FREE summer 2013 â€˘ vol. 16, no. 2
Art on a Local Level
two points of view repurposing bridgton books turns 20 sweden bicentennial
Award Winning Artist
Diane Snow Regional Landscapes & Wildlife Art
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summer 2013 • vol. 16, no. 2
Think how boring life would be if we all had the same views and visions. We could, perhaps, use a little more likemindedness in the political realm, but when it comes to art, the more stylistic differences, the better. Jamie Hook and Andrew Harris are quite different in their plans and priorities as artistic directors, but they share a goal of getting people up off their couches and into their rural art centers, or as Jamie puts it, “excited by something they didn’t know they wanted.” Despite their differences, I think you’ll find their commitment to “Art on a Local Level” equally enthusiastic. Holly Berry and Wendy Newcomb are artists any art center would love to count among their exhibiting artists. The two women have been friends since childhood and, though they share a lifelong love of art, their styles are very different. Wendy’s landscape paintings are nearly photographic in their precision, except that she somehow paints her essence into each of them. Holly’s prints are graphic and quirky in an almost illustrative way. “Two Points of View” is as much about them as it is about their art. And the owners of My Sister’s Garage and Kargos, both located in Windham, have different takes on second-use shopping, but they share an uncanny “Art of Repurposing” for things that someone who doesn’t have a sense of design might not. Same destination; differing routes— it’s what makes the journey so interesting.
8 art on a local level
by laurie lamountain
12 two points of view
by leigh macmillen hayes
14 bridgton books turns 20
by perri black
17 the art of re-purposing
by laurie lamountain
cover art wendy newcomb
20 summer calendar 22 sweden celebrates
by leigh macmillen hayes
26 summer bookshelf
reviews from bridgton books
30 lessons from an old skiff
by randy randall
The Place to Shop for the Summer Ahead!
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I recently had the privilege of speaking with the directors of two nearby art centers. Jamie Hook is
A oRn a T
artistic director of the Denmark Arts Center and Andrew Harris is artistic and executive director of Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, Maine. Both men are deeply committed to getting people up off the couch and out of their houses to experience the excitement and vitality of theater, music, comedy and art presented in a community setting. Theirs is not an easy job. Despite the fact that the programming is restricted to summer, the work doesn’t stop when the season ends. Fund raising, grant writing, programming and marketing are year-round endeavors that are essential to the success of the season, but get no applause. My hope is that this
by lau rie lam oun tain
interview will allow them the opportunity to take a much deserved bow.
he Italianate Victorian Style building, today known as the Denmark Arts Center, was built in 1884 to serve as the Odd Fellows Hall. Following the death of the last member of the Lodge, Raymond Hale, the town purchased the fraternal hall and used it for town meetings until 1984, when the town offices opened in their current location. At the 1991 town meeting, it was decided that the Odd Fellows Hall should be sold rather than demolished. Henry Banks, a local building contractor, submitted the winning bid. With the help of others, he began to restore the building to an arts center. The Denmark Arts Center formed as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in 1994 and Henry signed the deed over. Jamie Hook, who spent his boyhood summers in Denmark, serves as artistic director. How long have you been AD of the DAC and what previous experience did you have to prepare you for the position? This will be the third year, but I’ve had my grubby little paws primed to seize this “diamond in the rough” for years. I’ve
watched it and known about it for longer than I’ve been here. I started and ran a film-based art center in Seattle that over time morphed into a multi-media cultural venue, which included theater, film, readings, and a gallery in front. I then went to Minneapolis for a year and met with a painful end of a great idea, running a film festival and some theaters that were film based. But my interests were too diverse and I tried to get them to do too many things, basically. I had an insistence on producing our own work—our own films—that the board did not share. My belief is that you have to have a center that makes art, instead of just showing it. Too many places become sterile temples for the clean product of art while being afraid of the dirty process of it. I think you need both. After Minneapolis, I moved to NYC and worked as a freelance producer, mostly of film, for five years. Which was great, but I was constantly aware of the value of space and the value of having a home, which made me much more enthusiastic about the idea of what some people might think of as a Podunk arts center in Maine.
out how to raise money: writing grants, selling ads, researching things to see how we can buy them as cheap (inexpensively) as they can be. That accounts for about 5070% of what I do. So far I’m up to about 50 grants that I’ve written for this year for this little tiny organization. The more pleasurable part is trying to imagine what this place could be and then think of small, achievable programs that could help get us there. I happen to think this place could be much bigger than it is and more vibrant and unbound by its location. So I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can make incremental steps toward achieving that dream. New things, new programs. There are a lot of things that we’ve done before and will continue to do, such as children’s programming and community programming—not particularly challenging because they’ve been done. To do something new that you’ve never done, is challenging.
Can you give us an abbreviated list of what your role as AD to a non-profit rural arts center entails? First of all and most importantly—and most dull—is that nothing happens without money. A huge chunk of my job is figuring
How do you split your time between the various AD duties, i.e. how much time is spent preparing grants proposals, planning programs, etc.? I wake up every day wishing that I had more time to pursue things other than trying to
raise money, but the fact is there isn’t a lot of time for that. If this were a very healthy, financially fit organization, there would be a stable of people pursuing the funds so that the AD could focus on programming and creativity. And it would be very fun if I had all the time in the world to do that, but I suspect that even the director of The Met in NY has to think about raising money more than he would like.
Greatest pleasure? The greatest pleasure is seeing people excited by something they didn’t know they wanted. A big part of that is that it has to happen in a community setting. I suppose there are artists or ADs who don’t really care about all the people in the room having some kind of reaction, but that’s not me. I feel it’s really important that everyone in the room have some kind of reaction. That’s the great power of art, and it should be shared; it should be for everyone. It always surprises me that classical composers were commissioned to compose just for the court, when their stuff is so universal. I guess what’s not surprising to me is Mozart, who wrote for these exclusive audiences, yet appeals to so many millions of people today. Art is universal, even if some people see it as, I don’t know, hoity-toity, an indulgence, or a bourgeois pastime. And it goes both ways, too: It’s not surprising that Frank Capra appeals to a lot of people, but it is surprising that he’s so artistic. Your movie, Vacationland, made quite a splash in the Maine film festivals. The name of the big festival is the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville. We were thrilled to be selected as the opening night film for that festival! What an honor for a little film made all in Denmark. It was all filmed in Denmark and it was made a little bit out of frustration, because I thought I was going to be making these highly sophisticated movies in NYC with hundreds of people. When that became impossible—everyone lost all their money, basically— I figured out what I could do to make a movie in Maine. And that is how it came to be. Also, there was a certain selfconsciousness of it being a valentine to the place where I grew up. I figure if you get a chance to make a valentine, you have to do it.
So maybe you need that hunger to sharpen your senses around the creative aspects of AD work? Yeah, it would probably get dull. Even if you love sashimi, if you have it every night, you’d get bored with it.
Sarah Françoise (Jamie’s wife) wrote the script. Yeah, the big bones of the thing were all her idea. So your Valentine wrote your valentine? Yeah, and it was fun to do it together. It was a family affair. The thing that was great about making this film was to prove that you could make
I like the idea of a party in Denmark where nobody cares who you voted for or what your politics are because we’re all just going to have fun...
it here, and in so proving to provide some evidence of something I constantly need to remind myself of, which is that with whatever you want to do, the thing that most always stands in the way is not the world, but you yourself. This movie was a conscious decision to do it in a specific place and in a specific way. My fondest hope would be that some kid will see this movie and get the idea to create one of his own. You can reach a lot of people in this little venue. You can. If you’re in a community where you can’t reach a lot of people, it’s sad. What really matters is that it be a place where there’s a virtuous feedback cycle. The stuff you see on the stage or see on
the walls doesn’t just soothe you and make you want to go to sleep, it excites you. To me that’s the highest definition of art. It’s gotta be the case that you’re affected by the level of enthusiasm, passion and dedication in the offerings. What does it mean to be rural and the struggle of a small place? I’m a huge believer that, again, if the thing that’s limiting you is yourself, then the same is true of place. You can do anything you want anywhere, you just have to decide to do it. Filmmakers in Maine; farmers in New York. You know, there are people in New York City growing organic vegetables on their rooftops! There are people who say, “You can’t do that,” but the truth is, you can. But there is one thing that is difficult, and that is getting people out. Getting them out of their houses, getting them to feel comfortable. It’s not hard in NYC because everybody’s doing it. But it seems harder here. That is what led to the Dam Jam. The Dam Jam was a means to getting everybody out and to have fun. We thought, who could resist a great show in this great park? Especially if we have beer! That’s why it was important to have beer. Beer is community. (The first annual Dam Jam was held on July 21st at the Denmark Bicentennial Park overlooking Moose Pond. Six bands played original music from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., while magician JB Benn drifted through the audience performing mind blowing tricks. The Kids’ Tent and playground were very busy places, and Bray’s Brew Pub kept the adults happy with pulled pork sandwiches and craft beer. This year’s event will run from 4:00 p.m. to midnight and will feature several live bands, lakelivingmaine.com
more food offerings and, of course, beer.) But it’s actually more profound than that. At the risk of sounding saccharine, with the Internet and cable TV and all these things with a screen, there’s this whole profusion of channels or attitudes or wavelengths that are designed to flatter your own pre-existing opinions. If you’re liberal, you watch MSNBC and read the “Daily Kos,” if you’re conservative, you watch FOX and you read the “Drudge Report.” And these channels serve to reinforce these useless biases that we all have, and take us out of the public space. I like the idea of a party in Denmark where nobody cares who you voted for or what your politics are because we’re all just going to have fun—instead of being focused on this small screen and thinking you’re connected to the world, when in fact you’re disconnected, and getting more so. I feel like we’ve forgotten that there was a time when we knew we were different but surrendered our differences in deference to community. When the notion of self was still smaller than something else. We need the idea of a bigger community where it’s okay to sublimate your opinions to a greater good. The only other thing that’s important to me that I feel like I haven’t said is that I feel like this place is home, that it’s inspiring. I think that when I die, I won’t be thinking “I didn’t spend enough time in Brooklyn,” but there’s a good chance I’ll be thinking “I didn’t spend enough time in Maine.”
