Back in the Day 1943

Editorial: There isn’t going to be any road building in the state to speak of this year. This is not due entirely to the lack of sufficient revenue to finance the work, but of course that has been cut to shreds. The scarcity of labor is one of the prime factors, which enter into the curtailment of the road program, and of course there are other things, such as the lack of material etc. There will be some tar, but the crews have had to be cut down because there are not men enough to man the trucks, and then of course, the amount of available tar is limited. The state highway commission is embarked on a new venture this year, although to a limited extent. It is laying out woods roads to be financed by the government over which hard wood lumber required for ship building and other war needs can be moved from the forests to its destination. Roughly speaking about $100,000 will be expended by the government on these roads. Some “access” roads leading to vital war plants and in proximity to airports may be built.

Notice: Warrants for the disposal of dogs, which have not been licensed, will be issued by the proper authorities on May 11 and will be placed in the hands of an officer, charged with either the collection of the license fee and the accompanying cost, or the killing of the dog. The town clerk reports there are still a good many dog owners who have neglected to license them altho (sic) many dogs have already been tagged.

Editorial: Babies, born to wives of servicemen, are getting to be one of the major problems of the government. More of these babies are being born to the wives of low-pay servicemen than the “experts” reckoned on. Each of these births costs the government about $84, to say nothing of their support during the war. Congress appropriated $5,600,000 to pay for these newcomers with the expectation that this would last until next summer. The fund, however, is nearly exhausted and the Children’s Bureau is asking for $18,600,000 more. Perhaps if they would not give these married service men so many furloughs it might help some.

Editorial: A good deal of this talk about the jobs of men who will return from war after peace has been declared, being available to them when they get back is all bunk. There will be a long period of readjustment, during which jobs will be scarce and hard to find. Some of the old employers have passed out of the picture. Then, there are a lot more of the boys who were not settled in any job when they were called to the colors. What is going to happen to them in the rehabilitation period, which is sure to be long and tedious?

Editorial: An orchid for that young lady, who came into one of the stores in Postoffice (sic) Square the other day with a used paper bag and some other waste wrappings, in her hand. She wanted to know if they had a wastebasket there where she could deposit it. The clerk nearly dropped dead, as the usual custom is to throw this waste out in the street wherever one happens to be. Shortly after this, happened to be passing through the Square where a fellow, apparently a workingman, was disposing of his lunch. When he got through, he blithely tossed the wrappings and garbage out into the street, stepped on the starter and nonchalantly drove away. All of which reminds us that the “Old Bridgton Improvement Society” and possibly the Chamber of Commerce, in its early stages, used to have some metal containers placed at points of vantage, where such debris could be placed to be collected later. It might be a good idea to revive the custom for the streets are not very tidy, although the town manager is doing the best he can to clean up after the Saturday night crowds. Perhaps, we can’t do a thorough job at beautifying the Village Streets, unless we raze the greater part of the business houses and start all over again, but we can be more careful where we throw the waste material. Central Maine Power Co. is doing a good job at landscape gardening around its buildings, and with the new sidewalk it makes a great improvement.

These editorials and articles were culled from The Bridgton News archives at the Bridgton Historical Society. This summer, the museum on Gibbs Avenue is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays; Thursdays through Saturdays the museum is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Narramissic, the Peabody-Fitch Farmhouse in South Bridgton, is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The grounds are always open during daylight hours for hiking and picnics.

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