Throwback to September 27

100 years ago: 1922

Merrymeeting Bay is reported to be teeming with ducks and the gunners having a good time there.

50 years ago: 1972

The Navy’s official band, ‘The Commodores’, will perform at the gymnasium of Edward Little High School at eight o’clock Wednesday evening. October 11. Sponsored by the Edward Little Music Association, the group will present a program of ”big band” sounds led by Chief Warrant Officer Bill Brittain and sung by a vocal trio, ‘The Helmsmen’, as well as a bit of comedy and dance. The concert, titled Showtime USA, will mark the Commodores’ only appearance in this area.

25 years ago: 1997

There’s a first time for everything, even at 80, Leroy McCreary of Kingfield knows wood, and he knows boats, so it seems like building a canoe came quite naturally to him. “Most of the time,” he says, “that’s what it takes.”

He first assembled the canoe in his basement. Three months ago, he was moved, frame and all, to his garage with the help of neighbors. “That’s the advantage of having good neighbours,” he says.

Having worked with wood all his life, McCreary, who designed and made furniture at one time, said he could have built the canoe in six weeks, but because he and his wife travel during the summer, the craft has mostly caught the eye in his spare time. time.

McCreary, a former US Navy diver, says his current 16-foot canoe is made from “strips” of western cedar and will be between a quarter inch and three-eighths inch thick when complete, after having been fiberglass both inside and out.

He says western cedar makes “a better compound curve” than eastern cedar, which he says can be a brittle wood to work with.

The strips, cut from a large board, are assembled, stapled and then glued together with Elmer’s Carpenter glue on a frame. The staples are then removed and the container is sanded down once the glue and epoxy have set.

The gunwales will be made of light ash, a hard-to-find wood, McCreary says, and the paddles are made of three pieces of ash and cedar.

The handmade canoe is 16 inches deep and three feet wide, with a 22 inch bow. and is a copy of the canoes used in the Allagash for guiding purposes, he said. The canoe will weigh approximately 65 pounds when complete and will shine in its natural wood color.

A native of Pennsylvania. McCreary grew up in northern Indiana where the water. fishing and canoes were a way of life for him, and summers were spent on Island Lake. “The northern Indiana lakes are similar to here, but the climate is much worse there.” he says. “I used to take a canoe, go up the river and go for a week.”

“A canoe is the best fishing platform there is,” adds McCreary.

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

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