Out and About


By Dorothy Johnson


“It takes a village to raise a child,” is a saying all of us have heard.  It also takes a village to mourn a child. The tragedy in the Woodland Community this past week has left a void in everyone’s heart. Connor Whitaker Ireland, age nineteen, took his own life and that act has had an impact on all who knew him and his family. All of us, his school friends, people who watched him come to church when he was younger, his teachers and the teachers of his parents, his buddies in the local fire department, have been changed in a way we did not know was possible. Our heartfelt sympathy and our prayers go out to Connor’s friends and family. All of us have suffered a loss of innocence and we all grieve with his family.

The United Methodist Women of the People’s united Methodist church met last Thursday for their first meeting after taking a summer break.  Several activities for the coming year were discussed and then scheduled.  The ladies agreed to plan a public supper for the Octoberfest weekend, a holiday event for the second Saturday in November and for several other holiday events.

I ran into two former students in Calais recently.  Rob Gaudet is happy “living the dream.”  Rob was helped by Roger and Elsie Featherson during his high school years and he has made good use of his education by maintaining a job and a home.  The other student was Darlene Christie from north of Woodland and I do not dare tell how long it has been since Darlene came to my freshman English class. I will say that Darlene’s mom and I became good friends during that freshman year. Since then, I have had Darlene’s daughter in school.  Darlene continues with her job in the mill. I absolutely enjoy reporting the successes of former Dragons. 

I cannot believe that my first eighth grade students are ready to retire.  Speaking of retiring, Greg Dow, one of my first eighth grade students, has retired from the mill, had a giant yard sale and is on his way to spend his retirement in Hawaii. I cannot believe that he is giving up his snowmobiling and ice fishing, but I will admit that Hawaii has its own activities.  Good luck, Greg.

I had the opportunity to visit Ernest James’ farm stand on Route 214 last week. Nothing tastes as good as those home grown, fresh vegetables.  He had pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, corn, onions, cabbage and more that I cannot remember. Stop by if you are out that way…or if you are not out that way, take the short trip; it is worth it.

The Calais United Methodist Church will be holding its monthly supper of baked, beans, casseroles and pie on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

The St. Croix No. 1 Firehouse supporters will be holding an indoor yard and food sale with a hot dog barbecue on Saturday, September 23 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All proceeds will be going toward the restoration of the firehouse.

A big upcoming event will be the annual AppleFest at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Calais on Saturday, September 30 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is usually a popular fall event for the St. Croix Valley with breakfast, lunches, flea market and a bake sale of apple filled desserts along with their usual raffles. 

It was interesting to read that the Calais School Board and City Council have appointed a liaison committee which had a meeting to discuss “regional school consolidation”.  Once again, this is the same group who would not join the A.O.S. with Baileyville only a few years ago when the schools were reorganized by state mandate. Calais wanted to be a stand-alone (independent) school system.  Now that the Baileyville schools are in disrepair, Calais is offering its hand in consolidation. It looks like a Trojan horse to me, but I could be wrong. Baileyville residents need to get on the ball if they want to keep their school.

Special hellos are going out this week to Lynn Hill, Carleton and Iris Brown, Anita Lydic, Phil Allen, Carla Wheelock and anyone else who needs a lift.