Friday, November 27, 2009

Golden Harvest named Employer of the Year by Center for Entrepreneurship

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
For an old business, a new accolade.
Golden Harvest, a local produce market and specialty foods store, has been named Employer of the Year at York County Community College’s 5th Annual Entrepreneur Awards.
“I was really shocked. It was wonderful. We were flattered,” said co-owner Carla Spencer, who has owned and run Golden Harvest with her husband Jim since September 1998.
The Spencers received the award from the Center for Entrepreneurship at a ceremony at The Coastal House in Wells on Nov. 4th. Other finalists for the award were Province Automation in Sanford, and this newspaper, The Weekly Sentinel.
Eligibility for the award required that a business “maintained or added to staff levels in the past 12 months, and demonstrates stability as an employer.”
“We have a lot of long-term employees, some that have been with us 30 years,” said Jim Spencer. “We don’t turn over a lot of people. We bring people in, they stay with us. We bring them along. That’s been really good for us. That’s the key to what we do.”
Golden Harvest has continued to add employees over the past year despite the difficult economy. “We’ve added a couple of management positions and a couple of wholesale positions,” said Jim.
Since May 2006 the Spencers have also owned Carl’s Meat Market, which is located next door to Golden Harvest. “Between the two places it’s about 50 employees right now, and around 55 or 58 in the summer,” said Carla.
The economy has been a concern for the Spencers. “The economy effects the way things are. People spend less money,” said Carla. “But we are consistent with our numbers from last year, which is good,” added Jim.
Golden Harvest is a landmark business in Kittery’s “Gourmet Alley” on Route 1. “The community is very supportive, and they tell us what they think frequently, which is nice because it tells you how you’re doing,” said Carla.
Golden Harvest was nominated for Employer of the Year by Sen. Peter Bowman (D-Kittery). Jim Spencer believes that Golden Harvest’s willingness to go the extra mile for customers is what inspired Sen. Bowman’s nomination. “If you want something special, a unique bottle of wine, we’ll bring it in. People will ask for this and that and we’ll try to accommodate them,” said Jim.
Golden Harvest has been around “since the late 50s,” according to Jim. The Spencers purchased the business from Dominick Peluso, who started and ran the business for its first 40 years.
Carl’s Meat Market has been in and out of Carla’s family since the 1930s. “Carl Peschel, my great-grandfather, started it,” Carla explained. “After Carl Peschel passed away his son Ken took the business over. Then he sold it to Frank Belleville, who worked for him. Then we bought it from Frank.”
The Spencers are clearly proud of the long local histories of these two community markets. “Our goal is to always maintain what the Golden Harvest was, but also keep changing with the times,” Carla said. Jim nodded in agreement, and also added that as Employer of the Year, “We’re happy just the way it is.”
Golden Harvest and Carl’s Meat Market are located at 47 and 25 State Road (Route 1) in Kittery.
Photo caption: Carla and Jim Spencer of Golden Harvest in Kittery. (Devin Beliveau photo)

