Where in Maine?
It was easy for us to identify the mystery photograph in your February issue. We have visited Eastport for part of our vacation each summer for five straight years - both before and after the arrival of the fellow in the picture. This is, in part, due to the hospitality of and growing friendship with one of the bed-and-breakfast owners and his two dogs, and in part because of all the great things to see and do in Eastport. From sailing or taking ferry rides to hiking, birding, seeing marine life, and the Old Sow - the whirlpool - the list goes on and on. (And to think that Eastport now has a resident symphony orchestra in town.)
What more does one need? One thing that was left out of your description is the great joy in seeing thirty or more soaring bald eagles out looking for lunch, when not too many years ago it was feared that these birds were headed for extinction. If ever there was a time that this country needed something to boost its spirits, now is that time.
Looking at the "Where in Maine?" responses on your Web site, it would seem no mystery where the old salt resides. The square in Eastport is at the head of the South Pier and is home of the statute. The TV show [Murder in Small Town X] brought it to town and left it for posterity when the show went south. It's a curious legacy for the show, but an attraction for camera buffs on vacation and an intended tribute to the men who make their living at sea.
-Chet ChildsElectrifying photo
Your February issue includes a retrospective of the '98 ice storm. In it the writer states that even Al Gore showed up to clear fallen branches. But take a closer look at the photograph of the former vice president: He has his hands on a power line. Every TV watcher in Maine seeing that clip at the time jumped a foot. We all knew from Central Maine Power that no line is safe to touch - ever!
-Jo DavenportBest Diary
Congratulations on discovering the diaries of Ralph Richards ("Best Diary," January 2008), now kept at the Lincolnville Historical Society. This "Personal Best" article was of special interest to my family and me because Warren Pitcher, one of the three rural mail carriers shown with Ralph Richards and referred to as Moll Pitcher by Ralph, was my grandfather. The picture was taken in front of the old Lincolnville Post Office that later became Betty's Antiques and now houses Monroe Salt Works. When looking at the diaries last summer, I found Ralph had recorded the births of my father, Lloyd Pitcher, in 1910, as well as my Uncle Amos Pitcher in 1908. These diaries are an amazing part of history - kudos to Jackie Watts and the Lincolnville Historical Society for obtaining them.
-Susan Pitcher MitchellTaking a Toll
Brookline, New Hampshire and
Lincolnville Beach, Maine
If Canada really needs or wants to traverse northern Maine to access the Maritime Provinces ("The Talk of Maine," December 2007), how about a modern, straight-shot, encapsulated railroad. Freight trains haul exponentially larger loads of goods at fuel efficiency rates trucks and cars will never approach. A Europe/Japan style rail line (able to carry high-speed passenger rail) will drastically reduce the dimensions of the right of way. Environmental impact in road kill, emissions, and their harm will be minimized. Trains are also a lot more resistant to foul weather. In this age of climate change an old school, four-lane highway across a basically virgin corridor is lousy public policy.
-Sam JonesSki By The Sea
Bermuda Dunes, California
As soon as I read "A Symbol for Camden" ("North by East," February 2008), I went to the Camden Snow Bowl's Web site and clicked on "About Us," then "Getting There," and, voila, I had detailed directions with maps at my fingertips. For those who may still be driving around the back roads of Knox County looking for the twelve-by-eighteen signs in Egyptian hieroglyphics, here is the direct link to those directions on the Snow Bowl's Web site: www.camdensnowbowl.com/gettinghere.cfm
. The site is packed with information, current snow conditions, video cam, lift ticket prices, ski school, and tobogganing info - and much more. Who needs those darn signs anyway?
-Linda PossonRespect Your Elders
Fort Collins, Colorado
As one who is considering retiring to Maine, I must say, I was stunned at this quote from the article about Bangor in your February issue: "You look at the Breakfast Rotary meetings now, and these are not a bunch of gray hairs." Can you think of a more insulting way to refer to seniors than calling them "a bunch of gray hairs"? John Rohman need not worry, my husband and I won't be looking to settle anywhere near a place like Bangor where, obviously, we are not wanted.
Ageism is one of the last bastions of ignorance. If all of the bunches of gray hairs moved out of Maine, more than the economy of Bangor would suffer.
-Judith Church Tydings
Editor's Note: Given Mr. Rohman's own abundant crop of white hair, we're certain he (and we) meant the reference in the nicest possible way.Rural Economics
I appreciate Western Maine Residents for Rural Living exhausting all efforts to protect their town's character ("The Maine Viewpoint," February 2008) and not see the Poland Spring trucks expand into Fryeburg. However, what if the Poland Spring trucks were looked at in a different view, one that would support pride for a well-known Maine product on a Maine road versus something like a "Made in China" logo on the side of such trucks? With local and state pride and the Maine friendliness that Mainers are known for, let's strike a balance and meet those that would drive these trucks and let them know how we value what they have to do (working to support themselves and their families) and what we want, which is to preserve our town's charm. For example, let them know that we value slow speed for everyone's safety. How about a friendly smile and wave when passing through town? Let's work together to at least try and see if we can make it work. Rural parts of any state still need goods to be delivered. Let's embrace the possibility that this change could be beneficial to all of us by looking at this not as a nemesis but a new opportunity for positive change while working together from both sides to preserve the charm and pride we all value as Mainers.