Today is sunny, breezy, and beautiful. I should . . . (fill in); ought to . . . high time I . . . but, no, instead I will write to the Down East editor and tell him how much I enjoyed E.B.White’s “shoulds, oughts, and high times” in the October issue.
My wife and I have been subscribing to Down East for many years and we read your recent “Editor’s Note” declaring your choice for greatest Maine writer of all time. While we don’t dispute your personal selection, we did note that the names of all the great Maine writers didn’t include Robert Peter Tristram Coffin. Thanks for your great work.
Joe and Joan McCole
West Bath, Maine
Wonderful article on oysters in the October issue. We Love our oyster knife from Jess’s in Rockland — best we’ve tried. Also we get North Havens from Jess’s — great, as well as Pemaquids. We especially like Glidden Point oysters and admire Barbara Scully’s grit. Even shipped some of them home to Pennsylvania for New Year’s Eve.
Islesboro and Emmaus Pennsylvania
Not all development of the Maine coastline is appropriate. There are those of us in the Surry area who value deeply the pristine nature and peace, that is what the Morgan Bay is all about. My wife and I walk the coastline at the Carter Nature Preserve that borders Morgan Bay. There can be no doubt that a shellfish farm with its nighttime work lights and generator noises will forever change the character of this small and vulnerable body of water. It will dominate an otherwise impeccable seascape that is home to eagles, osprey, and seals. It will set the stage for expansion, and something irreplaceable will be lost.
The article, “A Ride to Remember,” about horseback riding on Popham Beach in Down East’s October issue contained some magnificent photos. Unfortunately, it also contained some misleading information. Popham Beach State Park, distinct from Popham Beach, is open to equestrians off-season. The statement in the magazine’s article’s fourth paragraph, “. . . with three miles of smooth sand . . .” describes Popham Beach, but not Popham Beach State Park. Hunnewell Beach, developed with oceanfront cottages, is privately owned to the low-water mark and is not part of Popham Beach State Park. The sandy beach on the Kennebec River from Hunnewell Beach to Fort Popham State Historic Site, closed off-season, is also privately owned to the low-water mark. Without the landowner’s permission, pedestrian or equestrian use of the privately owned beach is a trespass and can lead to legal repercussions. Most beachfront owners are happy to give permission, but this should be solicited in advance. I suspect most beach walkers and riders would not willingly trespass on their neighbor’s property but do so only because there is a misunderstanding about ownership of the intertidal zone at Popham. Upon reading the inspiring Down East article, I hope many more riders will be inspired to visit the State Park at Popham. I just hope they will enjoy their rides on the State Park beach while respecting the private property of Popham homeowners.
Popham Beach, Maine
I enjoyed “A Ride to Remember,” very much! I started a riding group a few years ago and we do several beach rides at Popham every year.
Dani Kelley, President, Mainely Gaiters Trail Riders Club
In the October “Editor’s Note,” Paul Doiron called E.B. White the greatest Maine writer of all time. Who else would be up for that title? Facebook fans said:
1. Stephen King
2. Sarah Orne Jewett
3. Carolyn Chute
4. Robert McCloskey
5. Elisabeth Ogilvie
Where in Maine?
Photographed by Pat & Chuck Blackley
Hello, and happy fall! I know this scene all too well. The barge in October’s “Where in Maine?” is embarking from Northeast Harbor on its way to one of the Cranberry Isles. The Cap’n B is named after the Beal & Bunker mail boat and barge company that serves the islands. I grew up on Little Cranberry, and one of my first and favorite memories of riding the ferry into Northeast Harbor was counting the number of times the bell on the boat would ring on a choppy day. I go to college in Portland, Oregon, and always get pangs for Maine and for the island, especially during the fall. I will definitely post this month’s “Where In Maine?” on my fridge.
Little Cranberry Island, Maine
The October issue shows the Northeast Harbor Marine with the Beal & Bunker barge loading trucks to go to Cranberry Islands. Beal & Bunker operates three boats year-round: Sea Queen, Double B, and Cap’n B, ferrying people, mail, and freight, and transporting vehicles. The service has been going for more than sixty years
by the same family.
Lena May Wallace
Northeast Harbor, Maine
Your October issue features a picture of Northeast Harbor and specifically the Cap’n B and its barge. We think we can identify James Bunker winding the winch. My husband and I ride the barge to and from Great Cranberry Island each summer.
Susan and Chris White
Great Cranberry Island and Bucksport, Maine
Our Favorite Letter
We laughed when we saw this picture because my husband and I had just barged our pickup truck loaded with houseplants, all our summer pantry leftovers, and our clothes. This twice yearly “moving day” is made far easier by David’s drive-on barge.
Joanne and Paul Thormann
Islesford and Northeast Harbor, Maine
Each month Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” The winner receives a Down East wall calendar.
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