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The Lincoln area has been home to lots of interesting folks over the years. On this page, we'll tell you about some of them. If you know someone whose story should be told here, let us know!
AMERICA'S ORIGINAL CRASH TEST DUMMY
Well, it seems you're never really accepted in your hometown if you're a celebrity or slightly eccentric. And, that certainly can be said to some degree for Jim "Crash" Moreau who promotes himself as "Lincoln's Daredevil", the "Human Bomb","The Last Deathrider" and, "Crazy Crash Moreau" among other things. He'll be our fourth "interesting person" we've featured in the section of www.lincolnmaine.us over the past three years and probably the most controversial. But this section is called "Interesting People", and that he certainly is!
"Crash" wasn't always smashing into other cars, riding through flaming pile-ups or rolling his car over naked, as he did once in Cleveland, Ohio. No, he was quite normal - once. Jim, now 60 years old, was born in the Old Town Home Private Hospital in 1948. Soon his family moved to Lincoln and he attended Lincoln area schools. He resides to this day on Railroad Street with a half dozen or so junk, oops - I mean used, vehicles that now comprise his unique sculpture, much to the chagrin of some of his neighbors. Call it what you will, it is different and has become sort of a tourist attraction for outta towners passing through the town. IF they can find it. He was once accused of having a unlicensed junk yard on his property by the former Lincoln Town Manager, but nothing ever came of it. And he'll tell you, "Every vehicle on my property has been or can be used in my work when I go on the road."
But I digress from the story of our subject, Mr. Moreau. One of the few true "hell drivers" or "auto daredevils" remaining, "Crash" saw his first auto crashing/jumping show at the impressionable age of 9 years old. It was at the Bangor State Fair, and from that day on he was hooked!
During his early teen years he performed numerous stunts when the opportunity presented itself, and by the time he was 17 years old was driving stock cars at the local Springfield Fair. By that time he had pretty much determined that when he grew up he "wanted to get into car accidents"! By 1967 he had grabbed the attention of one of Maine's legends in the business, Joey Chitwood, and soon found himself as a part of Joey's traveling show that took Jim from Maine to North Carolina and back again. With a lot of stops, er crashes, in between.
Soon he was featured with the Buddy Wagner Show, and, was jumping motorcycles, not cars! He was finally hooked on being a true "daredevil" and from there he never looked back! Sometimes he'd perform in over 250 shows a year across the Eastern United States, but always returned home in between to the town he loved, Lincoln, Maine. He promotes himself as "America's Original Crash Test Dummy", but as he heads into his 60's he's finding jobs are getting fewer and fewer. It's not just his age. With the costs of doing his type of show, and the insurances, etc, bookings are getting harder to come by. He was booked up in Presque Isle at this year's state fair, but it was cancelled when a crane needed for his "kamikaze death drop" stunt couldn't be arranged. So, instead of doing at least 30 stunt shows a year as in the previous couple of decades "I don't do as many now", he said with a look of disappointment on his face. "Lincoln is and was always my home" he declared with a smile, and Crash can be found more often these days at the local coffee shops reminiscing about the glory days of being the "fearless Crash Moreau".
Although he'll be performing in such places as Smethport, PA and others this summer, and says he'll never retire, he might not have much choice. "There's only two others doing what I do now," he exclaims, " and they're both in their 70's!" And, he says when asked why he still does what he does, "I'm too damn lazy to work, and, too damn scared to steal." Well, after 42 years of "work" Crash Moreau is finally getting some respect for his years of dedication to the business. He has been featured recently in five segments of "Wacked Out Sports" that were broadcast on WLBZ-TV in Bangor and on SPIKE -TV. A movie production company has produced a movie about "Hell Drivers" and Jim's featured in one of the segments, part of which was filmed here in Lincoln, Maine. Their web site is http://helldriversmovie.wordpress.com/. The film premieres June 13th, 2008.

Over the years he's been lucky. Other than a punctured abdomen and a few concussions, all he's ever broken is one finger! Today, the few stunts he does, fully clothed I might add, are carefully staged to see that they won't be his last! But, he says, "I'd do almost any stunt for 500 bucks". Hmmmm.

Today, Jim spends a lot of time in Lincoln. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. When most guys his age would be content to spend time with the family and thank God for their good health, Crash is still planning that next show. Although he admits that "I always worry and think about getting hurt, or killed, or paralyzed - all the time, I just can't quit. I may be a fool, and I may be crazy, but - that's me!" And, "interesting"? Affirmative!

Jim's Web site is: www.crashmoreau.com

For a brief slideshow of Crash Moreau in action CLICK HERE. And kids, don't try this at home - he's a professional and you're NOT!

- Lee Rand


Santa Claus!

Most people know that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. But does he really? St. Nick might actually live closer to you than you know! Then again, he isn't real is he? Or, is he?

Click here to find out more.


Ashley Webster

UPDATE: January 4, 2009 - Ashley passed away at the age of 100. If you'd like to send condolences to his family, write to 9 Linden Circle, Georgetown, MA 01833.

Ashley Webster was a long time Lincoln resident and school principal. He graduated from Eastern State Normal School in Castine, Maine in 1929, and later obtained a degree from the University of Maine. he commenced his career in Trenton, Maine as a teacher/principal in a one room schoolhouse for grades 1-8. His starting annual salary was $604, which decreased during the Great Depression. He later was a principal in several other towns. One town ran out of money and was unable to pay him. It was later determined that the treasurer was stealing town funds.

In 1945, he moved to Lincoln with his wife, Ruby, and three children - Carol, Mary and Merritt. He assumed the position of principal at the Ballard Hill School. In addition to being the principal, he was a full-time teacher. Some of his other duties were tending the coal furnace if needed, monitoring students crossing the road and coaching basketball and baseball. The school day started with prayer, saluting the American flag and Bible reading. A half pint of milk was distributed to each student daily.

Ashley assisted in planning the Ella P. Burr School and became the first principal when it opened in 1954. He was very proud of the state of the art building. It included an intercom system, automated bells and a modern kitchen which provided the first hot lunches for grade school students in Lincoln. His first secretaries were 8th grade students. He often commented on what a great job they did.

Former Lincoln School Principal Ashley Webster
at 99 years old

Ashley Webster with his students in Plymouth, Maine in 1936 or 1937. Click on the photo for a larger view. In 1932, he and two friends departed for a trip to California in a 1926 sedan. They returned to Maine after 45 days, traveling 9, 411 miles. They had many adventures, including an encounter with a grizzly which ate their food. Ashley picked up numerous items on the trip, which he later used to teach students about some of the states he visited.

Ashley Webster at his desk at the Ella P. Burr School in Lincoln

He retired in 1968 after completing 39 years of service in public education. Ashley continued his summer employment for the Hart Seed Company for several more years. He collaborated with a grandson to write a book entitled "From Out Of The Past Speaks Morse's Cove". The book recounts his family history and life experiences. He was honored to be the Grand Marshal of the Lincoln Homecoming Parade in 2003.
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We'll be profiling more of Lincoln's "Interesting People" on this page from time to time, so when you're checking out the Photo of the Day or Nice News, take a look here as well. And then there's the History page, and the . . . oh, just take a look at our links at the top of the page and wander around a bit. Enjoy!

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