Sudy Taylor Graham
33760 County Road 43A
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487-9783
I am afraid that this will be a much shorter column than usual – and, for that I apologize (I was definitely behind the “8 ball” this time)! But, here’s what we have.
I received a long and newsy letter from John McGrail, written with a lot of good humor — which made it fun to read! John is now retired from being the head engineer of Detroit Water and Sewage. He let us know that he is the state and national holder of four power lifting records for the 64-69-year-old’s super heavy weight class (American Power Lifting Association). And, here is some of John’s humor: “Let this be a lesson to all that even a fat old guy can continue as a competitive athlete”! And, for the past 35 years he has been a jolly old “Santa” during the Christmas holidays. John and his wife, Mary Ann, recently had a (weekend reunion with Steve Freedman and his wife, Linda – reminiscing about the good old days at Maine! OK. I have GOT to include this! In Stephen King’s book Hearts in Suspension, on page 44 (footnote 22), he describes John this way “I remember Larry M., who was more or less in charge, as a humorless ideologue, but his chief cohort, John McGrail, was a cool and charismatic guy with Elvis’s hair and sideburns.” Sorry, John – I just couldn’t resist!! Thank you also for letting us know of a classmate who recently passed away – James K. Farnham, who had been a dorm mate of his in Cumberland Hall and a fellow Civil Engineering student.
Diane Cote Eager sent us a picture of herself with her son Shawn Edward Eager, and her grandson Thomas, who decided that walking is a much faster means of getting into trouble than crawling! (My added comment!). Three generations!
Since 1947 Createau’s Studio (in Sanford, Maine) captured memories of many people through the lens of a camera, but now they have closed their doors. In 1985 Bob and Claire Createau had purchased the business from Bob’s father – Bob remembers being involved in the business at an early age. Upon graduating from the University of Maine, he became the chief photographer for the Sanford Tribune. Two years later, Bob became the sports information director at the University of Maine while Claire worked for a Bangor bank. Years later, they returned to Sanford and to the photo business. They look back at all the memories they made for people – but look forward to their retirement and making memories of their own.
George Smith and his wife, Linda Hillier Smith ’75, have done a great thing! They have donated 125 acres of family land to the Kennebec Land Trust, giving kids (adults, too!) the opportunity to learn about wildlife and conservation. The land owned previously by George’s father, Ezra, carries the name of the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area. Along the trails there will be interpretive signs drawing attention to the habitats and wetlands. If you still live in Maine (or are planning to go back for a visit) this may be a great place to check out! George was a former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and columnist for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, writing about the great outdoors and now of his recent diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease. This wildlife conservation area will be appreciated by many – for generations to come. Thank you, George and Linda.
Many of Stephen King’s stories are being set for either TV series or movie adaptations in the next few years. Do you want to know which ones? Here’s the list! Considered as definite: Castle Rock (TV), Pet Sematary (movie), It: Chapter Two (movie), 8 (TV), and Sleeping Beauties (TV). Considered as maybe: Drunken Fireworks (movie), Firestarter (movie), Overlook Hotel (movie), The Stand (movie or TV), and The Talisman (movie). And, considered as a long shot are: The Long Walk (movie), Lisey’s Story (movie or TV), and The Breathing Method (TV). There you have it. Even though they say that 2017 was a great year, I think Stephen’s on a roll! In 2017, we saw four movies roll out (The Dark Tower, Gerald’s Game, 1922, and IT), two TV series (The Mist and Mr. Mercedes), one novel (Sleeping Beauties, which was co-authored with his son Owen), and one novella (Qwendy’s Button Box).
It all started back in the 1980s, when a young film student asked Stephen King if he could make a film from one of his short stories. Stephen said “yes.” It became the first of more than 300 short film adaptations, which became known as “The Stephen King Dollar Baby.” Why let his stories go for essentially free? Stephen says that it’s all about “helping creative people gain valuable experience” — and he enjoys seeing what they will do with it — good or bad. There are a few stipulations that go along with the Dollar Deal: the films cannot be distributed commercially, screened in theatres, put online, or be used to make money in any way. They can only be shown as part of a film festival. That’s the deal — and, I’d say that it’s a good one.
I lost a friend from our class recently – Robert Hawthorn White – due to complications during a surgery. You would not meet a nicer person – I know, because I was blessed to have grown up with him in Dover-Foxcroft. Bob won you over with his amazing smile and twinkling eyes (which he always had). He was an incredible athlete (basketball, baseball, and football), played drums in both our concert and marching band, and was an outstanding student. The world was a better place with Bob in it — and he will be missed a great deal.
That’s all for this column – and we sure would love to hear from more of you (I know — you get tired of hearing me say that!). Hope this finds you all smiling.