Down East 2013 ©
Where in Maine?
What does someone from away get when they marry a Mainer? Terrific memories of visiting Maine. I saw the lobster trap tree in Rockland, the subject of your December “Where in Maine?” photograph, while visiting the area for Thanksgiving 2007. It joins my Rockland memories of mackerel fishing off the breakwater, seeing
a beluga whale up close in the harbor, and this midwestern cheesehead trying to balance on a string of very unsteady lobster traps. My family has had many happy times in Maine while visiting relatives and anticipates many more to come. Thanks for bringing a taste of Maine to Wisconsin.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
It might be that lobster trap trees are the only things worth doing with traps if the price of lobster doesn’t recover soon.
I enjoyed the “North by East” item in your December issue where you quoted me in regards to the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway. The article contained an error regarding the highway’s route, though. While it did re-enter the United States at Detroit, it proceeded north in Michigan along the western shore of Lake Huron to the Upper Peninsula and went west from there on what is now U.S. Route 2 across the UP, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana into Idaho, where it turned south and then west into Washington, then south and west through Oregon and into Portland.
I wanted to set the record straight, because some of your readers might want to explore the old route. I strongly recommend it!
—Max J. Skidmore, PhD
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Sea Glass Creation
The excerpt in your November issue for C.S. Lambert’s book, A Passion for Sea Glass, prompts me to tell you and your readers about my passion for sea glass. I don’t work with it or collect it; I plant it. I started
decades ago when a friend’s antique cranberry-glass sugar shaker got broken and I salvaged the shards from the trash. I hammered the larger pieces into smaller fragments and took the trash-to-treasure-trove to an oceanside rocky outcropping and tossed the batch into the Atlantic, confident that the tidal surges against the gravelly bottoms of adjacent inlets would abrade the sharp edges and give a pearly polish to the pieces. Sea glass has come to us mainly from times when household trash was dumped into the nearest body of water. Since those times, sea glass supply has fallen into decline, so it’s up to us to fill that gap. Only once did I find a fragment that I recognized as one of my “plantings,” but I’m sure there must be many hereabouts, some perhaps in the bellies of fish that gobble anything lustrous.
Thanks to Vic
Thanks to Andrew Vietze for his well-written and thorough December article on Vic Firth and his drumstick empire. I had the honor and privilege to study timpani and percussion with Vic from 1966 to 1970 at the New England Conservatory. His company was in its infancy at the time, and it has been fascinating to see it grow to its current size. Thanks to Vic’s musical guidance, I have made a good living playing music and currently play percussion and timpani with The Royal Hawaiian Band in Honolulu, our nation’s only full-time municipal band. There are many other former Vic Firth students who have gone on to successful careers as timpanists and percussionists.
I own a house in Stockton Springs, Maine, and shall retire there in two years. During last summer’s visit to inspect my house, I got in touch with Vic and asked if I could tour his plant in Newport. He generously allowed me to follow him around the factory during his morning rounds. To say I was impressed by his operation is putting it mildly. I was equally impressed by the fact that Vic has always remained a most gracious gentleman. After nearly four decades, I found him to still be quick with a joke or a wonderful story from his remarkable music career. His smile is as engaging as ever.
The photo of Erin Herbig on page W16 of My Maine Wedding in the January issue failed to credit Jason Mann as the photographer.