May 312013
Share your ideas with other Granges!

Share your ideas with other Granges!

submitted by Walter Boomsma

As most know, Valley Grange is very much involved with our schools in regards to literacy and reading. Studies have validated what is called the “summer slide.” Children who don’t read or who read rarely over the summer encounter a stagnation or decline in their reading skills. At least one estimate suggests this can be overcome by children reading just five grade level appropriate books over summer vacation.

Can your Grange encourage this? Absolutely! You might consider partnering with your local library–many have summer reading programs and events. Or how about a community potluck supper with a side order of reading? This could have all sorts of variations: kids who bring a book they are reading eat free… or maybe there’s a “book exchange” where you invite kids to bring books they’ve read to exchange with others. At Valley Grange, we keep a milk crate of children’s books in the dining hall… whenever a child visits us for a supper or a program they are invited to take a book home as long as they promise to read it.

Don’t just think about reading to children–a key component of Valley Grange’s bookworm program is that we have the kids reading to us! Several months ago a second grader started a book with me that we didn’t have time to finish. When her turn came up again recently she brought the same book and remembered exactly where we’d left off. This is a kid for whom reading is important. It’s nice to feel our program is contributing.

Just get something started–it’s doesn’t have to be massive and complicated.

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read?with a child.”
―???? Dr. Seuss

May 312013
"Special Moms" -  Front row:  Shirley Hatch, Simone Morin, and Marilyn Redmun. Back row:  Eda Tripp, Joyce Poole, and Gerry Tinkham

“Special Moms” – Front row: Shirley Hatch, Simone Morin, and Marilyn Redmun. Back row: Eda Tripp, Joyce Poole, and Gerry Tinkham

Danville Junction Grange #65 recently held a “Green Sash” Night with officers of Androscoggin Pomona Grange filling the chairs.? A potluck supper preceded the meeting.? A Mother’s Day program was opened by singing “I Want A Girl”, followed by readings by Wayne Sherman and Gladys Chapman.? State Pomona Debra Ivers entertained us with two beautiful musical numbers.? Twelve of our members read humorous selections written by elementary students to answer the question, “Why Did God Make Moms?”? After? a silver march, bouquets of flowers were presented to special moms by Lecturer Glenys Ryder.? These were the moms who had the most children and those who had the oldest child.? The closing song was “Good Night Grangers”, substituting the word “Moms” for “Grangers”.? A wonderful time was had by nearly forty people who were in attendance!

May 262013
Master Vicki

Master Vicki

Vicki Huff, currently Overseer of the Maine State Grange, will be installed as Master of the Maine State Grange on Saturday, June 1 to fill a vacancy created by the recent resignation of Patrick Brewer. The ceremony will be led by Arthur Merrill, past voting delegate for New Hampshire State Grange and member of the Assembly of Demeter and Assistant Steward of the New Hampshire State Grange. Brother Merrill will be assisted by Sister Huff’s installation team.

A third generation Granger Vicki joined the Grange in 1978 at the age of 15. She has held several offices in her home Grange of Hollis #132 including secretary for over 20 years and currently serves as Master. In 1991 Vicki was the first woman elected as Master of York Pomona and currently holds the office of Treasurer. Vicki is well-known?around the state, having led her first installation in 1992. She served on the State Youth Committee from 89-91, Junior Committee 91-93, Deputy from 93-97, Ceres 97-01, Pomona 01-07, Flora 07-11 and was elected State Overseer in 2011. She is also currently active in the planning of National Conference in New Hampshire later this year.

“My vision is to make the Granges in Maine, at all levels, stronger and active in their communities,” Vicki announced. “We need to share our successes with one another. We need to stop dwelling in the past and look forward to a bright, successful future. We need to be realistic, set goals for our Granges that are high enough so we need to reach and stretch and have a sense of accomplishment when we get there. But those goals should not be so high that if we have to take a step or two back that we feel defeated. Granges need to be TEAMS (Together Each Accomplishes More).”

Vicki is looking forward to the support of members. “A team approach to working as an organization is necessary, since a full-time state master is not economically feasible,” she noted. “But it also just makes sense. The roots of our organization were about ‘coming together’ and our motto speaks to unity in essentials.? That motto need not change: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity. I look forward to some exciting times as we prove to ourselves that our fundamental beliefs are still valid even though we are approaching our 140th birthday as an organization.”

When Vicki has a free moment or two, she enjoys snowmobiling, ATV-ing, fishing, reading, cross stitching and latch hooking. She also has been known to hit a golf ball on occasion, ?but won’t say she plays because she mostly enjoys the great way to go for a walk in a beautiful setting. Those who know her often mention her infectious laugh and belief that life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing.

