Believe it or Not–Lovell has North America’s Tallest Chestnut Tree

A big thank you to my Facebook friend, Charles Cotton, for alerting me to this exciting news! I was quite surprised to learn that researchers go around flying over forests looking for things like this. Or maybe more so that they were able to identify this from the air.

Anyway, it might be time for Larry Fox and his DPW crews to have some new signs made for all of our major roads that proclaim: “Welcome to Lovell, Home of the Tallest Chestnut Tree”.

Here’s the story from Saturday’s Bangor Daily News:

Tallest chestnut tree in North America found in Maine

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2015 Gasping Gobbler Results



Perfect morning for a fall outdoor event

Perfect morning for a fall outdoor event

Making their way to the start!

Making their way to the start!

Prior to the awards, the crowd enjoys some hot soups and chowder.

Prior to the awards, the crowd enjoys some hot soups and chowder.

The friendly kitchen servers!

The friendly kitchen servers!

Another fun day at the Lovell Athletic Field! Three times around the course and then hot soup, chowder and goodies at the VFW Hall. Congratulations to Parker Haynes of Eaton, NH at the best time; Janna Kurnick of Lovell was the female runner; Evan Caracciolo of Lovell was the top walker and Caleigh Crowe of Lovell won Middle of the Pack. All received turkeys donated by Hannaford’s in Bridgton.

Thanks to Kevin McDonald, track coach at the Fryeburg Academy and Mark Snow, track coach at Lake Region High School for timing and keeping track of the runners and walkers.

Here are the results:  Overall Time   Awards  Age Groups

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10th Annual Gasping Gobbler

gasping gobblerSince it seems like just yesterday that Mike Mendonca and I started this pre-Thanksgiving 5k walk and run, it is hard to believe that Saturday marks the tenth year of Lovell’s Gasping Gobbler.

Always a great morning going around the perimeter of the Lovell Athletic Field. The field is a mix of runners and walkers and young and old. And there is some good food and awards at the Lovell VFW right after the race.

The race starts at 10 am sharp. The first 50 registered entrants will receive a drawstring bag and turkeys are awarded to the top male runner, the top female runner, the top walker and to the lucky ‘middle of the pack’. Male and female age group winners receive a ribbon. Plus, lots of nice random prizes!

Please call or send an e-mail with any questions. Entry form here. All proceeds benefit the Lovell Recreation Department.

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2015 Lovell Chili Competition



The Judges hard at work!

The Judges hard at work!

Sadie Mae Fowler did a GREAT job organizing the Bake Sale

Sadie Mae Fowler did a GREAT job organizing the Bake Sale


IMG_1205The Eighth Annual Lovell Chili Competition was a success! All of the judges agreed that the quality of the chili just gets better and better; making their job harder than in past years.

Attendance was down slightly from last year. The NFL somehow scheduled an early afternoon Patriots’ game (they were playing the Redskins and there was no danger of them losing). But we did manage to raise $1,004, about $100 less than last year! Every penny goes directly to the Fuel Fund.

The two first-place winners each receive an apron designed by art students at the New Suncook Cook in Lovell. Thank you Jillian Kaitlyn and Nella & Jordan, the aprons look great!

Here are the winners:

Judges’ Choice:

First Place — Paula Hughes

Second — Mary Heroux

A tie for third — Jean Hunter & Arthur Parmenter

Peoples’ Choice:

First Place — Stow Corner Store

Second Place — Caracciolo Family

Third Place — Ryan Fowler

Best Table Decor — Jean Hunter

Carol Craig was the winner of the 50/50 Raffle and she graciously returned her winnings to the Fuel Fund!

The Chili Challenge Committee would like to thank Fire Chief Tommie McKenzie for the generous use of the Center Lovell Fire House; all of the entrants who spent time and money creating their chili; all of the Lovell bakers who donated outstanding baked goods and to the McDonald’s granddaughter, Sadie Mae Fowler, who did a terrific job of organizing and selling all of the baked goods!

If you were unable to attend yesterday’s Chili Challenge but would like to donate, please send a check to:
Town Of Lovell
PO Box 236
Center Lovell, ME 04016

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Staff Sergeant Tupaj


This weekend, I had the honor of flying to Norfolk, VA with my in-laws, Al & Jacky Stearns. The purpose of the visit was to witness the promotion of of Benjamin Tupaj from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant.

Rondi and I were well aware of how much time and effort Ben has put into studying, working and training over the past number of years. Heck, he had to spend most of his summer in Oklahoma and California, away from his family and without any visits. But it wasn’t until Monday morning at the ceremony when the proclamation was being read by Sergeant Major Warren and the extensive remarks by Colonel Frey that we realized just how much he had accomplished.

When Ben was notified of his promotion, he requested that his grandfather, Albert, participate in the pinning ceremony. Albert was a Corporal in the Marine Corps and served from January 1954 to January 1956. Gunnery Sergeant Jarolskawki also participated in the pinning of his new rank. The ceremony was held at the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia.

Over the weekend, we met a number of Marines and their families. It is clear that the spouses and Moms at home are as strong as their husbands and provide a valuable, but often overlooked, service to the soldiers. And no greater example of that is with our daughter-in-law, Cassandra, who with our two young grandchildren somehow manages to keep the house in order and always with a smile!

Ben has been transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Rondi has stayed behind for a few extra days to assist with the move south.

Much is written about our country’s younger generation and the lack of discipline and respect for authority. I must say, the men and women that I met this week reinforces my belief that this country has a solid foundation going forward.


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New England Foliage

I am not a very spiritual person but fall foliage in New England makes you stop and think that there just might be something greater going on. Every year you know the color explosion is coming but it always seems to catch you by surprise. And then for the next week or so, you get to enjoy a magical show!

There is still time to enjoy the show: Follow Maine’s Official Foliage Tracker here



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8th Annual Chili Competition

chili bowl graphic

The Fryeburg Fair is open, the morning air is refreshingly crisp and the leaves are turning all sorts of wonderful colors. That suggests that it is time to dust off your fall recipe books and get ready for Lovell’s Eighth Annual Chili Competition, The Battle of the Bowls!

This popular event will once again be held at the Center Lovell Fire House on Sunday November 8th from 12-2 pm. All proceeds from the day go to the Lovell Friends Helping Friends Emergency Fuel Fund. This program helps local residents who are in need of assistance with winter heating costs. Last year the Competition raised $1,100!

Residents and businesses throughout western Maine and Mount Washington Valley are invited to participate. There are two distinct categories: People’s Choice & Judges’ Favorites. All winners will receive a special award.

Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children for six and under. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, ice cream and a bake sale will also be available. For those unable to attend the Chili Competition but would like to support the program, personal donations may be sent to Friends Helping Friends, Town of Lovell, PO Box 236, Center Lovell, ME 04016.

Plenty of time to jazz up your favorite chili dish (here is one I saw in the New York Times recently) and create a nice table display. A side of cornbread or chips doesn’t hurt, either! The Patriots play the Redskins at 1:00 that afternoon. Set your DVD recorder and watch the game after the fun — I promise not to tell you the score.

2015 Chili Competition Registration Form                  2015 Chili Competition Flyer

Some photos from 2014:


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