Don’t miss the real treasures

Weather forecasters are saying we’re supposed to have another nice weekend, so make sure you come out for Windham Heritage Day on Saturday. Museums and several of the older homes in town will be open to the public and everyone involved is excited to show Windham’s heritage and history off.

Windham’s history is fascinating. If you like gun battles, stories of Indians warring with early settlers, wooden spiked forts, and beautiful old houses with history in each room, then this weekend’s Windham Heritage Day is something you won’t want to miss.

There are many folks in town who love Windham’s history. Kay Soldier, the columnist and historian, is especially adept at rattling off important dates, people and places that have shaped Windham’s history. Walter Lunt, a prime mover and shaker when it comes to this weekend’s event, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the town’s heritage – as do Linda Griffin, Betty Winslow, Ann Paquin, Norma Rogers and David Tanguay. They are all helping to make this weekend’s inaugural tribute to Windham’s history a success.

Windham Heritage Day is a great chance for locals to get out and see the great old buildings and artifacts, but it’s also a chance to meet some of these folks who are putting on this great show. We tend to forget about the present when we are celebrating the past. So, as you visit these reminders of Windham’s history this weekend and meet some of the town’s historians, try to remember that the connections to the town’s past are just as valuable as the people that are saving them. They, indeed, are the real treasures.

Out of the woods

Another treasure that we almost lost this week is Windham police officer Matthew Cyr, who’s been on the force for 11 years.

One need only hear the thunderous applause for him by a group of elementary school kids to realize that Matt is a worthy role model for the youth of this community. They love him.

Cyr almost lost his life because of a self-inflicted accidental gunshot wound to his thigh last weekend. Police are still investigating the cause, and will tell us what happened when that investigation is complete. However, it appears Cyr was sleeping in a tent on Friday night with a 357 Magnum by his side when he rolled over and the gun fired into his thigh destroying a vein.

On Saturday, news of the accident steamrolled its way through the Windham police department causing shock and disbelief. Fortunately, thanks to adept doctors who were able to stop the blood flow, the initial fears of staff members turned into relieved smiles as Cyr’s medical condition stabilized. Five miles deep into the northern Maine woods at his family’s camp when the accident happened, Cyr, literally, is out of the woods and safe today.

Police officers are important people to a community. When one goes down, the whole community is affected. Cyr has been the face of the police department in many ways, from the school community to the business community. He knows many people, and they either know him or know of him. We’re sure there are many in Windham, especially parents of Windham school children, who are relieved they don’t have to break any bad news to their sons or daughters.

We at the newspaper are relieved as well. Here’s to a speedy recovery, Officer Cyr.

-John Balentine, editor

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