Dave Curtis was at times a bus driver, piano player, photographer, dog owner and generally well-liked East Roader. When he had to get off airport land because of eminent domain, Dave decided to take just his photography studio to live in as it was only him and his dog. So a bunch of friends put that little building on a couple of birch logs and pulled it with Stan Walden’s 6×6 truck to its new resting place by Bersley Hill on East Road.
The studio house was placed on posts in a small uphill spot that the men had cleared. That was a good thing because Dave often had to roll his old Ford to get it started. It so happened that his battery died one day so a friend took it downtown to Newt Porter’s garage in town to get it charged up.
So a day or two later Dave Curtis wanted to go downtown and he had forgotten all about the battery not being in the car; he just remembered it had been flat and he thought he should get it charged. Without a glance behind him, he put his Ford in neutral and rolled backwards out into East Road. He cut in sharply so he could start down the hill, shifted into third gear and let it go. Then the motor ignited and off he flew down the hill to town.
Dave pulled into Newt’s Garage and went inside, walking past the seven foot stuffed black bear holding an outboard motor. He found Newt and said in his distinctive way, ‘Sniff, sniff, Newt, can you take out my battery out and charge it?’ And Newt says, ‘Somebody brought it down a week ago. Want me to put it in the car?’ ‘Oh, sure,’ says Dave, blissfully unaware that at that very moment ……………..
Back up on East Road a few houses down from Dave Curtis’ studio house a CMP (Central Maine Power) man who had been driving on the hitherto peaceful country roads was having a moment of rage, relief and wonder at Stan Walden’s house. His eyes were bugged out of his head, his hair was standing on end. He was white as a sheet and weak as a new born lamb. ‘Wwwwwhhhat kind of man,’ he asked in a trembling voice, ‘I say what kind of a wild man backed out into the street right in front of me and took off like a bat outta you-know-where? I had a close escape, a very close escape, I say!’
Stan sat the CMP man down, gave him a sweet lemonade and cookies made by his wife Em and eventually sent him on his way calmed down. Then Stan sat down himself and had a good laugh. Being the good story teller he was he added this day’s events to his repertoire, told it many times over and now over 60 years later we’re telling it again.