This weekend, I had the honor of flying to Norfolk, VA with my in-laws, Al & Jacky Stearns. The purpose of the visit was to witness the promotion of of Benjamin Tupaj from Sergeant to Staff Sergeant.

Rondi and I were well aware of how much time and effort Ben has put into studying, working and training over the past number of years. Heck, he had to spend most of his summer in Oklahoma and California, away from his family and without any visits. But it wasn’t until Monday morning at the ceremony when the proclamation was being read by Sergeant Major Warren and the extensive remarks by Colonel Frey that we realized just how much he had accomplished.

When Ben was notified of his promotion, he requested that his grandfather, Albert, participate in the pinning ceremony. Albert was a Corporal in the Marine Corps and served from January 1954 to January 1956. Gunnery Sergeant Jarolskawki also participated in the pinning of his new rank. The ceremony was held at the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia.

Over the weekend, we met a number of Marines and their families. It is clear that the spouses and Moms at home are as strong as their husbands and provide a valuable, but often overlooked, service to the soldiers. And no greater example of that is with our daughter-in-law, Cassandra, who with our two young grandchildren somehow manages to keep the house in order and always with a smile!

Ben has been transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Rondi has stayed behind for a few extra days to assist with the move south.

Much is written about our country’s younger generation and the lack of discipline and respect for authority. I must say, the men and women that I met this week reinforces my belief that this country has a solid foundation going forward.



  1. Bob Collins on

    Very proud of ya Ben!! You have come so far since the first summer we met!! Thank you for your service!!!
    • Carla Palmer on

      You should be very proud Stan. We are very proud of Ben and Cassandra both. Ooh rah!
      • Sharon Kelly on

        So happy for all of you Stan! Congratulations to Ben!

        Chuck Nossick

        Whitewater rafting

        Whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River.

        Whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River.

        As everyone who reads KezarLife knows, I spent a good chunk of my life living and working in Baltimore. During that time I had the great fortune of getting to know some wonderful people. Time and distance tend to eliminate most of them but there are always a few people where the relationship strengthens, even without regular contact. Just a random reading or observation may trigger a pleasant reminder of an old friend.

        While working in the mortgage industry in the early 90's, I met Chuck Nossick. We worked for the same company but in different offices and over time we became friends. I took pleasure in convincing him that there was value in visiting downtown Baltimore and having lunch at the Lexington or Cross Street Markets. He returned the favor by inviting me to play golf with him regularly even though my game didn't warrant it.

        In Maryland, college lacrosse is as big as professional baseball. Going to sporting events with Chuck, whether it be the Terps or the Orioles, was always exciting. It wasn't a big deal to travel to Philadelphia to see Maryland play Temple on a Sunday afternoon or to Charlottesville to see the Terps play UVA on a Saturday night.

        There was a two-year period when Rondi, Ben and Anna had already moved to Lovell and I was still shuttling back and forth while we tried to sell the house. Chuck and his wife Kathleen were always generous with dinner invitations at their Severna Park house.

        In March 2000, Chuck's close childhood friend purchased the Baltimore Ravens. Chuck then set out to orchestrate the classiest tailgate party for each home game. On the Ravens' march to the Super Bowl that season, Chuck and I flew out to Oakland for the championship game. And while our son Ben was stationed in Afghanistan, Chuck made sure to give me all the detailed game programs and media handouts which I shipped to Ben on a regular basis. To someone sitting alone in a strange and hostile desert, it was a welcomed touch of home.

        It's never good news when my friend David Jones calls me early in the morning, as he did this past Wednesday. Bad news he said. A drunk driver ran a red light and Chuck was the unfortunate victim as he was driving home from work. I still cannot shake the deep numbness.

        Chuck was an extremely special person to me and I know, countless others. I feel blessed to have had him as a friend. I truly hope that that each of you are equally blessed to have a 'Chuck Nossick' in your life.

        From the Annapolis Capital Gazette:

        Friends and family gather to remember crash victim Charles 'Chuck' Nossick.


        1. Paula Hughes on

          I am so sorry for your loss Stan. How wonderful that you had someone like Chuck in your life.
          • Jonesy on

            I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was in the boat behind you guys with Rivers, Modeski and another person who I am blanking on right now...maybe John Blatchley. It poured rain that night and my tent was floating.
            • Kathleen Colleran on

              Dear Stan... Your kind note brings tears to my eyes. He loved you and your family so much, as do I. Yes, he was such a special person. Full of love and kindness,, always giving and caring about his dear friends. I am blessed to have met you thru him and I hope we can remain friends. Plz tell Rondey , Anna and Ben I send my love. Kathleen

              Baltimore City

              natty bohIt is always tough to see something that you love be destroyed. I don't know why I followed the Baltimore Colts when I was young. Especially since I grew up in North Jersey. Maybe I was influenced by the numerous books written about John Unitas and the greatest game ever played that I read from cover to cover.

