Category Archives: Everyday Life

Westport Island Cleanup Day

And, some musings on roadside debris…

Saturday, May 5: Derby Day, Cinco de Mayo, eve of the Super Moon — and the Westport Island Cleanup. The Conservation Commission has sponsored this annual event for the last five plus years. Twenty-five volunteers collected enough roadside debris to fill two pickup beds, with time left to catch the Derby, celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and relax in the light of the Super Moon.

Picking roadside trash brings back memories. I spent paid hours picking trash in detective assignments in Vice and Elder Financial Crimes. There’s a lot to be learned from trash. Cleanup day nuggets, included:

Most “hmmm” item of trash: a fully endorsed, un-cashed check written by a non-Island person to a non-Island company — such an item might typically come from a mailbox or other theft.

Best reminder to “secure personal information by shredding” item: an ATM receipt with a Credit Union’s name, the full name of the deposit holder, a partial account number, and financial information.

Most “reasonable hypothesis drawn from trash” in my assigned area: persons who drink beverages on the go, and are most likely to be careless with their trash, drink either Dunkin Donuts coffee or some kind of Budweiser Beer.

Best reminder to follow your mother’s admonition “not to leave stuff lying around”: a fleece-lined hoodie that an early morning dog walker advised had been sitting on the side of the road since crews cut branches for CMP some months ago.

Best “reuse” items of trash: parts of colorful buoys that make great garden accents.

Until next year…

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Solving the Birthday Gift Dilemma…and Shopping Locally

Who you gonna call?

What to buy the 60 something husband who has everything – if he needs it, he buys it; if he wants it, he buys it; if it’s a boy hobby toy, he buys it.

Add to that dilemma:  how to shop locally and support local businesspeople?

A brilliant flash of the obvious…When the favorite boy toy is a John Deere, the favorite pastime is working on a road through the backyard woods, why not call the “Dirt Busters” — the Cromwell Brothers — for a load of bank run gravel.  With the gravel, a man has a reason to run his John Deere and something to move. Duh.

So, the perfect boy birthday present arrived by dump truck special delivery.  Thank you Dennis and Gary Cromwell.  A bit of a wrapping challenge, but not insurmountable.

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Guns to Hoses

Joining the Westport Volunteer Fire Department Community

March ended with the annual ham and bean supper at the Westport Volunteer Fire Department. Along with its bottle and can bin for donated returnables and the summer chicken barbeque, this supper is one way the fire department raises money for matching grant funds and day-to-day operating expenses.

It was our first year to join neighbors at this annual event, because my husband, Roger, now volunteers on the fire department.

When Roger retired his motor boots and ticket book seven years ago, no one who knew him would take odds he would one day wear turnout gear and drive a fire tanker. In the streets of San Diego, police are “po-po;” firemen are “hose beaters,” and there’s not a lot of “cross dressing” so to speak.

On Westport Island — where the town agent knows every Island-registered car by sight, people stop to say “hi” when you’re in the yard, the budget is tight, and the living “feels good,” most people want to give back in some way. Volunteering on the fire department or supporting them with donations or appreciation at these semi-annual events is one way to do so.

The ham and bean supper was a good time. Next chance: the summer barbecue on July 14…

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Ode to the Road

Ode to the Road

State Route 1 – 4 – 4
No ordinary travel chore

Bump, bump, a thump

As babes cut teeth,
Cars cut squeaks

Bump, bump, a thump

Heavy duty struts
Can’t tough the Island ruts

Bump, bump, a thump

Windows shake and rattle
Atop the Main Road battle

Bump, bump, a thump

Chip your teeth?
Bump your head?
…Shed a hubcap?

We’ll post an orange sign
And mark the dratted bump

Bump, bump, a thump

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From the bridge

Westport Bridge with single flagWestport Island is accessed via a bridge from Wiscasset.  The header photo is taken from the bridge facing the Island.  The bridge is emblematic of the Island and is important to the Island character.  Two osprey nest each year on the Westport side of the bridge signalling the arrival of spring: when they leave, fall has arrived.

In 2007, the bridge was lined with small American flags — a tribute to honor soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by parents of a Westport Island soldier on deployment.  After the flags were torn down and vandalized six times, Maine law enforcement officers supervised their replacement as a signal to passersby of respect to the Island parents and to all soldiers.  The header photo was taken before the flags were all replaced.

The bridge not only makes life more convenient for residents than in yesteryear, it captures imagination…as in… Westport Island Maine man jumps off bridge. (For the record, this is an adventure jump; the jumper was not harmed [at least seriously, that we know of] in the making of his video.)

Westport Island, Maine

rocksWelcome to a journal of Westport Island, Maine.  To locals, Westport Island is also known as “The Rock”. At this Rock Blog, you will find tidbits of island history, photographs, and items of interest. Comments, pictures, and personal histories from those with an interest in the Island are welcome.

Westport Island was originally called Jeremisquam and was a part of Edgecomb.  It came to be known as Westport, because it was the west port of Edgecomb.