Back in the day when people were not sitting in front of their televisions or computers or playing games on their phones they did a lot of that old fashioned thing – talking. Uncle Stan Walden was always listening for a good story that he could retell later albeit with a few embellishments and pauses in the right places. Jake Drew, one of the town’s two democrats, had a way with words and Uncle Stan would remember the malapropisms that came out of the mouth of Jake and tell them for years – with fondness and respect as was the style of the day. So as remembered by Uncle Stan and told to his nephew -our dear Gramps- and passed on to us come a few stories guaranteed (or quarantined as Jake might say) to bring a chuckle or two.
Jake Drew came to Greenville, Maine when he was about twenty. He hailed from Bangor where he liked to say he was ‘raised by my aunt and uncle but never officially adapted.’ While it is true he was never officially adopted he certainly did become part of the fabric of East Road.
He bought a farm house built by JJ Grinell and married a young lady from Canada who became sick and died and he then married her sister, Alice. They had Rod and Ethel. In time Rod Drew and Uncle Stan went into business together in the running of a saw mill.
In his older years Jake would help at the saw mill in the afternoons. It took two men to run the saw carriage. Jake would be on one end with HG Walden (Uncle Stan’s brother) on the other. Now you have to measure the logs and HG was an honest man. If it was 3.4 board feet he would mark it as 3 and if it was nearly 4.7 but not quite 5 he would mark it 4. He did not want to shortchange any of the customers.
The log goes on the saw carriage to cut. Jake was on the back handle of HG’s saw. He sees HG marking all the lumber and being so careful not to cheat anyone. Jake sees how conscientious HG is about this. It really bothered him so one day he sidles up to Uncle Stan and says, ‘That Harold Walden, I seen how he is marking the wood and he’s just too darn subconscious!’
Every four years when the election came around folks on East Road gave Jake Drew a hard time. They were all rooting for the Republican while he was supporting the Democrat. Back and forth went the teasing until finally the day came when the election was held. Being the strong yellow dog Democrat he was, Jake had his ear glued to the radio.
So the men at the saw mill had just started their lunch when down the road comes Jake. And everyone is curious as to how the vote is going. ‘How’s the day going with the voting?’ asks Uncle Stan. The men are really interested and stop talking and eating their lunches and wait to hear Jake’s response. With all eyes on him, Jake takes a deep breath and says in a loud excited voice , ‘It’s going good! Four states have gone democrat- Ioway, Peoria, Chicago and Illinoise!!!’