Archive for March 14th, 2014


Terry Eldridge

March 14, 2014
RUMFORD – Terry Eldridge passed away peacefully on Feb. 18 after a long illness. Born April 2, 1954, in Columbus, Ohio, he was the only child of Carolyn (Eastman) and Edward Eldridge. While growing up, Terry was very active in the Boy Scouts, church and music. As a teenager, he found his passion for music and developed his skills as a trombonist.

Terry attended Otterbein College in Ohio, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in music performance as a trombone and euphonium player. He spent a year at the Cleveland Conservatory of Music, and went on to Kent State University earning his bachelor of science degree in music education. Terry moved to Maine in 1978 and later went to the University of Maine in Orono where he earned his master’s in music education. It was in graduate school where he met his wife, Becky.

Terry was an amazing musician and a gifted teacher. He touched the lives of thousands of young musicians, instilling a lifelong love of music in all of his students. Many went on to become music educators or professional musicians. It is with great fondness his former students remember him. Terry taught music in the Oxford Hills system, School Administrative District 74, Carrabec, and the Rumford school system.

Terry was very active in many ensembles throughout Maine. A man very much respected by his colleagues as both a musician and music educator, Terry held many leadership roles. Among them were president of the Maine Music Educator’s Association and president of the Kennebec Valley Music Educator’s Association. His proudest honor was when the Mountain Valley High School yearbook was dedicated to him in 2005.

His beautiful daughter, Lila, was the light of his life. Many wonderful days were spent as a family on their farm and at the camp. He loved to watch her ride and was very proud of the young woman she became.

Terry is survived by his wife, Becky, of Norridgewock; his daughter, Lila, of Cornville; a special aunt, Patricia Eastman, of Columbia, S.C.; uncles Kenneth Eldridge, of Portville, N.Y., and Jack Eastman, of Virginia; very special cousins Charles and Carl Shipman, of South Carolina, Chris Shipman, of Atlanta, Ga., and Carolyn Hughes, of Virginia.

Memorial services will be announced later in the spring.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Skowhegan Area Music Boosters, c/o Cheryl McGowan, 155 Academy Circle, SAMS, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Please go to the page with the obituary at and scroll down to read the guestbook with thoughtful comments made by many of Terry’s former students.


Creativity and Art Education

March 14, 2014

Orlando artist launches global art awareness project using paper bag mushrooms

April 1st – May 31st 2014


Doug Rhodehamel

website :


Do you know the mushroom man? You might, and you might not even know it. Orlando Installation artist, Doug Rhodehamel, has been covering the planet in his whimsical paper bag mushrooms for more than 20 years. This spring he is asking the citizens of the world to help promote his awareness program: The SPORE Project.

Developed in 2005, the SPORE Project was designed to promote support for creativity and art education by constructing and planting patches of mushrooms made from brown paper lunch bags. Why paper mushrooms? Quite simply, they are fun and easy to make.

Whether real or constructed from paper bags, mushrooms awake the imagination, seemingly popping up whimsically overnight like a magical, storybook happening – and they are familiar worldwide!

With the help of many different participants, Rhodehamel has managed to plant mushrooms on every continent in the world … including Antarctica. This time around, rather than merely planting as many mushrooms as he can, Doug hopes to focus more on the purpose of the SPORE Project. “What I really hope to achieve is more on the awareness aspect of this project,” Rhodehamel says. “I want people to know just how important creativity and art education is. A lot of people take both for granted, but without the twin forces of creativity and art education we really have nothing.”

This spring, Rhodehamel himself will be planting masses of mushrooms in unexpected areas during April and May, located all around Orlando and in other parts of Central Florida. He hopes that schools, community centers and individuals around the world will join him in the effort to use paper bag mushrooms to create art education awareness.

Why spring? Spring will have sprung, and the kids (as well as their teachers) will be full of the season’s fever and will need something fun to do in school. Based on his past efforts, Spring is a great time for making mushrooms: It has a calming effect on everyone; the cost of materials is extremely lo, averaging 5 dollars per hundred mushrooms; and children especially love painting them.

Photos of the individual plantings will be posted on the SPORE Project website to give participants a sense of involvement. They will be able to point to a part of the project and say “I did that!”  The project’s Facebook page also allows participants to communicate, organize and post photos of what they have done, or intend to do.

Doug also has two secret pet paper bag mushroom projects in the works. One is to have mushrooms planted on the lawn of the White House, and his other endeavor hopes to send a mushroom up to the International Space Station. He has already developed a specialized mushroom perfectly suited for space travel.

The SPORE Project is open to anyone who wants to participate. It’s a great excuse to get some friends, relatives, coworkers, or inmates together to create something. Make some mushrooms and plant them in someone’s yard and above all, have fun! You’ll be helping to make the world a better place.

The SPORE Project is web-based, and everything you need to know can be found at

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