100 Years Ago: 1922

Mrs. E. Milton True entertained at auction Monday evening. Two tables were set for the game. Mrs. John Rollins and Ralph Ashton won the first prizes and Dr. L L. Crites and Mrs. Ashton, consolation.

50 Years Ago: 1972

John G. Shelley of Lewiston, artist and art teacher by profession and president of the American Dowsing Society, will address a meeting of the Androscoggin Valley Board of Realtors at the Steer House, Lewiston, Jan. 27, the meeting getting underway at 3 p.m. Of Shelley, it’s sometimes said, “Give him a map, a forked stick, and a few minutes and he can find almost anything.” Whether the object of your search is a pair of lost cufflinks, a new well, or the abominable snowman. Shelley has a way or several to find what you are looking for. Shelley, who does a great deal of speaking on the subject of psychic or paranormal powers, more commonly known as extra-sensory perception He is more widely known as a dowser or deviner, one who has the ability to find underground water sources by using a dowsing rod, which may be a forked stick or two plastic rods joined together.

25 Years Ago: 1997

When the freshman representative from Wilton was sworn in at the capital in December, it wasn’t the first time he had imagined himself walking the halls of state government as an elected official. That was a dream that began in childhood for Democrat Charles LaVerdiere. When his father, newspaperman Clayton LaVerdiere, covered the Legislature he sometimes brought his children along as an educational experience. Little Charlie got the idea that it was a pretty interesting place to be. In November, at 44, LaVerdiere won his first bid for state office when he ran for the seat being vacated by Conrad Heechen. LaVerdiere had worked six years in administration for the University of Maine before he made a career change decision at 30. With a wife and two small children at home in Wilton, LaVerdiere took on a daunting two-hour commute to law school in Portland, where he put in an eight-to 10-hour day before commuting two hours back. It was, he says, good preparation for the Legislature, not just the background in law to prepare him to be a lawmaker, but the sink-or-swim immersion in an atmosphere of complex subjects that must be mastered overnight. After his first week of legislative work, LaVerdiere notes, “It’s pretty overwhelming at first. “The scope of what’s going on is so vast, there’s so much the legislature is being asked to do, that it’s virtually impossible for one person to be an expert at everything.” Even if he tried, LaVerdiere says, following all the issues is impossible because his own committee appointment to the Joint Standing Committee on Utilities has required him to be at daylong hearings at the same time that other committees are also holding daylong hearings. “The Legislature as a whole has to rely on the committees to do their job,” he says.

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.

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