DEAR SUN SPOTS: Minot is holding a celebration of a piece of its local history on Nov. 9. Mesannie Wilkins, known locally as Jackass Annie, was 63 years old in 1954, had no family, her farm was being repossessed and her doctor said she had a year or two to live, if she lived quietly.

Mesannie had lived her whole life in Minot. Her mother had always wanted to go to California but never made it. Mesannie had nothing to lose, so she put in one last crop of cucumbers, got a contract with the pickle company, did all the work herself and in the fall bought herself a grumpy summer camp horse named Tarzan for $5. Tarzan wasn’t pretty, but he was tough.

On Nov. 8, 1954, Mesannie loaded all her gear on her horse, called her dog and with $32 in her pocket headed out for California. She met a bunch of wonderful people, saw some beautiful country, had a few hair-raising adventures and two years later arrived in California.

She appeared on the Art Linkletter show (he’d given her a beautiful white horse as an enticement) and was having so much fun that she turned around and rode to Texas. She lived another 20 years (shows what doctors know!).

Minot is welcoming another long-range rider, Sea G Rhydr, who is doing a cross-country ride from California to Maine. She will arrive on Nov. 8 at the location on Jackass Annie Road in Minot from which Mesannie departed.

Beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, we will have a parade starting at Center Minot Hill Road and proceeding to Jackass Annie Road.

We are looking for riders of all ages to accompany Sea in her parade. Please take a look at Sea’s website, freerangerodeo.com, for more background information and at Minot’s event page for planning details.

We would love to have local equestrian groups, 4-H groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and anyone else who is interested join us. — Julie Goodell, [email protected]

ANSWER: What fun! Sun Spots wishes she lived closer so she and her rescue horse, Honey Rose, could join the parade. Not that Honey Rose would be a big fan of all the commotion of a parade …

DEAR SUN SPOTS: We at Lewiston High School will be continuing our Store Next Door project for the coming school year, assisting our neediest students and families in staying connected to education.

We are asking community members for their continued support of this grand effort by donating new gift cards and gift certificates that we can give away to help purchase school supplies, clothing, shoes and boots, toiletries and hygiene products, food and other items necessary to be successful in school.

We also celebrate students getting to graduation by providing senior portraits, caps and gowns, and graduation gifts such as an LHS sweatshirt or yearbook.

Find out more about how you can support this annual drive by emailing or calling me ([email protected] or 795 4190, ext. 2214) or Tammy ([email protected] or 795 4190, ext. 2215). Set up a time to visit us and see what we are up to! — Mary Seaman, McKinney-Vento homeless liaison

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]


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