Maine winters and an aging population take their toll in many ways. This has been a long season with the loss of many outstanding local citizens. Allow me to comment on a few whom I knew. Since my last column we have lost, in order and among others, Palmer Hinds, Bob Crockett and Don Brown.

I got to know Palmer Hinds late in life and wish I had known him sooner. Actually it was this column that formed our brief friendship. We connected when he began contacting me with his ideas for my column. I met with him, and after an interview I featured him and some of his political ideas in a column.

Palmer amazed me with his intellect, and his motivation to stay informed and active in political discourse at age 90. In addition to his interesting career as a state auditor, Palmer was a senior adviser and political confidant to governors and state legislators. Many of his budgetary ideas and financial formulas are still in effect in state government. Outside politics, Palmer lived a full and interesting life. For instance, former Red Sox manager Dick Williams became a close friend when they worked together at the jai alai courts in Miami. Palmer was a familiar face at Maine fairs, where his financial expertise equipped him to run the back room parimutual odds for the horse-racing cards. Palmer loved sports, especially the Gardiner Tigers.

Palmer would call me frequently with his latest analysis and opinions on the political scene. At the close of the recent presidential election campaign, Palmer and I agreed that Ohio Gov. John Kasich would have been a good choice, but he accurately predicted that Donald Trump would be our next president.

Remember when the old Reader’s Digest featured short stories on “The Most Unforgettable Character I have ever met”? Palmer Hinds is one of mine.

As for Bob Crockett, I served on the Augusta City Council with him in the early 1990s. After several years in poor health, Bob has passed away.

Crockett was an original. The epitome of a public servant, he gave three decades of his life working for others, as city councilman, county treasurer and an active member of the Democratic party. Bob was his wife’s biggest supporter when she sought various public offices herself. Patsy Crockett serves as a county commissioner and was previously a state legislator.

The Bob and Patsy Crockett team exemplify the idea of giving back to your community. Bob will be remembered as a really nice guy, with compassion for others. For 35 years, he was the friendly, reliable local mailman.

As my mind drifts back to my experiences with Bob Crockett and Dick Dumont, who both served Augusta voters for almost 30 years before term limits, I recall that they were tough minded but fair. Back in the day, as they say, compromise was not a dirty word, so on many occasions some great accomplishments were realized for the city as we worked together through political differences.

Bob Crockett did politics well and knew how to get things done. He was an excellent public servant who earned a place in our local political history and will be missed.

Don Brown is also now gone. He was not a politician, but conducted good town meetings. Don was the first announcer that I recruited when creating WABK radio in 1968.

As I have said many times, bringing Don Brown to Gardiner was one of the best decisions I ever made as a manager. With Don anchoring the morning drive show for many years, WABK became the premiere radio station in Maine. At its peak, Brown, and a team of outstanding radio personalities, achieved unparalleled audience ratings. Sixty-seven percent of the greater Augusta-Waterville area audience and 51 percent of the total area audience reached by its powerful signal.

Don promoted the highly successful and popular “Love Fund,” raising thousands for needy local families. It has often been said that if you have lived your life doing what you love, then you have succeeded. Don Brown was a success. He was honored by many organizations for his many selfless contributions to the central Maine community.

Among his recognitions were the Calumet Club’s Person of the Year, and his richly deserved election to the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Brown leaves us as a radio legend and Maine broadcasting giant whose unique voice and good humor will never be forgotten. Don was a great entertainer.

Until we meet again, goodbye and God bless those good and faithful servants, Palmer, Bob and Don.

Don Roberts is a veteran broadcaster, writer and political consultant. He has served Augusta as a city councilor at-large, charter commission vice chairman and utilities district treasurer.

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