Collaboration in the Air with Libraries in the Berwicks

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
In the face of shrinking resources and a desire to maximize library services for their constituents, Librarians Sandy Broomfield (Berwick), Mamie Ney (South Berwick) and Beth Sweet (D.A. Hurd, North Berwick) took an historic step recently. They agreed formally to a reciprocal arrangement that allows legal residents of each of the three towns to sign up for free library cards at all three libraries.
“We have been collaborating, but not formally,” said Ney.
“We decided the three of us could have patrons from each town share the library,” said Broomfield.
It wasn’t a simple matter, however. To complete the agreement, the librarians had to get their boards (in the case of Berwick and D.A. Hurd) and town officials (in the case of South Berwick) to go along with the idea. The different organizational structures of the three facilities complicated things. Only the South Berwick library is a town department; Berwick and Hurd are non-profits directed by boards of directors.
They convinced folks that collaboration was a good thing.
“For example, it saves us from inter-library loan costs,” Sweet said. “Usually, books are mailed between libraries and $2.45 is the average mailing fee. So giving people cards helps with that. We’re also all small libraries, so jointly hosting events can draw larger audiences.”
In fact, joint events are already on the drawing board, thanks to a grant the group got from the Maine Humanities Council to support the formation of a book discussion group.
“The grant will provide a facilitator to run five book discussions,” Sweet said. “It will also provide the books to lend.”
“The Council was looking for libraries to work together, so that worked in our favor,” said Ney.
“The hope is that we’ll alternate the discussions among all three libraries, so people will get familiar with (ones outside their towns),” Sweet said.
The discussion groups will likely begin in March. But that’s not the only shared activity. Museum passes is another area of collaboration.
“We got a $2,500 grant from Kennebunk Savings Bank for all three to get museum passes, to places like the Maine Children’s Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Portland Museum of Art, Strawbery Banke and Willowbrook,” Broomfield said.
The trio continues to explore other possibilities. “There are so many ways to cooperate, like ordering supplies together (to get better prices),” Ney said. “There’s a lot we can do internally and externally. It also gives us a good excuse to get together, to see how we’re dealing with similar things.”
Sweet agreed. “We could do staff training together and fundraising,” she said. “Maybe we could do an annual golf tournament. If we combined forces, we could see larger fundraising events.”
Like many industries, the landscape for public libraries is changing and that motivates the need for creative thinking.
“Our mission is changing,” said Ney. “We’re becoming an information town commons. That’s been important to all libraries.”
And that also drives the desire to collaborate. “We’re trying to unite so that we can present the greatest opportunities for all our residents,” Broomfield said.

New Owners Re-Open Litchfield’s

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
There’s a new dining and entertainment venue in Wells at a familiar old location. Litchfield’s Bar and Grill, under new owners Elaine and Bob Stone and Execuitve Chef Tom Perron (Elaine’s brother), opened its doors on Nov. 18. Located at the site of the former Litchfield’s Restaurant, the new operation offers not only an extensive dining menu and full bar, but also a video game room and pizza parlor that offers a variety of pizzas, subs, appetizers, salads, and Italian dishes.
“We make almost everything from scratch,” Perron said. “We make our own burgers, pizza sauce, ribs, even the batter for fried chicken. All our soups and stews are homemade. We try to do as much as we can.”
Indeed, the dinner menu is five pages long, and offers everything from soups to salads to sandwiches to steaks, chicken and seafood. And the menu is reasonably priced, with no entrée above $20.
And there is full bar service as well. “We have a new tap system, with 14 beers on tap and two separate taps,” said Perron, noting also that the bar was fully stocked with wine and other spirits.
Separating the dining area from the pizza parlor is a game room, with a multitude of game options. “It’s a full game room,” Perron said. “There’s Guitar Hero, poker, classic Pac-man, NBA Showtime, things like that.”
There’s even a game that offers an opportunity to win Coach bags.
The pizza parlor also offers specialty pizzas like shrimp and sweet sausage, clams casino (clams, bacon, and bell peppers), eggplant and feta cheese, and Hawaiian ham and pineapple, to name just a few.
“People can dine in, carry out, use curbside pick-up, or have delivery,” said Perron. For now, delivery is limited to Wells only, though that could change in the future.
The operation uses the shell of the former restaurant, with the interior fully renovated. The dining area seats 150, with the familiar atrium room still an attractive feature of the dining room, giving it a bright and airy feel. The bathrooms were completely redone also and are handicap accessible.
Perron said there are plans to expand in the future. The plan is to use the land to the rear of the building to put another, adjoining structure with a capacity of 150 that would allow the restaurant to handle functions, and offer music and entertainment.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the restaurant, though, has nothing to do with food. There’s a memorial to the victims of the 9-11attacks – a fountain – that sits between the entrances to the restaurant and the pizza parlor. Perron said it will be dedicated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m. The dedication will be attended by firefighters from throughout southern Maine.
Litchfield’s, 2135 Post Road in Wells, is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.
Photo caption: Bartender Deb Vaughn at the new 14 beer tap system at Litchfield’s Bar and Grill in Wells. (Jim Kanak photo)

