10 years ago — Aug. 14, 2004
(As reported in the Bangor Daily News)
BANGOR — “Drive the Vote” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but when Bangor native and Harvard University junior Ben Sprague came down with mononucleosis halfway through his “Bike the Vote” campaign, he had to improvise.
Sprague didn’t abandon his push to register as many Maine voters as possible, but since he couldn’t bike anymore, he and his supporters needed to switch to a car.
It’s a good thing he didn’t quit. Sprague now has 1,000 reasons to keep the campaign going. The Bangor High School graduate and his “Bike the Vote” team recently received a grant for $1,000 as one of 20 winning groups in MTV’s “20 Million Loud Grant Contest.”
OLD TOWN — They call themselves the YMCA family. Their three children even refer to their parents’ places of employment as “Mommy’s Y” and “Daddy’s Y.”
Now Mom and Dad are bringing their Y experience to local facilities.
Jill Nitardy took over as the new Old Town-Orono YMCA executive director and her husband, Walter “Skip” Nitardy, will begin duties as the competitive swim director of the YMCA and YWCA of Greater Bangor, commonly known as the Bangor Y.
BANGOR — The downtown buildings in Bangor that house PROTEA Behavioral Health Services are old and richly laden with history.
The interior still carries traces of fire damage from several decades ago. The original brick walls have not been restored.
A safe sits unused behind an administrative desk, left over from a bank that once occupied the Exchange Street space.
Alex and Roweena Tessman, cofounders of PROTEA, a privately funded, state licensed agency that provides clinical mental health and substance abuse services, insist they don’t want to change the history of the buildings. They simply want to carve out their own piece of history inside the walls.
25 years ago — Aug. 14, 1989
BANGOR — Geneva Smart of French Street in Bangor celebrated her 100th birthday at a party at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bangor. The party was organized by her niece and nephew, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Allen. More than 100 friends and relatives were on hand to offer birthday greetings. Mrs. Smart was born Aug. 11, 1889, in Lubec. She has lived in Bangor for 65 years.
INDIAN ISLAND — If all goes as planned, sometime this year thousands of years of Penobscot Nation history will be preserved in a new cultural center here.
Although the exact opening of the Penobscot Cultural Center depends on the success of the fundraising program, a group of overseers is working to open the center as soon as possible, according to Rose Scribner, curator of the Penobscot Nation Museum and chairwoman of the cultural board.
Scribner said that work on the center had been done in conjunction with the University of Maine, and that the center would be located in the old school building. The center will house the museum’s collection, including a library, exhibits, artifacts, the gift shop, offices and other attractions.
ORONO — Finishing up three weeks of reading and writing the English language at the University Maine were 30 Japanese students, including Yuka Kawasaki and Yoshiro Nushi, who demonstrated a bonodori dance in front of the Memorial Union. The dance was one of many activities during the Japan Day celebration by the students.
50 years ago — Aug. 14, 1964
BANGOR — “City Landscape” by Norman Tronerud of Orono, was selected as first place winner in the Summer Festival Art Show at the Bangor Shopping Center. Francis Merritt, director of the Haystack School in Deer Isle, judged the more than 100 paintings on display, and discussed his decision with Philip Brockway, exhibition chairman. William Moise of Hancock placed second with his “Snow #1,” and Anita Bartlett of Bangor, third, with “Poppies.”
BANGOR — “When I went to Mississippi this summer to teach at Rust College, I was little involved in the civil rights movement. I had been there only for a short time when for the first time in my life, I fully appreciated what it means to be an American.”
These are the words of Frank Bragg, a resident of Bangor, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Bragg II, 11 Graham Ave.
Frank Bragg is a 23-year-old second-year medical student at Columbia University who spent the summer in Holly Springs, Mississippi, a small town 40 miles south of Memphis, 30 miles north of Oxford, Mississippi. He was one of 50 students sent to teach at 14 Negro colleges in the South as part of the Southern Teaching Program, a new project of Yale University Law School. He was sent to Rust College, a school supported by the Methodist Church to teach biology for 10 weeks.
100 years ago — Aug. 14, 1914
BUCKSPORT — The town authorities and some of the people are beginning to take a rather belated interest in the strange disappearance of Mrs. Mimi Pinkham, who left her home in the upper part of the village, saying that she was going blueberrying and has not been seen since. And that was three weeks ago.
Mrs. Pinkham is the wife of Del Pinkham, who is now on the Grand Banks in one of the fishing vessels of the Bucksport fleet. She lives with her one child in a small house on “the flats.” According to the neighbors she simply put on her hat, took a tin pail and walked out leaving everything as if she intended to be gone only a short time. Her child has been cared for by the neighbors since.
Mrs. Pinkham’s disappearance was common talk and some wonder around the neighborhood, but having no relatives or friends who took interest enough to investigate, and others not taking the matter seriously, thinking that perhaps she had gone to some friends and neighbors, it was not until within a few days that public sentiment has demanded that something be done about the case. Descriptions have been sent to the police and county offices of the state and an effort will be made to find her if possible.
Mrs. Pinkham is described as about 30 years old, 5 feet and 4 inches in height, plump figure and full in the face. She wore a brown skirt, sweater and a straw hat trimmed with large roses.
The town seems to have something of a mystery to unravel.
BANGOR — Howell Drew, the Greek sprinter, has declined many engagements to come to Bangor, but with nearly all of the star athletes, he will arrive next Tuesday. He is much interested in Andrew Sockalexis and said he will come if he has to pay his own expenses, and has declined an engagement to run in Madison Square Garden to come here.
To see the greatest runner in the world, in five events and free of all charge is in itself a big thing for Bangor, and this is but one line on the program for Sockalexis Day, Aug. 22.
Moving pictures not only will be taken of the events here but engagements have been made to take a number of reels on Indian Island, and these will be shown all over the country.
Everybody should help and show Andrew Sockalexis, now in Hebron and unable to work, that his great running was appreciated.
Compiled by Ardeana Hamlin