100 Years Ago: 1922

Rice’s Beach, Taylor Pond, is one of the most popular recreation centers for Lewiston-Auburn for young people, who are unable to get away to the seashore or mountains but can snatch an hour or two for a dip in the cool waters of this nearby resort.

On Sundays the beach is crowded, the cottages filled and the nearby vicinity for quarter of a mile is the parking place of hundreds of autos. There will be a  continuous waiting line at the bathing houses, and the “thirty-six bathing suits are always at a premium, in spite of the fact that Roy Wallingford, proprietor always had a good mixed stock on hand.

Popcorn, hot dogs, ice cream cones and tonics are handed out at “John Childs” store about as fast as can be done, for everybody is always hungry at Taylor Pond. It goes with the place.

The big attraction is Turgeon and his hydroplane and it is the proud child indeed who can boast of a ride among the clouds with this doughty adventurer and his trusty steed.

The Mechanic Falls cars are filled to overflowing Saturday afternoon and Sundays with Taylor Pond sojourners, callow youths with sleeveless jerseys and their best girls, exhibit not only a fine expanse of tan, but painful looking sunburns as well, but that is only part of the fun. Tiny tots toddle into the tranquil depths courageous and gleeful and play in the silver sands of Rice’s, oblivious to being very much underfoot.


50 Years Ago: 1972

The pounding of hammers and the humming of saws was definitely heard on the third floor of the Lewiston City Building this morning as the long-awaited project finally got underway. Sawhorses, ladders and boxes of tools were in evidence of the once popular dance floor, and auditorium as workmen began tearing down trimmings and an old cast iron railing from around the balcony. By midmorning there was already a small pile of discarded wood on the floor.

“Things will be slow at first, because we have to be careful about ripping some of this down,” Roland Laliberte, the contractor for the project said. “But the project is expected to be completed in six months.”

25 Years Ago: 1997

Josh Mains, of Auburn, darted toward the hill of plastic toys, stacked neatly on a table near the pot-holders, glass ashtrays and a lamp. He knew what he wanted: A Power Ranger for his little brother’s collection. And he was willing to pay top dollar, or, rather, a dollar. Yard sales are old hat for the 6-year-old and his brother, Timmy, 4. “It’ll go with the set I bought at another yard sale,” the boy said shyly, just before he spied a plastic hook he thought would be perfect for his pirate collection. He happily shelled out the dime his mother, Diana, offered in payment. The original price was a quarter.

“Toys are so expensive at the store,” she said, “and as long as you wash everything they’ll last just as long. And next year they won’t care about the Power Rangers anymore, and we’ll sell them at a yard sale at our home.”

Shirley Thibeault loves yard sales — tag sales, porch sales, barn sales, lawn sales garage sales, for that matter. A bear collector and maker, she’s drawn to the homemade hand-me-down sales like moths to a light — or a red-and-orange lava lamp hidden behind the box of 45s in the back of the garage, right next to the bathtub caddie, the playpen, and the Avon perfume bottles.

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

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