Friday, November 20, 2009

$1 Million Federal Award advances
Conservation of York River

York Land Trust (YLT) and the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea conservation partners (MtA2C) announce the protection of an ecologically significant property on the York River in York. In 2005, aided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Program, the partners made a “federal case” for supporting York River conservation and won a million dollar North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) award. It was recently used to purchase 240 acres of pristine saltmarsh, shorelands, field and forested uplands from the Davis family, one or York’s founding families and long time supporters of community conservation.
“Our family settled this land in the 1600’s and lived on it continuously until 1963, when our great aunt Alice R. McIntire died and our mother Mary McIntire Davis inherited the land. Before her death, it was our mother’s fondest wish that the land remain undeveloped and in its natural state in-perpetuity. We believe conveying the land to the good stewards of the York Land Trust will ensure our mother’s legacy and provide for the enjoyment of the citizens and visitors of York. My brothers, Dan and Jim, and I are pleased to be able to continue our family’s affiliation with the York Land Trust,” said Mal Davis.
“We are grateful to the Davis Family for working with us to protect this spectacular property and for their generosity in selling the land for less than its market value, as a donation to the York Land Trust. The success of the project was due in part to this important gift,” said Doreen MacGillis, Executive Director of York Land Trust. “In addition, the value of a partially donated conservation easement to Maine Coast Heritage Trust by the Delano family on a 390-acre parcel on Gerrish Island in Kittery last year provided critical match necessary to secure the federal NAWCA grant.”
The NAWCA proposal was a rigorous process that focused national attention on the York River System’s distinctive preservation arguments including 1) that the River’s estuary, shoreland and contiguous forested uplands provide priority habitat for 100 types of waterbirds, or nearly every species regularly seen in the entire Atlantic Flyway, 2) that conserving the lands connected to the River and its source wetlands and streams protects many non-bird species including half of the entire possible diversity for estuarine fishes in Maine, rare turtles, amphibians, invertebrates, and mammals, and 3) that the rich marshes of the York River comprise one of the largest intact coastal wetland areas in southern Maine. Project leader Stewart Fefer with the USFWS Gulf of Maine Program said, “This York River project protects forever a diversity of nationally significant coastal wetland habitats for fish, wildlife and people. We are delighted to have been able to assist in this important conservation partnership.”
According to aquatic biologist Michele Dionne, PhD. director of research at the Wells Reserve (WNERR), “from harbor to headwaters, the York River, an exemplary New England coastal watershed has retained an impressive degree of ecological integrity. The ecology of the River is directly connected to the ecology of its surrounding landscape. If the shorelands lose their natural functions, so do the brooks, streams, creeks and channels of the watershed and estuary. As an aquatic scientist, I greatly appreciate the timely and critically important work of the Mt A to the Sea Coalition in protecting the lands that protect the River. As a local resident, I understand the depth of commitment required to pursue this far-from-simple mission. As a parent, I am truly grateful for the Coalition’s growing natural legacy - a gift beyond measure to us all.
This is one of 45 projects, representing a total of 2,746 acres that the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Coalition has completed since its inception in 2002.
Photo caption: Conservation lands conserved by the Mt. A to the Sea project (Courtesy photo)

