RUMFORD — Hundreds of people surrounded a 13- by 50-foot cordoned off section of Hosmer Field early Monday evening to watch a blindfolded and barefoot Scot Grassette walk a course fraught with 4-inch spikes, screws, glass shards, and beaver and bear traps.

“Oh my gosh,” and “oh, no” were heard periodically as Grassette came perilously close to one of the dangerous obstacles.

“It’s crazy,” Nina Langevin of Dixfield said.

Her husband, Danny, had set the animal traps just before Grassette’s stunt walk.

“I wouldn’t attempt it with shoes,” said seventh-grader Jeremiah Richardson of Milton Township.

“I’d try it because it looks like fun,” said his fifth-grade sister, Sadie.

Grassette said prior to his dangerous walk that he decided to try it for several reasons.

“I’ve always thought blindfolded stunts were intriguing. I’m doing this in honor of the veterans and those who are serving in the Armed Forces. They are in real danger,” he said. “We forget about the dangers out there.

We’ve lost one of our own, Buddy McLain.”

He also said that an actor during the Errol Flynn era, John Calvert, taught him about blindfolded stunts about five years ago.

“He was a model for Indiana Jones,” Grassette said.

Prior to the blindfolded walk, he walked open-eyed around the course just once, to etch the route in his mind. He was 100 percent sure he’d make it after the two Eisenhower silver dollars and black tape covered his eyes.

He warned the crowd not to try it at home.

The size of the Walk of Danger area, 13 by 50 feet, was chosen for July Fourth reasons, he said. The 13 represented the 13 colonies and the 50 represented the number of states.

The Walk was one of several Independence Day events coordinated by Selectman Greg Buccina with the help of about a dozen volunteers.

He said he decided to do it because his daughter had asked why Rumford doesn’t have fireworks and a July Fourth celebration.

Up until three or four years ago, the town held a fireworks display at the reflection pool of the Androscoggin River. This year’s display was scheduled to go off at Hosmer Field at dusk.

Buccina said the day and evening events were the result of hard work by the committee and donations by businesses, individuals and organization’s fundraising.

“It is a total community effort,” he said.

More than a dozen nonprofit and food vendors presented information from booths scattered around the Hosmer Field track. Local musicians Jimmy Austin and Kenny Chapman, and Jaime Virgin and Gary Petrie performed, a variety of children’s games were organized, gymnasts presented a demonstration, and several other events were offered.

Many were pleased that Buccina and other volunteers had taken steps to bring back an Independence Day celebration.

“It’s about time something happened on the Fourth,” 15-year-old Caitlin Gallant of Dixfield said.


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.