Outgoing Selectman Arnie Jordan, left, looks on as Selectwoman Amy Chapman reads a tribute to Bob Coolidge. Rose Lincoln

GREENWOOD — On Saturday, before Woodstock Town Manager Vern Maxfield was sworn in as Greenwood town meeting moderator, Select Board Member Amy Chapman read the Annual Report Dedication to Bob Coolidge, who ran Bob’s Corner Store (previously Lee’s Variety) on Main Street in Locke’s Mills.

Coolidge had brought a tableful of family – 11 in all – who had come to watch him receive his award.

Chapman who worked for Coolidge, talked of his warmth and kindness. She said that because of his “typical quiet way, it’s likely that most of us have no idea of the full extent of his contributions … .” However, she said, nearly everyone has a story about a time that Bob made a difference in their lives.

The pledge of allegiance was recited and Maxfield asked for selectmen nominations (article 2), since Arnie Jordan is retiring after 15 years in that position.

Brian Dunham nominated Bob Oickle and Susan Vacca nominated Marie Bartlett. Oickle said that based on his experience on various boards he realized how important regionality is. He said that as selectman he would try to preserve the culture of Greenwood.

Bartlett said she would come out of retirement and draw on her experiences on the recreation board, planning board and select board. She was especially proud of her work on Oxford County Recycling Committee. “I’m recycling myself,” she said.


While residents walked to the ballot box at the front of the room in the  Jackson-Silver Post 68 American Legion, Maxfield asked if anyone had a favorite Bob Coolidge memory.

“He pulled my sister out of the ice,” said a resident.

Another said he bought a $45 tire from Coolidge. The second week when he asked if he could buy a second tire, Coolidge, seeing where things were headed, offered to buy him all four tires.  “Who would give a 14 year old credit? … just a good human being,” he said of Coolidge.

Of 27 votes cast, 16 were for Oickle; 11 for Bartlett. Bob Oickle is Greenwood’s new selectman and overseer of the poor.

Outgoing Selectman Arnie Jordan, left, gives Spirit of America Award to Bob Coolidge. In background are from left, Deputy Town Clerk Angie Lovejoy, Town Meeting Moderator Vern Maxfield; and Town Manager Kim Sparks. Rose Lincoln

Maxfield thanked Arnie Jordan for his service.

“He has been a wonderful mentor. He has given me the ability to look at issues in a broad scope … It has been an honor,” said fellow board member Norman Milliard.


Chapman said,  “It has been a real pleasure to work with him.”

Article 3 was passed, a stipend of $150. per month for each selectman, but not before they were roundly applauded. “In appreciation for all you do for the town,” said a resident.

Dennis Doyon made a motion to bundle articles 5-20 with the recommended monetary sums. They passed as a bundle.

Article 4, now following article 20, was to increase the property tax levy limit if needed and required a written vote. As people walked to the box, Maxfield asked again for Coolidge memories.

Chapman said when she was a child, her older sister drew red dots all over her face. From then on, Coolidge always greeted her as,  “Well, hi there Chicken Pox.” Chapman said, she felt what Coolidge was really saying was, “even though you’re a summer person from away, I remember you.”

The ballots were counted and as expected, Article 4 did not pass.


Bill Bickford asked that articles 21-30 be voted on as one bundle, too, “ever since we stopped having lunch,” he said. After the meeting he elaborated – until five or six years ago the meeting would last into the afternoon. When lunch came they would break for pot luck, then get back to it. One year the meeting was over at 10:30 a.m. and the lunch ladies were confounded as to what to do with all the food, so they no longer have lunch (or long meetings).

Later, Angie Lovejoy, deputy clerk, said the bundled articles and the quick votes were because residents have confidence in town leadership.

Coolidge thanked Sparks and Lovejoy for allowing him recent town office, curbside service. The two town officials reminded him of all the people he had served at their cars. When nudged, Coolidge elaborated, saying there were many including a man who had lost the use of his legs. “I don’t know how he managed, he used to blow the horn [and we would go out].” said Coolidge.

Outgoing Selectman Arnie Jordan, left, greets incoming Selectman Bob Oickle. Rose Lincoln

Earlier, Matt Mallen introduced himself as a Newry resident of the past few years. He said he has been in this area for the past 30 years as a skier. “I am on the ballot for school board. Reason being I look around the country and I see what goes on. I see they are teaching kids critical race theory, transgenderism and drag story hour. I am dead set against all of that and if you feel as I do, please vote for me and I will see what I can do to make sure that doesn’t happen in our schools here,” he said.

As the meeting came to a close, Chapman stood and said, “since we are doing all the sentimental, emotional things at this meeting… ”

She walked a colorful begonia over to Kim Sparks, the town manager.

With gusto everyone sang, “Happy Birthday” to Sparks.

The under-an-hour meeting – short on political commentary, but long on sentimentality – was adjourned.

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