eertrees Theatre & Cultural Center has experienced its share of challenges since its founder, Enrica Clay Dillon, christened it with a bottle of champagne and raised the curtain on Walter Hampden’s performance of Cyrano de Bergerac in 1936. A dedicated group of volunteers and preservationists saved the 300-seat theatre from demolition in the ‘80s, but the most recent threat to Deertrees has been of a financial nature. In an effort to bring the theatre back to a state of fiscal stability through creative programming and sound management, Andrew Harris was brought on as artistic and executive director
at the end of 2011. Born and raised in England, Andrew trained in London, and has worked extensively as an actor, director, and theater educator for a number of arts organizations and theatres on both sides of the Pond. It’s pretty common knowledge that Deertrees Theatre lost its way in the woods these past few years. How do you see things and how do you plan to lead Deertrees out of the woods? Nobody wins by ignoring things, and I feel that’s what had happened with Deertrees. We wanted to keep going, so we kept up appearances with the programming. You can’t keep doing that without it catching up with you. I intentionally had a thin program last year to allow the Board and myself to take stock of where we were. The important thing was to stay open. We’re a seasonal venue and only have a small window of opportunity to let people know we’re here—before they forget about us. So, we kept the lights on, and we let people know what our situation was and appealed to audiences that knew and cared about us, and they came through with their support. It isn’t all going to turn around in one year. People call me and ask, “Where’s the children’s programming?” With my educational background, I want more than anything to continue with the educational aspect of things . . . and it will come back, but it won’t be right away. I see my responsibility to the theatre, but I also see myself as caretaker to the building. I’ve put in a bucket list to the Board of Directors of what needs to be done for the building. It’s a huge list, but it needs to be done. Additionally, the organization took on a mortgage when it purchased an adjacent property some years ago. That’s a lot of overhead when you only operate seven or eight weeks a year, so we’re working on paying that off as soon as possible. I don’t really want us to be a theater that only opens for seven weeks and I realize that programs that happen outside the season may well not be in the theatre itself—Deertrees Christmas is such a development. But at the moment, we’re proceeding cautiously. I’m not taking a salary at all this season, neither did I last year. I gave two years right up front because there wasn’t a question of a salary as there was nothing in the coffers. We need both the building and programming to be sustainable. I’m reminded of the words to the song Ethel Merman made famous “There’s No
Business Like Show Business.” Out of six words, two of them are business. Your title is both Artistic Director and Executive Director? Where, to your mind, is the distinction? As an executive director, you’re supposed to be looking at the whole organization. As artistic director of a non-profit, you might concentrate on keeping the programming going to the detriment of the theatre itself. One of the problems the theatre ran into was looking at one or the other, but not both. When I came on board, it was a surprise to learn what hadn’t been done, particularly with regard to the building. You have to look at it realistically, and I think I did. What are you going to do with the money you’ve got? What about fund raising efforts? You have a very small window to showcase yourself and, ergo, a very small window to raise awareness and funds—to interest people. At the moment I know I’m probably going to lose support from people who say, “You’re not doing X,Y,Z.” The realities of theatre financing is that ticket prices cover only about one-third of production costs. I’m always looking to see who wants to be here. Artists do want to come back and they’ll frequently work with me on the fee. But I don’t want to always be asking for favors. Last year, the artists gave generously of the their time, but too frequently they’re the ones being asked to give. We temporarily lost our non-profit status, but were able to right the wrongs and regain our 501 C (3) status and will continue to maintain it. I’m hoping we can write grants to improve the quality of the place. I love the building, I love the character, and I’ll do my best to keep the authentic feel of it while providing a better experience for the audience and artists. This year, we’ve spent about $7,000 on shutters and doors. We realize we need $10,000 just to keep the maintenance of the building up—even before we open the doors.
How do you feel your experience on the stage and as a theater educator has prepared you for the role of artistic director? I think I’ve been incredibly lucky that I’ve been able to work in some amazing organizations, either as an actor or an educator. I can bring that broad base of knowledge to this position and be a little more practical and hard-nosed about things. Children’s programming is a passion of mine, but it wasn’t working at Deertrees. Am I the best person with accounting? No, but I understand the old Dickensian adage that if you have an annual income of twenty pounds and spend nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, the result is happiness, and that if you have an annual income of twenty pounds and annual expenses of twenty pounds ought six, the result is misery . . . I’m inclined to add my own line in there that says if your annual income is twenty pounds, you best put at least five into savings for a rainy day.
changing and we need to change with it. I need to find programming to serve them all.
For a number of years Deertrees relied on a stable of artists and events to fill out its seasonal calendar, The Black Eagle Jazz Band, Tom Snow and The Sebago Long Lake Music Festival among them. What are you currently doing to change things up a bit and/or hold the course? I think it’s a mixture. I’m holding the course on some. A lot of the artists who come here perform in areas where there’s a hunger for that kind of entertainment, so they’re used to getting a higher fee. Some artists have become so expensive they can’t be coming back. It’s a balance. What’s the financial expectation of the artist? How many people are likely to attend the program? You hope people still want to step back in time, turn off the television and come to a venue like this. The demographic of people coming is
It seems the bulk of your programming is musical offerings. How does theater factor into it? We had theatre companies who came in to perform over consecutive days [in August], but the problem with a small audience is that once someone has seen a play, they’re not likely to see it again. We can no longer afford to accommodate, over a lengthy period of time, visiting artists. It’s not sustainable. What I’d like to do and intend to do is reinstate theatre with local companies and actors. I’d like to give professional theatre companies in the state the opportunity to bring productions to Deertrees. This year we have AIRE Theater (American Irish Repertory Ensemble) out of Portland coming. By coming out here for four performances throughout the season (and not in a block), it will provide theatre in a way that we can accommodate financially. Similarly, I’d like to find actors who’d like to come here to create a performance together.
I think it’s a very
As Jamie Hook pointed out, raising money is perhaps the most time-consuming aspect of his job as AD. Would you agree? I would love to be able to concentrate on fund raising, but it’s not as straightforward as that. I haven’t reached that luxury yet. I’m still putting out fires—which is a phrase you probably shouldn’t be using around an old wooden building. Last year, I couldn’t spend time thinking about fund raising because I was too busy spinning the plate that was keeping the building and the box office going. It’s a juggling act. This isn’t the kind of building you can lop a part off and decide you’ll deal with it
special experience. I don’t just mean the theatre. I mean the lakes, the region. People can step back in time when they come here. It’s very special.
in ten years time. Part of the problem with Deertrees is that it’s such a beautiful place and there’s so much emotional attachment to it. But . . . Deertrees Theatre is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings and has many needs. Finding funds for those specific needs will be crucial. Greatest pleasure? It’s the greatest joy for me to be here in Harrison. My wife’s grandfather was Rudy Vallee’s driver. There’s that connection and that I’m going to be living here. It’s also the greatest worry and responsibility. What I inherited was lots of parts, lots of ingredients that have been used before. I want to solve all the problems and hope people will be patient and understanding, but we can only keep nibbling away at it. It may be another ten years before we can sit back and take a breather. It has been and will continue to be, for a while, an incredible challenge, but the Board is great to work with. They are energized and as long as we have supporters, we will realize all of our hopes and dreams for the organization. I think it’s a very special experience. I don’t just mean the theatre. I mean the lakes, the region. People can step back in time when they come here. It’s very special. My biggest fear is I’ve got to do all these things and still maintain the original intent of it . . . bring performance to this part of Maine. The thing I hear most from people in Portland when I tell them what I’m doing, is the question, “Where?” When I give them the history of Deertrees and drop the names of some of the people who’ve performed here, they’re positively gobsmacked. It really is Maine’s most enchanting playhouse. R lakelivingmaine.com
Two Points of View
by leigh macmillen hayes
endy Newcomb of Sebago and Holly Berry of Waldoboro first met at a pajama party in 1968. Each shared the fact that her mother was pregnant. At ages 11 and 12, Holly says, “We
were appalled. We bonded immediately.”
A long-standing friendship and
a love of art will culminate with a
joint exhibition called “Two Points of View” on display from August
17-September 22 at Hole in the Wall Studioworks in Raymond.
Throughout their junior high and high school years in Kennebunk, the girls took advanced art classes and soon discovered that they enjoyed working together. Holly recalls an oil painting they worked on one year. “We talked non-stop,” she says. “I hated painting, but loved using the palette knife. My whole painting was created with a knife. Wendy loved painting. We gave the paintings to our parents. They didn’t know each other, but both used the same frame for the paintings. We thought that was so cool.” Wendy studied painting at the University of New Hampshire, while Holly focused on illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. And over the years, they have remained special friends who energize and inspire each other in their art work. They share a give and take relationship, with lots of humor and energy tossed into the mix. As a landscape artist, Wendy’s representational imagery feels real. “I paint what I see,” she says, “but try to capture a feeling in it too. I’m not just doing something photographically, but capturing the light or the movement or the color and then putting
myself into that so it looks like the place, but it’s my interpretation of it.” While hiking up Bald Pate or along the Narrow Gauge Trail, she’ll stop to create sketches in pencil and gouache, a water color technique. To me, her sketches look like finished products, but to her they are attempts made in the moment to get down what she sees. They provide inspiration and a reference point for the actual oil paintings that follow. Back in her studio, Wendy uses the sketches to decide how she might compose the actual painting—placing a tree here, making that rock appear bigger. “Wendy has the natural facility to capture the essence of what she’s experiencing,” says Holly. “She’s very physical—she hikes, bikes, kayaks and she’s tied to the physical world around her and can capture that.” Holly sees Wendy’s work as an extension of her being—perhaps a self-portrait. While Wendy prefers to paint, Holly loves to work with patterns, texture and color. She’s an illustrator, but also enjoys creating block prints. For this venture, her pieces will be the latter.
wemndy newcomb holly berry
the phone sometimes we do art work as we talk. And we laugh. And we come up with crazy ideas that sometimes we do. I think it’s interesting because we’re so used to one another that our dialogue continues on a path and we become creative in our talking and then a project is born.” The idea for “Two Points of View” came to them as they vacationed together on Vinal Haven, off the coast of Maine, and were planning workshop ideas for a business they started about a year ago—Brown Berry Workshops, an art-party business. Though both women have shown their artwork at Hole in the Wall Studioworks many times over the years and they’ve been in shows together in other galleries, this will be their first joint show. Joyce Mastro had previously suggested that they produce a show together, but it wasn’t until last summer that they fully developed the idea. For the show, they created a theme. In some ways, they are working together, but they’re each doing their own thing. While Wendy’s paintings will be distance views of the landscape, Holly’s block prints will feature close-ups of things like rocks and lichens. Originally they’d planned to take a particular viewpoint on each subject, but
Strong shapes and lines found in things like animals, leaves and gardens appeal to her. “I love 2-D composition,” she says. “I think that’s why my work is stylized and I have a more design approach.” Of Holly’s work, Wendy says, “I admire her graphic design. She’s got a great sense of composition and also it’s very imaginative. Her work often has a whimsy to it that’s really appealing.” Both women are attuned to the spirit of nature. While Wendy’s home has a woodland setting with mountain views, Holly lives on a blueberry farm. The beauty of the Maine landscape will be captured in the joint show. “We don’t have to go far to see something different and beautiful every day,” says Wendy. For Holly, this show is offering a new experience. “Instead of working out of my head with the designs that pop in there, I’m doing something more tangible. I’m getting outside and focusing on my own land. I find myself discovering stuff. This gives me a chance to stop and look around.” Though they live a couple of hours apart, the two women love to spend time together either on the phone or side by side. “We talk incessantly,” says Wendy. “When we’re on
the idea has since morphed. There may be one image that each will address with her own interpretation, but the rest will be individual choices. “We’ve hiked together and collected a lot of reference,” says Holly. “We’ve talked about different types of imagery we want to include. The things I’m working on include more representative scenes and designs than I usually do.” They’re leaving it up to Joyce about how to stage their artwork. “Joyce is great at hanging stuff,” says Wendy. “She’s an artist and she has a good eye.” As they each prepare eight to ten pieces for the show, they see it as evolving and turning out the way it’s meant to be. “We’re just hoping people can sense our friendship and our own individual artwork as it comes together,” says Wendy. “We hope people enjoy the whole story of it.” Expect rhythmic textures, brushwork and subtle color nuances in Wendy’s work. Holly will cut linoleum blocks—offering stilled performances of the little things one finds. Together they’ll share the grandeur and wondrous simplicity of nature—its serenity and its beauty. “Two Points of View,” Opening Reception, August 17, 6-8 pm at Hole in the Wall Studioworks, Raymond. The show continues thru September 22. R lakelivingmaine.com
r ns 20 by perri black
ridgton Books is 20 years old! That’s pretty good going for any business, but especially for an independent bookstore in these days of Amazon, the Internet, e-readers and tragically short attention spans. Someone (who later became a very good customer) said it would never last. Thankfully, that person was wrong. My first foray into the newly opened bookstore was to buy Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. They didn’t have it in stock but the handsome young man behind the counter, who I now know as Justin Ward, offered to order it for me. I hesitated only because, though I had the money to buy it at the
Maddie gets the most Likes on the Bridgton Books Facebook page.
