I am writing this on a rather gray, dreary, rainy fall day. We had a lovely summer and a gorgeous fall. The foliage was colorful and bright until we got a couple of windy, rainy days. We received many, many tourists and summer visitors here on Mount Desert Island this past year. Acadia National Park estimated visits surpassed 4,000,000 in 2021 and it certainly felt like it! I am ready to hunker down for the winter and enjoy the quiet and tranquility before spring, blackflies, and tourists return.
We were excited to be back on campus for football games and tailgating in the fall. Most of the football games began at noon so tailgating began at 9:00 am. We cooked breakfast food instead of burgers and hot dogs, and enjoyed “enhanced” coffee and cocoa as well as apple cider (and Fireball!). It was great to be back cheering on the team, listening to the marching band, and visiting with our friends!
UMaine inducted eight honorees into its Sports Hall of Fame late last summer. Rick Lashua was one of those inductees. He was on the UMaine baseball team that made four consecutive appearances in the College World Series from 1981 to 1984. He was a two-time NCAA regional all-tournament team choice and appeared in 22 NCAA postseason games, the most in UMaine baseball history. After college, Rick spent 18 years selling cars and eventually became general manager of a car dealership. He then moved on to working in construction and is still involved in the business end of it. He also is a golfer. Rick lives in Auburn, ME, and is a novice snowbird during the winter.
The Maine Baseball Hall of Fame inducted 11 new members last summer. Included in that group is Stu Lacognata. Stu pitched Portland High School to the 1980 Class A state championship, then came to UMaine, where he compiled a 24-9 career record during the Black Bears’ four College World Series appearances from 1981 to 1984. He now resides in Fort Myers, FL.
The Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association held its annual spring conference in April 2021 and celebrated with an awards ceremony honoring athletic administrators and sports media around the state. Three UMaine alumni were presented with an award, including Jim Churchill. Jim works at SportsNet Maine and 92.9 The Ticket radio and received the Electronic Media Award.
Tracey O’Connell was honored with the Maine School Counselor Association Lifetime Achievement Award! Tracey is a school counselor at Leonard Middle School in Old Town, but her journey began in a one-room school in Aurora, ME, where she attended the Airline School. She went to Brewer High School, then attended the University of Maine at Farmington before transferring to UMaine, where she completed a degree in child development and family relations. After teaching for a few years, she returned to UMaine and completed a master’s in counselor education in 1994 and a certificate of advanced study in 1996. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to school counselors who have made a positive impact on students and school counseling, and who demonstrate leadership, advocacy, and professionalism. Congratulations, Tracey!
Our children ran cross-country in middle school and would end the season with a meet at the Airline School. It is located among blueberry barrens and I loved the beautiful drive to Aurora. Many schools competed and I so loved watching the camaraderie and enthusiasm of the students!
I ran into Tom Nash at Homecoming but didn’t see anyone else from our class. If you plan to attend a football game this fall, perhaps I’ll see you. Please send me an email with your news. Your classmates would love to know what is going on with you. You do not need to win awards to be featured here! Share news of retirement, new job, grandbabies, trips! Hope to hear from some (or all) of you!