The Lincoln County News is mourning the loss of reporter Candy Congdon. Candy, 78, died unexpectedly at home in Round Pond on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Candy’s history with The Lincoln County News goes back more than 12 years, to December 2008. That month, she started a nearly four-year run as the newspaper’s volunteer Round Pond correspondent.
Candy crammed more news into that column than you would ever think could come out of her tiny village.
I met Candy shortly after I joined the newspaper as a reporter in 2010. She would sometimes give me a tip for a story, although I don’t know why. She was reporting more news on the Bristol Area page than I was. Maybe she felt sorry for me.
About two years ago, I advertised for a part-time reporter and Candy surprised me by applying. She had recently rejoined the workforce and was finding her job less than satisfying.
Candy joined our staff on March 28, 2019. She soon carved out a niche covering Bristol government, primarily the board of selectmen and the parks and recreation commission.
For a few years prior to Candy’s arrival, I will admit that the newspaper’s Bristol coverage was not always as robust as it could be. It’s a poor excuse, but part of the reason is because the newspaper’s Damariscotta reporter has traditionally covered Bristol too. The towns’ selectmen meet on the same night and Damariscotta, our busy service center, often won out.
Candy changed that. She dedicated herself to keeping her fellow Bristol residents informed about their government. Living on the shore of Round Pond, she knew well how an upward tick in the budget could impact tax bills.
Candy was conscientious to a fault — it was not unusual for her to attend a meeting in person and take copious notes; ask Lincoln County Television and the town staff for the video of the meeting and the meeting minutes, respectively; review said video and minutes; then follow up by phone and email with anyone and everyone involved to make sure she had all the facts straight.
Candy enjoyed the meetings and the relationships she developed with town officials and residents, especially as the pandemic limited social opportunities. She did not want anything to do with Zoom, always preferring to attend meetings in person so she could see everyone.
Candy majored in English at Tufts University, then spent her first career as a recruiter for corporations in the Dallas area. She had long-standing ties to Round Pond and moved there year-round in 2002.
She was active in the community with several organizations. She was a past president of the Bristol Area Lions Club, 2005-2006 Rookie of the Year for Maine Lions District 41, 2015-2016 Lion of the Year for the Damariscotta-Newcastle Lions Club, and a board member and chair of two committees for The Lincoln Home.
But Candy told me and others that she felt she had found her calling, her dream job, as a journalist. As a rookie reporter in her late 70s, she got a rush every time she saw her byline on the front page.
She had told me that she wanted to continue in the job for years to come. She was, after all, a full decade younger than our “senior” reporter, Charlotte Boynton.
Our thoughts go out to Candy’s family and friends — especially her husband of 58 years, Phil.
I wish that instead of writing down my reflections on Candy, I was sending her last-minute questions about one of her articles.
But when I think about Candy’s brief career as a reporter here, I think of a story of hope. Candy, starting here at 77, proved that it is never too late to try something new or to find your passion. It is never too late to contribute to your community and find purpose in doing so.