of bringing the highest quality performers to Windham”
Tickets are $25 reserved seating and on sale now. They can be purchased online at

Knitters Guild offers connection and camaraderie to members of all ages

Young and old knitting together
By Elizabeth Richards

The Lighthouse Knitting Guild of Maine is an excellent resource for anyone with a passion for knitting – or even just a glimmer of interest in learning.

“We are very passionate about [knitting], so I think we are great enablers and encouragers,” said Jackie Lambert, treasurer.  “If I find somebody with the smallest spark of interest, I invite them in.” 

Knitting is a very accessible hobby added guild secretary Rachel Herald. Getting started takes very little financial investment, and there’s always someone available to help you learn. 

“It’s the type of thing that if somebody knows you’re willing to learn, you’re going to find somebody who is willing to teach,” Herald said.

Guild meetings are a great place to find those people, said President Jennifer Fleck. At times, they designate meetings specifically for bringing new knitters, but there are people willing to help at any meeting, she said.

The Lighthouse Knitting Guild got its start in 2015 as a small group of co-workers interested in the craft. Wanting to expand, they used resources from The Knitting Guild of America and began to meet at the Windham Library. Word began to spread, and now there are over 40 members.

Fleck said they outgrew the space in the library, so they worked with the Adult Education program to expand. Lambert said there were times the future of the guild looked uncertain, so watching the group grow has been rewarding. “It’s been amazing to see our group expand, and see our meetings attended by as many as 25 or 30 people at a time.” As membership and the budget expanded, they’ve been able to arrange for well-known designers and teachers in Maine to come and present classes that might otherwise be too expensive for members to access. in the guild is only $20 per year, and includes the classes offered at meetings. This allows for a very diverse membership, Fleck said.  “We’re not all grandmas,” she said. “We’re bringing in a whole new generation of knitters, so everyone’s welcome,” said Fleck.
While knitting used to be done out of necessity, the newer generation is recognizing other benefits to the art, Fleck said. “I can buy a pair of socks a whole lot cheaper than I can make one, so I don’t do it to save money, I don’t do it because my family’s feet are cold. I do it for me, the therapy of it, the camaraderie – getting together with friends and having these three hours for me once a month,” she said.
“To me knitting is very therapeutic, and to have this time with the group, to take a break from responsibilities to my family and just laugh and be with kindred spirits is really nice,” said Lambert.  “Just having this group of people that appreciates the same thing you do. I could show a scarf I made to my child and they’re not going to be nearly as enthused as my cohorts here, so that’s part of the fun as well.”
Being part of the guild opens up other opportunities for connections too.  There’s a Facebook group, a podcast, and a group in Ravelry, an online knitting and crocheting community.  Members sometimes have opportunities to knit for charitable causes as well. “I think a lot of our folks are interested in finding ways to do what we love while giving back at the same time,” Lambert said.

The guild meets at the Windham/Raymond Adult Education Center behind Windham High School. Meetings are typically on the first Saturday of the month, unless it’s a holiday weekend. The next meeting will be April 6th, 2019 beginning at 12:30 p.m.

New members are always welcome.  For more information, visit the website and click the Lighthouse Knitters Guild link. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Anne Blake turns ‘I Cant’ into ‘I Did’ for students and athletes

Anne Blake

By Matt Pascarella

Anne Blake loves her job. She has been a physical therapist for RSU14 for eleven years and has been working in some form of physical therapy for over thirty years. She, along with assistant coach Brittany Taylor, coach the Unified basketball team at Windham High School. Blake also runs the adaptive swim program and, coaches the special Olympics track and field in April, taking student athletes up for the state Special Olympic games in Orono.

As a physical therapist, she works with students who need special requirements to access the school environment. Blake’s job is to figure out how to help or make these students stronger, give them more endurance, better balance, or provide assistance in some way to make the school environment easier for them.

Blake started doing physical therapy in Boston in acute care hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In addition to acute care and rehabilitation, she has also done nursing home care. “I’ve done the whole gamut. I’ve loved it all,” she said.

Her goal as an educator is to take students who may need some extra help and turn those students’ statements of “I can’t, I can’t” into a statement of “yes, I can.” She believes basketball has been an excellent avenue for this. Students may not think they could do something but now they’re on the court scoring baskets. “The biggest thing is to give them the confidence and show them they can do more than they think they can and where their potential really lies.” 

Blake got into coaching as a volunteer for the Special Olympics. Windham’s athletic director, Rich Drummond, saw how well Blake was working with the student athletes and asked if she’d like to be a coach for the Unified basketball team. She is very knowledgeable of the student’s needs and has a love for the students that is obvious if you only observe her interacting with them.

