It was Sunday, Aug. 24, the day before school started in Hermon. Nine-year-old Josh Pond and his dad, Gordon, were mowing the lawn at the family home on the Wing Road.
The two were on a riding lawnmower enjoying the afternoon when the family dog ran in front of the mower. Dad swerved to miss the dog. Josh fell off. His left hand landed under the lawnmower, “amputating everything but his pinky,” said his mother, Denise.
Josh’s quick-thinking dad carried his son to the house, put a tourniquet on his wrist and called 911. Denise was visiting her mother but arrived in time to jump in the ambulance with Josh. As Gordon walked toward the door, he found Josh’s thumb in the driveway. The family learned later that neighbors they didn’t even know were searching the lawn that night with flashlights, looking for the rest of Josh’s fingers.
The boy was transported to Boston where the thumb was reattached and surgeons constructed what Josh now calls his “middle finger.” It is not yet known if the surgery will take. “We have a long way to go, and it will be rough, but we will make it,” Denise said.
Tonight, the Pond family, which includes 18-year-old Heidi, 14-year-old Heather and 10-year-old Desiree, will gather on that same spot again. But this time it will be a happy occasion: a chance to thank people such as Denise’s mom, Nettie Pond, who accompanied her daughter and grandson to Boston, and rescue personnel, family and neighbors who were there for them that fateful day.
The family never had to use 911 before, Denise said, “and sometimes people don’t remember to thank them at all. We just want to thank everyone involved for all their help and support.”
That support continues throughout the community and at Hermon Elementary School where Josh is now happily back in fourth grade.
People traveling through Hermon — stopping at Dysart’s Truck Stop or other stores — may have seen a canister with Josh’s picture on it and a reqeust for help in raising funds to obtain a computer. It was his sister, Desiree, who first approached the school’s principal, Pat Lyons, with the idea of getting a computer for her brother.
She asked Lyons if it would be all right to send a letter to the school staff asking for support to get a computer to help her brother. Lyons agreed and the word spread throughout the community. The family has been told between $1,600 and $2,200 is needed for the purchase. To date, $791 has been raised.
Lyons said the computer would “help facilitate Josh’s class work and also serve as therapy. Until he learns how to make adjustments to this situation, we want him to have alternative forms of recreation.”
Although he is back in the “fourth-grade setting,” as Lyons explained it, “at this point he has to be careful about any sudden jarring, hits or blows. And while it’s like that, he doesn’t eat lunch in the lunchroom, for example, where kids may bump into him. We’re trying to be protective in that respect.”
The computer will not only help with school work, but until he gets back to playing baseball, football or golf — which he insists he will do with his dad, who Josh calls “my hero” — Josh will have to content himself with computer games for recreation.
The Pond family is grateful for a supportive community and thanks each and every one who has helped, or is helping, Josh through this difficult time. If you would like to help him get a computer, you may make a donation in any cannister you see or make out a check payable to Josh Pond and send it to RR 3, Box 638, Bangor, 04401.
You remember the Clueless Quilters. That’s the group of ladies in Stetson who caught the quilting bug a while back before they really knew how to make a quilt. Faye Johnson, a locally known quilter, came to their aid and taught them how to quilt, and they had sponsored their first benefit quilt show one year ago.
The Clueless Quilters are back, this time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Stetson Meeting House on Route 222. Admission to the the popular craft show is free, lunch will be available, prizes will be awarded through the “Teacup Raffle” and the Stetson Ladies Aid will sell take-home baked beans suppers.
“That’s one of the greatest things going,” commented Stetson librarian and Clueless Quilter Betty Ann Seelenbrandt.
This year, the show features special exhibits on antique quilts, “including a friendship quilt made by Stetson residents for Reina Randall Dresser approximately 100 years ago,” Seelenbrandt said.
The group also will display “an 1800s quilt with blocks signed by many women from Blue Hill, Surry and Castine,” she said. “It’s pretty neat.” A portion of the proceeds from the show benefits the Stetson Library, which still needs your help.
“We’re looking for volunteers to help move the old library into the new library,” Seelenbrant said. “We’re planning on moving a little bit every day. We will be closed the month of November, and we’re just moving whatever we can when we can, as long as we have the volunteers.”
Seelenbrandt said the move into the new building “is pretty exciting. It looks wonderful. It has big, beautiful windows to let the sun in, and the Clueless Quilters are working on a library quilt that will hang permanently in the library. It will look like books on shelves. Each quilter is making her own block.”
If you can help pack and unpack boxes of books and put them on the library’s new shelves, Seelenbrant would be most grateful. Call her at 296-2288 to tell her when you are available, or just speak with her Saturday at the quilt show.
The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.