Master Yarnspinner’s Latest Yarn

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
Joyce Tracksler has made for herself a loyal readership and a place in Kittery lore with her mysteries that often feature local personalities and a smorgasbord of evil plots from criminal masterminds. Her eagerly anticipated tenth novel, Home of the Brave, stretches the mystery genre to historical fiction that buzzes with World War II era lingo, and laughable old world etiquette that is juxtaposed by Portsmouth’s infamous red light district.
In the opening chapters, we are introduced to a colorful array of characters from ladies of the night to upstanding locals who work together to put on a USO show for the homeward and war-ward bound troops. But, we are also introduced to a puzzler involving the charred remains of a dog name “Pal” found on Seapoint Beach by a runner.
Dodging through the Atlantic, a ship full of injured soldiers and love struck nurses makes its way toward the Naval Yard. Among the passengers is the handsome and heroic Joe Martin and a plain Jane nurse Eunice, who burned her re-grown curly red locks saving soldiers from a blaze. Nurses Michelle and Carol do some creative paperwork to tip the scales to their comrade’s favor hoping the blinded soldier will see love in Eunice. As a result, rather than going across the country to be treated, Joe happens to have been reassigned to receive his treatment right in York hospital where Eunice would be by his side.
As the arsons claim more lives, and more of the street walkers turn up missing, an unhappily married police chief, Randy, teams up with Inga, a criminal psychologist, to profile any suspicious locals and to trace the patterns within the crimes. The town of Kittery holds an assortment of motley and curious characters, many of whom could be just cagy enough to commit such heinous crimes.
Tracksler adopts some playful uses of text by starting each chapter with news headlines from local and national papers regarding the war, the arsons, a prison escape, and the USO show. She nicely plots a firm historical context with these headlines, and inserts several USO playbills that feature the name of actual modern day Kittery residents. Tracksler successfully fleshes out the bawdy and prudish characters in all their glory, and weaves a very believable World War II era Seacoast using some local history as a weapon in her arsenal.
The only piece of this work that readers might struggle with is the barrage of characters. The first fifty pages might make the reader feel like the new kid in school, but as each character returns in later chapters, the reader will find themselves thoroughly rewarded as they are acquainted and acclimated with this little town. Furthermore, once the ship comes in to port and the soldiers file in among the locals, the story begins to flow into a single narrative and the fun begins.
In Home of the Brave, Joyce Tracksler shows she has paid her dues writing good yarns about eccentric characters that seem too much fun to be true, and masterfully plots them into an entertaining read that gets deeper into your skin with every page.
Photo caption: Cover of Home of the Brave by Joyce Tracksler. (Courtesy photo)

The New School To Help Winterize Homes of Those in Need

The New School devotes two days in November to community service called Giving Back Days. This November, the days are the 23rd and 24th. Teachers, students and volunteers will work in the Kennebunk area winterizing the homes of older or disabled people, or low- income families.
Students and teachers worked with United Way several years ago with the Keep ME Warm program, which distributed and installed winterization kits to low income families in York County. The kits contained shrink-wrap for sealing the older style, single- paned windows, weather stripping for doors and windows and insulation for electrical outlets. Thus many of the students and teachers have been trained in weatherization. There will be five New School teams made up of a skilled volunteer leader, and five students.
For those who live in older homes and can’t afford to purchase new, insulated windows winterizing the house is the way to save energy this winter. An Indoor Window Insulator Kit costs about $16, will insulate five 3 x 5 windows and can increase the R-value of a single pane of glass by 90 percent. Felt or foam weather stripping is inexpensive and saves a lot of energy when applied to cracks or crevices between doors and doorjambs – a 1/8” space between an exterior door and its threshold is equivalent to a two square inch hole in the wall so imagine the amount of heat that escapes. Another inexpensive and easy way to reduce heating costs is to insulate the electrical outlets on your exterior walls. While most people don’t consider this to be a major source of energy loss, keep in mind that behind every faceplate that covers a light switch or electrical outlet is a hole in your wall. Adding a foam insulating gasket allows you to create a tight seal between the wall and the faceplate without altering the appearance of the socket.
The New School expects to be able to winterize between 15 and 20 homes during the two days. With donations from the Town of Kennebunk, the Southern Maine Church of Christ, Lowes and Home Depot, there are some kits available at no cost for those who can’t afford them. If anyone would like to volunteer to help with the project or donate materials you can contact The New School. Regardless of whether you can afford to buy the materials, the teams are willing to do the labor and can provide some materials. If you’d like help winterizing your home on November 23rd or 24th please call 985-3745.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kittery celebrates the lives
of the Pepperrells

