From Our Archives: August 1954
We look back at the first issue of Down East.
NORTH BY EAST
Here is your first issue of Down East. We were convinced enough people would agree that it was high time a magazine was established, honestly reflecting the beauty, the spirit, the unique and special qualities that make this corner of the world like no other place under the sun.
A man shooting a movie on Maine wildlife asks that if anyone should come in contact with “a young beaver that will work daytime on dams,” they should contact him.
A sign that read “Moose Crossing, Drive Carefully” on Route 1 in Waldoboro was removed because some tireless wag kept doctoring the second “o” into a “u” in the middle of the night.
A loose herd of twenty cattle were rounded up on Rockland’s Main Street. One person noted that Hollywood, once they exhaust the Western genre, should start making “Maine Coast Easterns.”
Honor Earned by Maine Writer
We didn’t see E.B. White in his academic robes receiving his honorary degree at Harvard and, to be honest, we are glad we didn’t. Yet the honor is most fitting. There is no way to define E.B. White or what he does at the New Yorker and elsewhere. But better than any other writer in America he mixes civilized humor and criticism, week by week, into comments that are often acid, but never bitter, often profound, but never dull. We don’t think of him as Dr. White, but we will continue to think of him as a master workman with words, who not only writes better but sees better, far better, than most of us.
The Boston Herald
Twentieth Century Fox hired Arthur Dyer, a Vinalhaven fisherman, to advise a director on how to make his new film, Deep Water, feel authentically Maine. Dyer, who was tired of working in leaky boots, noticed the lobstermen in one scene were wearing brand new pairs. “Six Maine lobsterman, all in those nice shiny new boots? That don’t look right at all,” he told the director. So he took off his own boots, and those of his friends, and swapped pairs with the actors. The director thanked him for his keen eye, and locals congratulated him on his clever ruse to get a new pair of boots.
Proud of his Cat
Whit Thompson, a Port Clyde resident, would hang around the docks waiting for draggers to come in and unload the fish. He’d grab a haddock at a strategic time and say, “Just a little something for the cat.” This went on for years until the pier owner, working at the scales, finally spoke up. “Whit,” he drawled, “you must be real proud of that cat of yourn. If it wasn’t for that cat, I swear you’d starve.”
Random Notes for the Wayfarer
If you want a break from the Route 1 routine, give yourself a treat by swinging right at Orland and take 175 and 172 to Stonington.
For another break off Route 1, take your car on the Islesboro ferry. The trip is worth your time if only to look at Maine from the water.
DOWN EAST HOMES (advertisement)
Lovely three bedroom Colonial with barn-garage in Camden. Reflects the charm of a hundred years ago. Price $10,500. Telephone 2296 for more details.