Clifford Tenney of Livermore holds the Boston Post Cane presented by town officials Monday night, while his wife, Marion, holds a bouquet of flowers. Seated at left is Selectperson Brett Deyling and standing are Selectperson Mark Chretien and Administrative Assistant Amy Byron. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser Buy this Photo

LIVERMORE — Clifford Tenney, 97, was presented the Boston Post Cane on Monday night by town officials.

“There’s no better place to live,” the oldest resident said of Livermore.

“Those little one-liners. That’s dad,” his daughter Melody Plourde said.

The presentation was listed on the agenda for the Select Board meeting, which was attended only by Chairman Mark Cretien and Selectperson Brett Deyling.

Town Clerk Renda Guild shared some of Tenney’s history.

“Clifford Harold Tenney was born on April 4, 1922, in the family’s North Livermore home,” she said. “He and his brother, Donald, worked alongside their parents in the Tenney General Store and Post Office. He graduated from Livermore Falls High School in 1940.”

Tenney served in the United States Army, then returned to Livermore and married Marion Reynolds on June 20, 1948. They raised five daughters.

He worked for International Paper Co. for 43 years. The couple owned and operated Tenney’s A-Frame, which was known for its lobster rolls and banana splits. Years later Tenney’s store was reopened by the couple as 4-T’s, which represented Tenney’s treasures, trinkets and trash, Guild said.

“Clifford has always shown a deep love, commitment and appreciation of his North Livermore community,” she said. “He was a volunteer firefighter, treasurer of the nearby church and janitor for the Payson Smith School, which now houses the Town Office and Fire Station complex,” she said.

Last year, Tenney picked berries at Stevenson’s Strawberry Farm in Wayne, and he and Marion picked apples at Boothby’s Orchards in Livermore.

Guild said in her 23 years working for the town the cane has been presented to four residents.

“The longevity of it is really kind of awesome,” she said. “It’s a good luck thing.”

In 1909 The Boston Post newspaper had 700 ornate, ebony-shafted, gold-capped canes made. Selectmen in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island towns were given the canes to be presented in a ceremony to the town’s oldest living man. Women were added to the custom in 1930.


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