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
275 years later, the Pepperrell Family was once again at the center of attention in Kittery Point.
Local residents gathered at the tomb of Colonel William Pepperrell in Kittery Point on Saturday to see the work that has recently been completed by the Pepperell Project. Led by former state senator Steve Estes, The Pepperrell Project has cleaned up the area surrounding the tomb. “It’s to make the site more visible. People couldn’t find it,” Estes explained in his opening remarks to a crowd of several dozen.
The event began with several songs by maritime folk performers The Dog Watch. Estes then welcomed the crowd, and stated that the goal of the Pepperrell Project was to “reveal again for the first time in 30 years this wonderful site.” Estes noted that 2009 is the 275th anniversary of the death of Colonel Pepperrell, and asked if there were any Pepperrell descendants in the crowd. About 6 people raised their hands.
After a blessing by Reverend Jeff Gallagher, historian, author, and former state legislator Neil Rolde took the podium. “Today we are celebrating once again the lives and the contributions to American history of the two Pepperrells,” said Rolde, referring to Colonel William Pepperell and his son Sir William Pepperrell. Rolde is the author of the book Sir William Pepperrell of Colonial New England.
Colonel Pepperrell arrived at the Isles of Shoals in 1676 from Devonshire, England. He married Margery Bray of Kittery Point, the local tavern keeper’s daughter, and the couple had 8 children, including William Jr. “The William Pepperrell Company” found success in shipping, trade, forestry and especially real estate.
“With his father’s help, William Jr. went about acquiring Maine real estate,” Rolde explained. “From Kittery all the way north to Scarborough. It was later said he could get on his horse here in Kittery Point, ride to Scarborough, and never get off his own land.” At one point William Jr. was known as the richest man in Maine.
William Pepperrell Jr. went on to serve in the Massachusetts Legislature. “He seemed to excel at everything he did. He was apparently extremely personable,” said Rolde. “Everybody liked him.”
William Pepperrell Jr.earned his fame for his leadership in capturing the French Fortress Louisburg on Cape Breton Island (Canada) during King George’s War in 1745. “He was chosen to lead an armada of colonists against the French,” said Rolde. “Pepperrell’s leadership led to the capture, after a short siege, of a supposedly impregnable French fortification.”
“Pepperrell’s victory was wildy celebrated in England. And he went there, not to be knighted by the king, but actually ennobled, which means he was made a Baronet, which is a much higher rank than a knight,” Rolde explained. William Pepperrell Jr. thus became Sir William Pepperrell.
After Rolde’s history lesson, Shapleigh School eighth grader Jackson Yeaton read the poem “With Pepperrell’s.” The restored memorial tablet was then unveiled, and the “Pepperrell Brigade” colonial re-enactors fired a musket salute over the Pepperrell tomb.
Work on the Pepperrell Project began in the summer and benefitted from the time given by several volunteers. Additional support for the Pepperell Project was given by The Friends of Fort McClary, The Kittery Cemetery Committee, and The Kittery Historical and Naval Museum. The museum also hosted a reception following Saturday’s celebration.
The Pepperrell Tomb and Memorial can be found on Route 103 in Kittery Point, across the street from Frisbee’s Market.
Photo caption: Part of the ceremony in Kittery Point on Nov. 7 celebrating restoration of the Pepperrell Tomb and Memorial. (Devin Beliveau photo)

The First 75 Years of Skiing in Maine

The Ski Museum is offering a Fireside Chat at the York Public Library on Nov. 19.
Maine’s skiing history goes back farther than any other New England state. A Mainer wrote America’s first book on skiing. A Maine company built the world’s tallest ski jump and the first chairlift in the East. Maine manufacturers were leading producers of skis in the early years of the 20th century. That’s the starting point for a Fireside Chat that was recently produced by the Ski Museum of Maine.
It’s titled, “An Avalanche of Interest: The First 75 Years of Skiing in Maine,” and the program will be offered free of charge as part of the York Public Library’s Brown Bag Lunch lecture series at noon on Nov. 19. The York Public Library is located at 15 Long Sands Road. Call 363-2818. Website: This is a co-presentation with the Museums of Old York.
Approximately 100 photos and other graphic images, some more than a century old, will be projected on a screen. The pictures were loaned to the Ski Museum of Maine by historical societies and private individuals around the state, then converted to digital slides for the Fireside Chat.
The narrator will be Scott Andrews, a Portland-based ski journalist and Museum director who assembled the photos and performed much of the research. Andrews has been a snowsports journalist for 23 years and is a writer for several magazines, including Skiing Heritage.
Andrews notes that the story of Maine skiing starts in the late 19th century with the arrival of Scandinavian immigrants in Aroostook and Oxford counties. Immigrant craftsmen made the first skis used in this state ─ but they were used strictly for transportation during that era.
Skiing evolved into a sport in the early years of the 20th century. Paris Manufacturing Company started making recreational skis in 1900. A Portland man wrote America’s first book on the sport of skiing in 1905, and the Poland Spring resort began promoting winter sports getaways in 1909.
Winter carnivals were common in dozens of Maine towns in the 1920s and 1930s, helping to popularize skiing. Ski jumping was the marquee spectator event, but cross-country skiing became a popular participant sport. School competition grew out of these winter carnivals.
Downhill skiing became especially popular in the 1930s when rope tows proliferated all over Maine, including two in western York County: Bauneg Beg and Powderhouse Hill. (The latter is still operating.)
The Hussey Manufacturing Company (predecessor of today’s Hussey Seating) of North Berwick was a pioneer builder of chairlifts as well as the towering scaffolds used in jumping competitions.
“Skiing has been part of the Maine way of life since the late 1800s, offering recreation and competition to both residents and visitors,” says Andrews. “Our museum’s objective is to feed the passion of Maine skiers and to illustrate the significance of our sport to our state’s lifestyle and economy.”
Fireside Chats are traveling outreach programs of the Ski Museum of Maine, a nonprofit organization located in Kingfield. There is no charge for the program, but donations are gratefully accepted. “An Avalanche of Interest: The First 75 Years of Skiing in Maine” is sponsored by the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club and the Ski Maine Association.
Photo caption: Poland Spring Postcard ca 1915. (Courtesy photo)

