West Paris – It rained on months of planning and the parade and other outdoor activities were canceled, but Old Home Days went on anyway.

Folks played Beano as usual at the Town Office, and on Saturday, the library, the Historical Society and the Grange were filled with people who brought their talents and enthusiasm to town.

Eleanor Koskela came to the library to sign her husband’s book, “The Way It Was.” Taisto Koskela started writing family stories at the request of his children. One story led to another until he had a book. He died before he was able to publish it, but Eleanor persevered and a year after her husband’s death she published his memoir.

She has plans for a book of her own. She’s going to call it “From My Side of the Bed,” she said with a smile. She hasn’t started yet – she’s too busy with her children.

Over at the Historical Society, Milt Inman gave a slide show of people and places in West Paris while his wife, Eleanor, gave tours of the museum.

“We have a lot of good memories of West Paris,” she said. The museum is housed in the former Odd Fellows Hall, which was donated to the Historical Society. The lodge stations have been maintained, and the large upstairs room has been divided into thematic areas such as military artifacts, kitchen items and products made in West Paris.

Kids love to see the Soap Box Derby car on display, which was made by Greg Inman for his daughter, Audrey.

Several model trains were humming around displays at the Grange. In the back of the room was a collection of carvings by local woodcarver Sayward Lamb.

“I was 63-years-old before I ever started carving,” he said.

An Eastern brook trout he carved and painted won a blue ribbon when exhibited in a recent carving show.

“That fish has 75 coats of paint,” Lamb said. “It took several hundred hours to complete.”

The fish has a row of tiny teeth made from the thorns of the bougainvillea, a vine that grows in Florida, where Lamb spends his winters. “I burn a hole for each tooth, then fit and epoxy each one,” he said. Completing three or four teeth takes an entire afternoon.

He carves birds with same attention to detail, right down to the number of rows of white and black feathers on a loon.

“I can’t look at the whole bird, I have to look at the parts. I spend my time looking at how the head is positioned, how the wings are positioned, and how the feathers lie. I had to learn to be more of a naturalist,” he said.

Old Home Days continued Sunday with a small crowd to enjoy the scaled-down festivities. Derby races were called off, but officials planned to send off the fireworks, which had been postponed from Saturday night, if there was any sign of a break in the weather.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.