Letters to the Editor
Our readers voice their opinions on the April issue
Thank you for highlighting the maple industry and lots of sugarhouses in your March article (“Mad for Maple”) — including ours. While I was reading about Elizabeth and John’s travels, I felt like I was following the contestants on the Amazing Race. A portrait of a terrific trip around Maine! We enjoyed some interested visitors over the weekend, due to your article.
Thurston and Peters Sugarhouse,LLC, West Newfield
We laughed throughout the whole article about maple houses and roared with approval at the end. The woman is indeed a writer! We were glad to visit the Maine backwoods with the author. We learned a lot. We hope you invite Elizabeth Peavey back again soon. We also enjoyed the fine write-up about the soft drink Moxie by Jim Baumer. It’s been years since we’ve had it and with this reminder, we plan to have some again soon.
—James and Nancy Forte
Kudos on a great article “The Incredible Eel.”
Flashback seventy years ago to Jim Bryant’s eel dam on the East Machias River, just off Route 191 outside of Jacksonville, where I saw his fishery at his invitation. Jim was a one-armed wonder who trapped the big females as they made their way down to the sea, sending them off to Boston and New York in white birch barrels, iced down to ensure freshness. He was the first to explain to my father and me how an eel could live for a long time out of water, but the slightest injury would cause them to die. We looked down in wonder at the hundreds of dark twisting lengths in the wooden enclosure that he had made.
We caught them at night, off our dock on Gardner’s Lake, shining a light down into the water, attracting them to our baited hooks. We filed off the barbs so that we could release the small ones, keeping only one or two of the three
footers. After being skinned and cleaned, they were cut into three or four inch chunks and fried in hot bacon grease, eliciting squeals from my mother and aunt as the pieces squirmed and wiggled in the pan. Although white perch ranked number one on the taste chart, fried eel came in a close second.
Columbine Valle, Colorado
I was enjoying reading your February issue article “Man on the Gallows” by Ron Soodalter when suddenly the particulars about the capture of Captain Nathaniel Gordon, master of the slave ship Erie, became strangely familiar. I consulted our most recent publication, Where Have All the Soldiers Gone: Civil War Veterans of Vienna and Mount Vernon, and my suspicion was confirmed. One ordinary seaman Lysander K. Johnson, born about 1823 in Litchfield, served as cook on board the U.S. Navy vessel Mohican, which captured Captain Gordon and his ship on August 8, 1860, off the Congo. Johnson was paid a bounty of $117.79 for his part in the capture.
—Carole J. O’Connell, President
Vienna Historical Society
Mount Vernon, Maine
We regret that an editorial published in the “Viewpoint” section contained an error. The Ellsworth American editorial, titled “Misrepresenting the Facts,” quoted State Representative Meredith Strang Burgess as saying the state’s biennial budget for 2012-2013 “has a projected shortfall of $1.3 billion.” That is not accurate. The Ellsworth American took information from an article published nearly two years ago and used it as if it were current. The state’s two-year budget did face a $1.3 billion deficit in 2010, but the new legislature produced a balanced budget last spring.
House Republican Office
Where in Maine?
This is the Owls Head Lighthouse. My father, Leon Detz, was the lighthouse keeper there in the early sixties, and what a life it was! My two brothers, my sister, and I would sneak visitors up into the light tower to see the look on their faces when they saw how beautiful it was. Of course, it wasn’t all fun. My dad worked very hard to keep the lighthouse in perfect condition for inspections.
Millstown Twp, New Jersey
This photo is of Owls Head Light. A climb up the long series of stairs brings you to a panoramic view of the Camden Hills and harbor, the breakwater and lighthouse in Rockland, and the islands of West Penobscot Bay. This includes a clear view of Vinalhaven’s three windmills which, whatever your opinion of them, are quite striking with their mighty blades turning in unison in the ocean breeze.
— Claude and Claudeen Bergeron
As a volunteer with the American Lighthouse Foundation, your picture jumped right off the page. The Owls Head Light and the Rockland Breakwater Light are manned by the volunteers. Contrary to your write-up, it has been open to the public for at least the last year and a half, every Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
Owls Head, Maine
On page 59 of the April issue, we incorrectly stated that Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro is moving this summer. The restaurant will remain at its current location, 112 Main Street in Ellsworth, through the end of 2012.