Your November mystery photograph was taken in Prospect Harbor at the Stinson Seafood cannery. The roof in the foreground belongs to my mother, Elaine Bean. She bought this pink house in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The people that had it for sale sold it to her for little or nothing if she promised never to sell it to Stinson's. Four other houses that were there are now a parking lot. The factory made a deal to give them money and they would deed the houses to the factory but could continue to live there until they died. We have moved all over the world but come to Prospect Harbor every summer for a week. There is no running water and the floors follow the lay of the land, but we enjoy our little pink house on the rock in the middle of a parking lot. Unfortunately, the factory is quieter than it used to be. The activity at its peak and even the smells were not a bother when we got together.
Greer, South CarolinaRisky Business
Thank you for your November article on Maine's most dangerous jobs. Even if Maine isn't one of the more dangerous states, it does have a host of professions that scare the daylights out of me. But as a former Portland cop, I can tell you police officer isn't one of them. Even the rural officers who have to take dangerous calls alone (which isn't often) are well selected and well prepared for the task. The most dangerous police task is driving a cruiser — none of my daily routines compared to the hazards of truck drivers and ironworkers.
Portland, MaineHometown Heroes
My mother lives in Maine and told me about your November article about the troop greeters in Bangor. I just wanted to tell you how much those greeters mean to the soldiers. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army and while I never was honored enough to pass through that airport on my deployments, my husband has. Now deployed to Afghanistan, in 2003 his unit was deployed to Iraq and when it returned, they came through Bangor. Those greeters were so wonderful to him and to all of our friends and fellow soldiers. Someone out of the crowd of greeters began talking to him and handed him a cell phone. I can only hope that when he returns from Afghanistan next spring, he is lucky enough to come through Bangor again.
Gouverneur, New YorkFine Finnan Haddie
We read your November article on finnan haddie with great interest, as this particular dish brings back great memories. We have a camp Down East in Charlotte and have a great source for smoked haddock and smoked salmon. The company is Maine-ly Smoked Salmon in Perry, and is owned by a great young man named John Constant. He uses no dyes or chemicals and the finnan haddie is tender and flakey with great natural flavor. If you have an interest, his Web site is mainelysmokedsalmon.com
—Bob and Mary SullivanChina, Maine
I read with horror your recipe for finnan haddie. My uncle had one of the last smokehouses in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and I ate finnan haddie all my life. We had thick whole haddock, golden yellow, just covered with water and simmered a few minutes until you could flake it with a fork. In a double boiler you make a white sauce, add a jar of Cheez Whiz and a jar of pimientos, pour it over the fish in a soup tureen, then serve with baked potato or toast and a side of pickled beets. It's an elegant dish.
Atkinson, New HampshireCat Crisis
How terrific to have an article in Down East ("Hidden in Plain Sight," October 2006) devoted to the state of cats in Maine. Until a problem is brought to light people do not have the opportunity to help rectify it. Your article may pave the way for action. The plight of cat over-population is heartbreaking, with no end in sight. However, there are amazing things happening for cats in shelters in Maine, and soon around the country. A new adoption program called Meet Your Match is able to pinpoint behaviors in the shelter that are likely to carry over into a new home. For those considering adopting an animal from a shelter, this soon-to-be nationwide program is poised to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of cats and the families who adopt them. Thanks, Down East, for giving cats a chance to shine!
Director of Operations, Animal Refuge League