Ogunquit’s Spirit of Giving
Campaign is Underway

By Jim Kanak
Staff Columnist
In just five years, the Ogunquit Spirit of Giving Committee has established their holiday gift drive as one of the signature events in town. Since 2005, the committee has organized a campaign that ensures that many needy kids get not only Christmas presents, but ones they actually have asked for.
“Some organizations are doing great things (with Christmas giving),” said committee member Jeff Porter. “Our group makes it a little more personal. We get a wish list for a particular child, their name, age, and what they want. Then we go shop for it.”
It’s not just the 12 committee members that do the shopping, although they certainly do their share. It’s people they’ve recruited from Ogunquit, York, Cape Neddick, and Wells that take the wish lists and make them come true.
The committee’s campaign provided gifts for 350 children in 2008. That’s up from 80 in 2005, 203 in 2006, and 299 in 2007. This year they expect to do even better.
The committee works with Old Town-based Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, specifically their Kinship Program. That program works with kids who are being raised by relatives other than their natural parents, primarily grandparents.
“It’s primarily grandparents raising their grand kids,” said Bette Hoxie, the program’s director. “Sometimes it’s an aunt or uncle. Most are on fixed incomes and most don’t get reimbursement from DHHS as foster parents do.”
Without that support, the families sometimes have problems affording Christmas presents. That’s where the committee comes in. Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine solicits wish lists from the families and then gives them to the committee. And that’s when the shopping begins.
“People sign up for how many kids they want to ‘adopt’,” Porter said. “We send information about the gifts (requested). They bring the gift wrapped with the kid’s name on it. Everyone makes an effort to make sure all the kids on the list are covered.”
The drive culminates this year on Dec. 6, with a 4 p.m. party at Maine Street in Ogunquit. That’s when people bring in all the gifts, which then are packed into trucks and taken to their destinations.
The committee members encourage volunteers to join the effort. To sign up, visit the website at or, if you don’t have access to the website, call 646-8158 and leave a message.
“We’re not really set up to accept money,” said Porter. “That’s not really the point of what we’re trying to do. We want to make that extra step to ensure a child gets what they really want to make their holiday happy.
Committee members include Porter, Jason Corbin, Irene Crocker, Jimmy Lucibello, Jim Morgan, Normand Paquin, Michael Maler, Jerry Peppe, Frances Reed, David Sullivan, Suzanne Thompson, and Mike Zamojski.
Hoxie said the committee does a great job. “They have made it possible for our families to have an amazing Christmas,” she said. “The packages are wrapped beautifully. Some who do the shopping go above and beyond. And the event they put on is wonderful.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cricket Speaks Out

