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We Salute Our Members
by Marty Helman

It was cold and blustery outside, but warm and cozy inside for the die-hards that made it to the Rotary meeting last week.  On tap was one of our most favorite programs – favorite of everyone except those most directly involved, that is

Classification talks are Rotary lingo for our members telling us the stories of their lives, and how they came to the Boothbay Region – or anything else they want to regale us with.  Last Thursday we heard from one of our more recent members, as well as one of our more tenured.  There stories (expurgated, of course) follow.

Nancy Adams said it all began in 1961 when she was working at Fisherman’s Wharf while attending Colby College.  John, her future husband, saw her across the room, was smitten, and asked the head waitress for her name. “She’s not for you,” came the reply, “she’s a minister’s daughter.”

Undeterred, John “cut her out of the herd.”  Life – and the US Army -- soon intervened, when John found himself in Korea.  Meanwhile, Nancy was planning to travel to teach in Europe, but John pointed out, “Anyone can go to Europe.  Come to Korea instead.” Nancy did, and that was the beginning of her 30-year career as a Department of Defense civilian, following John in his Army career, and later, as a civilian as well.

Their first two children were born in Korea; their third child is a mixed race (Korean/American) girl who they adopted when they wanted to expand their family and knew how mixed-race children were treated in Korea.  

The pay was terrible, Nancy recalled, but the benefits – everything from cheap booze at the PX to weekend travel opportunities – was terrific.  Every so often the Army would return them to the States, but they would soon be overseas again. They lived in Heidelberg, Germany, and Vicenza, Italy, and at some point they purchased an old cottage on Farnham Point. “It came complete with outhouse,” Nancy said, and when it came time to retire, they made the Boothbay Region their home. “The outhouse is now plumbed,” she added.

Welcome to the club, Nancy! And wow! What a life you have lived – we’re so glad you chose the Boothbay Region as your permanent home.

Then it was Doug Harley’s turn.  He and Diane married in 1963, and “We’ve been together ever since. We do everything together,” he said.  Well, not quite everything:  It’s a well-known fact around the Clubhouse that Diane would never let Doug quit Rotary even if he wanted to because she treasures her Thursday evenings alone.  And we treasure Doug, so it all works out okay! And the love between the two is obvious: “I appreciate everything she’s done for me and the kids.”  Way to go, Doug! 

Doug’s first job was working for a VW dealer in Pottstown, Pa.  But then fate – in the form of a blacksmith meet in Arizona -- changed his working life, and he became a blacksmith.  Doug says his smithing skills are pretty much self-taught – and members around the club know just how well-taught he is.  He works in bronze, steel, aluminum, and enjoys it all, although he continues to tinker with VWs and other foreign auto repair. “That’s about it,” he said.  He shared his scrapbook of favorite projects, which range from railings (lots of railings) to wine racks to fireplace screens to furniture.  Doug also recently refurbished an aviary which is now for sale in the Big Gray Rotary Barn.

That’s right:  The Barn opens for the season this Saturday, April 1 from 8:30 to 11:00.  For club members:  Come and be part of the volunteer fun that makes possible all the donations we make around town.  For our neighbors:  Come and find treasures, must-haves, furniture, tools, china, knick-knacks and more.  And know that all your dollars come back to the community via Project Graduation, scholarships, the Food Pantry, the BRCC and all its constituent operations, and much, much more.

We are accepting donations of gently used furniture, household goods, boats, trailers, tools, well just about anything.  Text or call Deb at 207-380-3550 to schedule a  pick up or drop off.

March was Disability Awareness Month. This Thursday, Laurie Zimmerli, Director of Special Education at Lincoln Academy, will present on disabilities and schools. She will be joined by Kristin Harmon, Special Education Teacher from the Boothbay Region Middle School.  They will discuss various disabilities and the impact on students.  They will also outline special education programs in our local area

Then, next Friday April 7, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day at the Clubhouse.  We’ve moved it here from the school buildings and it promises to be better than ever.  Please bring cookies & brownies to the meeting on Thursday April 6, and signups are still needed to pick up pizzas.  

Does it sound like the members of the Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor are always busy?  We are! It’s all about fellowship and giving back to the community and enjoying ourselves while we do it.  Join us! Come out to the Big Gray Barn at 66 Montgomery Avenue on Saturdays, or stop by for our weekly meetings Thursday night.  The place is rocking by 6:00, but the formal (if you can call it that) meeting starts at 6:30 pm.