Letters to the editor
The Way Life Should Be
In Virginia M. Wright’s North by East item in the May issue, she points out that Michael Townsend, the creator of the famous expression “Maine, The Way Life Should Be,” did not get the credit he deserved for his clever slogan. It was sad that he never obtained a copyright for his imaginative use of words, which conjure up a wholesome image in people’s minds. How ironic also, that he lost his job the year after he coined the well-known phrase. How disappointing! And yet he was able to reinvent himself and continue to work in the advertising field. He has proven that he is a true Mainer!
Corey L. Stolley
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
This slogan is great and always a welcome sight when I enter Maine; however, on my last trip, “Open for Business” had been added. In my opinion, this addition is of questionable value and should be removed. Just two cents from an Okie!
There was an incorrect listing for our art gallery in the May issue, and I’m hoping you can run a correct version. This year’s exhibit, Tell Me a Story: About Maine, July 26-Nov. 23, features original work by Maine artists who have illustrated children’s books about Maine. The books cover Maine topics from coastal subjects — the sea and boats — to more inland themes, including one about potato farms in Aroostook County, A Penny For a Hundred.
Robyn B. Holman
Curator at the Atrium Art Gallery
University of Southern Maine
In the May issue, “Blueberry Rakers” reminded me of my blueberry-picking adventure. In the 1950s, my late brother, Ronnie, and I lived in Westbrook near Halidon Road with our father and stepmother. Now and then she would send us with a pail and small lunch down the road to a blueberry patch. We were instructed to pick berries all day and then return home — which we did. I remember the big, black, sweet blueberries we ate! Sadly, today’s big berries lack the same flavor, at least to me.
Carolyn Robichaud Beske
Albuquerque, New Mexico
In the summer of 1958, when I was a very young boy, I made my first trip across the Wiscasset bridge on my way to a summer stay in Winter Harbor. As we drove past the sad and lurking hulks of Hesper and Luther Little, which were shrouded in mist at the time, I was horrified. The listing and barren ships were, to me, a frightening but then-present reminder that nothing is permanent, and that everything seemingly rots, dissolves, and meets its inevitable end. I’ll never forget the impact they had on me, and I can’t imagine that I’m alone in such a reaction.
Indeed, years ago when we were invited to dinner at Wiscasset’s Le Garage and were seated on the deck overlooking the ships, I could barely eat. To this day I pass by on our annual visit north to the Midcoast and still feel the Hitchcock-like anxiety provoked by those ships decades ago. And they (and their wood) have been gone for over fourteen years.
I am glad that the Thayers were able to salvage and rebuild their home and their lives from those hulking ships. They are the kind of folks I would be happy to meet and invite for dinner. I just hope they wouldn’t want to reciprocate.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Where in Maine?
This is a photograph of a meticulously maintained landmark known by locals simply as “The Stone Barn.” It is located at the intersection of the Crooked Road and Norway Drive between the villages of Town Hill and Hulls Cove on Mount Desert Island. Having grown up about a mile from this farm, I have biked, walked, and driven by it many, many times. It is one of those scenes one never takes for granted. Perhaps there was a deer grazing in the field, a new window box to admire, or a freshly draped flag on the barn door. The quaint house, sprawling acres, and cobblestone barn were always perfectly cared for and worthy of at least a glance every time I passed by.
Leslie Tate Mark
My husband and I have spent our summer vacation on Mount Desert Island every year since our honeymoon twenty-four years ago. Passing by the barn gives us a feeling that we have arrived at our favorite place. Our children loved looking for the scarecrow in the yard that was always dressed accordingly based on the weather conditions. The photo makes us yearn for our next trip.
As I grew up in the Emery district of Bar Harbor, I was able to see this wonderful farm out the kitchen window of our farmhouse, which was just up the hill on Eagle Lake Road. I have fond memories of my grandfather and me smelt fishing in the salt marsh behind this stone barn. Despite its age, this farm looks the same as it did back in the 50s.
East Haddam, Connecticut