2017-02-23 / Editorial

Learn about local mysteries and more

By Bob Cochran

I stopped by Libby Library to check out its latest fun filled Steam-Y Saturday event. On my arrival I saw Libby Lobster, our esteemed mascot engrossed with a Sphero robot ball.

“It’s no rusty license plate, but the kids seem to love it.” He said.

I then asked him how he spent his time during the days the library was forced to close due to the rather nasty weather we’ve had.

“I’ll get to that later. First I have some important information to pass along to our patrons.”

He then went on to inform me that an Author Talk featuring David Arenstam, originally scheduled for Feb. 7 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 14. He’ll discuss his debut novel, “Homecoming: A Soldier’s Story of Loyalty, Courage and Devotion.” That novel, which has been nominated for the William E. Colby Award for military fiction or non-fiction, is based on Arenstam’s series of interviews with Russell Warriner, a Vietnam veteran who lived in Old Orchard Beach. There will be a 30-minute meet and greet/book signing with the author at 6 p.m. The discussion will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Libby became even more exuberant about the next Author Talk. That one, which is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, features Jessica Estevao. Estevao, a regional writer who spends her summers here on the Maine coast, will discuss her latest novel, “Whispers Beyond the Veil.” This thoroughly engrossing novel is the first in her new Change of Fortune Mystery series. This latest series of hers is set in Old Orchard Beach during the late 1800s, when the town was renowned as a highly exclusive resort for the well-to-do of that era. Once again there will be a 30-minute meet and greet/book signing with the author at 6 p.m., a discussion will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Libby, who possesses an avid interest in the town’s history of that period, when men were men and lobsters weren’t dinner, went on to describe the library’s archive collection. This collection includes books, bound newspapers and periodicals from the late 1800s and early 1900s, which are great resources for those doing historical or genealogical research and where Libby chose to hole up while the snowdrifts grew and the wind howled outside.

I asked Libby why he was especially interested in the local history of that era. He then related how one of his ancestors played a major role in a famous event during that time period. He related this account about his great, great, great grandfather, Laestrygones Lobster, who loved rocketry. One day after reading Verne’s “From Earth to the Moon,” he decided to become the first crustacean to visit our celestial neighbor. He strapped himself to a rocket and lit the fuse. It rose just a few feet before a strong wind blew him on a sideways trajectory. The rocket collided with a dock piling, sending Laestrygones flying through the air on his own until he came to an abrupt landing in a bratwurst roll being carried by a young Rose Fitzgerald. The force of the landing displacing the bratwurst with himself, thereby becoming the world’s first lobster roll. Joseph Kennedy, impressed by her culinary ingenuity, immediately began courting her.

After hearing that version of a famous local event, I began walking in the general direction of away, telling him I’ll see him next month to discuss more exciting library events.

Bob Cochrane is a volunteer with Libby Memorial Library in Old Orchard Beach.

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