Letters to the Editor - Issue 117
Courtesy Walter GotshalkGerald Warner Brace’s Boat Lives On Bravo to Bill Mayher with his review and reminiscence about my grandfather’s book Between Wind and Water. It was required reading of course, in my family, and I am still amazed today at the insights grandpa [Gerald Warner Brace] had, and the reverence he held, for the Maine coastal way of life. I know that the book adorns the bookshelves of many East Penobscot Bay island owners, from the Cabots of Butter to the Porters of Great Spruce and the Wakelins of Pickering, to name a few.
Courtesy Walter GotshalkI am so glad Mayher mentioned the passage about our beloved tender. Her seams and planks were beyond practical repair in the late 1970s, so we took her lines and had builder Arno Day create another for my generation. After 30 years of constant use this “new” tender finally needed to be rebuilt, but the cost and practicality were beyond me, so I had her fiberglassed by the talented Travis Eaton of Little Deer Isle, and she is now preserved for future generations. I apologize to wooden boat purists but it was the only solution for our family. She still doesn’t “ship a cup,” and for the first time in memory she is dry inside. Grandpa taught us many things, but the appreciation of the Maine coastal way of life, and the resilience and talents of the natives, is a lesson that still has great meaning for me today.
Deer Isle, Maine
and Lewistown, PennsylvaniaFales General Store is No More After 182 years in business, Fales General Store—the only store in the town of Cushing—has closed forever after the death of sixth-generation owner John R. Fales. The local provisioner of Andrew Wyeth and his family, as well as Christina Olson and the Olson family, it was a true general store that was immune to the spread of touristic quaintness that has infected “general stores” in such towns as Round Pond, Port Clyde, and others of coastal Maine. Genuine, useful, family owned, a local institution, Fales will be missed.
Cushing, MaineA Message for Rob McCall Thank you, Mr. McCall, for your perspective on opposing views in the “Awanadjo Almanack.” I so enjoy reading your column. Usually we see the big things but miss the little ones. Life is there if we only look. You, sir, are the best looker. Please keep passing out the seedpods. The only time I get to read Ralph Waldo Emerson, Francis Bacon, and the many others is when I read you. We stay out on Deer Isle often and go through Blue Hill, but, alas, I don’t stop. Drive by your church, too.
Yr. mst. hmble & obd’nt reader,
Michael D. Szekely
Wapakoneta, OHRob McCall’s Reply Dear Michael: Comments like yours make writing the “Awanadjo Almanack” worthwhile. Seems as if you do go out and see for yourself. I hope you will stop by sometime or give a call. Maybe we can chat.
Yrs, Rob McCall
Blue Hill, MaineLooked for Haddock, Found a Magazine I was in the Eggemoggin Country Store this morning looking for haddock when I saw your magazine on the shelf. I recognized it as the home of the column I’d read on line, “Gunkholing with Gizmo.” So I bought it. I enjoyed it so much I just subscribed. (Unfortunately, they were out of haddock.)
Deer Isle, MaineLouie, R.I.P Boatyard Dog® Llewellyn “Louie” Sullivan of MBH&H’s Autumn 2004 issue has crossed the bar to the Great Boatyard. His passing was peaceful after a period of declining health. Louie had a good run of 17 years that always included his annual summer cruise, this past summer to Martha’s Vineyard and Cuttyhunk. He was a fixture at the Antique & Classic Boat Festival; his friends there will miss him.
Tom & Leslie Sullivan
Braintree, MassachusettsThe Color of Glass I thoroughly enjoyed Peter Spectre’s reflections on beach glass in his recent “Postcard in Time,” (MBH&H #116). There’s a sizeable bowl on the bookshelf of our Swan’s Island cottage that is filled to the lip with wave-worn bits of glass and crockery from the shore of our cove. We appreciate these reminders that generations of islanders have been along here before us. This summer, as I was finishing the downstairs bedroom, I lingered long over the choice of paint for the walls above some white wainscoting. I wanted some sort of “sea green.” The paint manufacturer I favor offers a bewildering range of shades that might be so described. I settled at last on a pleasingly ambiguous color—was it green? was it blue? was it grey? Whatever it was, it looked restful. The clincher, however, was the name: “Beach Glass.”
Chapel Hill, North Carolina,
and Swan’s Island, MaineThe Decline of the Herring Fishery I found the article on the sardine carrier Jacob Pike that is posted on your web site (click here to view the article) extremely interesting, as my uncle by marriage, Herbert Curtis, and his two brothers, had a working fish weir at the mouth of the Wessaweskeag River during the heyday of herring fishing. As a teenager I worked the weir with them, and there were days (and nights) that we had the carriers Edward M., Jacob Pike, and Neptune’s Bride tied up side by side, and we loaded all of them. Then there came a time in the 1970s when the herring no longer swam up the Wessaweskeag. My uncle and his brothers went out of the herring business but continued to fish for lobster. Other herring fishermen changed their tactics. They turned to aircraft that would search the sea for schools of herring, which were caught by purse seiners. To chase the herring that were even farther out they used aircraft with extended flight fuel tanks. Now the herring industry is nearly gone. Just another downer in our changing world.
Born in Rockland, Maine
Living in Richmond, MaineHelp for a Fellow Reader? I was just visiting with my Aunt Myrna Pierce, who lives in Brunswick, Maine, and will turn 95 on her next birthday. Her grandfather was Captain Byron Campbell, and her father was his son Byron. She lived on Seguinland Road in Georgetown, Maine, when she was a child, next door to Walter Reid, the man who donated land that is now Reid State Park. Her father was a lobster fisherman, and she said he owned a powerboat with a cabin that had a heating stove for when the weather was cold and bunks for sleeping. They made trips by water to Boothbay and Portland to visit relatives in the boat, which she called a Hanson (or Hansen) boat. The time period would have been approximately 1927. Could any of your readers help me find out what a Hanson boat looked like?
Sharon Oliver Knape
Born in Boothbay Harbor,
Living in Omaha, Nebraska