time, my always precarious financial situation did not guarantee that I would have the cash when he said the book would arrive the following week. In the end, I ordered the book, he called to say it was in and when I picked it up, I asked if they needed any help at the store. Justin took my phone number and called me about a year later saying they would be willing to give me a try. I ended up working there for thirteen years. Justin and Pam Ward were teaching in Massachusetts when, at the start of one school year, Justin found himself without a teaching position, which turned out to be very fortunate for Bridgton. He had always loved books and reading so he took a job at a local bookstore and learned the ropes of the business. Both Justin and Pam liked northern New England, especially Maine. Pam had family connections there and Justin, originally from Vermont, attended college in the state—and they thought it would be a good place to raise the family they planned to start. After an unsuccessful, yet prophetic, experience trying to rent a space in York, Maine, they were traveling along Route 302 headed to Fryeburg in search of another site and happened to stop at Main Street Variety in Bridgton. The university student working behind the counter said she would love to have a good bookstore in town. The idea stuck. They researched the demographics, liked what they found, and decided to make the move. The Wards opened Bridgton Books in the old Sportsman’s Exchange building
at 52 Main Street in April 1993, when Pam was heavily pregnant with their first child. By May, they were nurturing both a newborn infant and a budding enterprise. As with most new businesses, the first few years were a bit uncertain, but sales steadily increased and after two years they realized they could make a go of it. Local people and summer residents appreciated the store’s presence and many customers from “away” said they loved having a good independent bookstore in Bridgton, explaining that those in their hometowns had all gone out of business. Bridgton Books continued to grow. In 1997, the Wards bought the former Allen’s Pharmacy building down the road at 140 Main Street, and transferred the store to its present location. Justin says he realized how much the community supported him when he asked for a few volunteers to help with the move and received offers from more than 50 customers. The grand moving day was quite an event, and Justin even had T-shirts printed for the helpers. He stayed at the old building, carefully packing up the books by section, and I was stationed at the other end, unloading them and stocking the new shelves. Volunteers lugged boxes of books in between. The entire stock of around 10,000 books was moved in one day and, as I recall, it made the front page of The Bridgton News. Bridgton Books has been a successful establishment at 140 Main Street ever since. There have been a number of highlights
“Bridgton Books, with its sagging shelves, comfy old chairs, and stacked tables, is more than a valuable resource—it’s a one-of-akind independent bookstore. Not just the best bookstore in western Maine, one of the three or four best in the whole state. If you haven’t been there, you’ve missed an experience.” stephen king, nyt bestselling author
in its history, such as book signings and openings at midnight to sell newly released Harry Potter books, but the biggest event had to be when Stephen King approached Justin in December 2009 about offering a book signing for his Bridgton inspired novel Under the Dome. The bookstore sold vouchers for copies of the book and coordinated with the Magic Lantern Movie Theater across the street for the signing. The original 500 vouchers went quickly and when Mr. King heard that they had sold out, he offered to sign an additional 200 books. The publisher funded the event, Bridgton Books staff facilitated the signing, and the Magic Lantern provided the venue and refreshments for an enthusiastic crowd of about 700 avid Stephen King fans. While many independent bookstores in the US and elsewhere have disappeared, Bridgton Books marches on, thanks to great community support. Justin is also an astute businessman and very good at what he does, especially paying attention to what his clientele recommend and want. He says the key is to do as much work as you can yourself and hire only minimal extra staff. You can often see the lights on and Justin still working in the store if you drive down Main Street late at night. However, the overwhelming reason for
“When I looked, 11 or 12 years ago, for a second home, I did it by putting in a Google search for “antique real estate, rural southern Maine.” I didn’t think to put “near a great bookstore.” But I got lucky! The house I found—and bought—was in Bridgton, and Bridgton Books has been the icing on the cake.” lois lowry, newbery medal winning author of the giver
the store’s success is its customer service. Justin and the sales staff go the extra mile to keep their customers satisfied. They are well-read, know the store’s inventory, and are always willing to help customers find a book or order it at no extra charge if it’s not in stock (it will usually arrive within 2-4 days). And if you are looking for something different to read, they will happily provide
their recommendations. Customers can also sign up for the free “book club” that offers 10 dollars off for every 100 dollars they spend at the bookstore. The shop currently stocks a carefully selected inventory of about 20,000 titles in over 30 different sections. When I asked Justin what the store’s all-time bestseller is, he immediately named Hikes in and Around the Lakes Region, a local guidebook by Bridgton resident Marita Wiser, which has been through five printings. He says he has sold about 1,500 copies since it first came out in 1993. The shop also stocks bookmarks, puzzles, newspapers, an eclectic selection of magazines, and a wide range of cards hand-picked by Pam, many by local artists and photographers. Some of the most popular are Pam’s own photographs of unique local scenes. But retail is not the only aspect of Bridgton Books and the Ward family. Pam and Justin are active participants in the local community, volunteering and donating to many groups and organizations in the area. Bridgton Books also works with local schools to order books for classrooms and libraries and holds book fairs at boys’ and girls’ camps during the summer. Over the past two decades, the booklakelivingmaine.com
“A village without an independent bookstore is like a body without a brain. Hardly a day passes when I am in Bridgton but I stop by the bookstore to check on its mental activity. It is an intelligent center for the community. The books are well chosen and displayed with love, and the owners and staff have read [many of] them. What a delight!” paul woodruff, summer resident, professor and author of reverence: renewing a forgotten virtue store has become an invaluable fixture in town. It is also a good place to find out what is happening in the area as it always seems to have its finger on the local pulse. They play good music, too, and offer a relaxing escape from today’s noisy, high-paced world of electronics and over-packed schedules. When I asked Justin about the future of the bookstore he grinned and said, “We hope to be around for another 20 years!” He says the store has not been affected so much by e-readers as they have been by book sales through Amazon and “superstores.” “Sure we’ve lost some customers, but most of our patrons still prefer real books.” He also points out that a lot of books are not available in the e-reader format and that many parents are concerned about their kids overusing new technology. They worry about them playing games, watching videos or surfing the net on their e-readers or iPads instead of focusing on reading. Everyone wants to get something cheap, especially in these current tough economic times, but in many cases, Bridgton Books offers a better deal, when you consider the cost of shipping (paid by the bookstore) as well as the book club and other store discounts. Plus, customers are supporting a local small business, so their money is recirculated through the community, instead of being sucked out by the national chains and online sellers. Some say independent bookstores are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but
Justin and many others (including myself) disagree. He says there will always be a place for independents because they are more adaptable to their markets, offer better customer service, and do more than just sell books. They provide a place for readers to meet and talk about books and, as small businesses, they are also a vital part of the local scene and employ local people. And nothing beats a good reading recommendation from an actual person who knows what they are talking about. Justin says, “I really enjoy going to work every day. Not only because I’m surrounded by books, but also because of the personal relationships I’ve developed over the years with customers. People who read are interesting!” All of the regular Bridgton Books staff, past and present, also love their jobs. I can personally attest that working there was the best job, with the best boss, that I have ever had. So—happy anniversary Bridgton Books! Long may you run! Thank you Justin, Pam, and family for being there, sticking with it, and contributing so much to the community. Bridgton would be a far lesser place without you. And thank you to all the loyal, interesting customers who have supported the bookstore for the past two decades. Here’s to another twenty years! R
Snap Shot of a Summer Lake Slate grey clouds layer an indifferent dawn; Sebago lies leaden its surface scarcely disturbed by sluggish ripples; A line of trees borders the opposite shore– one long indistinct ribbon of black-green– And here before us, mute white pine display delicate feathers against the strengthening light.
“I am a huge fan of independent bookstores and will search them out when I am in a new town or city. They stock what is of interest to the owners and if the owners are literate, as most are, the stock is far superior to the chains. I never drive through Bridgton without stopping at Bridgton Books. And I never walk out the door after my visit without a few volumes.” chris hedges, nyt foreign correspondent and author of war is a force that gives us meaning
Holding Pattern Flying through time, we sometimes enjoy a brief holding pattern when nothing should be altered, nothing advanced, no landing. Hold everything just as it is in the full sweetness of summer, circling seemingly forever, avoiding the inevitable ground. Poems by Sharon Smith Abbott
The Art of Repurposing
by laurie lamountain
hen I arranged to meet and talk one day with a couple of business owners who make their money selling second-use clothing and furniture, I thought it would be from the standpoint of raising awareness around the responsibility of consumption. It seemed like the perfect podium from which to pound out the superior merits of the second “R” in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; to show that new is not always better, nor is it always necessary. After talking with them, I realized there’s another side of the argument against waste that’s a lot more fun than knowing that “a 2010 study from the Sloan School of Management showed that continuing to use a blouse saves 68 percent of the energy of manufacturing a new one, even when considering the energy used in washing and drying the old blouse 75 times.”*
Fine and Fun Re-Discovered Clothing & Accessories 686 Roosevelt Trail (Route 302) Windham Open everyday, seven days a week and Thursdays until 8:00. Owner: Tammie Scott When Tammie Scott made the decision to move back to Maine from Newburyport, MA, she knew she had to come up with a means to support her family. Tammie grew up in Harrison and wanted her three young children to experience the same wholesome childhood she had. She had discovered a second-hand clothing shop while living in Newburyport and got the idea that was what she wanted to create in Maine, so in 2006 she opened Kargos on Main Street in Bridgton. In 2008, she moved the business to Windham in order to capture more of a year-round clientele and because she wanted a location closer to Portland but still within easy reach of the small, surrounding towns. “I enjoy coming to work everyday. I love the whole idea of it. It’s fun, eclectic,” says Tammie. “I get to spend the day in my big closet. I love that I’m able to surround myself with this kind of beauty. It makes me feel artistic. I love when women leave here and they’re very happy with their product. It’s an experience coming here, that’s how I feel. I know people love it from the sad stories I heard when I left Bridgton. I love that women love it and I just love women in general.” Wow, that’s a lot of love.
