From the assistant editor

A welcome, a wow and a weekend full of whistles

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 8:45am

Phil Di Vece is a familiar and well-regarded name around town and around these pages and web pages, for sports and Woolwich and other news and features, some that tap his talent for taking us back in local history. Now we’ll be sharing with you an assortment of insights from this insightful author-journalist in his new column, Salt ‘n Spar. 

Let him tell you all about it in this week’s debut.

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Here’s a wow. Weeks after we reported Wiscasset Middle High School’s girls varsity soccer team won Midcoast Board of Approved Soccer Officials’ 2019 Willy Walter Sportsmanship Award, has come word from Athletic Director-Assistant Principal Warren Cossette, the cheering team has won the Maine Class D Sportsmanship Award. Like the soccer team’s honor, this one, too, speaks well of the members, the adults around them and the town. A well-earned way to go, Wolverines, again!

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All weekend long last weekend, wherever I was in Alna, north or south, I could hear the whistles of a Wiscasset, Alna  and Waterville Railway Museum train, even that bitter cold Saturday morning. At Ames True Value Supply in Wiscasset, I ran into museum spokesman Steve Piwowarski and asked him about it. The museum was running special “photo” trips all weekend, at higher prices than other rides the nonprofit offers, he explained. 

Wasn’t it cold in the cars? He said the museum has that covered, with a stove onboard. He added in an email, “In the extreme cold we use a lower viscosity oil for some lubrication because it lubricates better at low temperatures. Switches get cleared with stiff-bristled brooms and the diesel locomotive is equipped with a plow to removed large quantities of snow from the line (usually over 6 inches).”

All these steps help add nostalgic train sounds to a small Midcoast town without traffic lights or drive-throughs, and with a museum that has an international following. Pretty neat to hear and appreciate train sounds, any time of year.

Week’s positive parting thought: Besides all the above positives, another winter has passed the halfway mark.