Best of Maine
E.B. White is the greatest "Maine" writer of all time.
I have to say I envied Jason and Ginny their adventures along Route 1.
- By: Paul Doiron
Where were you when four hijacked jetliners burst into flames on a beautiful September morning? I remember exactly where I was ten years ago on 9/11: I was in the Down East offices, watching and listening with my horrified colleagues as the worst terrorist attack on American soil unfolded.
The Editor in Chief reflects on his own brother's green thumb and that of the state at large.
December doesn’t officially begin in our house until we’ve cut down the family Christmas tree. I grew up on Cousins Island in Yarmouth, and my brother and I would drag our parents out year after year to what was then Knight’s Tree Farm in North Yarmouth. We insisted on cutting our own — there was no corner market stand for us. The selection process could take five minutes or, more likely, two hours. We would meander through the rows, sometimes braving feet of snow, and always adamantly debating the merits of one tree versus another. Not the right shade of green. Doesn’t smell strong enough. Too short. Too skinny. Not enough character. Finally “the one” would speak to us, and we’d strap it to the roof of the car and head home.
Most people are lucky in life to find their dream job. I have been fortunate to find two. I dreamt about becoming editor of Down East since I was in college. When I was a bellman at the Black Point Inn in Scarborough, I used to sneak the most recent issue out of the gift shop to read between calls. The first essay I ever published — an account of being struck by lightning — was in this magazine.
Autumn has always been my favorite season in Maine. No doubt this preference puts me in the minority. As a group, we are vastly outnumbered by summer’s sun-worshippers. I’m willing to bet, however, that we are a larger cohort than winter’s warm-blooded champions, or the fifty mud lovers who believe spring is our most glorious season. But any state that calls itself “Vacationland” obviously places a premium on its too-short summer.
That picture on the cover? It’s Route 24. The road hopscotches from Brunswick through Harpswell, vaults onto Orrs Island, and then leaps the length of the Cribstone Bridge before coming to an abrupt halt at Land’s End on Bailey Island. The drive is one I always recommend for visitors interested in seeing the unique peninsular geography of Maine’s midcoast.
Earlier this summer, my wife and I took a drive down the length of the crooked Phippsburg peninsula to Popham Beach. It was a cloudy afternoon, with thunderstorms gathering on the western horizon, but we wanted to see the piping plovers and the least terns that nest in the dune grass on the south side of the beach. We arrived at the lowest of low tides; the so-called super moon had sucked the sea back to the edge of the islands, and I felt like I was looking out at a glistening, newborn landscape.