Letters to the editor
At a time when Maine’s political future seems so deeply in flux, it was a pleasure to read Edgar Allen Beem’s excellent profile of Severin Beliveau in your March issue. Many things change. Severin’s influence remains a constant, and while Severin is a preeminent lawyer and lobbyist, it may also be important to recognize that over many years of public engagement Severin has also become one of Maine’s preeminent leaders. There may be no better advocate for his clients, but Severin leads by finding common ground among adversaries. In practice rather than as a campaign slogan, by understanding and embracing Maine’s diversity and complexities, Severin has been the best advocate Maine has for one Maine. His work for Franco-Americans in Maine is a case in point; it is defining of his legacy. Over the last generation there has been a seismic change in Maine’s understanding of its French reality (between 25 and 35 percent of Maine’s population, our largest single demographic group). That reality is no longer on the margins. It now has a central role in shaping Maine’s economic, cultural, and political future, and in this effort, as in so many others, Severin has been the leader.
Senior Faculty Associate
The Franco-American Centre at the University of Maine, Orono
Maine at work
In your March issue you interviewed members of Maine’s “top industries.” I was surprised that lobstering was not considered one of them. There’s an important story there your readers would have loved. Because prices are way down while bait and fuel prices are up, the industry is seeing the need to capture the value added between rock-bottom boat prices and much higher retail prices.
Chebeague Island, Maine
Editor’s Note: Contrary to popular belief, lobstering is not one of the top industries in Maine, at least not in terms of the number of jobs, which is how we crafted our list. There are approximately 4,600 licensed lobstermen, as Editor in Chief Paul Doiron noted in his column on this very subject.
From Our Archives
In your “From Our Archives March 1962” I noticed that Howard A. Marple wrote about Albert Genthner. Albert was my grandfather, and I was there the day this picture was taken. It started at “Gramp’s” house in South Waldoboro. We loaded his smelt house onto his pickup truck, took it to Waldoboro, and put it on the ice. I have pictures of us loading it on. We had a lot of fun with Gramp until he passed away four years after this article was written.
A Better Brew
In the January issue you had an article that featured many of the wonderful coffee roasters that call Maine their home. There is an entire segment of roasters that was overlooked, the home roasters.
As the head of Maine Home Roasters, I try very hard to introduce people to home roasting and the satisfaction and pleasure that roasting your own coffee brings. Once you’ve tasted fresh roasted coffee you’ll be hard pressed to go back to the swill served at most convenience stores and fast-food restaurants, and it doesn’t get any fresher that roasting it yourself.
In “Maine at Work — The Woodsman,” we incorrectly identified the type of cancer that Jeremiah Crockett has. He is battling synovial sarcoma.
Where in Maine?
Aloha mai — I recognized this picture of the Shaker Village off the old Route 26 just outside of Gray. Sadly, the new Route 26 misses this historic area. While working for Pioneer Plastics in Auburn, I lived in Gray and visited the Shakers at every opportunity. Mahalo.
Wayne Hinano Brumaghim
“That’s the Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake,” I thought excitedly before I had even read the description. Growing up in Casco in the late 40s and 50s, we often rode through Shaker Village. Later, I kept the skiers and hikers in my family warm with socks, hats, and scarves knitted from Shaker wool. Over the years, most meals on my table have been seasoned with Shaker herbs. Now, during my annual summer vacations in Casco, I take my granddaughters to Shaker Village to see the sheep and catch a glimpse of a simpler life and time.
Sally Hancock Wallace
The “pastoral scene” is the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, in New Gloucester. I know because I live here. It was a delight to get my issue and flip to the pages showing the south end of the village. The Shakers themselves, loyal subscribers to Down East, were likewise delighted. Thank you. We appreciate the write-up that so encourages your readers to come for a visit. The barns that are shown are home to sheep, pigs and Highland Cattle (first time that Highlands have been raised by the Shakers). Some of your readers might like to know that the cat in the open front door of the stable is Sam, one of many residing at the village in a cooperative program with local animal shelters. Thank you again. See you this summer.
Leonard L. Brooks
Director, Shaker Museum and Library
New Gloucester, Maine