The most important lesson she wants her players to walk away with at the end of a season is ‘I did my best and I had fun.’

Blake, a Windham resident and graduate of the University of New England, has two boys in college. She loves the outdoors, whether it’s paddle boarding, biking, walking or just being outside, she enjoys taking in all that Maine has to offer.

Before the memory fades: Lawrence J.Keddy: industrialist, philanthropist, entrepreneur, animal lover, genius

By Walter Lunt

Two disparate Windham institutions bear the name Keddy. One rescues and rehabilitates abused and neglected horses, the other is now an abandoned mill that once employed dozens of workers in the manufacture of steel products.

Lawrence James Keddy was born New Year’s Day, 1918. His father died when Lawrence was young. He and his two brothers were brought up in a modest household by their single mother in Lynn, Massachusetts. To help keep the fires burning during Depression-era winters, the brothers would scour nearby railroad tracks in search of chunks of coal that had dropped from train cars. While in high school, Lawrence bought a cow and sold milk to his neighbors for 7 cents a quart.

Lawrence James Keddy, 1918 - 2000.
Keddy graduated high school and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied engineering. He left before graduating, feeling he had learned all M.I.T. could offer.

A friend once told of a chance meeting he had in a restaurant with Keddy. The friend, who also had an engineering background, was befuddled with a design problem at his plant. The two pondered over the issue briefly before Keddy picked up a napkin and drew out a corrected design. He had solved the problem on the spot.

During World War II, Keddy was recruited by the Defense Department to improve the guidance system in the noses of bombs.

A friend once called him a genius.

By the 1960s and 70s, Keddy, feeling the entrepreneurial spirit, began researching investment in certain industries, particularly steel. He purchased and ran several mills and hydroelectric stations around the state. In 1978, he bought an aging plant on the Windham side of the Presumpscot River in South Windham. It was formerly a pulp and paper mill, then a steel manufacturing facility. Keddy renovated the structure and redesigned its power plant. For the next 15 years, Keddy Mill Enterprises produced flanges (steel ribbing) that sold all over the world. It was an economic shot-in-the-arm for the small Windham-Gorham neighborhood that had begun the slow process of deterioration. Later, the mill would switch to the production of rebar, but ultimately foreign competition would force closure in 1993.

Keddy became a wealthy industrialist, overseeing his various properties in a private helicopter. But his life was about to change.

It was during this time, living in Falmouth, Maine that he met the love his life. Through a mutual friend, he was introduced to Marylyn Goodreau, then a bank worker. The two discovered they had a common interest: a strong and abiding love of animals.

 “He was a workaholic,” said Goodreau, “(but) I think, through me, he recognized there was something else in life.”

Sickened by the reality of abused and neglected pets, they vowed that, together, they would do something “to enhance the lives of (abused) animals.”

Keddy learned of the State of Maine’s intention to sell or lease a farmhouse, barn and 124 acres of property on River Road near the Maine Correctional Center in South Windham. He and Goodreau visited the site. Both saw the potential of its open fields, woodland and rolling hills as a perfect place for the “enhancement of the lives of animals.” Keddy, who was now president of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, leased the property.

Up to that time there was no facility in Maine for abused large animals. Keddy moved the M.S.S.P.A. headquarters from Portland to Windham where he and Goodreau established a sanctuary for abused animals, large and small. Goodreau recalls the first animals to be placed at the Society:  Silver and Rawdy, a pair of horses from out of town. “You could see their backbones and ribs.” Ultimately, the two were nursed back to health and adopted into a new home.

Most of the animals at the Society were placed there by State Humane Agents, who investigate abuse and neglect complaints. It was felt by many that animal welfare laws in the late 20th century were weak by modern standards. Keddy lobbied successfully for the establishment of an animal welfare board that would promote education and stricter regulations for the protection of animals.

Goodreau remembers one case of cruelty that highlighted Keddy’s selfless dedication to animal welfare.  A standard-bred mare named Hannah was brought to the Society early one evening in late winter.

“She was malnourished and had a broken pelvis. It was like taking a skeleton and applying flesh over it. We called a vet who recommended euthanasia, but I would have no part of that.”

Keddy agreed. That night he called in workers from his mill; working all night, they fit the horse, too weak to stand, into a sling, which hung from the rafters of the barn. Hannah required 24-hour supervision for several weeks. Goodreau, who slept on hay bales in the barn, provided round-the-clock care, tending to the mare’s every need. “Towards the end we had to lower her gradually,” 

Goodreau explained, “slowly increasing the weight on her legs. Keddy visited every day to monitor the horse’s progress. Miraculously, Hannah survived and lived out the remainder of her life on a farm in Fryeburg.

