Linda Baniszeski


Meddybemps Winterfest Weekend brunch attendees at Community Center on Sunday, February 17, 2013. (Submitted photo).


The storm of 2013 came and winter continues to lash Meddybemps with high winds, snow and cold temperatures.  It is timed just right for the annual Winterfest Weekend, when various summer residents converge on the community to celebrate winter in Maine. Some of our full time and seasonal residents also got the full brunt of the blizzard of two weeks ago in Connecticut.  Lance Bagley was there visiting relatives during the storm.  Where he was staying they got 36” of snow and winds were up to 70 mph. Drifts topped 5 - 6 ft.  He was stranded in Connecticut and got home just in time for the Winterfest Weekend here. 

Reporting on Winterfest, Lance said,  “This past Friday the usual suspects started showing up at Lake Meddybemps for the annual Winterfest Weekend. Meg Rothberg arrived with her daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Adam Salamon, respectively.  Glenn Ball arrived shortly after and stayed at the Adelman home, and Barry and Sue Pearson appeared just before Ingrid and Charlie Hews got here.”  Barry and Sue and Ingrid and Charlie stayed with the Lance and Cheryl Bagley over the weekend.  

Lance added, “On Friday evening, Meg threw a dinner party at Susan White’s camp where she was staying with her daughter and son-in-law.  All of the above mentioned attended, along with Jeff Orchard, Barbie Clark, Arnold Corning and Ike and Dawn Winchester.  What a great way to kick off the weekend!”  

On Saturday Carol and Ted Bloomhardt arrived from Burlington, Vermont, along with their daughter Liz (Bloomhardt) and her husband Kyle Doran and two of their friends from Boston, Mary Nodine and Mike Cummings.  They parked at the town dock and made the very long trek through the snow and slush to their island camp where they annually stay. Charlie and Ingrid walked out to visit them. Arnold used his four-wheeler to take Amy and Adam out to the Rothberg camp on Teele Island. It was tough going.  

Lance said, “Barry Pearson was determined to fish so he borrowed Ike’s auger and drilled a couple of holes in the ice.  The fish were not cooperating so Barry and I started a bonfire on the ice.  The word spread and more and more chairs were carted out on the ice to accommodate another Winterfest Lake happening.  

“Saturday evening saw a gala bash at the Town Hall with refreshments and appetizers followed by a big feed -- isn’t that what they call it in Meddybemps? Everyone attended plus Pete and Liz Trouant, and Barbie Clark brought her daughter and son-in-law along with their three kids. Terry and Lisa Lord were there too along with Megan and baby Hayden. Mark Ketchen was in town visiting his dad and attended. Maxine Palmeter and Paulyne Ward completed the guest list.”

A farewell brunch at the Community Center on Sunday morning was hosted by Ted and Carole Bloomhardt.  The luscious offerings included pancakes artfully prepared by Ted and Carole served with the Bloomhardt’s own pure maple syrup from their property in Vermont, breakfast sausages, assorted quiches, juice, coffee and tea.  It was a wonderful event attended by  most everyone who came to Meddybemps for the festivities plus Pennie Lurie, Jeff Orchard and Jeff’s son, Zach, back home after serving in the Navy over the past 20 years.

Lance concluded, “Of course, we lost some guests who left early Sunday morning due to the coming storm.  It was, as usual, a wonderful gathering of very good friends who dream of Meddybemps all winter long.”

The Bloomhardt’s noticed a bear print on the porch of their island camp.  Perhaps one woke up and went roaming during the recent warmer temperature.  Only the bear knows the details.

In welcoming Zach Orchard back home after his twenty years serving in the U S Navy, we had a chance to talk about his career.  He is a Petty Officer and officially in Fleet Reserves for a few more months.  He is taking some time off before finding a new career here in Maine, and serves as a volunteer fire fighter with the Charlotte Fire Department.

Zach traveled to a vast number of locations throughout the world.  He was mostly recently stationed in Lemorre, California.  Among his duty stations were Brunswick, Maine, and aboard ships USS Independence CV62 and Carl Vinson, ensuring aircraft structural integrity as plane captain for F-18 Hornets.  He was involved in Operation Tomodochi Japan and the transfer of 300,000 to 400,000 tons of supplies for Japanese citizens after the earthquake and associated floods.  He also participated in partial aircraft reconnisance initiatives, actions in Somalia, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He received the Naval Achievement Medal for operating three work schedules simultaneously.

 When asked about the places he visited throughout his career, Zach said, “I was in Hawaii and twelve different countries -- Scotland Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Diego Garcia (that’s an island off the coast of India), Tazmania, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sicily and all over Europe and the Middle East.”

Zach has done his hometown communities proud.  Along with his family, we are glad he is now home safe after so many years of faithfully serving our country.

In other news, please watch your speed while traveling through Main Street Meddbyemps.  Police officers occasionally park near Palmeter’s store to make sure everyone travels at safe speeds through our community.  It is also comforting to know they are nearby if we need assistance.  

Last weekend was the annual Backyard Bird Count, organized in our area by Karen Holmes.  Liz and Pete Trouant report seeing two eagles over the week-end -- one at Terry Lord’s pit, and another in front of their home on Conant Hill.  

Your organization, family and community news is appreciated for  this column.  Send your news by e-mail to the above address or phone 454-3719.