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
Roland Glenn’s wartime memoir, The Hawk and the Dove: World War II at Okinawa and Korea, lifts the code of silence that many veterans have been known to keep, from the World Wars through Vietnam. Even though World War II was a popular war where soldiers received an overwhelmingly positive reception upon returning home, the casualties were great, and Glenn sheds a great deal of light on the torment he endured after serving as an infantry commander.
Glenn was born and raised in rural Western Pennsylvania, a place, to those who have been there, that is every bit of America’s heartland as Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Indiana. Known as “Cappy” to his family, Glenn was raised equally by his parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. He learned to hunt and “hug the land like a reptile” from his uncle, and would remember to keep his mouth shut after his target was hit so he would not give away his position to other prey.
After applying these hunting lessons to combat, he earned the name “Cricket” because of the style in which he gave his orders. Unknown to many people, the platoons often were multicultural, and Glenn commanded over several Mexican immigrants, including John Garcia, who would save Cricket numerous times during their tour.
Glenn recalls his father’s insistence that Cappy befriend an African American child in his school, in spite of the prevalence of racism within the community. Later, in boot camp, Glenn was thankful for his father’s forward thinking as a black man was introduced to his barracks who would eventually become a good friend. Glenn ponders all of the friendships he would have missed had his father never removed the stigma of racism from him.
Roland Glenn’s reflections take us to Seattle, Oahu, Okinawa, Saipei, Korea, and the lower depths of human conflict, and the moral lapses of good kids growing up in a battlefield. His deeply religious parents displayed a faith that is nearly extinct today, a faith cemented by unconditional love, and understanding. We also are shown a close father and son bond that Roland has cherished through the years.
The most stunning aspects of this memoir are, of course, the amount of lives the war cost and Glenn’s firsthand account of losing several friends over a mere few days. Glenn eases us into battle after chapters of the colorful pursuits of cadets in training, and warm tales of rural home life. All the while, the landscape of Okinawa and the outskirts of Latrobe are similar, which allowed him to successfully lead his Platoon, in spite of the fact that Okinawa is all harsh jungle.
As Glenn earned a purple heart, survived intense combat, and returned home with nightmares requiring psychotherapy, he endured and championed a happy life. While he exposes the hell and inhumanity of war, he also depicts the bravery, humanity and heroism of soldiers on both sides of the war. Glenn is haunted by the lives he was ordered to take, but brings these demons to the world hoping so that we might see what it is like to walk in a soldier’s fatigues.
This book is tightly written with letters from his family, and his own letters to them from the field to more succinctly capture the mood of the war, and the voices of his family. The Hawk and the Dove is a revelation, and a philosophical read that should not be passed up. This belongs among the greats of wartime literature, fiction and non-fiction. Roland Glenn lives in Kittery.
Photo caption: Cover of The Hawk and the Dove: World War II at Okinawa and Korea by Roland Glenn. (Courtesy photo)