We spend some time talking about the environmental merits of second-use shopping, but it becomes clear to me during the course of our conversation that there are other, less meritorious, reasons for it. It’s something about the thrill of the chase. Tammie points out that she’s very selective about the clothing she chooses and that it’s all about quality. That you can spend a lot of money and get quality items, but not a lot of people in this area can afford to spend money in boutique shops, so this is a way to offer quality without it being expensive. A lot of her inventory is boutique labels and many items have never been worn and still have tags on them. I can attest to this, having bought two such dresses later that day. If I had paid the price on the original tags, I surely would have experienced my usual post-shopping buyer’s remorse, but instead I left the store feeling like I’d had a good day at the track. I ask Tammie where she finds her merchandise and she tells me about what she refers to as her Massachusetts filter line. “Because I lived on the North Shore for
*(Source: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle/National Geographic: greenliving.nationalgeographic. com/reduce-reuse-recycle/) lakelivingmaine.com
so long, I have a lot of contacts from that area. Other than that, it’s people coming through the door who have things to sell. I only take top quality products. Occasionally I’m out and see something that I know would work in the store, but it has to be fabulous. Mostly it’s from people who come through the door.” Consignment accounts for only about 5% of her inventory, and is reserved for more limited items like wedding gowns, mother-of-the-bride dresses and expensive handbags and accessories. Most of her inventory is bought outright and on the spot. People make an appointment and Tammie hand selects what she wants and pays for it then and there. The other advantage to second-use shopping is that it’s easier to find something unique and original. It appeals to women who have their own sense of style and aren’t afraid to break the rules. Tammie recalls selling a wedding dress to a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, and an evening bag to a woman who stopped in on her way to the airport for a trip to New York City. She has also had people come by in the morning to buy clothes for a wedding later that day. Then there are the women who are stocking up for the season who will buy six sweaters, multiple dresses, etc. “People come in for that original piece. We always ask if they’re on a mission or just poking. Some like the help, some don’t.” For women, like myself, who find big stores overwhelming, Kargos is a relief. There’s a lot of product in the shop, but it’s easy to get around. Sizes ranging from XS to 3X are grouped together and then separated by color. Tammie says, “I get asked a lot if I’m an artist, and I’m not. It’s my eye. I know what works. I’m even conscious of what I place behind a piece of clothing on display, that it’s of a complementary color palette. (She points to a lime green dress from which a purple dress is peeking out from behind.) People often buy the entire display. Not everybody knows what goes with what. It’s nice for the customer.” Located at the end of a row of shops and restaurants on Route 302, Kargos doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when you walk through the door you’ll be impressed. And, like me, you’ll almost definitely be back. “It’s amazing how far people travel to come here. I think it’s become a bit of a destination place for groups of women. It’s been helpful for people to not have to go
into Portland. There’s a group of friends who will have breakfast and then come here. We’ve done a few private parties in here where we’ll close the doors and serve light refreshments, usually for women who want to introduce their friends to the shop.” “Perfect girls night out,” adds Nancy, who is holding down the fort for Tammie during our interview.
my sister’s garage
An Antique Farmhouse Full of Garage Girl Goods Furniture, Tableware, Bedding, Lighting, Couture 610 Roosevelt Trail (Route 302) Windham www.mysistersgarage.com Thursday through Sunday 10-5. Closed in January. Owners: Jenn Tringali, Sarah Tringali, Renee Tringali “We’ve always been do-it-yourself girls. We all like decorating and displaying. We also felt it was very important that everything was affordable. We really wanted it to be reasonable and fun, so that you didn’t have to live with it for 35 years with the [plastic] covers on it. If it’s reasonable, you can have more flexibility without spending more money. Obviously we do appreciate the reuse/recycle angle that’s so in right now, but our philosophy is not to leave things lying around in a box; use them! Find a way
to make it fresh,” says Jenn Tringali of the guiding principle behind My Sister’s Garage. Jenn and her sister Sarah opened the original My Sister’s Garage six years ago in a 400 square foot garage located on Route 302 in Naples. After four summers in that location, they decided to “get serious about it” and started looking for a larger space. Their stepmother, Renee Tringali, knew of just the place and offered to secure it if they could all go into business together. The antique farmhouse that Renee grew up in had nine rooms in which the three Tringali women could decorate and display to their heart’s content, and its Windham location put them in closer proximity to the Portland market. “Now mind you, we put stuff outside too, but the house itself has 2,500 sq. ft. of space and these amazing built-ins that are perfect for displaying things,” says Jenn. Before she was part-owner in My Sister’s Garage, Jenn worked for 10 years as a freelance prop-and-still stylist for catalog companies. J. Jill was her prime client. Renee worked with Pinelyne, Inc., designing furniture and helping customers design and layout their spaces. Sarah was an event planner. “They all overlap for what we’re doing now. It works. We definitely bring our prior experience to it,” says Jenn. “A lot of people can’t see what an item might be, but they haven’t experimented as much as we have.
You also need to put a piece in a setting that helps people envision their own application. I love what I do because I can see the beauty in something that someone who doesn’t have a sense of design might not. Deconstructed furniture [made popular by Restoration Hardware] is really hot for us right now. It’s taking vintage and antique to a whole new level by taking a piece of furniture apart and reconstructing it in a completely different way.” (Think exposed framing and burlap grain bags as upholstery material.) The Garage Girls find their merchandise pretty much anywhere and everywhere— auctions, estate sales, other shops—but their best stuff comes from people who contact them, which happens pretty much daily. People will either ask them to come clean out their “stuff,” or they just bring it to the store. What happens next is that the Girls take all these shipwrecked pieces of furniture and turn them into something that people covet. They then display them in a way that is completely fresh and constantly changing. It’s a little like walking through a catalog that has been staged by a really good prop stylist. To make sure things don’t get stale, they completely change one room every other week. The bedroom that was French flea last week may be boho next week. Part of the reason for constant change at My Sister’s Garage is the constancy of the clientele. “You’d be surprised how many people visit us every week and buy every week,” says Jenn. She adds that their ages vary greatly—from teenaged girls in love with vintage clothing and accessories to older women who want to change things up at home. A customer, Megan Cross, walks by as we’re seated on a couch talking and says to Jenn on her way up the stairs, “Did Sarah tell you that I’m totally addicted to this place? I just bought a big house with all kinds of space to fill.” It’s almost too perfect in its timing, so of course I have to ask her if I may quote her. Another reason they’re constantly restaging is that their inventory is always changing. After all, it’s a store and the whole idea is to sell things. And because everything is unique and one of a kind, it’s not like walking into a Pottery Barn where there’s a signature look that varies very little. When asked what their vision is for the future or if they’ve achieved it with this move, Jenn is quick to tell me they definitely have not. “Every year we create markers for ourselves. It’s empowering for us to start with nothing and just build a
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Route 302 • Naples
business. We’ve sold at Brimfield [site of the largest outdoor antique show in New England] and had Pottery Barn and Ralph Lauren buy from us. And the reason we’re at Portland Flea for All is to get our name out there. It’s already working. This location is clearly enough to keep us all very busy, but we want to create more awareness of our presence. This year’s big goal was our May Dressing Room event.” She points out that their Web site isn’t really about selling as much as it is about making people aware of My Sister’s Garage. It’s a way to get people who don’t know about it into the store, which is why they don’t ship any of the larger items purchased through the site. “It’s really about capturing people, because nearly everybody who walks through the door says, ‘OMG, how did I not know about this place?’ and a lot of women, when they’re leaving, ‘I’ll be
back without my husband.’ Facebook has been amazing because we post about 10 new items, big items, every week and will sometimes have them sold before we open up on Thursday.” At the end of the day, I find myself thinking about my original intention of touting the social and environmental benefits of second-use shopping, and I ask Jenn what she thinks the benefits of it are for them. “Ultimately, I think it’s a boon for people to discover us because it’s forced people to look in a lower budget and to buy secondhand. Are customers spending as much as they did before? No, but when things turn around, those will be our customers. The larger movement has been to become more accepting of second-hand.” Then I drive back down Route 302 and revisit Kargos to buy those two dresses . . . and a few other things. R lakelivingmaine.com
summer calendar june 21st
5 pm—Annual Solstice Walk on Bald Pate Mountain, celebrate the first day of summer with Loon Echo Land Trust. FMI: 207-6474352 or www.lelt.org
7:30 pm—Alhan Middle Eastern Music Ensemble at Denmark Arts Center An evening of classical and popular Arabic and Turkish music. Tickets online at denmarkarts.org or at Bridgton Books and Morning Dew.
5-7 pm Pre-Race Spaghetti Feast at Stevens Brook Elementary School, Bridgton. Fireworks following.
5 pm—Underage: Photography by Tom Dougherty & Julie Brennan at Denmark Arts Center FMI: 207452-2412 or denmarkarts.org 7:30pm Friday&Saturday, 2pm Sunday—Lake Region Community Theater presents Gypsy, Lake Region High School, Route 302, Naples. FMI: www.lrctme.org
22nd Opening Day at Rufus Porter Museum, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-2828 or www.rufusportermuseum.org
22nd Lake Region Open Golf Tournament, Point Sebago, Casco
7:30 pm—Daponte String Quartet at Denmark Arts Center Advance tickets at Bridgton Books and Morning Dew or online at denmarkarts.org. FMI: 207-452-2412
11 am-3 pm—Oxen Demonstration, Narramissic, South Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-3699 or www. bridgtonhistory.org
3-5 pm—Loon Echo Land Trust Open House, highlights of current land campaigns and conservation priorities. Depot Street, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-4352 or www.lelt.org
9 am—Benthic Macroinvertebrates with Naturalist Mary Jewett, Lakes Environmental Association. Meet at Holt Pond parking lot. FMI: 207-647-8580, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mainelakes.org
28th-30th 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday, 2pm Sunday—Lake Region Community Theater presents Gypsy, Lake Region High School, Route 302, Naples. www.lrctme.org
7 pm—Fashion Show to Benefit Mother Seton House, Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. FMI: 207-935-9232
2-4 pm—Middle Eastern Percussion Workshop w/Eric LaPerna at Denmark Arts Center Learn beginner-level Arabic percussion techniques and rhythms on either the Tabla, Riqq or Duff. Ages 16+. FMI: 207-452-2412
37th Annual Bridgton 4 on the Fourth Road Race begins 8 am at Main St. & Rt. 117. FMI or to register: www.fouronthefourth.com Independence Day Parades & Fireworks in several lakes region communities.
