Marden's open as state workers sent home

RUMFORD — Early Wednesday afternoon, Tina Sirois stood at checkout counter No. 5 inside Marden's Surplus and Salvage in the River Valley Crossing mall off Route 2.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

During Wednesday's snowstorm in Rumford, Marden's Surplus and Salvage Department Manager Bobbi Frost, right, and stocker Joan Zitoli were busy unpacking a just-arrived shipment of downhill skis, snowboards, ski clothing and accessories and placing it atop tables near the entranceway.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Snow was falling on Wednesday faster than Bill Porter of Rumford could clear it with a bucket loader in the Marden's Surplus and Salvage lot at the River Valley Crossing mall lot off Route 2 in Rumford.

The assistant manager and a few other clerks waiting for customers watched heavy snow falling faster than Bill Porter of Rumford could remove it with a bucket loader.

Six inches had fallen by 1:30 p.m. from the nor'easter that Maine news anchors were calling “Snowzilla,” because it was bringing heavy amounts of snow and sleet.

Sirois said she didn't understand that hype.

“Snowzilla?” she asked. “It's like our old-fashioned winters.”

“This is our typical winters," she said. "Those are the winters I remember, and surprisingly, we do have quite a few shoppers who have stopped in.”

She said people were getting to Marden's any way they could to mostly buy winter equipment.

“We've had quite a few walkers, and one person snowshoed in from work,” Sirois said. “She's snowed in.”

“We have a ski stock in and I think that's what they've been looking at, the skiing equipment that we have," Sirois said. "We do have people who are getting shovels and asking for salts, the usual winter mix.”

She turned toward some clerks farther away to check, for sure.

“Have you guys been selling a lot of food or is anything coming through that you notice going out the doors?” Sirois asked.

Two instantaneously replied, “Shovels,” while another said, “Shovels and salt, gloves and ski boots.”

“People are getting into the winter mode,” Sirois said. “Like I said, this is an old-fashioned winter and the ones that are used to it will be the ones that are out and the city folk will stay home.”

She said the store just got a shipment of downhill skis, snowboards and skiing accessories that clerks were unpacking and placing atop a display table near the entrance.

“We've got everything,” Sirois said. “We've got snowboards, ski boots, skis, winter clothing, bib pants; we're still unloading it.”

Watching Porter raise the bucket to pour snow, she said, “Wow, look how high those bankings are.”

“He's been at it since we opened this morning,” Sirois said. “He'll get a part cleared out and it just fills in again. It's been really coming down fast. We opened up at 9 and we intend on being here most of the day.”

That's why she reacted with surprise when she was told that Gov. Paul LePage, former general manager of the Marden's chain, closed Maine government offices at noon, sending workers home.

“Oh, they did close?” she asked.

Last month, LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt quipped that the governor's attitude toward his predecessor's snow days, was, “The rule of thumb is: if Marden’s is open, Maine is open.”

Sirois suddenly turned to face the clerks and said, “Paul closed the state at noon! Oh, gosh, I've got to call him. I've got to call the governor and tell him that Marden's is still open!”

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Ed Enos's picture


A little dose of reason struck in Augusta. It would have been an incredible traffic mess with all the state workers getting out at 4 pm. Ever been in Augusta at 4pm on a snowy day?! What a mess, trying to get thru those rotaries and over the bridges and then throw in snow removal equipment. What I'm interested in is if they were paid with regular wages or did they use vacation/sick time?

RONALD RIML's picture

LePage had to turn a profit at Mardens.....

[This comment has been removed by the administrator]

RONALD RIML's picture

So I need to use an appropriate synonym???

Or, like Hallmark, was it the thought that counted??

Another case of open mouth,

Another case of open mouth, insert foot. Yes, too funny.

Says one thing, does another..

Need I say more??? Mardens was open, so why were the state workers sent home..Are their lives worth more than the Mardens workers, or is it that the Mardens workers don't get paid as well and would be hurting if they were let out good benefits I'm assuming..

William L. Colburn III's picture

You'd have to direct those

You'd have to direct those questions to the governor. It was he who made the decision to send the state employees home. They had no voice in the matter.

Tony Morin's picture


Once again, reason overtakes his verbal impulse control disorder.

Kevin Saisi's picture

too funny


Kevin Saisi's picture

too funny



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