100 Years Ago: 1922

A sign of spring on Main Street, Auburn was noticeable in the straw hat worn by Eldreth Arnold.

50 Years Ago: 1972

William S. Cohen, Mayor of Bangor and Republican candidate for Congress from the Second District, was the speaker at the meeting of the Androscoggin County Women’s Republican Club  Wednesday night at the Casco Bank rooms in New Auburn.

25 Years Ago: 1997

James Kienitz Wilkins, 13, loves to draw and write. Some students may consider it tedious work, but for James it’s a hobby. He recently turned his hobby into national recognition after being the fourth place winner out of 7,000 entries in a Landmark Edition contest.


The honor was awarded for a book James wrote for a book he wrote and illustrated last year, “Billy Beano’s Bar and Grill.”   As if that wasn’t enough for one family, his half brother, Peter Wescott, won honorable mention in the same contest for a book he wrote and illustrated last year, “Strange Forests.” It is unusual to have brothers each succeed in a national contest, said their enrichment teacher, Carrie Beaulieu. “I’ve had students entering this contest for five or six years, and I’ve never had students win,” she said.

The real value of entering the contest is the education students gain from writing and illustrating books, she said. Creating those books is worthwhile in itself.” The two brothers’ work is outstanding, Beauleu said.

James’ work has a lot of originality. And his use of humor and drawing are extraordinary.. Peter has a flair for creating beautiful artwork” along with a vivid imagination, Their work is quite extraordinary.

James’ book explores the trials and tribulations of a Maine man named Billy. The fictional account takes the reader through a year in the life of Billy and his restaurant , including one segment in which a raccoon steals a ruby ring from Miss Floozle, the richest and grumpiest woman in town. The story is rich with Maine flavor, not only not only in words but in the illustrations. A scene in Billy’s Bar includes a sign on the wall: “Today’s special: pork ‘n beans. Billy himself wears a flannel shirt, vest and checkered hunting cap. And James knows how to keep a reader reading.

An example from the book:  After she finished the bagel, Miss Floozle threw the check at Billy and walked out the door. Billy was still chuckling until a scream rang the air. ‘AAAEEEEEE!!!! Billy rushed out to see what was the matter, Miss Floozle stood in shock, pointing at a raccoon who was scampering off ‘ My…ring… my ring! she mumbled.

The story does have a happy ending, Billy finds the ring inside a fish that he caught, and returns it to the anxious Miss Floozle, who gives him an award.

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

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