Alexander/Crawford History

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Town News

By John Dudley & Cassie Oakes

Do you know what Luther Thornton did on the morning of April 5, 1999?  Easier still, what were you doing that sunny Monday morning?  If you have access to a diary for that year you’d find that the day started off at 33 degrees and warmed to 46 as the day progressed.  John Dudley picked up Coburn Wallace and they visited Luther from 9 until 11:30 that morning.  With promoting from Coburn, Luther told stories from the past.  John wrote these down, but didn’t type them out until December 2015.

Before he gives you stories Luther told, first here are a couple told about Luther. Back in the old days, Luther and his neighbor went hunting.  They didn’t have a watch between them, so really didn’t know that they were night hunting,  at least that is what the two game wardens claimed as they approached the two diligent hunters.  The neighbor promptly sat down on a log, but Luther thought he heard the dinner bell and started running through the woods with a young game warden three steps behind.

Not long thereafter, a winded warden came back and told his partner and the neighbor that all he saw was that man with his shirt-tail straight out behind him as he leaped over downed trees; he figured that man would be half way through Township 19 by now.  And, “Who was he?”  The neighbor answered reluctantly, “That is the Williams’ boy.”  The truth, but not all the truth.  We know that Luther was raised by his Aunt Marsha and her husband Frank Williams.  Anyway the young warden spent a week or more looking for and asking about the “Williams boy.”  Some say he even asked Luther.

Much later, Luther was the bus driver and drove the elementary children to Calais on their first school day after the Crawford School closed on the Crawford Arm Road.  A certain little girl didn’t want to get off the bus and go into the Calais Elementary School.  Luther told her to just stay on the bus and he delivered the rest of the scholars to the other schools.  He then went back to the elementary school, walked hand in hand with the little girl into the huge and scary schoolhouse and sat in her classroom all that day.  Luther was to repeat this act of kindness several times during his years of driving bus.

The stories that will follow during the next couple of weeks are Luther’s stories. Readers should understand that John Dudley took the notes and John Dudley wrote the notes into story form, into sentences and paragraphs.  Luther’s daughter Susan Thornton Wallace has read these stories and her memories of the stories are reflected here.  Next week we’ll read about mills and lumber operations.