1:30pm—Ice Cream Social and Music by Camp Encore/Coda, Town Meeting House, Sweden. FMI: www.eskerridge.com/Sweden
9 am—Orchid Walk at Holt Pond with Naturalist Ursula Duvé, Lakes Environmental Association. Meet at Holt Pond parking lot, South Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, www.mainelakes.org
5 pm—Better Left Unsaid at Denmark Arts Center Opening reception for works by landscape painter and visiting artist Deborah Randall. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
9am-noon—Friends of the Library Used Book Sale Bridgton Public Library Courtyard, Main Street, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-2472
10 am-2 pm—Simple Landscape Painting Workshop w/Deborah Randall at Denmark Arts Center Suitable for ages 16+ FMI: 207-4522412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30pm—Maine Comedian Tim Sample at Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. FMI: 207.935.9232 or www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac
7:30pm—Beatles for Sale, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
4pm—The Side Notes—a mixed voice a cappella group, benefit concert, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
12:30-3pm—Highland Lake Youth Theater Intermediate Acting & Theater Camp, For to children grades 3-8. Tues-Thurs, FMI: email@example.com
7:30 pm—Vishten, Acadian/Celtic Music, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www. deertreestheatre.org
7:30pm— A Couple of Blaguards presented by AIRE Theatre, a wickedly funny play, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
9-10:15am—Qi gong, combining gentle stretch, strengthening postures and flowing movements, Nurture Through Nature Retreat Center, Denmark. FMI: 207-4522929 or www.ntnretreats.com
10 am-4 pm—34th Annual Chickadee Quilt Show, Stevens Brook Elementary School, Bridgton. Chinese Auction, cafe, workshops and raffles. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org
9am-noon—Tree ID at Shell Pond, Stoneham, Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
6 pm—Invasive Plants presentation by Naturalist Mary Jewett, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, mary@ leamaine.org or www.mainelakes. org
Harrison Old Home Days Pancake breakfast, fireworks, parade, BBQ and lobster feed, live entertainment
9 am—Maine’s Loons, presentation by Susan Gallo, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton. FMI:207-647-8580, email@example.com or www.mainelakes.org
2 pm—Peter and The Wolf, Family Theatre by The National Marionette Theatre Company, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
5 pm—Gallery 302 Benefit Auction Come celebrate Gallery 302’s 10year anniversary with a benefit auction featuring clever and unusual crustaceans. Wine and cheese reception. FMI: www.gallery302.com
7 pm—Quilts During the Civil War, lecture by Lynne Bassett, sponsored by Rufus Porter Museum, at First Congregational Church, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-2828 or www.rufusportermuseum.org
7:30pm—Pinocchio, Family Theatre by The National Marionette Theatre Company, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
7pm— An Evening of Astronomy hosted by Raymond and Casco Public Libraries, sponsored by Loon Echo Land Trust. Rain date 7/15. FMI: 207-647-4352 or www.lelt.org
7:30 pm—The Mollyockett Chorus at Denmark Arts Center A toetapping evening of a cappella harmonies and playful selections. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
10am-3 pm—14th Annual Lovell Historical Society Antique Sale & Auction, Kimball-Stanford House, Lovell. Live auction at 11am. Antique Appraisal by Bruce Buxton, 12-2pm. Silent Auction, Food, Free Admission. FMI: 207-925-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30 pm—Like the Water w/Director Caroline von Kuhn at Denmark Arts Center Join us for a special screening of this 2012 indie film shot in Camden, Maine. FMI: 207452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30pm—Camp Encore-Coda Concert, benefits Lakes Environmental Association, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
9-10:30 am—Beginning Pottery Workshop w/Kathy Banks at Denmark Arts Center Students will spend the first week using simple slab techniques and learning about patterns, seams and basic forming. The following week (see 7/24-26th) they will paint and glaze their works. All will go home with a finished, fired work. Ages 6-10. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
12:30-3 pm—Advanced Pottery Workshop w/Kathy Banks at Denmark Arts Center Participants in this two-week workshop (see 7/2426th) will develop both forming techniques (coil building, slab architecture) and finishing techniques (burnishing, raku glazes), and even have a turn at the wheel. Students will leave with a finished, glazed work. Suitable for ages 11+. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30pm—Sebago Long Lake Music Festival, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www. deertreestheatre.org
9am-noon—Cellar holes and stone walls at Amos Mountain, Gallie Trail parking lot, Rt. 5, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust Hike. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
18th 9-10:15am—Qi gong, combining gentle stretch, strengthening postures and flowing movements, Nurture Through Nature Retreat Center, Denmark. FMI: 207-4522929 or www.ntnretreats.com
10am-noon—Wildflowers at Back Pond, North Waterford. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-9251056 or www.gllt.org
7:30 pm—Just for Fun at Denmark Arts Center Celebrate Mainestage Readers Theatre’s 21st birthday with a collection of jokes, skits, and we’d-rather-not-says. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30 pm— A Couple of Blaguards presented by AIRE Theatre, a wickedly funny play, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
1 pm—Dragonflies, with Naturalist Mary Jewett, Lakes Environmental Association. Meet at Holt Pond parking lot, South Bridgton. Pre-registration required. FMI: 207-647-8580, mary@leamaine. org or www.mainelakes.org
7:30 pm—Don Campbell–Celebrating the Music of Dan Fogelberg, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
19&20th Sebago Days, Sebago
Waterford World’s Fair
Lovell Old Home Days & 5K Run
9 am-4 pm—The Bridgton Art Guild presents the 9th Annual Art in the Park at Shorey Park in Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-2787
7:30 pm—Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival-FA Concert 2013, Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg Academy. FMI: 207-935-9232 or www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac
Rufus Porter Museum Cultural Heritage Series in Bridgton Classes on traditional folk art techniques. FMI: 207-647-2828, www.rufusportermuseum.org
7:30pm—Sebago Long Lake Music Festival at Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
9-10:30 am—Beginning Pottery Workshop w/Kathy Banks at Denmark Arts Center (See description under July 15-17.) FMI: 207-4522412 or denmarkarts.org
12:30-3 pm—Advanced Pottery Workshop w/Kathy Banks at Denmark Arts Center (See description under July 15-17.) FMI: 207-4522412 or denmarkarts.org
25th 9-10:15am—Qi gong, combining gentle stretch, strengthening postures and flowing movements, Nurture Through Nature Retreat Center. FMI: 207-452-2929 or www.ntnretreats.com
10am-noon—Alphabet Hike at Heald Pond, Slab City parking lot, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
7:30 pm—The Paul McKenna Band, Traditional Celtic Music, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
Casco Days, Casco
9 am-noon—Ferns & Flora, led by Cathy Paris & Dave Barrington, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, email@example.com or www. mainelakes.org
1pm—The Graceful Lives of Great Blue Herons, presentation by Bonny Boatman, Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-9251056 or www.gllt.org
6:30-8 pm—Journey Dance at Nurture Through Nature Free yourself through music, movement and supported expression. FMI: 207-4522929 or www.ntnretreats.com
29th - August 2
Civil War Encampment, Narramissic, South Bridgton. FMI: 207-6473699 or www.bridgtonhistory.org 9:30 am-12:30 pm—Art Making w/ Kumi Yamashita at Denmark Arts Center A week-long mutii-media workshop in which students will focus on self-directed projects with Ms. Kumi, and also work collaboratively on a single, large-scale work. Suitable for ages 8+. FMI: 207-4522412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30pm—Sebago Long Lake Music Festival, Classical Concert, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
7pm—Acoustic Sunset with Folk Musician Andre Villoch, Hacker’s Hill while the sun sets beyond the White Mountains, Casco. Bring a picnic and a lawn chair. Loon Echo Land Trust. Rain date—8/1. FMI: 207-647-4352 or www.lelt.org
5-7 pm—New Work: by Chris Beneman at Denmark Arts Center Gallery opening for Maine painter and printmaker Chris Beneman. FMI: 207452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
2-3rd 10 am-6 pm—Gallery 302 in Bridgton presents Art in Bloom—Floral arrangements by Lakeside Garden Club FMI:www.gallery302.com
9am-noon—Friends of the Library Used Book Sale Bridgton Public Library Courtyard, Main Street, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-2472
7:30pm— Maine Street Dixie Jazz Band, Traditional Jazz with Bob Carabia, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www. deertreestheatre.org
7:30pm—Ricky Nelson Remembered, Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. FMI: 207-935-9232 or www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac, Dinner before the show? FMI: 207-787-3327 or firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30 pm—The Corvettes Doo Wop Revue, Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. FMI: 207-935-9232 or www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac
7:30 pm—The Downeasters Barbershop Chorus, Men’s a cappella singing group, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
3 & 4th
7:30 pm— A Couple of Blaguards presented by AIRE Theatre, a wickedly funny play, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
7:30 pm—Parents Night Out! Comedy for Grownups with Karen Morgan & Jim Colliton, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
4-8:30 pm—Bluegrass Festival, Narramissic, South Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-3699 or www.bridgtonhistory.org
4 pm-12 am—Dam Jam An all-day music festival in Demark Bicentennial Park, featuring the Burlington Taiko Ensemble, Sunset Hearts, Kristin Hersh and more! Biergarten by Brays’s Brewpub. FMI: 207452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
10 am-4 pm—Back to the Past, Scribner’s Mills, Harrison. Celebrate old-tyme sawmill and homestead operations. Pig Roast at 4:30pm. FMI: 207-583-6455 or www.scribnersmill.org
Maine State Championship Rowing Regatta, Highland Lake, Bridgton. 5,000 meter stake and 1,000 meter sprint. FMI: www. rowmaine.com
10 am-12 pm—Vernal Pool Ecology Walk, meet at Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-9251056 or www.gllt.org
7pm— “Lakes Region and Cumberland County Men at Antietam,” lecture by Scholar Nicholas Picerno, for Rufus Porter Museum, at First Congregational Church, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-2828 or www.rufusportermuseum.org 7:30 pm— A Couple of Blaguards presented by AIRE Theatre, a wickedly funny play, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
20th Annual Antique Wooden Boat Show on the Causeway, Naples. www.mountainviewwoodies.org
10 am-2 pm—Gelatin Plate Printmaking Workshop w/Chris Beneman For ages 12+. FMI or to register: 207-452-2412. 7:30 pm—PechaKucha at Denmark Arts Center This Japanese show-andtell technique requires presenters to adhere to a strict format: 20 slides, each presented for 20 seconds. To present topics, contact Jamie at email@example.com
2-4 pm—Shadow Puppetry Workshop for Kids at Denmark Arts Center Master puppeteer Ian Bannon will guide students through an action-packed exploration of shadow puppetry, as they create a puppet of their own design and bring it to life for the class! Suitable for ages 7+. FMI or to register: 207-452-2412.
5 pm—Jester Kings of Java at Denmark Arts Center Figures of Speech puppet theater brings Javanese shadow-puppetry to life for young audiences. FMI: 207-452-2412.
9 am-12:30 pm—Filmmaking Workshop w/Jamie Hook at Denmark Arts Center A crash-course in all aspects of the craft that wraps with a screening of completed films. Suitable for ages 10+. FMI or to register: 207-452-2412.
7:30pm—Sebago Long Lake Music Festival, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www. deertreestheatre.org
9-11 am—Exploring the Natural World, Kezar River Reserve, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
9-11am—Ferns and Lichens along Perkey’s Path, Flat Hill parking lot, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org continued on page 32
b r e a l t e e C s n e d e w S
by leigh macmillen hayes
The actual bicentennial celebration kicked off with a public oday it’s a wooded snowmobile trail around the base of Black supper at the meeting house on February 23, 2013, the Saturday Mountain in Sweden, Maine. During the 19th century, howclosest to the birthday of the town’s incorporation on February 26. ever, it was a road that passed by at least six homesteads, all In 1813, by petition to the Massachusetts Legislature, the section of occupied by young men who chose not to live at home—perhaps Lovell known as Southland or Four Mile Square, increasing their status as eligible bachelors. was granted the ability to secede and form the Their surnames included Cushman, Fartown of Sweden. There are varying opinions rington and Eastman, among others—names This is a place where, about why this occurred. Personalities, religion long associated with Sweden and Lovell. during a winter snowstorm, and geography may have been among the factors. According to Sweden historian Dick Lyman, Like most Yankees, the people in Swemost of them raised a few cows and some sheep. over 100 people show up for den followed the ageless agrarian cycle of The stonewalls that remain, both single and double plowing, manuring, sowing, cultivating and in structure, indicate they also cultivated the land. a public supper to celebrate reaping in order to yield crops to feed their Reuben B. Bennett’s saw mill was located their town’s heritage. families. “They had a strong sense of self,” at the head of Moose Pond. A couple of says Dick. Their strong will to survive certainly the men may have worked there. It’s reThis is Sweden, Maine. came in handy in subsequent years, especially ported that Arvid Cushman walked daily when Mainers struggled through “The Year from the Black Mountain neighborhood to Without a Summer” of 1816 and dealt with work at a mill site at the head of Keyes the extreme cold that made raising crops a difficult task. Pond—certainly not the short drive it would be today. Their religion may have been a powerful factor in wedging apart The area where these young men lived has been called The Old the two towns. Many Lovell residents were either Congregationalists City since sometime after the Civil War because it’s been abandoned or Methodists. The Congregationalists were strict and espoused a for at least that long. As the Sweden Historical Society celebrates covenant theology. Some of the residents of Sweden followed in this the town’s bicentennial, Dick Lyman will host an afternoon walk to tradition, while others turned toward the more liberal theologies, The Old City on August 8. Those joining him will see the foundaincluding Baptists and Universalists. Prior to building their own tions hidden under leaves and woodland debris. Beech, birch and churches, parishioners had to follow the network of roads (Route 93 maple trees grow in most, disguising them further. didn’t exist) northwest to Number 4 near today’s Lovell Historical On the morning of August 8, there will also be a walk to Goshen, Society building and then travel along the “Scoggin Trail” to Center another neighborhood that long ago disappeared. Hearty walkers will Lovell or Lovell Village. “All at the pace of a horse,” says Dick. explore the hilly terrain, which includes numerous brooks, cellar holes, In 1818, a Congregational Church was constructed on the corner an old cemetery and miles of stonewalls in the northeast corner of town.
of Webber Pond and Black Mountain Roads; decades later it became a town garage before being renovated into a home. An 1834 deed indicates that Methodist parishioners in Sweden built “a house to be 46’ x 40’ frame, to be as good and substantial frame, or better than the frame of the Methodist Meeting House in Lovell Village. The pulpit windows will contain 32 lights of 8” x 10” glass. And there are to be two outside doors finished like the outside doors in the Lovell Meeting House in Center Lovell.” This refers to the construction of the Methodist Meeting House built at the intersection of Plummer School and Ledge Hill Roads. After Kay Lyman reads the deed aloud, she comments, “They’re talking about the frame, so the one in Lovell Village may have still been going up.” Once built, the houses of worship served as meeting places for the various religious denominations in town. The Community Church that now sits in the center of Sweden, was originally the Methodist Church. During the late winter of
You-Pick Blueberries, Peas & Beans, Fresh Vegetables, Baked Goods Gluten-Free Options 803 Waterford Road Sweden, ME 04040 (207) 647-9419
Mark your calendar for The Sweden Historical Society’s Bicentennial events july 4 Ice cream social and music provided by 1:30 pm Camp Encore/Coda, Town Meeting House aug 8 Hike to newly-discovered Goshen 9:15 am Cemetery. Meet at the Town Meeting House to carpool to start of hike. 3 hr round trip on dirt roads.