By 1989, Keddy had purchased the farmhouse and its 124 acres. The Society now owned it, free and clear. In addition, he financed construction of a large horse barn with 24 new and spacious stalls. Goodreau says it’s impossible to know how many horses have been placed and rehabilitated over the years, but easily, its numbers in the hundreds.

As the president of M.S.S.P.A., Keddy was responsible for hiring both paid and volunteer staff. An applicant for a part-time public relations position in the early 1980s described the interview process this way: “Resume in hand, I arrived on time for my interview with Mr. Keddy. We met in his tiny office at the M.S.S.P.A. farm in Windham. He greeted me warmly and put me at ease right away. He noted that my credentials fit the job description and started asking me questions. 

The session went well, and I felt the job offer was imminent. Although friendly and affable, my interviewer seemed restrained, so I waited for the loaded question. Instead, he signaled by voice command to someone in the adjoining office. At that moment, a door opened abruptly and like the collective energy of a microburst, nine dogs of all breeds and sizes came bounding into the office – all aimed toward me. Tongues were flapping, tails were a blur, and soon my face was smeared with spittle and my new suit coat and pants coated with dog hair. That they were friendly and eager to greet a stranger was obvious, so I was not alarmed. All competed for my hand to pat heads, but most of my welcoming gestures missed the mark due to their frenzied excitement. I glanced over at Mr. Keddy during this frenetic display. He was grinning ear to ear as he exclaimed, “You’re hired young man. I just had to make sure you were comfortable around animals.” It was, to be sure, the most unusual and creative job interview I ever had.”

Keddy’s interest in animals went beyond household pets. In addition to purchasing the River Road property for the Society, he also bought land off Gambo Road in the Newhall section of Windham. He kept the land in its natural state for conservation and for wildlife protection. While surveying the property, he discovered a mysterious gravesite. The headstone was moss-covered and overgrown in trees and bushes; the inscription read “In memory of Malsee, General Hooton’s faithful Greyhound. Born in Montana 1894. Died 1908 with First Regt at Chickamauga in Spanish War.”

In addition to being puzzled by the solitary placement of the grave site, Keddy was moved by it. He had a steel fence built around the headstone and kept it free of bushes and fallen tree limbs.
Keddy and the late historian Kay Soldier researched the information on the headstone for over a decade with no success. Keddy died in 2000 never having learned the story behind the mysterious dog grave.

Over the following years, local resident Alan Anderson researched and uncovered the story of Gen. Hooton and his dog (The Windham Eagle - June 15, 2018, The story behind Gambo’s mysterious dog grave).

Goodreau said, “Lawrence would have loved to (read that story). It would have popped the buttons right off his shirt.”

Marilyn Goodreau and Lawrence Keddy were together for over 40 years, and in that time built a sanctuary for abused animals and a relationship built on understanding, respect and deep love.

“He was a very good man, generous and kind-hearted. And he had a beautiful smile. One that I can still remember.” shared Goodreau. “And the animals, he had a very deep and honest sensitivity to their being. And, he was a genius, you know.” <

Friday, March 8, 2019

Plan for state bridge and road projects unveiled

AUGUSTA – Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, is pleased to announce the details of Maine’s three-year transportation infrastructure work plan, and what it means for the state and region. The plan is released annually with an outline of the Maine Department of Transportation’s strategy for road, bridge and other transportation projects throughout the state.

“As Senate Chair of the Transportation Committee, I am very pleased to see a strong investment in roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure across the state,” said Sen. Diamond. “Upgrades to Route 302, in particular, are much needed.”

According to the MDOT, the work plan includes more than $2.44 billion worth of construction and maintenance, which includes more than 1,900 work items. The three-year plan estimates MDOT will invest in 199 miles of highway construction and rehabilitation; 1,142 miles of pavement preservation; 1,800 miles of light capital paving for roads and highways; 203 spot and safety improvements; and 203 bridge projects.

The following breakdown is the planned capital and maintenance work for some communities in the region in 2019:

Paving projects
Long Hill Road in Baldwin and Sebago beginning at Route 107 and extending south 2.23 miles to Route 114.
Route 5 in Baldwin, Cornish and Hiram beginning 0.19 of a mile south of the Baldwin town line and extending north 5.96 miles to Route 117.
State Park Road in Casco and Naples beginning at Sebago Road and extending south 4.22 miles to Route 302.
Route 302 in Casco, Naples, Raymond and Windham beginning 0.17 of a mile north of Whites Bridge Road and extending northwest 11.28 miles to 0.03 of a mile north of Route 11.
Route 85 in Casco and Raymond beginning 0.09 of a mile north of Egypt Road and extending north 4.15 miles to Poland Spring Road.
Route 114 in Sebago and Standish beginning at the south intersection of the Wards Cove Road in Standish and extending north 2.13 miles to the West Shore Road.
Route 302 in Windham beginning at Whites Bridge Road and extending north 1.42 miles.

