March 29, 2020


(As reported in the Bangor Daily News)

10 years ago – Oct. 12, 1996

BANGOR – His eyes welling with emotion, Nicholas Metta vividly recalled one of the many restless nights he spent in a Japanese prison camp during World War II.

Metta, now 81, spent 1,272 days in the camp.

The U.S. Army technical sergeant always believed he would survive the prison camp and see U.S. soil again.

More than 50 years after he was released from the prison camp, Metta’s bravery was honored. The Wesley man was presented with the Purple Heart medal in Rep. John Baldacci’s office in Bangor.


ORONO – Where the works of Stephen King fit in education is a hot question these days on college campuses and in high schools. In some schools, King’s books are required reading. In others, they’ve been banned.

“What I tell kids is don’t get mad [about censorship], get even,” King told an assembly gathered at the University of Maine. “Run – don’t walk – to the first [nonschool] library you can find, and read what they’re trying to keep out of your eyes. Read what they’re trying to keep out of your brains. Because that’s exactly what you need to know.”

A two-day conference, “Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship, Student Choice and the Place of Popular Literature in the Canon,” debuted Friday on the UMaine campus.

King, who strode onto the Hauck Auditorium stage in a black Harley-Davidson T-shirt, black boots and worn jeans, did not disappoint the crowd who turned out to hear his keynote address.

25 years ago – Oct. 12, 1981

BREWER – Election day, Oct. 13, in Brewer will present eight selections for voters, but the major interest at the top of the ballot is the lone city council vacancy.

In an increasingly intense campaign, the incumbent council chairman, Michael Maybury, and challenger, former councilor Richard Ruhlin, have knocked on doors, passed out literature and plastered every neighborhood with brightly colored posters.

50 years ago – Oct. 12, 1956

INDIAN ISLAND – The small boy with black hair watches the couple in the canoe. The money cat sits on the edge of a small pond, as cats do, waiting patiently, as cats do, for birds or fish, watching the ripples on the edge of the water. A girl with honey-blond hair runs across the road.

The canoe glides silently into the tiny settlement of Indian Island at Old Town. A narrow dirt track leads to the northern end of the island where nature has been practically untouched by man.

Several unique means of transportation were either developed or copied by the Penobscot tribe, including the canoe, toboggan, sled, snowshoes, pack baskets, and carrying and dragging devices. With the exception of the latter two items, all have survived to this day and are in great demand by hunters in New England areas.

One expert on early Indian lore calls the canoe the “most complex and intricate product of Native mechanical genius in the North.” Canoes of the Penobscot tribe rode low in the water and were decorated with family insignia and ornaments on the peaks. They were usually of bark, sometimes of moose hide.


BANGOR – Guns roared and blood ran on Central Street 19 years ago this morning as G-men wiped out the infamous Al Brady gang by killing two and capturing the third, who was later executed for murder in the Midwest.

Oct. 12, 1937, will long be remembered in Bangor, gun fights in the heart of a quiet New England city not being common.

Al Brady, gang leader, and Clarence Lee Schaefler were mowed down in a fusillade of G-men bullets while James Dalhover was captured alive in Dakin’s Sporting Goods Store, then located on Central Street.


ORONO – “An improved physical plant, broader program and higher paid faculty would expedite the accreditation of our teacher colleges on the national as well as the regional level.”

That was the statement by State Commissioner Warren G. Hill, who discussed “The Needs of Our Teachers’ Colleges” at the opening meeting of the Orono-Old Town Branch of the AAUW at the Student Memorial Building at the University of Maine.

In analyzing the shortcomings of the state’s teachers’ colleges, the commissioner cited generally poor physical facilities, inadequate libraries and science laboratories, limited programs offered and a failure to meet the high school student’s conception of what college should be.

The proposed budget of 5 million dollars would allow for maintenance and corrective work long overdue and would provide adequate salaries for its teaching staff, Dr. Hill explained.

100 years ago – Oct. 12, 1906

ORONO – The University of Maine football squad left on the noon train for Hanover, N.H., where they will play Dartmouth. The squad was unusually small, as the faculty refused to allow more than 16 men to go besides Manager Philbrook, Coach McCoy and Trainer Steve Farrell.

The team lost a good man when Matheas, who has been playing left tackle, was told to stay at home and take an examination on the result of which depends his ability to remain on the squad.

Black, who was debarred last Saturday, has not yet removed his condition and is not able to play in the game, either with the first or the second team.

Quint has decided that he will not play football this year which is another great loss to the Maine back field. His case is an illustration of the handicap which a technical school often develops. Quint, as far as his studies go, is free to play, but he has so much laboratory work each afternoon that he could not give sufficient time to football without seriously affecting his work.


BUCKSPORT – Irvin Wheeler and family left for their home in Portland after a two-month stay in town. Mr. Wheeler is a civil engineer and has been in charge of the repairs to Fort Knox. Quite a large number of Bucksport men have been employed on the work. Charles Mooney had charge of the mason work.


ORONO – E.C. Plummer of Bath, who has recently visited the University of Maine in the interest of the Merchant Marine, gave a very interesting talk to Professor Sprague’s class in political economy. His subject, “The Merchant Marine,” is one which has been brought before the notice of the public a great deal of late, and Mr. Plummer’s able handling of his subject was highly instructive. He also gave a short talk in the chapel and spoke particularly of prizes which have been offered by the government to students writing the best essays on the Merchant Marine.


ORRINGTON – A fierce tempest raged here during the night. Between 2 and 3 a.m. the people were awakened by a heavy crash of thunder followed soon after by torrents of rain and what seemed like a 50- or 60-mile-per-hour gale from the southeast. The electrical part of the storm continued about an hour, but didn’t seem very near. The wind and rain continued all day, except for a few moments when one might think the storm over, diminishing in intensity before daylight. No serious damage was reported and everybody is thankful that the drought is broken, and wells and cisterns once more replenished.


HOLDEN – Leroy Hart is building a silo.

Edgar Terrill is attending high school in Bangor.


EAST EDDINGTON – East Eddington was well represented at the Bangor music festival last week. Among those in attendance were Miss Celia Merrill, Miss Edna Johnson, Miss Helen Hill, Miss Lucy Merrill, Mrs. W.A. Billings, Matthew Marsh, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Johnson and Misses Helen and Christine Johnson.

Compiled by Ardeana Hamlin

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