norway maine

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My dear wife, Cynthia, who I seem to miss more and more as time goes on, gave a wonderful passionate sermon once about her great love for gardens and landscaping. This was on Palm Sunday at the Norway, Maine, UU church on April 9, 2006. The other day while driving to Norway and trying to imagine and hear in my mind the sound of Cynthia’s lovely well modulated voice, it occurred to me that a tape of the April 9, 2006, service may still exist. Kevin Farr happened to be at the church so I asked him. Two minutes later he was back with the tape which I later gave to Kate. A few days later she presented me with a wonderful CD of the entire service. What fun I’m having listening to this! On first listening I could not stop the tears from flowing.

For a copy of her sermon see here.

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Is it that mind-blowing? Depends on where you are I guess. Here in western Maine it’s a pretty normal spring. Lotsa cool rainy days with some sun, that kinda thing.

The flies (black) are out in force now. It’s hard to just stand still without a swarm building up around you. But yesterday I went for a quick walk through the woods around our property across the street and managed to avoid being bitten. That’s because I kept going.

Oh, I haven’t been doing much blogging of late, or even worse, visited anyone else’s blog. I’ve been distracted by a lot of other things. But I did change the heading picture — got rid of those porcupines and added my old Spring has Sprung header, with a new title about what Spring has Sprung means heah in Maine.

Oh, and I just added a neat colored twitter badge. But is twitter starting to loose its popularity now, just as I get interested in it?

Yesterday I found a great tutorial on the brain, the human brain. (I’m trying to find out how it works before I lose too many more neurons.) It’s a great informal lecture series in about 50 or so YouTubes by a guy by the name of Walid Aziz. And there is this wonderful psychedelic music in the background that really helps. It’s amazing in fact. I did the first 19 of them, not that I absorbed it all.

Today we’re having another Growth Group meeting over at the Bridgton library. The purpose is to plan how to increase attendance and church membership at the First Universalist Church of Norway Maine of which Cynthia and I are members. One thing we want to do is think of another name for Growth Group because it’s too easily slurred into Grope Group, and that’s NOT what it is.

Other than that I still enjoy singing in Heather Pierson’s choir at the church, enjoy the challenge of being the church treasurer, still have difficulties sleeping, still watching videos on the Science Network, but not doing as much blogging or reading other people’s blogs as much as I used to. Can’t do everything.

Maybe I’m going through a phase.

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I’m a little late in posting this but better late than never. We had a great concert last Sunday from 2 to 3pm at the First Universalist Church of Norway in Norway, Maine. It was musically arranged by Heather Pierson, the cause being the repair of the church belfry. Bernice Martin gave opening and closing words, and seeds were passed out mid-way for replenishing the earth. Heather and Mary Uke Hargreaves were featured performers along with the choir of the church. Heather was totally awesome in her playing and singing of her own music, Mary was totally delightful in singing her creations accompanying herself on the ukulele, and yes, the choir rocked! Here’s a couple pictures, taken by a friend of Heather’s named Eric, of the choir singing Earth Day songs at Heather’s Open Mic the previous evening:

Left to right, Heather Pierson (the director), Rowena Palmer, Nancy Wood, Dolores Farr, Douglas Leathem, Marden Seavey, Bernice Martin, Kevin Farr, Sallie Nealand, Cynthia Seavey

The following quote from John Lennon was included on the program: Imagine all the people living in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

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Snowy Snow Snow!

Yes, we’ve got a lot of snow already. Even ahead of last year at this point I bet. Another 12 to 14 inches here yesterday. And a “mix” coming on Wednesday. Yuk!

Cynthia and I braved the elements yesterday and headed for our UU church in Norway, Maine, leaving a bit before 9am. No trouble at all getting there. The snow hadn’t started yet. But during our church service the storm began.

We were having an exciting and amusing Solstice service. Noise makers and drums were brought in to chase away the darkness and witness the return of light and life. So, as we had fun banging and clowning around, the snow began to build up outside.

Hey, we had some serious aspects to the service as well. It wasn’t entirely Pagan, but did have a bit of the Christmas cheer with tree and all, plus some messages for the Christians among the sparse congregation.

Needless to say, we left for home, normally a 35 minute drive, right after the service. We did fine, driving very carefully behind lines of cars behind snow plows, until we made the turn onto rt 117 to Denmark.

Then suddenly, with no warning from anybody (not even from God), we spun off the road. I watched in horror from my driver’s seat as our Subaru Forester slid past a road sign and to the right of some birch trees, and came swinging around down an incline to rest beside a small house. We were unscathed but a bit traumatized.

Suddenly people seemed to appear from nowhere. A small truck with a plow stopped up on the road, people got out and came down to us, a friendly guy from the house came to my window. “Hey, with a little help I think you can back out of here!”, he said.

The people in the truck maneuvered it down by the house and started removing snow from behind our car. Cynthia was invited into the house. Shovels went to work and I was told to back up slowly. Before I knew it, the car was freed and ready to go.

I thanked the people profusely, drove back to the road from the driveway, and followed the savior truck, ever so carefully, back toward Denmark, and then made it up the hill and home.

All this time it had been snowing without let up of course. What a exciting and interesting day we had! Whew… we were sure happy when we emerged from our car safely at home.

