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Sally Bouchard

By Sally Bouchard
May 19, 2006 - 4:05:00 PM

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It has been stated that the natives of Millinocket do not trust newcomers into their community and that we should trust people whom we do not know to work together for the betterment of our community.

Since the person making that statement has only been here for a year and does not know our history, she should perhaps take some time out to listen to what we have to say before she makes such a sweeping statement in judgment of us.

In our just over one hundred years, Millinocket has been - and is - a town of outsiders. Many became cherish member of our community and we appreciate what they have done for Millinocket. They gave of themselves and to their new town.

Others came to Millinocket to take all they could and left destruction in their wake. Few jobs, no insurance; many didnít get any severance pay and the mill is a shell of what it once was. The land was sold to the Nature Conservancy; so yes, there is a certain amount of distrust in Millinocket.

The Andersons are from away. Unlike many people in Millinocket; I have sat down and talked with them. Ken and I are different nationalities and different religions, yet we share the same heritage. He is from Upper Michigan, and I am from Millinocket. Logging and farming are a part of our mutual histories, as is hunting and fishing.

What is going on in Millinocket is the same as what his town went through. With no jobs, his father had to travel fifty miles for work; just as some of the people of Millinocket are doing now, traveling back and forth to Bangor in order to support their families, rather than leaving the area all together. His small town dried up, just as Millinocket is doing.

Michelle and I have different backgrounds but we share the same beliefs in our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. We know why the Revolutionary War was fought, and how important a free press is for all of the people of this nation.

Some of the same people who see the Magic City Morning Star as a threat to Millinocket thought nothing of bringing up Michelleís past and putting in in our so-called town paper. If they didn't want people from away reading about Millinocket, maybe they should have cleaned up their act instead of trying to destroy people who have different opinions, and who know and care about what is happening in this town.

I consider the Andersons my friends, and I thank them for caring about their new town and trying to do the best they can for it and getting involved.

Alyce Maragus is another who came to Millinocket. Like one of my cousins, she spent her summers here though, and this is where her roots are. My cousin came back to spend time in Millinocket after thirty years of being away. He found his roots and connected with his many relatives who are still here. Some people have no roots, and they arenít interested in their heritage, but to some of us our roots and families are very important and Alyce is one who belongs in Millinocket. Like the Andersons, I consider Alyce a friend.

Our town manager is not a native of Millinocket, but he has earned the trust of the natives. They like him and can see that he is doing the best he can for the people and their community.

Marsha Donohue wants our trust. She will have to earn it, but she has gotten off to a very bad start. There are many reasons that the museum will not go into the community center. I tried to tell her why, but she didnít listen to me.

Those items belong to the people of Millinocket. They are for the people of Millinocket - not to make money for anyone or anything else but the Historical Society. We will open and all will be welcome to come; but we are a separate organization and will stay separate from the community center.

Guilds Hollowell says that he wants to protect and preserve our history and our heritage; but he was going to charge a fee. It takes money to preserve our history, so any money that would go into the community center from our items will be less for us to spend protecting and preserving our heritage. Marsha does not understand that, and neither does Guilds.

Nor do certain members of this community understand what freedom of the press is all about. To declare the Magic City Morning Star to be a threat to the community is beyond all reason, and Marsha was part of that. A free press is an important part of our culture.

The natives are distrustful, and we are very tired of people from away trying to take away our heritage and leading us down a road that will destroy all that we were.

Welcome to Millinocket. Become part of our community, but listen to the people. We will listen to you if you will join us in helping to keep our community alive, not by using us and our history to make money for yourselves.

The Andersons and Alyce came to Millinocket and got involved; but for too long the citizens of Millinocket never got involved and let others do all the work that they should have been doing.

If you want to us to trust you, earn it as those who came before you have done.

Editor's Note: Thank you, Sally. -- Ken & Michelle Anderson

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