              It was August of 1984 when Rondi and I got married, moved to Hollins Street in West Baltimore and I started graduate school. We lived in a neighborhood that some would call the Urban Frontier. It was also the historic dividing line between white Baltimore and black Baltimore. Everyone coexisted but there was a complete separation of color in regards to where one lived and socialized.

              No question that the police in Baltimore have a very difficult job. For many decades drugs have been a major problem and the crime and other social ills associated with drug addiction led to a significant reduction in population (both white and black). What was left where large areas of abandoned homes, poor schools and a lack of jobs. The police do become frustrated because very often just hours after they arrest someone, that person is back on the street engaged in illegal activity.

              But sometimes, the police do go overboard physically when making arrests. I have seen it first hand and it is not comfortable to watch and you begin to understand some of the frustration that the Baltimore residents have been expressing. However, being destructive is not an answer. In neighborhoods that have not recovered from the riots following the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., the rioters were destroying their own employment and shopping centers.

              It is painful to see the city, where we lived for 20 years and our two children were born, to take such a major step backwards. So many areas of the city have been transformed from the decaying industrial city that it was to a high-tech employment center. Large sections of the city have seen new housing developments and people moving back. I now wonder how many people and businesses will consider investing in the city.

              The city leaders, police and the residents have a long uphill battle in restoring confidence in each other and moving forward together. I wish them well.

              For Love of Country

              For Love of CountryIn 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations...In 1938, November 11th became a legal holiday to celebrate the veterans of World War I and in 1954 the law was expanded to honor American veterans of all wars.

              Today, many people know that American soldiers are fighting around the world but very few of us have a direct connection to any of the men or women who are fighting on our behalf. From time to time it is important that we reflect on the sacrifices that our military makes on a daily basis. And since we are not asked to share in these sacrifices, I think that it is is crucial that we be reminded of them.

              Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks and Washington Post writer Rajiv Chandrasekaran have published "For Love of Country", a collection of heroic actions taken by American soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The authors also discuss the many contributions that veterans make to society upon their return to the United States.

              All of the stories  in "For Love of Country" are exceptional.  But none more so than the heroic actions of Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter described in Chapter Four. These two Marines met for the first time early on the morning of April 22, 2008.As he was at the end of his tour, Corporal Yale was scheduled to return to the United States in a few days while Lance Corporal Haerter had just arrived in Iraq. The two Marines were guarding Gate One when a truck loaded with 2,000 pounds of explosives drove quickly towards the compound's entry. The Marines stood their ground and fired away at the oncoming truck. For six  seconds they did not move or run away as they clearly made the decision to stop the truck. That heroic choice by these two Marines cost them their lives but saved 33 of their fellow soldiers,  including my son, Benjamin Tupaj.

              On this Veteran's Day, please take the time to not only reflect upon the sacrifices given by our military but to personally thank them for their service. And please read "For Love of Country" as it is honors these heroes.



              1. John P. Smith on

                Thanks, Stan.......very appropriate on this day !!

                2014 New England Patriots Magnetic Schedule

                IMG_7921The 2014 New England Patriots Magnetic Schedule is in! Kickoff for the first game is on September 7th. Stop in the office for your schedule or send me an e-mail (stan@fairpoint.net) and I will put one in the mail.



                1. Tom Delano on

                  Hi Stan, Hopefully your email is back working by now. I plan to stop by either later today or tomorrow for sure to get my magnetic schedule. GO PATS! Tom
                  • Bella on

                    This shows real exerstiep. Thanks for the answer.

                    2014 Signs of Spring

                    First Boat Ride on Kezar?

                    First Boat Ride on Kezar?


                    Opening Mid-May

                    Opening Mid-May

                    The annual reappearance of boats at the Marina

                    The annual reappearance of boats at the Marina


                    Ice Cream & more at Beth's Shop!

                    Ice Cream & more at Beth's Shop!

                    The tennis nets are up.

                    The tennis nets are up.

                    The greens are almost ready for the May 10th opening.

                    The greens are almost ready for the May 10th opening.

                    2014 Mushers Bowl

                    Mushers BowlFor football fans, the two weeks between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl is an awful long time. For the first time since September, there are no weekend football games to watch. And many Patriot fans just might say the heck with the Super Bowl. So, what does one do with all of the free time?...