The installation on June 1st will begin at noon at State Grange Headquarters, 146 State Street, Augusta Maine. The public is invited to attend. Please help with the planning process by calling Vicki at 699-2830 if you are planning to attend. Vicki’s complete contact information is:

Vicki Huff
90 Linton Street
South Portland 04106
May 252013

World PPLby Walter Boomsma, webmaster

Our Grange heritage and what we often refer to as the “work” of our order serves as a constant reminder of the importance and joy found in agriculture. “Since God placed man on the earth, agriculture has existed. There is no occupation that precedes it, no order or association that can rank with the tillers of the soil…”

Earlier this week I happened on a poem that seemed to affirm the connection between mankind and?the earth–a poem that offered an interesting perspective as we approach a day of remembrance.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

?Mary Frye – 1932

Perhaps as we take a moment this weekend to remember those who gave so much, we might consider how we all remain so connected–to each other and to the earth. It’s a thought that does not diminish the sacrifice many have made; it is a thought that honors that sacrifice. “There is nothing that blooms with such unfading colors, there is no perfume on earth fraught with such fragrance, as the flowers of good works…”

How appropriate it is that a day of memorial takes place in the spring when we think about rebirth and life. (One theory is that May was chosen because flowers are in bloom in all parts of the country.) It is a day to display the flag of our country. It is a time to?purchase a poppy… to shake hands old and young of those who are willing to defend that which we cherish. While we may shed a tear we might also feel a “swift uplifting rush”–that sense that in spite of losses and the many difficulties we face, we can smell the fragrance from the flowers of good works. The good work of some required the ultimate sacrifice, but we all contribute and we each share?the world that is ours.


May 252013

As the upcoming June 8 Degree Day at Ammadamast Grange in Enfield draws near, we really need more folks to fill offices. Rolf Staples, Sr., who has been setting the day up, asks that willing workers contact him at 973-3976, or at href="swederolfataoldotcom">swederolfataoldotcom.

May 242013

Webmaster’s note: The??story about West Bath Seaside Grange was based on the story as reported in the newspaper which was incorrect.?Note that the media rarely understands Grange ritual and procedure and mistakes like this are not uncommon.

West Bath Seaside actually had an organizational meeting where they elected?three officers for the charter application, Master, Lecturer and Secretary. They also filled out the application with 18 charter members. At their next meeting they will elect the remaining officers and if the charter is back from National it will be presented. Installation and obligation will take place as soon as they are chartered. Thanks to Maine State Grange Overseer Vicki Huff for the correct information.


May 232013

Webmaster note and correction:? This story was based on the story reported in the newspaper which was incorrect.?West Bath Seaside actually had an organizational meeting where they elected?three officers for the charter application, Master, Lecturer and Secretary. They also filled out the application with 18 charter members. At their next meeting they will elect the remaining officers and if the charter is back from National it will be presented. Installation and obligation will take place as soon as they are chartered. Thanks to Maine State Grange Overseer Vicki Huff for the correct information.

On Tuesday, May? 21st, Maine State Grange Overseer Vicki Huff installed charter?officers at the newly organized Grange now known as West Bath Seaside Grange. After a two-year vacancy, the building is being rejuvenated by Master Will Snow and 19 charter members. Following the traditional installation ceremony, Sister Huff joked, “…all the new members are under the age of 50,” and noted, “This will be a happening place with?exciting times for them and us.”

The local media also?took note and reported that while it’s rare to hear of Grange Halls reopening, the folks in West Bath are reversing that trend. The original story was reported in The Times Record (the link for this is no longer working)?and reprinted in its entirety in the Bangor Daily News. The new Grange plans to meet the first Tuesday of?every month.

Master Snow notes that?he hopes?West Bath Seaside Grange will restore some of the sense of community that is too often missing?today.?“It’s basically a place for the community to come together,” Snow said, and noted the newly formed group is already planning their first bean supper. He is encouraging others in the area to participate, adding, “Membership will have its privilege.”

Welcome, Patrons of Husbandry affiliated with West Bath Seaside Grange! We’ll be looking forward to hearing about some of those exciting times right here on the Maine State Grange website!

May 222013

chef_stiring_pot_anim_150_clr_6703The UMaine Cooperative Extension?(Piscataquis County Office)?is offering a “Cooking for Crowds” workshop in August.? You’ll learn up-to-date food safety techniques for buying, storing, preparing and serving foods. Participants receive a resource manual, thermometer, and more! Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, August 15th from 1 PM until 5 PM and costs only $15! (Scholarships are available.) The August workshop will be held at the Extension Office in Dover Foxcroft. You can register online at or by calling 564-3301.

This workshop is actually available in many different parts of the state… Bangor in June… Skowhegan in July… ?if you visit the link given above you’ll find a complete list and a way to request a workshop in your area.

Cooking for Crowds – Great for Granges!

May 222013

The Dexter Wayside Grange Theatre at their meeting last Thursday made plans to welcome Ken and Jane Brooks for their May 25th?appearance. A full house is expected to enjoy old-fashioned? Classic Country music along with songs the Brooks’ have written.

The Talent Night committee reports they now have 1 hour of skits being prepared but need more talent for acting and musical presentations.

The community band will be using the grange stage for practice beginning on June 11. They will do a concert at the grange in September.

Charlie Haiss will provide dinner music at the next grange supper. There was a lengthy discussion regarding improvements to the supper sign which is posted along the roadside advertising the monthly meal.

Chester Bekier reported a number of cracked and broken windows through out the building that require replacing? and glazing. Repairs to the broken windows in the dining hall will be done first. Concern was expressed about the construction of the steps leading up the front porch.

The May schedule for mowing the grange lawn was set.? Grange Master Pearson, will have the honor of the first mowing of the season on May 11th.

It was agreed to remove the overgrown arborvitae trees that were planted some years ago in front of the porch.? They are now quite large and are causing a moisture problem with the wood of the porch.

The matter of concert admission fees to be paid by Wayside Grange members? was discussed.? It was voted that Grange members working at the concert can choose either to attend the show for free, or pay ? or full admission price.? Non working member can attend the show for ? price or full price.

The next meeting will be June 13th at 6 PM at the Wayside Grange.