I hope you are all healthy and doing as well as can be expected these days. One
upside to the pandemic has been that I’ve participated in more lectures, concerts,
and exercise classes than I would have found time to attend in person. Case in
point, during the summer I participated in several of Nancy Greenblatt’s Zumba
classes over Zoom. Nancy lives in Scarborough, ME, and Briny Breezes, FL. I
haven’t seen Nancy in many years, but it was fun to take her classes online!
I have news from two of our author classmates. Diane Monroe Smith wrote to
say that her fourth book, an American Civil War biography, Washington
Roebling’s Civil War, has just been published. Her other works include a
biography of Maine’s favorite son, Gen. Joshua Chamberlain, an annotated
version of his account of the Battle of Petersburg, and a consideration of Ulysses
S. Grant’s conduct of the Overland Campaign. There are descriptions and
reviews of these works on Diane’s author website, dianemonroesmith.com.
Suzanne R. Roy G, who lives in Lewiston, recently published a stand-alone
sequel to her historical novel, The Enclave, that was published in 2019. The
Legacy, which is framed against the historical backdrop of life in Lewiston/Auburn
from 1920 to 1970, tells the story of a Franco-American woman who continues
the journey toward self-discovery and self-determination she began as a young
French-Canadian immigrant in Lewiston’s “Little Canada.” The novel reminds
readers that Franco-Americans were once the target of voter suppression and of
cross burning by the Ku Klux Klan and allows readers to experience some of the
area’s major historical events from the heroine’s perspective. As its title implies, it
also focuses on the importance of understanding who we are and what we’ve
inherited if we hope to leave to those who come after us something of real value.
The book is available at amazon.com.
Brothers Donald and Guy Piper ’73 wrote that “In this era of COVID-19 good
things still happen.”
The Piper family was honored in August when the Monmouth Memorial School
dedicated The Donald and Lorenza Piper Wall of Honor “in appreciation of the
Piper family for their continued support of education in the Monmouth
community.” Donald and Guy’s parents were Black Bears; Donald Sr. was a
member of the University of Maine Class of 1937 and Lorenza earned her
master’s in education from UMaine in 1962.
Newcastle Republican Merle Parise ran for House District 90, which includes
Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Monhegan, Newcastle, and parts of Nobleboro
and South Bristol. Merle is a former chair of the Newcastle Planning Board,
serves on the town’s appeals board, owns a local forestry consulting business,
and operates a sheep and horse farm with his wife. He is a strong believer that
Maine’s environment and natural resources economy go hand in hand. “Whether
it’s sustainable farming, fishing, or forestry, it’s critical that Mainers of all ages
can earn a living outdoors, and that we pass our strong tradition of conservation
on to our children and grandchildren so that they too can enjoy the same quality
of life Maine has become best known for.” Merle graduated from the University of
Maine at Orono with a degree in forest management and the University of Southern
Maine with a degree in environmental science and policy before going
on to Columbia University, where he earned a research master’s in climate and
society. He also was in the Peace Corps and served with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture helping to rebuild Afghanistan.
Take care of yourselves and drop me a line if there’s news you’d like me to share
in this column.