Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Waterville

About twenty miles up I-95 from my house is the city of Waterville, home to about 15,000 Mainers. Despite the fact that it's not a large city, Waterville is a bustling town with plenty of major retail chain stores and restaurants doing business there. It seems as it's always been that way throughout the city's history. Waterville's location at the confluence of the Kennebec and Sebasticook Rivers plays (played) an important role in its developement. Wikipedia passes this along : "Early industries included fishing, lumbering, agriculture and ship building, with larger boats launched in spring during freshets. By the early 1900s, there were five shipyards in the community. Ticonic Falls blocked navigation further upriver, so Waterville developed as the terminus for trade and shipping." Here's a brief history of Waterville from There are three things that attract me to Waterville, the aforementioned Kennebec and Sebasticook Rivers and Messalonskee Stream . I can smell the trout in that stream from here. Fish.Fear.Me. :)

Texas Tidbits : Bonnie and Clyde

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
The 1930's will be remembered for at least two things : The Great Depression and legendary criminals...Dillinger, Capone, Baby Face Nelson and perhaps the two most famous of all, Bonnie and Clyde. Texans, both, Clyde was born in Ellis County in 1909, Bonnie in Rowena in 1910. Both were gunned down by just-as-legendary FBI man, Melvin Purvis and other law enforcement officers in Bienville Parrish, Louisiana on May 23, 1934. I've (and I'm sure you have, too) heard about Bonnie and Clyde literally my whole life and am somewhat familiar with their escapades. But, it struck me like somebody hit me between the eyes with a Louisville Slugger when I actually looked at their birthdays and death date. Clyde was 2 months past his 25th birthday and Bonnie was still a young woman ("lady" hardly seems like the appropriate word) of only 24. My KIDS are older than that! Wow! Bonnie and Clyde have been memorialized in song (Merle Haggard, The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde, 1968), movies (Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, 1967) and a enough books, if laid side-by-side, to reach from El Paso to Texarkana. The way these two have been romanticized, you'd think they were John F. and Jackie Kennedy. Just remember, they were bank robbers and cold blooded killers, no different than Al Capone or John Dillinger. I checked out the FBI site for some information, and they've got a thumbnail sketch of their rundown of Bonnie and Clyde. It's a quick and interesting read. Until next time, y'all !

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