Down East 2013 ©
Where in Maine?
I recognized your December photograph quickly (okay, actually my wife did, and called my attention to it) as being Bass Harbor. The wharf on the left was owned by Maurice Rich when I was growing up. My brothers, my older sister, my father, and I all sold our lobsters to Rich. The small red building at the end of the wharf is on a float where lobsters were purchased from the loberstermen. Across the harbor is Bernard, where I grew up. This was a great place to grow up and remains a wonderful place to visit.
—Brian Trask, Rockland, Maine
I always anticipate the latest edition of “Where in Maine?” and have occasionally been able to identify the location (one such recognizable shot featured my grandparents’ house in the very center). Picking up your December issue, I checked out the feature and found myself looking down Mo’s Wharf in Bass Harbor! Here is the funny thing — when my family needs to travel to or from Frenchboro on non-ferry-service days, we’ve been known to cautiously navigate the maze path through those very traps. As slick as that adventure can be, it is often preferable to the less slippery, but significantly stinkier, trek through the bait shed. Rachel Field wrote: “If once you have lived on an island, you’ll never be quite the same.” But what she really meant was, “Once you’ve had to travel to and from an offshore island in the middle of winter, you’ll never look at a simple car ride quite the same.”
—Rachel Bishop Frenchboro, Maine
The Mainer Who Found Bambi
I just read your December article about artist Jake Day. Mr. Day happened to be a childhood friend of my grandfather. I remember visiting him in his studio when I was very young, and if I remember correctly he was an accomplished wood carver as well. Because of his friendship with my grandfather, my family is proud to own a number of his original paintings and works. Both my sister and I have originals that were painted specifically for us. Thanks for a terrific article. It was nice to see Mr. Day’s work appropriately recognized.
—Tod Bryant Canton, Massachusetts
I was surprised that your December article about Maurice “Jake” Day did not mention the work done by Chris Roberts, the publisher of the Lincoln County News. Chris and his family are responsible for the return of the dioramas to the Day homestead each season. It was Chris who rewired each of the works so that the lights and mechanical components are functional. It is Chris who transports the large, cumbersome works from his shop, where they are lovingly stored for free, and it is Chris who devotes many, many hours each year setting up and taking down the display. Chris is the driving force behind the Jake Day Preservation Society. It is through his single-minded attention to the works of his childhood neighbor that the dioramas survive.
—Karen S. McCarrick Garwood, New Jersey
I enjoyed the “North by East” article in your December issue about Mainers backing into parking spaces. I grew up in southern Maine, off a thousand-foot driveway on a back road, ten miles from town. We backed in for quick car removal in case of fire. It mattered not if the fire was at our house or another, as we were all part of the volunteer fire department. Also, it was so much easier for a jump-start when the battery was low.
—Linda Dougherty Orono, Maine
Aftermath of a Vote
My husband, Dan, and I spend our hard-earned American dollars vacationing in Maine. Over the years we have subscribed to local Maine newspapers and magazines. From them we buy Maine products. How disappointed we were in the November vote against same-sex marriage. We know the vote was close. Perhaps some people did not vote; some were ambivalent; some have strongly held positions. At the end of Election Day, prejudice prevailed. It seems that the song from the musical about war in the South Pacific is accurate in this case. You really do “have to be carefully taught.”
—Rabbi Eric Weiss San Francisco, California
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