2 pm Hike to “Old City” off of Black Mountain Road. Meet at the Town Meeting House to carpool to start of hike. Hike is less than a mile and easy.
aug 9 Talent Show at Town Meeting House. All 7:30 pm ages welcome to participate with skits, music, poetry, etc. Contact Jane Gibbons, 207.647.3987
aug 10 Town Pot Luck Supper at Town Meeting House 6 pm 7 pm Contra Dance at Town Meeting House aug 11 Church Service at Sweden Community Church
2 pm Archaeology for all ages. Meet at Town Meeting House
to carpool to cellar hole site.
In honor of Sweden’s Bicentennial, local residents, Kay Lyman, Marcia Storkerson, Sue Black, Del Foss and Janet Mahannah are creating a booklet featuring 50 houses built by 1913 and still extant. The booklet will include a page for each house featuring a photograph and information. A section at the back will include memories about some of the houses. Updates and additional information are available at www.swedenmaine.me.
1873, when the roads were still frozen, it was moved from the Sanderson neighborhood to its current location. Transportation and geography also may have attributed to the separation. It was a long journey to travel from Southland to Center Lovell, which served as the nucleus. There was no need for a road toward what is now Lovell Village until the water in that area was eventually used as a power source for milling. The glacial till of Sweden Plains, that flatland that stretches from Fern Drive toward Kezar River and over to Knights Hill Road, didn’t encourage agriculture or settlement. As far as the Lymans can determine, it was an amiable split for the two towns. After all, the Methodists wanted their church to resemble two structures in Lovell. The Lovell postmaster, Andrew Woodbury, lived in Sweden. Colonel Samuel Nevers, who lived in Sweden and was a strong Universalist, had been a chief proprietor of Lovell. There are stories that the people in Lovell said, “Oh, they drink in Sweden,” and the people in Sweden said, “Oh, they drink in Lovell.” As Marcia Storkerson, another Sweden historian points out, “You couldn’t get the haying done without hard cider. It’s hot and dusty work and everybody had an apple tree.” Today, we think of industry as something that brings money into town, but the first industries of Sweden were set up purely in the interest of serving the settlers whose farms were in the immediate neighborhoods. Some worked at saw mills that provided lumber necessary to frame houses, while others ran grist mills to grind grain and corn. These were small family operations. Eventually, shops opened to meet the residents’ needs: when horses or oxen needed shoes or a wagon wheel had to be rimmed, they turned to the blacksmith forge; staves, barrels and kegs were made at the coopers shop and there were several stores, as indicated on the 1858 map, to supply other basic needs, e.g. gunpowder, fancy cloth, tea, sugar, molasses and presumably, rum. By the 20th century, many people had left, heading to industrial cities or the more fertile grounds of the Midwest. In the early 1900s, however, a new type of industry developed in Sweden. While Lovell had its summer “rusticators” who built vacation lodges on Kezar Lake, Sweden became home to two residential camps for young people. In 1902, Camp Katahdin, a traditional sports and woodcraft camp for boys, opened on Stearns Pond. In 1961, the Saltmans purchased the property and moved their Camp Encore for “musical boys” to the premises. In 1969, they changed the name to Camp Encore/Coda when they invited girls to attend. On nearby Keyes Pond, is Camp Tapawingo, which has served as an independent camp for girls since 1919. Both of these have always employed townspeople as counselors, cooks, housekeepers and maintenance workers. After WWII, Charlie and Evelyn Bennett created a family-oriented camp with the intention of providing a rural lakefront experience for
returning veterans and their families. Timberledge includes eight small, rustic cabins built among the pine trees on the shore of Keyes Pond. Though the Bennetts have since passed away, a board of directors continues to operate the camp, which sees families return generation after generation. I n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e a g r a ri a n n a t u r e o f t h e t o w n ’s f o u n d ing fathers, two present-day indust r i e s a r e Tr e e h o u s e F a r m a n d P i e t r e e O r c h a r d . Until the 1960s, children attended one room schoolhouses in their neighborhoods. Among the small cluster of buildings in the center of town is a former brick schoolhouse. Gail Ridlon, who grew up in Ridlonville, recalls attending the school from kindergarten through sixth grade, before going on to the much bigger Fryeburg schools. “There were three kids in my class,” she says. “The older we got, the more we helped the younger kids.” Gail remembers that a wonderful kitchen was added on and parents took turns coming to school to do the cooking. Sunday School was held on Friday afternoons—since the school was located next to the church it was convenient and a sure way to get the youngsters to attend. Though the population of Sweden has experienced ups and downs since its heyday prior to the Civil War, life here hasn’t changed all that much. Maps dated 1858 and 1880 show a network of roads that served the scattered neighborhoods. Many of today’s roads follow the footpaths and wagon tracks of earlier people. Over time, some physical changes occurred as buildings and homes were occasionally moved. But people who live here don’t shy away from the smallness of their town. Instead, they fully embrace the unhurried pace and appreciate a simpler lifestyle. Gail tells the story of her grandfather, Ed Ridlon, who was a barrel maker. Someone once took him to dinner and told him to order anything he would like. Being a Saturday night, he ordered beans. It’s those kinds of traditions to which the residents continue to cling. This is a place where, during a winter snowstorm, over 100 people show up for a public supper to celebrate their town’s heritage. This is Sweden, Maine. R
summer bookshelf Book Reviews from the Owners & Staff of Bridgton Books
justin’s list It is hard to believe this year marks Bridgton Books 20th anniversary of doing business on Main Street. How fortunate we are to have picked such a wonderful area to start a business and raise a family. A huge thank you goes out to all our great customers who have supported us over the years. Here are a few of my favorite books I read over the winter. If you want to immerse yourself in a beautiful, heart-wrenching novel, please try The Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. The title, a medical term that refers to the overall workings of the human body, also symbolizes the Chechen characters in the story, and their tenuous existence during the turbulent years of the wars with Russia between 1994-2006. There is Havaa, an eight-year-old girl who has lost her parents; Akhmed, the neighbor and family friend with a bed-ridden wife; and Sonya, the doctor in the deserted hospital searching for word of her sister. All face enormous adversity and loss, and the lyrical prose and epic story will leave you breathless at times. Writing this good is rarely seen in a first novel, and remember when this book becomes a classic, that you heard it here first. This story is an amazing testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Historian Mitchell Zuckoff has found a nifty little niche to write about: World War II plane crashes and the subsequent search and rescue missions for those who were lucky enough to survive. During the war, hundreds, if not thousands of planes crashed in non-combat situations; some in very secluded, out-of-the-way locations. In his first work of non-fiction, Lost In Shangri-La, he writes about a crash in the jungles of New Guinea, and the Stone Age natives who helped the survivors until their unbelievable rescue by gliders. In Zuckoff’s new book, Frozen in Time, he travels to the other side of the Earth, taking the reader to Greenland, which unfortunately lay right under the main supply route between the U.S. and Britain. Ferocious weather claimed many a plane, and if any servicemen were able to live through the crash, their chances of survival on the island were still pretty slim. Penned in by dangerous crevasses, with subzero temperatures and high winds
the norm, the chances of making it to the few bases along the coast were minimal. Many rescuers ended up dying or having to be rescued themselves, including the crew of a B-17 who crashed while looking for a downed cargo plane. Amazingly, the nine crewmen survived and lived in the wreckage of their plane for 148 days. Zuckoff also chronicles his own, present day expedition to Greenland in search of a lost plane and crew under the ice, which complements the main story nicely. Good comical novels are few and far between. Here are two I’d like to share, which have recently come out in paperback. Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman is a hilarious, mystery romp that had me cracking up throughout the story. Buck Schatz, an 87-year-old retired Jewish cop and tough guy, is about as cynical as you can get, and when a fellow veteran ex-POW from World War II reveals to him that their former German commandant is still alive with a huge stash of gold, Buck returns to action. Aided by his NYU Law-schooled grandson, Buck battles against his failing body and memory issues to set things right in his unique, grumpy fashion. This book is still a sleeper, unlike Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple, which many of you may have already read. If you haven’t, please try this quirky, original social satire that takes place in Seattle—the land of rain and Microsoft. This novel pokes fun at too many things to list, and its format is different than most books, but really works well. It is written in the form of e-mails and letters, and sometimes narrated by Bernadette’s daughter. Even though this is a funny book, I was touched by dysfunctional Bernadette and her family, and really cared for them by the end. In 1845, a blight destroyed almost all of Ireland’s potato crop, and successive crop
failures over the next few years resulted in what we now refer to as the Irish Potato Famine. Over a million Irish people died from starvation, and another million left the country in search of a better life. Most of these emigrants travelled to North America on “Coffin Ships,” aptly named because so many people died of disease and malnutrition during their voyages. All Standing by Kathryn Miles is the true account of the Jeanie Johnston, a transport ship that somehow never lost a passenger during the many trips across the Atlantic. The author uses this fantastic ship as a backdrop to illuminate the history behind the politics and events of this great tragedy, and a new beginning for the more fortunate. Well researched and very readable, she recounts the story of the builder, owner, and crew, and even follows the life of one of the passengers born on the boat. Two remarkable war novels have recently come out in paperback and deserve mention. Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers is an intense depiction of the war/occupation of Iraq seen through the eyes of two young soldiers. It provides a snapshot of war traumas, both mental and physical. An Iraqi veteran, Powers is a phenomenal writer, and his book was a finalist for the National Book Award. Even if you don’t normally read war stories, I hope you will try this one, because it is really a work of literature, and should be read in every high school. The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead is a priceless addition to Korean War literature; a war that has long been neglected by writers for whatever reason. Henry Childs loses his girl and joins the Marines. Befriended by Lew, the tough old veteran, they fight the Chinese and the frigid cold. Vivid descriptions of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir make this book stand out, and Olmstead has a Spartan style of writing reminiscent of Hemingway.
perri’s preferences I was in Maine for an extended vacation this past winter and caught up with some much anticipated reading. Fortunately, I discovered a number of good books to recommend for the upcoming long, hot days of summer. Canadian-American poet Molly Peacock has brought the extraordinary Mary Delany (1700-1788) to light in her biography The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72. Mrs. Delany was born into minor British nobility and, when she was 72 years old, arguably invented the modern art of paper collage, which she called her “mosaics.” She produced almost a thousand exquisite botanical “mosaics” before failing eyesight forced her to stop at the age of 88. She was an extraordinary individual and led a fascinating, not always easy varied life, which Peacock narrates with poise and insight, often drawing comparisons to her own. The book is graced with beautiful color illustrations of the “mosaics” that set the tone for each chapter and offer a wonderful escape into the rarified world of 18th-century gardens and the British upper classes. I managed to snag an advance reading copy of The Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, a realistic depiction of a time (perhaps in the not too distant future) when the rotation of the Earth begins to slow down and the unexpected ways it impacts daily life. Thompson has considered an amazing range of possibilities that would never occur to most of us in this beautiful, compelling coming of age story told from the perspective of an adolescent girl living in a middle class California suburb.
