#TBT: When A Destructive Maine Storm Made Way For Something Cool
I think it's really cool when people see potential in the aftermath of destruction.
Obviously, there are many still cleaning up from the effects the Tropical Storm Lee had as it ripped through Maine last weekend. And as I was out surveying some of the damage (downed trees and limbs and such) it reminded me of a situation that came about a few years ago, after a similarly destructive storm tore through the area and left what one local lady saw as potential.
It was 2018, and a terrible storm had made its way through Orono, bringing high winds and heavy rain.
After the storm passed, Orono resident Darryne Rockett took a look around and noticed something wasn't quite right; the wind had caused a large tree in her yard to fall down. Rockett and her dog were inside her house at the time and narrowly escaped getting hit.
When the danger had passed, and the mess of the fallen tree had been cleaned up, she said she was left with this large stump and immediately started to think of different artistic uses for what remained. At first, she said she had considered making it a sort of hollowed-out corridor for her grandkids. But then she spoke with a neighbor who knew of a local chainsaw artist named Shawn R. Bennett, who might have some ideas to help her out. After exchanging a few calls and emails, Rockett said she and Bennett came up with a plan. They would turn the stump into a Little Free Library. Rockett said she had seen a few in Bangor but wasn't sure if Orono had one yet.
Rockett said it only took the artist a week and a half to create the fairy-tale themed Little Free Library, which officially opened this weekend. Since word of her new Little Free Library got out, she says neighbors have started to stop by with book donations, and with information about other Little Free Libraries in the area, including one on Stillwater Ave, and one by the Orono Public Library.
She says there's even a website, LittleFreeLibrary.org, that you can go to, to find ones anywhere in the U.S.! She says she hoped her Fairy's Tales Little Free Library would not only encourage neighbors young and old to discover or rekindle a love of reading but that it will provide the community a place to come together and get to know each other better.
Rockett and her husband say they have no other plans to create anything else on their property, but hope this piece of art on their lawn will shine a bit of a spotlight on Shawn R. Bennett's talents.
If you like exploring stuff with your kids, here are some spots around town that are known for being kid-friendly.