Ditching/culvert maintenance
Large culvert improvements on Route 302 in Casco located 0.10 of a mile north of the Bramble Hill Road.
Ditching and culvert replacements on Route 302 in Windham beginning at the intersection of Route 302 and Whites Bridge Road and extending north 2.37 miles to the Windham-Raymond town line.

Bridge improvements
Replacing the Watchic Bridge over Page Brook on Route 113 in Standish located 0.08 of a mile north of Connor Road.
Replacing the Doles Bridge over Colley Wright Brook on River Road in Windham located 0.11 of a mile south of Willow Drive.

Safety improvements
Rehabilitation of River Road in Windham beginning at the Westbrook town line and extending north 3.07 miles.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Windham author advises WHS students to follow their dreams and make the most of what they have

By Craig Bailey

You only live once - make the most of it, was the primary reason Hawreh Haddadi’s parents fled the Kurdistan region of Iran, over 20 years ago, with their small family, to ultimately settle here in Windham. The alternative to fleeing wasn’t just a loss of opportunity - it was quite literally the prospect of sudden death.

Hawreh Haddadi is interviewed by Adrianne Shetenhelm, WHS APEX Program Leader.
On Friday, March 1, Windham High students and faculty members had the opportunity to hear Haddadi, a 2013 graduate of WHS, speak. He covered the experience that led him to writing his book, “Finding Kurdistan: A Kurdish Iranian American’s Journey Home”, as well as the importance of not taking for granted all that we have here in America.

In 2010 Haddadi’s family visited their home country for what was a truly eye-opening, even culture shock, experience. The sweet moments, when he was able to hug his grandparents and visit cousins, were overshadowed by the harsh realities of that part of the world.

An example of the realities that exist include, “Women are not treated fairly in the Middle East. When our plane was about to land in Iran an announcer came on to review regulations of the country, one of which meant that my sister had to cover up. Just think about it. What if you couldn’t wear that necklace or coat to school. And, you had to cover your hair. In Iran there is mandatory attire for woman not only in grade school and college, but throughout your entire life.

Soon after their arrival in Iran, Haddadi had another wake-up call when he and his family were detained and threatened, being accused of spying for the US government. “It was the first time I had seen an assault rifle; and it was in my face. This showed me everything I needed to know about the Iranian government.”

Haddadi reiterated the fact that we Americans are so fortunate, “We have all these resources, protections and economic opportunities that we can do and be anything we want. We have the ability to speak freely and do so without fear. These freedoms simply do not exist in many parts of the world.”
Haddadi recounts how many of the people he met in Iran had the impression that all Americans are rich, wear suits and ties, and drive Cadillacs. These perceptions were obtained from Hollywood and YouTube, which don’t provide realistic portrayals of the average American lifestyle. A lesson we can all heed.
Haddadi considers the trip to his homeland a mental journey and process which showed him just how beautiful America actually is. “We are people from around the world who unite under a single name (American). While we are still working to make things better, we are far ahead of other parts of the world where, for example, women aren’t allowed to drive or vote.”

It was this perception of America that led to his parents’ decision to flee Iran, to a country where the government recognizes individual rights and the value of being a human being.

Haddadi reinforced, “That doesn’t mean it is going to be easy. There will always be some sort of struggle (e.g., graduating from high school, applying for college). It is all about planning, structure and follow-through. I had no experience writing a book. You just need to do your best, believe in yourself and bring people along who want to support your project. Realize there are far more people who will tell you it cannot be done, it is too expensive, or whatever. Have faith and trust in yourself to follow-through on your dream.”

A key educational experience that Haddadi recommends is traveling, “The importance of hearing and seeing other people’s perspective is an unbelievable education. We are all on a unique journey to happiness, each with our own personal struggles.”

Haddadi has fond memories of his upbringing and schooling in Windham. “Maine is a warm and supportive environment and the Windham High teachers are great! I am thankful to be here as there is no country like America.”

Supporting student success after high school

By Lanet Hane, Director of Community Connections for RSU14

Many Juniors are just starting to consider potential career paths, while simultaneously being asked to make significant decisions regarding their future. And as the end of the school year comes closer, with application deadlines for many colleges and other educational programs creeping up, anxiety is increasing for not just these students, but their families as well.

