Letters to the Editor
Where in Maine?
I live in Colorado but was born and raised in Falmouth Foreside. Your March mystery photograph was taken from the town landing there, and for seventeen years I lived about two hundred yards behind the second house from the right. I could tell you who lived in each of the houses pictured. I worked in the general store that you mention — the Town Landing Market. I go back to Maine every summer for about a month, and I still think this is one of the most beautiful spots in the state. When I saw your photograph, it gave me shivers and my eyes began to well up. That's one wicked nice place!
-Brian A. Rich
Having worked for Lucas Tree Experts in Portland for twenty-five years now, I would recognize the two towering red oaks on the right side of your March "Where in Maine?" photograph anywhere. Our crews have maintained those trees for a number of years now, and the largest is more than a hundred and fifty years old. Imagine being one of our arborists at the top of that tree approximately 120 feet above the water and looking out over Casco Bay. There are more boats than there used to be, but it is still a nice place to eat the lunch I buy at the Town Landing Market. I am fortunate to have the job I have where I see wonderful trees and homes like these every day from Falmouth up the coast to Boothbay. It's a really big office with a really nice view.
Bravo and heartiest thanks to Down East for "The Care and Feeding of an Old Maine House" article in your March issue, and specifically for recommending that people not replace their original windows. The windows are the "eyes" of a home, and for those of us who love historic houses, vinyl replacements are a defacement. Whether they come with or without the obviously phony muntins (the dividing bars), they spoil the character of what might otherwise be a handsome property. Tragically, some Realtors advise sellers to "upgrade" the windows to make a house more marketable. It can be costly speculation, because people intentionally seeking an old house are turned off immediately and reversing the change is impractical. If I had the money to spare I would send a copy of your article to every Realtor in New England.
Hands Off Tina
I was much dismayed when I came to the question in your February "Timber!" quiz in which you ask on which TV reality show did "Timber" Tina Scheer, owner of the Great Maine Lumberjack Show, appear. "Timber" Tina and the Great Maine Lumberjack Show are in Trenton, not Ellsworth. We don't mind sharing Tina with the world, but we want to make sure the world knows the Great Maine Lumberjack Show is in Trenton. Our big brother to the north always overshadows us, and we won't stand for you giving them Tina!
Acting president, Trenton Chamber of Commerce
A Radical Approach
Squirrels are meant to be in the woods. As we eliminate their territory and well-meaning people feed them because they are cute, they reproduce at an alarming rate and take over the neighborhood. Unfortunately your editor's only options regarding his nemesis, Kim Jong Squirrel ["Editor's Note," March 2007], are to live with him and all of his relatives forever or buy a pellet rifle and eliminate him. I tried all of the "humane" things with a squirrel, such as trapping and releasing him miles away, but found that these actions only caused him to return with more of his family. The final straw was when I found a large male trying to eat through the siding and facia of my house while hanging upside down. Remember, you are dealing with tree rats. They taught rabbits how to reproduce. I live in an older section of a nice development. My neighborhood has large, old trees. All the houses have decent-size lots and all back up to a large common ground. I watch them run from one house to the next, and everyone has at least one nest in their yard. Shooting them was my last resort, and the most humane way to eliminate them.I no longer have a squirrel problem.
St. Louis, Missouri
I enjoyed Richard Grant's story in your March issue on houseplants, since my office is filled with them. In the fall, I bring in some geraniums from the cemetery and nurture them over the winter. My dear departed mother lamented during her long hours working in the family grocery store, Pagurko's Red & White in Pejepscot, that she couldn't grow anything. After retirement she developed the proverbial green thumb, filling her home inside and out with flowers and plants. Her many African violets were profuse with blossoms. My mother passed away in 1990, and I still have her Christmas cactus blooming even today. It now measures over four-and-a-half feet across. I wonder, did I inherit her green thumb or is she watching over it?
-Dorothy B. Fitzgerald
Lisbon Falls, Maine
The purchase fee of a unit at Atlantic Heights Retirement Community in Saco is $260,000. The amount was misstated in a listing in our February 2007 Retiring in Maine supplement.