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We had a great Mem Day service in church today. That’s our UU church in Norway, Maine, pretty small as churches go, but we’ve picked up great enthusiasm in the last few weeks. Not sure why. But there you are. But getting back to the service today: Richard (that’s our minister) was in great form and had some wonderful thoughts. The thing about him is that he’s a regular person, not at all remote as some ministers, with their egos, tend to be. I get along with him great. He’s got a self-effacing sense of humor, just like me. But getting back to his thoughts, he emphasized memories, memorials, throughout the service. We were all asked to speak out and mention names of loved ones who have passed away. Many people spoke out. We must have had a good 25, maybe 30 people in attendance today. Our music went well too. Heather, our music director, led us in an enchanting and mesmerizing anthem about the Goddess, our returning, etc. Right now as I write this I can’t remember the details. So much happened today, I just can’t reproduce specifics. But we did pick up a new church member today, a very nice person named Trudi, didn’t get her last name. Our Growth Group met after church and Trudi became a new member of that. “An Inconvenient Truth” was shown at 1pm for those who hadn’t seen it. And now people are chatting and laughing upstairs while Clarissa and Eryn prepare supper so that Cynthia doesn’t have to do it.

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Money, Money!

Money makes the world go around! Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey claim that’s so!


We have someone who wants to sing this at our First Universalist Church of Norway Maine canvass kickoff party on April 4, 2008. If she wants to do a Liza on this song here’s her chance!

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Minor Op

Today I had a minor operation. I am prone to seborrheic keratoses. Here’s a picture of one. Yuk.

This is not a picture of one of mine which are usually darker and bumpier. I’ve had one above and to the left of my left eye for the last several weeks, and my family physician felt it ought to be “looked at”.

From the Wiki, “The main danger associated with seborrheic keratoses lies in their resemblance to malignant melanomas, which has sometimes led to a misdiagnosis of the cancerous lesions.” The Doc felt a biopsy was in order for this one, and also I felt why not remove the whole thing, for “cosmetic reasons”? Since I take the blood thinner, Coumadin, he recommended that the procedure be done in the hospital, so today at 8am I went into the Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Maine, accompanied by Cynthia, for my minor operation.

It took them an hour to “prep me” which wasn’t that bad even though I had not been allowed to consume any food or water after midnight. The nurse was very pleasant and attractive, and it was good to have Cynthia there with me for chatting and extra care. Finally, the hour for the operation arrived, another nurse appeared and gave me some “happy juice” as a mild sedation, and I was wheeled off to the operating room. It was over in a flash, or so it seemed, and I was wheeled back, given a sweet roll and some coffee, and sent on my way with a list of instructions. Cynthia did the driving even though I felt fine. The stitches come out in four days and soon after that, if not before, I should learn that the keratosis was benign…….
UPDATE: 2/16/2008 Actually the stitches don’t come out until the 22nd. The dressing came off in four days, namely, today. Now an inch and a half long scar with black stitches is visible beside my left eye. Perhaps a black patch would do?

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Goin’ Home

We, Heather Pierson and I, will be singing this hauntingly beautiful song set to music from Dvorak’s 9th Symphony. We’re doing it at David Bradley’s Memorial Service next Saturday afternoon in Norway, Maine, at our First Universalist Church. Dave was a totally remarkable man who died last week, January 7, at the age of 92. Even though he could hardly walk and had trouble sometimes concentrating, he continued to sing in our choir, until finally he couldn’t make it anymore just a few weeks ago. One of his favorite songs was this Goin’ Home set to the music of the Largo of the New World Symphony of Antonin Dvorak. Dave always wanted me to sing it but some parts of it are a bit high for me, so Heather will sing it with me and cover the high parts.

Below is the obituary for Dave from the Lewiston Sun Journal. And below that is the wonderful rendition of Goin’ Home sung by the great Paul Robeson. It was pitched lower for his beautiful bass voice.

David J. Bradley

Sunday, January 13, 2008

NORWAY – David J. Bradley, 92, of Norway, died Jan. 7.

Born on Feb. 22, 1915, he grew up in Madison, Wis., and attended Dartmouth College.

In 1938, he was National Ski Champion in Nordic Combined and a member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1940, cancelled due to the war.

He later entered the Army and Harvard Medical School, completing a surgical residency. In 1941, he married and had six children.

He was a medical officer at atomic bomb tests in the Bikini Islands in 1946, and wrote a bestseller, “No Place to Hide,” about this experience. Other books include “Expert Skiing,” “Lion Among Roses,” and “Robert Frost: A Tribute to the Source.”

He taught at Dartmouth College.

In 1985, he was inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame.

Following a divorce, he married Sally Tucker Smart in 1998 and settled in Norway.

He is survived by his wife Sally of Norway; six children, including Kim Emmons of Norway; stepson, Kevin Smart of Norway; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Ben Tucker III of Norway.

Here’s Paul Robeson, live at Carnegie Hall in 1958, singing Goin’ Home. Thanks to Indigo1045 for posting the music on YouTube.
Here’s a comment by bejazzytwo on Paul Robeson:

Indigo, I thank you for posting this music by Paul Robeson….His voice has not been stilled!!!…Our government forbade him a living because of politics and prejudice…yet the music lives on despite politics or racist motivation. The voice and music are for all people, regardless to color, status, political persuasion or any other disadvantages suffered…all who loved music and all who believed in human rights knew this man among men!!!!…Long live his legacy!!!!!

And I might add: Long live the legacy of David Bradley, another remarkable man and genius, too!

Finally, to hear Lawrence Tibbett sing Goin’ Home in the original key, the one we’re doing it in, go here.

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