Recieved the following today, May 13 2006
The passing of Harley Cadenhead came as sad news to many of his fellow Kingstonians. For four decades, his name - as well as that of his wife, Marjorie - figured prominently in our community's history.
Although Harley and Marjorie had relocated to Washington State, they will always be Kingstonians. With a combined 75 years of service to the town and the distinction of having held virtually every major office, no other description seems appropriate.
Unfortunately, Harley's health did not permit him to accompany his wife on her trip back to Kingston last year, when several hundred people turned out to thank the couple for their service to the town and to wish them well in their new home. Harley's resume of service to Kingston reads like a "Who's Who in Government." From 1961 to 2004 he served Kingston in many different roles. He was a Selectman, member of the Board of Health, Sewer Commission, and Planning Board, and was part of many committees and causes.
People didn't always agree with Harley's viewpoint, but they always listened. He was refreshingly independent and outspoken, someone never afraid to say what was on his mind. He seemed to relish the debate and was more interested in being right than in being popular.
There was one election that he won by literally a handful of votes. I remember telling him a day or two later that I may well have been the person who "put him over the top," and he just laughed. He won a race or two in a "squeaker." Some he won handily. Some he lost. That's the way it can be in small-town politics. But, regardless of the size of the victory, he gave it his all.
Harley had a real passion for town government, which was evident whether he was speaking at town meeting, or having a conversation with someone in front of the Post Office or at a local coffee shop.
Those of you who have been in town a while may recall the days in the 1980s when Harley was a regular contributing columnist for the Independent Voice weekly newspaper. His offer to contribute an article was motivated by a desire to help out. We had just emerged from a fire which had destroyed our equipment and much of the paper's history, and we were scrambling to rebuild. A number of townspeople came forward to offer their assistance. Harley was one of them. He called one Monday and asked if we had room for a letter to the editor. Thereafter, he showed up weekly for many months, with a letter or a guest commentary for that week's newspaper. I'm sure he reasoned that it was one less article we would have to write.
His viewpoints ranged from what needed improvement in town government, to recollections of his time in the military - and a few other topics thrown in for good measure. From our vantage point, the columns were a great addition to the weekly mix. Harley was well known, knowledgeable on a wide range of topics, and controversial enough to spark interest and debate. For a while, he shared the editorial center stage with other notable "townies" including Mel Thorner and Herb Macy. In many ways, that newspaper's name was reflective of these men's styles and personalities. They all truly were "independent voices" who rarely agreed with each other, but always made interesting reading.
The ongoing debate and effort to shape our community will be diminished without the contributions of Harley Cadenhead. Much of his heart and soul went into this town that he called home; his name (and Marjorie's) will always figure prominently in our town's history.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Marjorie and her family.