Why should only wealthy people have access to beaches that are not a state park? In Hawaii, all of our beaches
are public — Maine should follow our example.
Lana MacKnight, Kilauea, Hawaii
As we traveled to camp the other day, I read the “The War Game” story [July 2012 ] aloud in the car. What a wonderful tale of Maine and the camp’s heritage. It was great! Made us all remember how great summer as a child can be — full of dreams, passion, creativity, and desire.
OLD ORCHARD ENTERTAINER
My grandfather, Dave the “Guesser,” was featured in a recent Down East article by Will Bleakley [July 2012 ]. It was a very thoughtful, well done piece. In a sea of arcades, rides, and loud music, Dave the Guesser was a welcome personality who created human connections and endeared people to Palace Playland and summers spent in Old Orchard Beach. It saddened me that Palace Playland never did much to honor his fifty years of entertaining — they placed vending machines where his stand was the season after his passing. Will’s article gave my family much joy. Thank you.
GOOD GROWTH IN MAINE
In the June issue of Down East, Editor-in-Chief Paul Doiron wrote that Maine’s population, according to the 2010 census, had grown a “mere” 4.2 percent and implied that Maine needed more growth. Why is it that “growth” is always seen as progress? A higher population brings with it a larger demand for services, greater sprawl, and a further erosion of the natural beauty that partially define the state. Does Maine really need that? Do we want to become like New Hampshire and Massachusetts? The difference in development once you cross the Piscataqua River Bridge, while not necessarily evident from the highway, is striking. There is much less development on our side of the river, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
What Maine needs is better development, not more development. It needs revitalized downtowns, not more strip malls. It needs to recognize that sprawl brings with it problems (including, incidentally, a perfect environment for the spread of tick-borne diseases). It needs to recognize that the unique beauty that partially defines it is not limited to a few choice spots. It needs to recognize that what makes Maine what it is, is a way of life.
Does the economy in Maine need a jolt? Absolutely. But Maine needs investment in infrastructure to support innovations driven by the talented and smart people who already live here. In other words, it needs better economic conditions for its existing population, not the same economic conditions for a larger population.
Ian T. Durham
BEST OF MAINE
As I was looking through the latest issue, I noticed the Best of Maine section has the best place to see the sun set but nothing about seeing the sun rise. In my opinion, the best place is in Eastport, sitting anywhere along the coast is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. My father was born and raised there in the early 1920s and ’30s, and we went back every summer to vacation there. At age fifty-seven, I still go back and enjoy the tranquil setting of the town. By the way, the annual Pirate Festival is a great way to enjoy Eastport. This year it is September 7-9.
On page 110 of the June issue we incorrectly identified the Gardiner church as Christ Episcopal Church. While that church is located on the common, the church pictured is St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
We’re pretty partial to the month of September, but we decided to ask our Facebook fans what month is their favorite in Maine. Here’s what they said:
12% All of them!
Where in Maine?
The Harpswell Town House is shown from the windows of the Harpswell Historical Society. It is indeed one of the 2,500 or so buildings in the United States designated as a National Historic Landmark. When the time came to refurbish the building we could make almost no changes to it. We could only replace the most rotted clapboards. We found a source in northern Maine who would cut them as had been done almost two and a half centuries earlier. Harpswell has another, even rarer landmark, one of the country’s approximately two hundred Civil Engineering Landmarks: the Cribstone Bridge between Orr’s and Bailey Island.
Gordon L. Weil
The town so beautifully photographed in the July issue is, of course, Harpswell. In this very spot there is an annual Memorial Day Parade that we never miss! It has an old-fashioned taste to it — complete with the reading of the Gettysburg Address and numerous other events so dear to those of us who remember the parades of years ago.
Nancy Keating and Michael McCab
Our Favorite Letter
This is Harpswell Center with the old cemetery on the left and the old meetinghouse, as seen through the front window of the historical society building, which used to be Bailey’s store. Route 123 is the road in the photo. My great uncle, the Reverend George King, was minister of the Kellogg Church across from the old meetinghouse back in the thirties and forties. My grandfather, father, uncle, and I — all congregational ministers — have preached at the Kellogg Church. I have been a summer resident in Harpswell for sixty-nine years. The memorial stone, just below the left lower window of the old meetinghouse (behind the bushes), has the names of Harpswell men who served during WW II, including my father’s cousin, James King, (Bowdoin alum), who served in the navy in the Pacific.
Reverend Stodon G.N. King
Each month Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” The winner receives a Down East wall calendar. See pages 10-11 for details.
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