Kittery’s Roland Glenn reflects on WWII

By Devin Beliveau
Staff Columnist
World War II veteran Roland Glenn knows that combat soldiers face unimaginable challenges both on the battlefield and when they return home following their service. With his new book, The Hawk and the Dove, Glenn hopes his own life story will illuminate those challenges.
Glenn, an 85-year old Kittery resident, served in the US Army from 1943-1946. As an Infantry Combat Company Commander, Glenn saw significant action at the Battle of Okinawa Island, Japan, the last battle of WWII. “I was in charge of about 200 soldiers, an enormous amount of responsibility for someone 20 years old,” Glenn reflected.
Asked about his most vivid memories, Glenn doesn’t hesitate. “The killing of fellow human beings in the name of democracy. I was brainwashed to think of the Japanese as sub-human monkey runts. At the time that I served I totally believed in the mission to obliterate the Japs.” Over 109,000 Japanese soldiers were killed at Okinawa, and 12,000 American lives were lost.
As fate would have it, Glenn’s next mission after Okinawa would not be to kill Japanese soldiers, but to help them. After Japan’s surrender following the dropping of two atomic bombs by the US, Glenn was sent to North Korea to repatriate the occupying Japanese soldiers back to Japan.
“I had the fortunate experience during the time I was in Korea, getting to know the Japanese as fellow human beings rather than the enemy. In the matter of a few weeks I went from killing the Japs on Okinawa to collaborating with them in Korea, and I was able to see them as fellow human beings and develop some friendships, and I’ve written about that transition from killing to collaborating in my book.”
Glenn began what would eventually become The Hawk and the Dove back in the 1985. Following a major heart attack, “a friend suggested I start writing stories about my life. I got up very early and just wrote whatever came into my head, stuck it in a file folder and stuck it away. In 1995, we had the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and I realized I had written a number of stories about my life in the 1940s. I pulled those stories together into a manuscript and that ‘s how the book got started.”
As his narrative progressed, the scope of Glenn’s story expanded beyond the 1940s. “The onset of the Middle East wars brought to my attention that I was writing about my own recovery from the massive killing I experienced on Okinawa. As we saw the thousands of personnel returning from the Middle East wars returning with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), my publisher and I began to see that I had written a story about my own recovery from the traumas of combat,” Glenn explained. “There’s nothing in our training that prepares us for the taking of another human life, or observing that happening. I was trained to kill, and that’s exactly what I did on Okinawa Island.
“One of my major concerns right now is all the veterans returning with the same condition (PTSD). This has got to be one of the biggest stories to come out of the Middle East wars. These veterans will require medical and psychological care for the remainder of their lives.”
Asked what he hopes readers will take away from his book, the retired educator stresses “I do not think that wars solve problems. I strongly believe that stronger diplomatic efforts should be undertaken to resolve international problems. I’m hoping that youth who are considering careers in the military will have the opportunity to read my book. I’m not advocating that young people not have careers in the military, but I am suggesting to our youth that there are many more options to serve our country and our communities than going to war.”
The Hawk and the Dove is now available at, Barnes & Noble, and through orders at local bookstores.
Photo caption: Kittery’s Roland Glenn. (Courtesy photo)

USS Helena (SSN 725) Begins
Community Partnership

The crew of USS Helena (SSN 725) began a relationship with the community during a Meet and Greet sponsored by the Helena Committee of South Berwick on Oct. 28.
The event, held at the South Berwick Community Center, was an opportunity for crew members and their families to meet members of the community. After the Meet and Greet, Sailors and their families were treated to a turkey supper at First Parish Federated Church.
Helena, a Los Angeles-class submarine homeported in San Diego, arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Sept. 2 for extended maintenance including several system upgrades.
Time in the shipyard can include long hours and extended periods of time away from family. So, the Meet and Greet was an opportunity for the community to roll out the welcome mat to the crew.
“I’m a veteran with 26 years in the business. I know what it is to be deployed in a new area. We want to make it fun for them. We want to be the surrogate family for these guys and the youngsters,” said Helena Committee Chairman Mal Kenney, who served in the Marine Corps and Air Force. “We want them to be welcomed here. Hopefully, we’ll have a good joint relationship.”
Master Chief Dave DiPietro thanked the group on behalf of the captain and crew for hosting the event.
“This is excellent. We feel so welcomed in your community. We really appreciate it,” said Master Chief Dave DiPietro, the Chief of the boat. “We want to thank you for making us feel so at home here, and making our families feel so appreciated. Being in the shipyard is never an easy job, but the community support is making it a lot easier.”
“I think it is great. The hospitality is just amazing,” said Machinist Mate Chief Mike Haraburda, of Erie, Pa. “To get all the support we have from the shipyard community is definitely uplifting.”
Prior to departing for the turkey dinner, Sailors received gift bags, which included cards decorated by 1st through 3rd grade students of South Berwick Central School.
“On the front of the card is a picture or drawing of a place in South Berwick that means a lot to the students,” said Kate Smith, a music teacher at the school. “Inside of the card is blank so that sailors can write a note inside and mail them home. The students wanted everyone to feel welcome and know why this community is a special place.”
The host committee, which has 27 volunteer members, has compiled a calendar of events and will work with the submarine to involve Sailors and family members in those activities. Some of those activities include a Halloween parade, a joint Christmas party with the American Legion and activities with the local ski club.
Helena, named after Helena, Mont., was commissioned on July 11, 1987. Her motto is “Proud and Fearless.”
Article by Lt. Patrick Evans, Public Affairs Officer, Submarine Group Two.
Photo caption: The crew of USS Helena (SSN 725) began a relationship with the community during a Meet and Greet sponsored by the Helena Committee of South Berwick. Oct. 28. (Courtesy photo)