Julie Otsuka’s The Buddha in the Attic is an understated little gem recounting the lives of a group of Japanese “picture brides” who arrive in America to marry immigrant Japanese men during the 1920s. At first it was a bit hard to grasp, but eventually I realized it was similar to an epic poem, like Homer’s “Odyssey,” and I was hooked by its rhythm and emotion, expressed with typical Japanese restraint as the story unfolded. It truly deserves its status as a National Book Award finalist. Ru, by Vietnamese-French Canadian Kim Thuy, has a similar feel and is actually written as a series of vignettes. “Ru” means a lullaby in Vietnamese and a stream in French; both apply aptly to the narrator’s tale that takes the reader from a privileged life in Saigon to a Malaysian refugee camp and through an immigrant’s experience of modern day Quebec. Lisa See continues the story she began with Shanghai Girls in her most recent novel Dreams of Joy, so we get to find out what happens to the young woman who runs away from America to China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the 1950s. Ms. See has done her research and presents a riveting vision of the idealism, turmoil and horrors of that time in this gripping novel, although not as harrowing as Jung Chang’s biography Wild Swans or Xinran’s The Good Women of China. Revenge is a deliciously strange collection of eleven tenuously connected tales by the author of The Housekeeper and the Professor, Yoko Ogawa. Slightly macabre and surreal, yet oddly realistic, these elegantly written stories feature ordinary people presented with extraordinary situa-
tions that are all intertwined in some way. A woman faces rooms full of kiwi fruit, a handbag maker receives a bizarre heartrelated request, a woman accepts her son’s death through strawberry shortcake, and various other characters confront their own peculiar, twisted circumstances with typical Japanese acceptance of the weird as normal. Ogawa has a well-deserved reputation in Japan and I hope it will spread to the U.S. Last, but certainly not least, is The Conundrum (subtitle–How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse) by New Yorker staff writer David Owen. In this short, very readable narrative, Owen provides enlightening information on the quest for energy efficiency and how, despite many advances in the field, the problems have only grown worse. He even goes so far as to seriously, yet too briefly (in my opinion), address the ultimately overriding problem of overpopulation, which most writers seem to have deemed taboo. Everyone says they aspire to be “greener,” more efficient and less wasteful, but the reality is that not many are actually willing to really think about and live up to their so-called “green” standards (as the author himself admits). It is a relevant book for these times and should be read by everyone who promotes a “green” lifestyle and is concerned about the fate of this planet. Those are my personal summer reading recommendations, but if none of them sparks your interest, anything by John Steinbeck is always a good option…
Pam’s mainely maine Picks for Kids & Young Adults As I reflect on the past twenty years in the bookstore, I occasionally drift back in time and visualize what the store looked like when we opened and the type of books we stocked and how it has evolved. Getting a feel for the lakes region and guessing local book interest seemed to be a daunting task at first, but clearly the customers have spoken and the bookstore has adapted to meet their needs. Hands down, our fastest growing section is Young Adult. Because girls tend to be stronger consumers than boys, the publishers have responded favorably to the demand of female audiences. I am, however, pleased to offer several novels that favor young male readers. lakelivingmaine.com
summer bookshelf Book Reviews from the Owners & Staff of Bridgton Books
Farmyard Alphabet Wild Animal Alphabet Dahlov Ipcar Author and Illustrator Ages birth + Born in Vermont, raised in New York and finally settled in Georgetown, Maine, Dahlov found her peace in raising animals, growing her own food, writing and drawing for both pleasure and profit, while raising two children. Dahlov’s inspiration for her more than 30 children and young adult books came from the simple pleasures in life. Her bold illustrations, frequently outlined in black, make the objects pop in popular color pallets of the late twentieth century. Visit our children’s Maine section for a nice selection of her work, reprinted for the next generation. My Maine By Suzanne Buzby Hersey Illustrated by Nicole Fazio Ages 2+ Do you know the Maine State Bird? How about Maine’s largest city or state capitol? Take a history lesson and tour our Pine Tree State to discover Maine’s most treasured landmarks, rich culture and favorite seasonal activities. Colorful and playful illustrations help youngsters identify the Portland Children’s Museum and LL Bean, taste whoopie pies and lobsters, view the majestic ski areas and spot a puffin along the rocky coastline. The Water Castle By Megan Frazer Blakemore Ages 10+ Crystal Springs, Maine, may appear like an ordinary small town, but its extraordinary students, super strong athletes and generations of families make this mysterious place far from the norm. After Ephraim Appledore-Smith’s father suffers a debilitating stroke, his family promptly packs their belongings and moves into their ancestral home, called Water Castle. Myths and legends about the castle’s magical water qualities are whispered until Ephraim befriends a girl, whose parents have been the caretakers of the castle for years. Emphraim and his new friend begin
to challenge the legend of the magical water, and so begins a grand probe of all secret passages and nooks of Water Castle. The Journey Back By Priscilla Cummings Ages 12+ Escape from Cliffside Youth Detention Center consumes Digger’s thoughts night and day. An innocent prank, which turned deadly, lands Digger in juvenile prison for nine months. Leaving his mother and siblings behind, with his verbally and physically abusive father is at the root of his nagging desire to break out and save them. Digger has no choice; he needs to escape to make things right at home. Follow Digger on his daring and dangerous escape, with the police hot on his trail. Out Of Nowhere By Maria Padian Ages 14+ Somali refugees fleeing their native country are pouring into Enniston, a small Maine town. Few protest or question the surge of non-English speaking Somalis taking over the school, including Tom’s high school soccer coach. Tom, captain of the varsity soccer team, ranked number three in his class and dating the most popular girl, is pleased to have several highly skilled Somali soccer players on the losing team, especially Saeed. The soccer team’s statistics rapidly improve with the new additions, until Tom and his best friend get into trouble with the law, and a team rival begins questioning Saeed’s eligibility. Tom’s community service includes tutoring Somali students; an unexpected bond develops as his priorities change. Readers will enjoy the exciting soccer action, as well as the fact that towns across Maine are mentioned, including Bridgton.
The False Prince By Jennifer A. Nielsen Ages 14+ Connor, a nobleman of the court from a far away kingdom, enters an orphanage looking for four boys with certain physical characteristics, skills and traits. Forced to travel back to Connor’s kingdom against their will, the boys are thrown into a rickety wagon and taken away. Fear of the unknown and the oversized, unfriendly guards with weapons, silences three of the boys, but Sage has his own agenda, and traveling with this group is not part of it. Connor’s restless kingdom is on the verge of a civil war that the trusting king doesn’t believe is imminent. He must find a way to bring peace to the kingdom, while securing his prominent position. Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror By Jennifer Finney Boylan Reviewed by Grace Kurtz Jennifer Boylan has taken many ideas that would not make a substantial story on their own, and meshed them together to make a great read that I finished in one sitting. Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror is about Falcon and his friends—Megan, Pearl, Max and Destynee. They are admitted to a “special” school for monsters, where they are supposed to be taught how to control their magical powers and abilities. There is a difference between the magical stories popular now and this one, because instead of the “Academy” being an actual haven, the Academy for Monsters is not a very safe place at all. One of the teachers is a dragon, and one is the “terrible kraken,” whose method of discipline is to eat the students that don’t behave! A bit harsher than Dolores Umbridge and her blood pen, don’t you think? Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror is full of intricate detail, and wonderfully explicit explanations. The characters are very well developed and full of personality. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. R
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As summer wore on, my curiosity pulled me further and further hen Mom and Dad were building the cabin at the lake, they up the lake. I remember once catching a glimpse of an old canoe. decided they needed a boat, so Dad built one. He built a When I investigated, I found the weathered ribs of a dilapidated two-plank skiff that was about 10 or 11 feet long. The sides canoe poking up through the brush. Dad told me afterward how the were made from two wide pine boards and the flat bottom trappers used to stash canoes at various lakes so they wouldn’t have was cross-planked. I don’t recall that Dad had any plans to go by. to carry them in and out. Another time, I was exploring the outlet I’m sure he built the boat by eye and that it was largely based on the of the lake and discovered the bottom of the stream smothered with size of the boards he had on hand. We hauled it in the back of the fish. Dad told me they were suckers, gathering to spawn in the gravel truck to the lake and tossed it overboard to let the planks “take up.” beds. Once, I found a half sunken section of a dock. It must have It only took a summer afternoon of trial and error for me to taken me half the day to pry that learn how to row the boat and dock off the rocks, make a line make it go straight. The oars fast and then tow it all the way were six or seven feet long—pine back to our cabin. I think. I remember they had no I learned a lot towing that leathers and that the wood was dock, like how to use levers to badly chafed where the loom of overcome my own weakness. I the oar contacted the horns of learned how great weights could the oarlocks. No matter, I could by randy randall be moved when afloat and I unmake the boat go. derstood about ships and super I learned to row backwards tankers. I learned which knots and how to alternate each oar I could rely on to hold, and I and how to pull ahead on one learned where to pull and how oar and push back on the other much force was needed to keep and so turn the skiff in its own the towline tight and not lose length. I was maybe nine or ten. momentum. Dad tossed a worn horse collar When I landed my prize back life vest into the bottom of the at the cabin, I felt like a pirate boat and told me to “be carewho’d captured the treasure ful,” and with that, the entire ship. And when Dad allowed as lake opened up and I was free how he’d be able use the lumber to row anywhere I wanted. That in the old dock, I felt a great since of pride in having done something little boat played a huge role in my growing up. worthwhile and valuable. My sister, Ruthie, and I learned how to stand on the seats and I learned seamanship. Even on our small lake the waves could dive over the side and then how to hoist ourselves back up out of build up and create quite a chop. I learned how to quarter into the the water into the boat. Sometimes we went fishing. I’d take Dad’s waves and how to feather my oars so the wind would not fetch them fly rod with the sinking fly line and we’d lean the rod tip against the out of the oar locks. There was one time the wind kept pushing the transom as I rowed along dragging a “Mickey Finn” streamer fly bow downwind, so I went ashore and found some big rocks to put close in to the shoreline. We caught brook trout, perch and pickerel. in the front of the boat. No one taught me that, but it made common One of my pleasanter tasks was to row Mom and Ruthie to the sense that I needed more weight in the bow. spring. A half-mile down the lake from us was Charlie’s little tarpaper Summer after summer, these small and large lessons accumulated shack. Out behind was a woodland path that led to a sandy spring as I rowed miles and miles around the lake. I look back now and and that’s where we got our drinking water. We’d load up, with wonder how I learned to do these things. Being left to my own Mom and Ruthie sitting in the stern, and the blue Coleman picnic devices on a relatively small lake with a very basic boat taught me jug sitting on the floor between us. I’d take the oars and Digger, the skills that have served me well all my life. More then anything, I family collie, would bound aboard at the bow. I’d ground the skiff came to rely on my own imagination and judgment. A healthy selfon the little shingle beach between house-sized boulders and we’d confidence was the most enduring legacy from those summer days walk to the spring. Charlie had driven an old pipe into the hillside spent rowing around the lake. and the water trickled cool and clear out of the end of that pipe and Eventually, Dad could no longer make the bottom planks swell splashed into the little pool below. Mom held the jug under the pipe tight and he and Mom grew tired of bailing the old boat every time and let it fill to overflowing. they wished to take a ride, so they bought a 14 ft. aluminum boat In the evenings, I’d take the boat to go frogging. The bullfrogs were from Sears and Roebuck and an old Evinrude outboard from the huge and plentiful. During the day I’d catch them with my hands, but local small engine shop. By then I was ready to manage a larger at night I hunted them with a lantern and a spear. I’d pole the skiff boat and quickly mastered how to choke and start and keep the old through the lily pads and scan the rocky shore with Dad’s GI surplus Evinrude running. I expect Dad’s injunction to me when I set off in headlamp. I had an old eel spear that was Grandfather’s, but I don’t the new boat was pretty much the same as it had been when I set recall I was ever very successful. It didn’t matter. Just the act of being off alone in the old rowboat. That was, to “be careful and use your out in the dark and prowling the shallows of the lake was a great adcommon sense.” We still have the old aluminum boat, but I miss the venture in itself. Fact is, I eventually came to know every lagoon, cove old two-plank skiff. You never get to explore a body of water so well and sandbar in the variegated shoreline. It was nothing for me to shove as when you row or paddle slowly around its shores. R off in the morning after breakfast and be gone for most of the day.