                    This Saturday and Sunday, January 25th & 26th, the Down East Sled Dog Club presents The Mushers Bowl, where you will find competitive Sled Dog Racing and Skijoring Races at Bridgton's Five Field Apple Orchards. This five-mile course is considered the most technically challenging sled dog course in the Northeast but its design also makes it very spectator-friendly.

                    Admission to the Mushers Bowl is only $5 for both days (parking included). Children five and under are free. Races start at 10 am each day. The South Bridgton Congregational Church hosts a warming hut where soups and baked goods will be sold.

                    Click on the links below for more information:

                    www.desdc.org The Bridgton News, January 9, 2014 Story The Bridgton News, December 27, 2013 Story

                    Photo Courtesy of Down East Sled Dog Club's web site.

                    Merry Christmas!

                    Christmas Trees with Lights

                    Christmas 2013 is shaping up to be a very special one. Ben, Cassandra and one-year old grandson Jackson have made the long drive from Virginia Beach. Anna has finished her semester work and is home from NYC. Accompanying Anna is her friend Alissia on not only her first visit to Lovell, but her first trip to the United States. We are looking forward to Italian treats!

                    It truly is a blessing to have multiple generations under one roof! May your Christmas be as special.

                    SHOP Local--SHOP LOVELL

                    Very often, finding the perfect Christmas gift for that someone special can be very difficult. Going to the malls or outlet shops is not only a hassle, but who wants to deal with inattentive and rude clerks? Buying on-line may save time but it doesn't allow you to see or touch what you are buying.

                    This Holiday season, why not consider shopping in Lovell? Here is a list of shops and shopping ideas where you not only have a great present but you are helping our local businesses!

                    * ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS, Lovell. For centuries, floorcloths have proven to be both durable and elegant. Art Underfoot Floorcloths handcrafted works are created in Maine with tradition in mind. We spend between eight to ten hours on each piece, skillfully crafting heirloom quality art that you will enjoy having underfoot. Paula and Tom Hughes create these artistic and functional floorcloths and would be happy to discuss designing a pattern to fit your home or office. Visit the website for more details and to view a gallery of floorcloths. ART UNDERFOOT FLOORCLOTHS

                    * Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.

                    *How about a gift certificate to the 'Best Beer Bar in America', EBENEZER's PUB? During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub's phone number is 207-925-3200.

                    *HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy's kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy's webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.

                    * Get GREAT BUYS at Center Lovell's two Antique Stores. Although winter hours are by chance and/or appointment both owners would be happy to meet you at your convenience. The WONDER STORE is owned by Peter Worrall and he can be reached at 207-925-1252. Bill Doyle, owner of DOYLE's ANTIQUES, can be reached at his store 207-925-1279.

                    *HOMESTEAD ICE CREAM SHOP. Beth Armington's new store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans' work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And Beth is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.

                    *How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments: 1)Rosie's Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255. 2)AJ's Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454. 3)The Wicked Good Store. Stop in at the newest spot in town. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and pizzas! 207-925-3090. 4)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here! 5)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.

                    Still can't figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell's United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)! MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

                    Lovell Town Meeting


                    Lovell's annual Town Meeting was held yesterday, March 2nd, 2013. Anticipating a close election for the Selectman seat held by John Ramsden, the large crowd gathered early to jockey for a seat for the 9am start. John Ramsden was being challenged by Rose McKenzie, owner of the Lovell Village Store (aka Rosie's). Although Rosie ran a strong campaign, focusing on her Lovell roots as well as her strong accounting and business experience, she came up short when the votes were counted. The incumbent John was elected to a new three-year term and we wish him well. The three selectmen do a tremendous job throughout the year by keeping their budget pencils sharp, spending our money wisely and keeping the tax rate as low as possible.

                    Fire Chief Tommie McKenzie received an extended round of applause for the Department's successful effort in containing the recent Lovell Village fire and preventing it from spreading to other buildings. There was limited discussion on a few articles, questions from the audience as why certain dollars were or were not spent on some programs and the longest discussion was on Article 80 which would amend the Lovell Zoning Ordinance so that the existing 20' building setback on private roads would be increased to 50'. Exciting stuff, no? The change did pass narrowly.

                    And as always seems to happen, the last vote was done by noon, just in time for lunch!

                    This year's town report was dedicated to Janice Arsenault and Sherry Bois who have both served the town of Lovell for more than 20 years. Janice is the tax collector and Sherry is the Treasurer and Town Clerk. Together they make the Town Office a friendly place to go for information and they always have a smile and a kind word. Even to folks like me who are Baltimore Ravens' fans. No question that this recognition is long overdue!