Letters - Issue 104
Courtesy Ken WeinsteinA Dream Fulfilled Some readers may dream of seeing their beloved boat on your pages once. A few of us have the pleasure of seeing our boats in your magazine every issue. For many years I traveled up to the Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland and lusted after the downeast powerboats I saw there. Each year I would visit with David and Barbara Stainton of Cranberry Island Boatyard at their booth discussing construction details, power selection, the benefits of stern brackets versus sterndrive, and other nautical nano-minutia until it was time to get back in my Volkswagen and drive back to Marblehead. Finally, in 2006, a used Western Way 19 came on the market and closed bids were being taken on the white one that had been featured in the Cranberry Island Boatyard ads. A few days after the deadline, we received a call from Barbara that our bid had been accepted, and I made arrangements to buy a new trailer in New Hampshire on my way to Southwest Harbor to meet Dick Avery at the boat ramp. After securing my new boat to the trailer and exchanging a check for the title, I headed over to Great Cranberry Island to visit the boatyard and see where it was built. That afternoon was spent in the company of Dick and his wife, drinking a few beers and listening to stories of Caribbean deliveries and life in the Virgin Islands. Clarity (we named the boat after David Stainton’s first boat) has had her wood refinished, bottom paint color changed, and a canvas top added, but it still looks like it did in the photo in the advertisement, probably taken in 1998. Clarity and her builders are only a part of our loyal connections to Maine. Summer camping along the mid-coast and reading MBH&H are the others. Hopefully, some day we’ll add a cottage downeast and a Holland 32 to the list.
Known People, Unknown Projects The latest issue of MBH&H #103, February/March 2009, is outstanding, as per usual. Please pass my compliments along to Jennifer Wilson McIntosh on the “Boats of the Year” section. I always find it especially fun reading, because I inevitably find myself reading about projects I did not know about, being built by people I know.
Conway, New Hampshire
Comment on a Comment Thanks to Mr. Spectre for his erudite response to my comment in the Letters section of MBH&H #103, February/March 2009, on the title of the excellent column, “From Whence We Came.” It’s good to know whence you’re coming from.
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
The Magic of Friendship Thank you for capturing the essence of Friendship in your story, “A Welcome Unwelcoming Town” (A Postcard in Time, MBH&H #102). It was my Dad’s ramp sign that you used to make your point. As a kid, going to Friendship to see my cousins was magical. The ride home after one of our Christmas Eve gatherings was where I first realized that the moon was following me. I knew I had “come from a far place and I was here to do great things.” All of this sustained me when I found myself living alone in Manhattan, sitting in Dublin waiting for my then husband to come home, and in Trinidad where I made a life for many years. Visiting my parents in Maine kept me out of therapy. My parents embody the timeless Friendship spirit. My mom was born there 70 years ago, and after years on Cranberry Island, they now live in Friendship, where my dad still operates a small barge and is indispensable to those lucky enough to have found him. We really appreciated your words and sentiments about this place we love. We always say Friendship ain’t very friendly. And we’re proud.
Appreciation An especially nice Letter From the Publisher this last issue—it’s good to be grateful. I really enjoyed Martha White’s article too. E.B. [White] was a fave!
Southport Island, Maine
Squirrels, Red & Black Rob White might want to visit the BBC’s website [www.bbc.co.uk] to learn more about squirrel invasions. Apparently black American squirrels that have escaped from British zoos are decimating gray squirrels in England. My son-in-law tells me that squirrel paella is delicious.
The Art of the Nail I eagerly picked up your February/March 2009 edition, MBH&H #103, and admired the knockabout sailing hard over on the cover. Then I went on to read about all the new boats and boatyard news. I also enjoyed reading about John Masefield’s works, but then, Yikes! Welded nails and brads [the work of the artist John Bisbee]? Come on! If you must talk welding, how about a piece on welded steel or aluminum sailboats mebbe? Keep up the otherwise good work.
More Poetry Please I just finished reading the Spectacle Island piece by Joe Upton (MBH&H #102, Winter 2009). I’ve been a subscriber for years and this is the closest thing to real poetry I’ve ever read in the magazine. I hope you have plans to include additional writing by Mr. Upton.
What’s New Online? We have posted the Boats of the Year 2008 section from last issue, in its entirety, as a digital magazine section with pages that turn and text that can be enlarged. New, web-exclusive stories by some of our regular contributors (Eva Murray, Janet Mendelsohn) are there, and the Awanadjo Almanack is now online too. And of course you can renew or give a gift subscription or six (hint, hint), buy MBH&H merchandise, and see what’s doing with coastal Maine weather and tides.