Greetings, Class of 1974! At this moment, we are enjoying a wonderful fall week with lots of color and warm weather. Of course, we know what looms ahead, but the good Lord willing, we will have another mild winter. Don and I braved our first Maine winter in over 35 years, but we were prepared — a heat pump, winterization, a nifty generator, and a snow blower that didn’t get a great deal of use. Our oldest son, Dave, is retiring as a full bird Colonel USMC next May and he and Cindy are looking at South Carolina for their future. The two grandkids are in relationships. We will be having at least one wedding next fall. Mike and his family are in Camden, where he recently purchased the tree service he worked for. Don and our whippets are really great, and I keep Don busy with projects. Now on to the news!
The Lisbon Greyhounds will be searching for a new track and field coach as Dean Hall has retired after 43 years! He is retiring on the recent Class C state title of the girls’ track and field team. He made his mark in many ways at Lisbon High School. He was more than a coach. He was a mentor and a role model for students and his colleagues. Doug Sautter, assistant track coach, said, “He is the master at getting the most out of his kids. It’s truly one of his best qualities.”
Dean transformed the Lisbon track and field programs into annual conference and state contenders. His boys’ team won 25 Mountain Valley Conference championships and the 2014 Class C state title. His girls’ teams won 12 conference crowns. Both teams won MVC titles from 2006-2013. The boys’ team won 13 straight conference titles from 2006-2018. He also had the opportunity to coach both of his sons and his two grandsons. Dean’s son, Eric, is now the Lisbon athletic director. His plans? “I plan to enjoy my life with my wife, Marie, of 47 years, travel, relax, and find new daily adventures,” he said. Best wishes, Dean!
The Maine Principals’ Association Hall of Excellence inducted 10 influential sports and education leaders last May. Included in that group was David Halligan ‘79G of Falmouth High School fame. Dave graduated from Falmouth High in 1970 and returned to his alma mater to become one of the state’s top basketball and soccer coaches. He led the Falmouth boys’ soccer program to 12 state championships, 13 regional championships, and 14 league titles. Dave’s basketball teams have won six state championships and 11 regional titles. He was named the 2020 National Federation of State High School Associations Coach of the Year for boys’ soccer. Congratulations!
Scott Handville retired from the Gardiner Library in July. He served the patrons of that library for 40 years! He thought when he became the assistant librarian all those years ago, that he would probably move on to something new every few years, but he could not have been more wrong. He commented, “I’ve been very fortunate to work with people I really care about and I’m very fortunate to work in a community that I enjoyed, and I liked.” He feels that the technological conversion has been the most significant change at the library during his tenure. Technology rendered card catalogs obsolete and gave patrons more access to books, movies, and music. Library Director Ann Davis said his best trait was his unfailing patience with both library staff and patrons. The customer always came first!
I remember writing about Steve Orlofsky several years ago and here he is back in the news. Steven recently retired as the music teacher and band director at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. This was the guy who taught music in Fort Fairfield for several years after graduating from Maine but decided he had enough and wanted out of the classroom. I guess that was a short-term decision, as he spent 40 years in his current position.
Under his direction, the ensembles he directs have won awards at state and New England festivals. In February 2020, just before COVID-19, the school’s jazz combo, Melodious Thunk, placed second in its division at the National Jazz Festival in Philadelphia — one of several combos to win honors over the years. This year, the academy’s jazz groups submitted videos of live performances to the National Jazz Festival and won first and second place awards in their divisions. Steve was named one of two National Jazz Festival Educators of the Year. There is no question, he will be missed. He took a program with 12 students signed up to play in jazz band to more than 100 during the ’90s — not bad for a school with 350 students! But his legacy will live on through Phelan Gallagher, the new music director. Phelan is a 2002 graduate of George Stevens Academy and former student of Orlofsky. Keep your ears open! Steve Orlofsky plays saxophone and does gigs with local jazz trios and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and even backs local touring groups.
Robert Booker sent a photo and a note of his chance to finally walk across a stage to get his diploma. Apparently, he was student teaching and was a December grad back in 1974.
However, he recently received his second bachelor’s degree, this time from Widener University — a BS in professional studies with a minor in history. He graduated summa cum laude. Robert retired at the end of June and hopes to continue reading history, traveling with his wife, Tanya, and pursuing his hobby of painting.
And last, but certainly not least, Jim and Judy Mullen Rowe were delighted to welcome FLOTUS, Dr. Jill Biden, along with Governor Janet Mills and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to Fort Williams on July 3rd. Jim was able to share some of the history of Portland Head Light with Dr. Biden.
We always like to hear from Black Bear alumni. Feel free to email me if you have news to share at firstname.lastname@example.org.