100 Years Ago: 1922

The Clan Campbell Bag-Pipe Band took part in a concert at Rockland Sunday. The band of eight pipes was headed by James S. Jordan, head piper well known in Lewiston. Last Thursday the band was engaged at the outing of the West Indian Cricket Club at Portland.

50 Years Ago: 1972

The Rumford School Committee has voted to close Pettengill School for the 1972-73 school year, but to retain the building for possible future use.

This action was made possible by decreasing elementary enrollments.

Children who would normally attend Pettingill School will be assigned to available classrooms at Franklin Street School, Chisholm School and Virginia School.


Also it was voted on to appoint Gerald Berry as principal of the Franklin Street Primary Building.

25 Years Ago: 1997

More than 30 years after the sound of leather gloves punching a feather bag reverberated through a makeshift gym at a resort here, the legend of heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston lives on. And a former television tough guy wants to make certain it’s not forgotten.

Charles Haid, TVs Andrew J. Renko on the critically acclaimed “Hill Street Blues,” visited Poland Spring recently while visiting nearby to research Liston’s preparations for his ill-fated rematch with Cassius Clay. Clay, better known to the world as Muhammad Ali – “I am the greatest” – ended Liston’s professional boxing career a minute into the first round of the scheduled 15-minute round championship bout in Lewiston on May 25, 1965. Haid plans to direct a film about Liston for an upcoming Turner cable television network broadcast. It’s tentatively called the “Sonny Liston Story.”

Haid and his wife, actress Elizabeth Harmon, along with their son, Finnegan, were vacationing at a friend’s home on Middle Range Pond earlier this summer. Harmon, a Lewiston native, raised in Portland starred in Stephen Spielberg’s “High Incident” among other films. By chance, Haid met Trudi Feldman, and therein lies the tape of the tape, boxing and video.

Feldman is the daughter of the late Saul Feldman, once owner of the Poland Spring Inn where Liston trained for the Lewiston bout. And she worked there as a hostess during the former champ’s training for his rematch with Ali .Besides sharing what Haid termed as a gold mine of a 32-year-old newspaper clipping with the actor-director she offered stories aplenty from her personal memories of Liston and the fight.

“Liston was wonderful,” said Feldman in an interview. “I gave him little souvenirs of the hotel almost every day, like an ashtray or a bar of soap,” she recalled. “He would return the favor with practical jokes, like an electric shock when we touched hands or a jack-in-the-box which would jump up at me. I was known as his official water girl – with Poland Spring water, of course.”

Feldman said the Mansion House was turned over to Liston and his crew three weeks before the match.

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

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