10 years ago — Jan. 23, 2004
(As reported in the Bangor Daily News)
BREWER — There is one person in Brewer who considers himself a “couch potato” even though he’s 73 years old and still holds down a full time job.
Frank Sonia Jr., who was born and raised in Bangor and now lives in Hampden, said he continues to work because he needs money. Sonia is employed at Downeast Toyota/Buick on Wilson Street.
“I drive the courtesy shuttle,” he said. “I take people who are having work done on their cars to work, up to the mall or home. And we’ll go pick them afterwards.”
Sonia also makes bank deposits, drives to the post office and occasionally has to drive to pick up or deliver parts, or other drivers.
Sonia has a 15-year history with Downeast and has been driving for the company for the last nine years. Before that, he was an auto-body painter, which was his life’s work.
Sonia started working when he was 14 years old at a grocery on the corner of Broadway and Stillwater Avenue. When he was 16 he worked for Sears and Roebuck on Dutton Street.
BANGOR — It’s not Hampden or Brewer or another big rivalry, but there’s plenty of excitement among the members of the Bangor girls basketball team as the Rams get set to test their seven-game winning streak when they host Gardiner at Red Barry Gymnasium.
The Tigers, who are 7-2, are one of the toughest teams Bangor will face this season. The Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference team is not exactly a traditional rival for Bangor, but the Rams know it’s an important matchup.
Gardiner was seventh in the most recent Eastern MAine Heal Point standing. Bangor was second.
25 years ago — Jan. 23, 1989
BRADFORD — Camille and Doris Dumont of Bradford celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a family gathering at the home of their daughter, Dottie Cox of Bradford. The Dumonts, who were married Jan. 22, 1924, lived in Old Town where Mr. Dumont was a self-employed woods operator and worked for the Bridge Construction Co. The couple have five children, 23 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
BANGOR — Two thousand Christmas trees discarded at the end of the holiday season were put to good use in Bangor — chipped for compost rather than hauled away whole, to be buried or burned.
The operation was in keeping with a resolve passed by the City Council to recycle when possible, Councilor Jane Saxl said after a committee meeting. The wood chips will be composted rather than dispersed at the Kittredge Road Landfill or the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co.’s incinerator in Orrington.
The council’s finance committee recently approved the purchase of a $12,000 wood chipper for the Public Works Department. The chipper, towed behind a truck, handles branches or trees up to 12 inches in diameter.
50 years ago — Jan. 23, 1964
BANGOR — Ralph Perkins of 70 Thatcher St. said his loss was $6,000 in a fire that destroyed a five-room house he owns at 11 Blake Place.
Cause of the fire was not immediately determined. Perkins said he had partial insurance coverage.
The interior of the house was completely gutted by flames. Furnishings and clothing belonging to the Carroll C. Alton family also were lost in the blaze.
BANGOR — A new restaurant on Maine Street, still unnamed, is expected to open in the former J.J. Newberry store location by mid-March.
A permit for renovation and remodeling of the Cassidy estate building, part of the former department store, was requested by George Vomvoris. He and his brother, William, both of Bangor, will start remodeling work the first of next month.
The work consists of complete alteration and modernizing of the main floor’s flooring, walls and ceiling, installation of new heating, lighting and air conditioning. The brothers, whose father John Vomvoris, operated the Atlantic Sea Grill on Exchange Street, are leaving the basement area and space on the third floor for restaurant offices, a bakery shop, store and employee rooms.
The restaurant at 27 Main St. will have a seating capacity of 120 including a 34-stool counter, it was reported.
The department store concluded business at the location at the end of 1963.
100 years ago — Jan. 23, 1914
CASTINE — An attractive illustrated folder is being circulated by the trustees of the Witherle Memorial Library. with the hope that subscriptions from former citizens and others interested in the welfare of the town many be obtained in sufficient amount to form a maintenance fund, the interest to be used for the proper help of the building.
The library was completed and dedicated in July 1913. It is fireproof and one of the most beautiful and finely appointed among the smaller structures of this state.
The collection of books is a valuable one, numbering approximately 5,000 volumes, and such action is necessary by the unavoidable limitation of the fund which the town is able to devote to this purpose.
Subscriptions may be sent to Robert P. Gay of Boston, Charles W. Noyes of Newark, N.J., Miss Amy Witherle or Miss Kate Davenport, librarian, Castine.
BUCKSPORT — The first regular examination under the new act for the State Certification of Teachers will be held Feb. 28 in 16 different places in the state, among those being Bangor, Belfast and Ellsworth. For the convenience of the probably large number of applicants, the examination also will be given in any town where at least three teachers will be present to take the examination. But in order to secure this accommodation due notice must be sent to the State Superintendent of Schools not later than Jan. 29.
Anyone who may desire to take this examination are requested to notify the superintendent of schools at this place for the preliminary form.
It will be remembered that applicants must be 17 years of age and have completed a high school or academy course.
Compiled by Ardeana Hamlin