Letters to the editor
50 Reasons We Love Portland
I was excited to see photos of the basketball players in Kennedy Park in the article about how East Bayside is starting to thrive in November’s “50 Reasons We Love Portland.” But when I read the article, I was really disappointed that there was no explanation about the guys playing basketball. They are a South Sudanese team called SUD Green City and they played in Kennedy Park every day this summer. They belong to two men’s leagues in Portland (YMCA and Casco Bay League). They are a group of young refugee men (and a few women) with an inspiring story, and I wish there had been more of a caption or even a snapshot of a story to go along with their photo. They are a positive influence on the Kennedy Park court (and off the court, too) for the young refugees who spend many long summer days in that neighborhood.
So glad to see East Bayside get some recognition at last! We’ve been down there at our yoga studio, Portland Power Yoga, since 2006. First we were at the end of Marginal Way, and since 2011 we’ve been in our new locale at 84 Cove Street. It’s been amazing to see East Bayside go from a half-industrial area into a living, breathing community with a bunch of great businesses. We even like to think of Marginal Way as “Wellness Way,” what with our presence and that of two gyms (World and Planet Fitness), Play It Again Sports, CrossFit Beacon, Whole Foods a block away, Apothecary by Design, and Pure Movement at the other end. It’s definitely come a long way from where it was as the author stated. I have a picture of my grandmother, Laura Reiche, feeding ducks along the edge of the water right where B.H. Milliken Electrical sits. It will be interesting to see where the neighborhood is at in five or ten years — hopefully above water!
Sneaking into paradise
I had to laugh when I read your article on “A Peaks Paradise” about the Williamses’ cottage. It brings back a rather strange occurrence. I remember the last time I was in that cottage as a towheaded boy of about nine years old when the cottage was a few yards up on Oaklawn Road. There was a small vegetable garden just south of the cottage, and Captain Rose, who lived a few rods down Oaklawn Road, used to tend that garden for fresh veggies in 1969 or 1970. The cottage was derelict with broken windows and a rotting porch and sill. My cousin, Covey Johnson, my brother, Paul, and I decided to check it out one summer day. Of course, I was in bare feet — as most of us were in those summer days — and I remember climbing up the stairs to the second floor. The broken glass was all over the stairs, so I had to step carefully. Covey, or my brother, made a racket breaking a chair or something, and as I looked out the window, Captain Rose, who was tending the garden, looked up and spotted us rascals through one of the broken windows. I panicked and ran down the stairs. A large chunk of broken glass was lodged in the cracks of one of the stair treads. My barefoot hit the jagged chunk and sunk into my foot. I do remember pulling the glass out as I ran out the door and down onto Callan’s Beach. My sister, Dorothy, was just returning from the Trefethen-Evergreen Improvement Association clubhouse as I hobbled and bled and cried toward my grandfather’s cottage on Oaklawn. She allowed me to have a piggyback ride provided I did not bleed on her clothes. My mother patched me up and my father carved me a sort of Tiny Tim crutch, which I used the rest of my stay. I just wish to apologize for bleeding on the Williamses’ stairs so many years ago!
Lawrence B. Trueman
The boat in the lower right honors firefighter Joseph C. Cavallaro, Jr, who died while fighting a fire at the Phoenix Nightclub in 1980.
Battalion Chief Richard McFadden, Jr., Auburn Fire Department, Maine
Enjoyed your “50 Reasons to Love Portland,” but you forgot to mention:
“The Downeaster: how great to be able to travel and leave the car keys behind.”
“The Sea Dogs!”
“Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.”
“The Great Lost Bear! I would live in Portland if it were possible. Love it.”
Where in Maine?
I was so excited to see the Katahdin Iron Works featured in this month’s “Where in Maine?” I grew up just down the road in the “prairie.” The camping area and Gulf Hagas are beautiful. But my favorite memories were when my family would drive to this giant kiln in the evenings, searching out moose along the road. We would walk around the kiln in awe of its size. It was a great time spent together as a family growing up, talking, learning to drive on the dirt roads, getting out to watch the wildlife.
Dover Foxcroft, Maine
I am doing this from a memory of long ago, but I knew (and delivered papers to) a woman named Mrs. Waterman who spent her final years in Orono and told me she lived in what I remember she called the Silver Lake Hotel at the iron works in her younger days. As a teenager in the fifties, I went several times to the Katahdin Iron Works and woke the caretakers before dawn to let me through the gates to fish for trout in some wonderful, very infrequently traveled trout brooks and small beaver flowages. To this day, I have a piece of slag that came from that old blast furnace in one of my flowerpots. The one memory that is strongest is that the mosquitos would almost carry you away. I enjoy your magazine as it connects me with a part of the country that is very special.
West Richland, Washington
Our Favorite Letter
The “Where in Maine?” for November is a very special place for me: It is Katahdin Iron Works. My grandfather, Oliver Hathorne, drove the “stage” for many years between Katahdin Iron Works and Brownville Junction. (The stage was actually a horse and buggy.) He had a regularly scheduled route to meet the trains at Brownville Junction to transport workers and residents. I visited here several years ago and absorbed some of the atmosphere that still remains of those long-ago days when this was a vibrant community.
Martitia Walker Lennon
Hooksett, New Hampshire
Each month Down East editors select our favorite response to “Where in Maine?” The winner receives a Down East wall calendar. See pages 8-9 for details.
Where in Maine? Photographed by Greg A. Hartford