Hey folks, this past week was a time for givin’ thanks for this ole truckah, as my one-year anniversary of a triple-bypass heart operation came and went. You know, sometimes, in fact too many times, we take life for granted, may it be a rut or routine we’re in, or maybe just not stoppin’ along the way and sayin’ a little thank you to those who cross your path every day.
For me, not a day goes by that I don’t whisper a little thank you to the “big guy” above for bringing my lovely lady, Ms. Sue, into my life. For even though we have had a lot of fun in the last three years, that trip to the operatin’ room was not fun, and she was there every step of the way, lovin’ me and supportin’ me, even when I probably wasn’t much fun to be around! I never want to take her for granted!
My friends, especially my lifelong best friend Rob, who came every day to the hospital to check on me, we’ve been best buddies goin’ on 50 years, and folks, there aren’t any better friends than a fellow like him. And my readin’ family, you folks that read my scribblin’s each week, hardly a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask me how I’m doing. And my brothers, Paul and Frank. Paul had my motor home all ready for me to camp in the day I came home from the hospital, because our house was getting built, and Frank kept the truck wheels rollin’!
It always makes me feel a little special that I live in a town that cares about its people. And not that I didn’t know that, but when you have a life-changing experience such as I did, it feels a little closer to home. I am thankful that I grew up and live in such a beautiful place.
So here is a special thank you to all of you out there for all the kind words and cards and special greetings I have received since that day, July 5, 2017, 7 a.m., when I rolled onto that operating table at Maine Med. It’s been a heckava ride!
Took Ms. Sue on a little vacation this past week, up north to Saint Agatha, and if you’re not sure where that is, it’s 5 miles south of Madawaska, or about 300 miles from here. Pristine and beautiful are two words that come to mind. Quiet, and not much going on in the job department, would be the others that strike me.
We had dinner one night with my insurance lady and her husband. He is a retired engineer who was in charge of maintenance at the big paper mill in Madawaska at one time. As we talked into the evening, I plied him with questions about the mill and the paper industry in general.
He told a very familiar story, about how the mill had always done very well, but then it was bought by some out-of-state investors who sold off all the land assets, then the warehouses, and restricted doing any regular maintenance on the mill, all in the name of sucking as much profit and cash as they could out of the mill.
He spoke of the pride he had of working all those years, only to see it being ruined by greedy corporate raiders. I listened intently as he spoke of how the mill had a manager who totally disagreed with what was happening, and how they conspired together to do certain repair work to keep things running, and how at the last minute, just as it was about to go bankrupt, another group of Canadian investors stepped in, purchased the mill, and righted the ship. Unfortunately for him and the manager, they lost their jobs, by saving the jobs of many others, by keeping the doors open and the lights on.
Folks, it was quite a story, and I really can’t do it justice, but my point is, this is a story that has repeated itself so many times in the paper business. We’ve seen it in Bucksport, Millinocket, Madison, and so many other places.
I don’t believe that we can’t compete on the world market, it’s that reinvestment in the business seldom happens, and that’s what ultimately takes our manufacturing base with it. And I’m not sure about how the politics of it works, but you can’t convince me someone in Augusta didn’t know what was going on at the time.
On another note, you’ve maybe read about the shenanigans that the town of Damariscotta has put Mr. Stelzer through over a decayed culvert down on Westview Road. An engineer by trade, he helped an elderly neighbor with her driveway, only to be summoned by the town for destroying town property.
Well, after costing Mr. Stelzer a lot of money, and us, the taxpayers, a lot of money, the town, even after the courts told them they had no case, because it wasn’t even on town land, continued with this ridiculous deal, only in the end to finally, and I don’t know which selectman maybe had the sense to put this to bed, drop the whole issue!
But wait, there’s more. Our elected officials have got us in another mess as well. Mr. Nicholas Chasse had to defend a town land use permit that was issued to him by the code enforcement officer, only later to be contested by the town planner!
Folks, who’s on first here? You got two town employees disagreeing and it’s costing the taxpayer in legal fees to defend himself, as well as us, the taxpayers. Hopefully if you see a selectman out there in passing you might put the questions to them about why we are wasting money like this. I’m sure we have better ways to spend our dollars! Maybe a little accountability might be in order.
Well, I’m headed down the road, till next time!
Yankee Pride Transport