Lessons from an Old Skiff
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summer calendar continued from page 25
6:30pm—Hacker’s Hill 4-mile Climb, benefit Hacker’s Hill protection and stewardship. Loon Echo Land Trust. FMI: 207-6474352, www.loonecholandtrust.org
7:30pm—Isabeau at les Chercheurs d’Or, Quebecois & Appalachian Folk Music, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
Sweden Bicentennial Celebration History walks, talent show, pot luck supper, church service and archaeology dig. FMI: www.eskerridge.com/Sweden
10 am—Monitoring Maine’s Great Blue Herons with Wildlife Biologist Danielle D’Auria, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mainelakes.org
7:30 pm—Birdie Googins & More! Maine Comedy with the Mardens Lady, Benefit Event, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
8 am—8th Annual 20-Mile Tour de Lovell Bike Race benefits Lovell Recreation Department and Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library. FMI: www.bikereg.com
1-3pm—Geological and cultural history of Chip Stockford Reserve, Ladies Delight parking lot, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
7:30—Stories from the Past; Sounds from the Future w/Jeff Beam & Friends at Denmark Arts Center Scenes of a forgotten Maine provide the perfect foils for Beam’s evocative scores and songs. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30 pm—The Black Eagle Jazz Band, Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. FMI: 207-935-9232 or www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac
7:30 pm—My Irish Soul, featuring Pianist Paul Sullivan, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
1-4 pm—Lovell Historic House Tour FMI: 207-925-3234, email@example.com
8:30 pm—Star Gazing Celebration for the Perseid Meteor Shower, Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
7:30 pm—Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival-FA Concert 2013, Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg Academy. FMI: 207-935-9232 or www.fryeburgacademy.org/pac
7:30pm—I Married an Alien! featuring Maine Comedian Susan Poulin as Ida. Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www. deertreestheatre.org
9 am-12:30 pm—Musical Theater Workshop w/Mary Bastoni at Denmark Arts Center Class ends with a noon production on 8/16. Ages 6-16. FMI or to register: 207-452-2412.
9 am-3 pm—38th Annual Arts and Artisans Fair benefits Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library. Free and open to the public. New Suncook School, Lovell. FMI: 207-925-1135 or www.hobbslibrary.org
6 pm—Invasive Plants presentation by Naturalist Mary Jewett, Lakes Environmental Assn., Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mainelakes.org
7:30pm—Sebago Long Lake Music Festival Concert, , Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
10 am-12 pm—Survival Strategies of Plants, Whiting Hill, Westways parking lot, Route 5, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
9-11am—Flora & Fauna near Sucker Brook Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org
2 pm—The Secret Garden, Family theatre by Hampstead Stage, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
7 pm—Mycology Basics led by Plant Pathologist and Mycologist Jesse Dubin, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton. Pre-registration required: 207-647-8580, email@example.com or www.mainelakes.org
7:30 pm—A Dickens of A Night, Nicholas Nickleby by Hampstead Stage and The Signal-Man by Andrew Harris as Mr. Dickens, Deertrees Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-583-6747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
9 am—Mushroom Walk at Holt Pond led by Mycologist Jesse Dubin, Lakes Environmental Association. Pre-registration required. FMI: 207-647-8580, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mainelakes.org
1pm—Barred Owls, presentation by Bonny Boatman, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Main Street, Lovell. FMI: 207.925.1056 or www.gllt.org
5:30pm—The Bigger Big Event benefits Bridgton Historical Society and Rufus Porter Museum, Dinner, dance & auction, Bridgton Academy, North Bridgton. FMI: 207-6473699 or www.bridgtonhistory.org
9 am—The Great Adventure Challenge Triathlon benefits Good Neighbors, Inc., Shawnee Peak Ski Area, Mountain Road, Bridgton. FMI: www.maineadventureracing.com
1:30-3 pm—Burlesque Workshop w/ the Boston Babydolls at Denmark Arts Center New England’s premiere burlesque troupe will teach you to bump, grind and shimmy your way to the stage! Suitable for ages 18+. FMI or to register: 207-452-2412.
1-4 pm—Supercharge your Sketchbook w/Ted McGrath at Denmark Arts Center A workshop on the art and business of commercial illustration. Bring your sketchbook and be prepared to get your hands dirty! FMI or to register: 207-452-2412.
10am-noon—Unique geology of Kezar River Reserve, Route 5, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-925-1056 or www.gllt.org.
7pm—History Slideshow on the Mills along Stevens Brook, presentation by Historian Sue Black, Lakes Environmental Association, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, email@example.com or www.mainelakes.org
7:30 pm (Saturday 5 pm)—The Line at Denmark Arts Center Funded by the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council, The Line uses oral histories to construct historical fiction in the great tradition of Maine’s tall tales and hum-dingers. FMI: 207-647-2412 or denmarkarts.org
7:30 pm—Boston BabyDolls at Denmark Arts Center Voted “Boston’s Best Burlesque” three years running. 30th Ages 18+ only. Advance tickets avail- 10am—History Walk on Stevens able online at denmarkarts.org or at Brook Trail led by Historian Sue Bridgton Books and Morning Dew. Black, Lakes Environmental Association. Meet at Food City parking 17th lot, Bridgton. FMI: 207-647-8580, 7:30pm—Downeast Brass, A Night firstname.lastname@example.org or www. of Music & Much More, Deertrees mainelakes.org Theatre, Harrison. FMI: 207-5836747 or www.deertreestheatre.org
Dusk-to-Dawn—All Freakin’ Night! Scary Picture Show at Denmark Bicentennial Park An outdoor movie marathon that ends at 7 am with a pancake breakfast. Ages 16+ only. FMI: 207-452-2412
7:30 pm—Leviathan at Demark Arts Center Filmed entirely in Maine waters, Leviathan is total immersion into life onboard a fishing boat. FMI: 207-452-2412 or denmarkarts.org 10 am-12 pm—Mushrooms and Forest Ecology at Wilson Wing Moose Pond Bog Preserve, Lovell. Greater Lovell Land Trust. FMI: 207-9251056 or www.gllt.org
23nd Annual Bridgton Hospital Benefit Golf Tournament at Bridgton Highlands Country Club
9 am—Mushroom Walk at Holt Pond led by Mycologist Jesse Dubin, Lakes Environmental Association. Pre-registration required: 207-6478580, email@example.com or www. mainelakes.org 6:30-8pm—Journey Dance at Nurture Through Nature, Denmark, Free yourself through music, movement and supported expression. $15. FMI: 207452-2929 or www.ntnretreats.com Loon Echo Land Trust 25th Annual Meeting and Hacker’s Hill Celebration RSVP by August 15. FMI: 207647-4352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
7:30 pm—Dinner & A Movie at Denmark Arts Center Sit down to a documentary about Maine’s organic milk industry and a 100% locallysourced gourmet meal. Tickets available at denmarkarts.org or at Bridgton Books and Morning Dew Natural Grocery (Event Sponsor).
6:30-8pm—Journey Dance at Nurture Through Nature, Denmark, Free yourself through music, movement and supported expression. $15. FMI: 207-452-2929 or www. ntnretreats.com 7:30am-5pm—13th Annual Loon Echo Trek A 6-mile hike over Pleasant Mt. or the traditional 25, 50 and 100-mile bike trek. FMI: 207647-4352 , email@example.com, or register on-line at: www.loonechotrek.org 4-6 pm—Harvest Supper, Narramissic, South Bridgton FMI: 207647-3699 www.bridgtonhistory.org
11am-4pm—10th Annual Lakes Brew Fest, Point Sebago Resort, Casco. FMI: 207-647-3472 or www.mainelakeschamber.com
Museum Day at Rufus Porter Museum FMI: www.smithsonianmag. com/museumday.
Picket Fence Gallery
is celebrating their 10th anniversary and continues to hand select treasures from around the world as well as North America. Carrying the largest selection of Kazuri Ceramic jewelry and beads from Nairobi, Kenya, in East Africa, they welcome you to stop on in for an â€œout of townâ€? experience. Located at 4 South High Street (At the Monument) in Bridgton. 207.647.5465
• Superior Quality • Reliable Service • Certified in Erosion Control Practices
Commercial & Residential Services Sitework & Road Design/Construction 207.452-2157 www.khiellogging.com 36 lakelivingmaine.com
Building Custom House and Barn Frames Since 1987 Providing High Quality Timberframes for General Contractors and for the Owner/Builder Life Member of the Timber Framers Guild
97 Kimball Corner Road Naples, Maine 04055 (207) 935-1123 CustomTimberFramer.com
Bridgton Urgent Care Because bumps and bruises and ‘just not feeling so great’ can happen…even on vacation.
NEW HOURS! M SUM ER 8
Open Monday through Friday 5PM to 9PM Saturday 8AM to 1PM 207-647-6166
ugust 1 July 8 - A HOURS! D EXPANDE ugh Friday ro Monday th pm 5 pm to 9 Sunday d n a Saturday pm 8 am to 4
Located in the Specialty Clinic Wing of Bridgton Hospital, 10 Hospital Drive (off South HIgh Street)
Learn more about our new
Urgent Care at www.bridgtonhospital.org
Bridgton Urgent Care for minor emergencies. Bridgton Urgent Care for walk-in medical care.
Including: Colds, flu-like symptoms, hay fever, minor allergies, bruises, bumps, skin lumps, bronchitis, coughs, cuts and lacerations, earache or ear pain, muscle aches, blisters, sinusitis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, insect bites and stings, muscle aches, sore throat, sports injuries, sunburn, eye irritation, joint pain. It’s always best to call your doctor when you need medical care, but when your doctor isn’t available Bridgton Urgent Care is for walk in care today. Our team of healthcare professionals will care for you as quickly as possibly and follow up with a record to your regular provider.
For Major Emergencies please use the Bridgton Hospital Emergency Department. Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. lakelivingmaine.com