While a certain amount of stress surrounding what comes next is natural, staff at Windham High School are doing what they can to help everyone with the process. The school is working to not only provide resources and support as families work through their own answers to “what’s next?”, but also to change the conversation surrounding plans after high school.

“Too often students are asked to figure out their entire career path. I work to help them understand that, for now, they only need to figure out a next step,” shares Kerry Kowalczyk, College and Career Specialist, “One step at a time, they start to see a picture of where they are headed.”

While the majority of students go on to college, there is always a good number who choose not to continue formal education. And with the growing need for individuals in the trades here in Maine, WHS is working to highlight alternate possibilities for these students. Encouraging a highly individualized approach to the conversation of next steps, students learn to consider which pathways make sense for them and what they hope to accomplish, whether that means formal education, an apprenticeship, the military, work, or even something else.

College visits, application help, assistance with FAFSA completion, essay editing, and scholarships are all available for those students who are preparing for 2- and 4-year schools, as well as frequent informational meetings during school for students and in the evening for whole families.
Additionally, the school provides opportunities for students to visit businesses, participate in mock interviews, and have one-on-one meetings to consider possible next steps after high school.

“Not every student takes the same path, and we encourage our students to explore their strengths and figure out what the next step looks like for them,” says Megan Fleming, school counselor, “Part of supporting this exploration includes providing the necessary resources to dive into various options.”

Upcoming dates:

March 14: High School Parent Teacher Conferences 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
March 14: Junior Parent College Meeting 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (located in the auditorium)
April 24: Financial Aid Information Night 6:30 p.m. (located in the auditorium)

Friday, March 1, 2019

Book Review: “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi

Reviewed by Jennifer Dupree, Circulation Supervisor at the Windham Public Library

Helen Oyeyemi’s “Boy, Snow, Bird” was not at all what I expected, even though I don’t know exactly what I expected. I didn’t expect a complex story about race and identity cloaked in something like a Grimm’s fairy tale. I also didn’t expect to be so enchanted by the protagonist, a young woman named Boy.

The novel opens in New York in the 1950s, just as Boy Novak escapes her father, the abusive “rat catcher.” She takes the bus to the end of the line and settles in a charming small town in Massachusetts. She ends up working in a bookstore and eventually marries Arturo Whitman. Boy becomes the stepmother of his daughter, Snow, whose beauty unnerves Boy.

When Boy gives birth to a daughter named Bird, it becomes evident that Arturo’s family has been passing as white but are, in fact, black. Soon, our beloved Boy sends Snow away—perhaps to protect Bird and shield her from knowing how disliked she is by her grandparents, whom she has outed by the darkness of her skin and the curl of her hair. Or, maybe the sending-away is because Boy can’t stand the way Snow enchants everyone around her, including baby Bird. The best thing about this book is that Oyeyemi lets the reader make up her own mind.

The second part of the book is from Bird’s point of view. At thirteen, she decides she wants a relationship with her sister and the two begin exchanging letters. Through these letters, good and evil become even less clear.

In the end (and I can’t give too much away), it is not only beauty that’s called into question, but identity itself. What does it mean to be who we say we are or not?

This novel is a deceptively easy read. But, like beauty itself, it’s much more than its surface.  

Loon Echo Land Trust hosts hike for mental health at Bald Pate Mountain Preserve

Our lives are so busy and complex nowadays, and it can be hard to see the forest through the trees. Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) and Bring Change 2 Mind invite you on a rejuvenating morning hike up Bald Pate Mountain Preserve in Bridgton on Saturday, March 9th at 9:00 AM. Join fellow community members to connect with the forest, its critters, and enjoy views from the summit of Bald Pate Mountain Preserve.

For over 30 years, LELT has been guiding folks in our community to better physical and mental health through access to the outdoors. Bring Change 2 Mind, a Lake Region community campaign focused on encouraging conversation and ending the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and substance use disorders, partnered with LELT in 2018 on a hike aimed at encouraging participants to experience the connection between a walk in nature and positive mental health and well-being.

For this second collaboration, Maine Master Naturalist Leigh Hayes of Bridgton will bring her expertise on animal tracking and winter tree ID to point out all the subtle signs of spring that can be missed in the gray days of March.

This hike is free and open to the public, however registration is required. To register, contact Loon Echo Stewardship Manager, Jon Evans, at or 207-647-4352, or Jana Richards at Snowshoes or traction devices may be required and layered clothing, water and snacks are always encouraged. Find more information about the hike on Loon Echo’s website, and the LELT and Bring Change 2 Mind Facebook pages! 

Loon Echo currently protects 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations. Loon Echo serves the towns of Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago. For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, visit their website or call 207-647-4352.