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A p ril 1986

$1.95

V o lu m e 1, N o . 1

INTERVIEW: Judd Nelson Star Of St. Elmo’s Fire WHY THE SWAN DIVE DOVE

,J I

COVER STORY: Upscale And Ultra-Chic Hit The ■! Portland Waterfront IDENTIFYING RARE PORTLAND GLASS INSIDE: The Best Reviews And Events Listings In The State!

74470 19402

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What to look for in a commercial broker. F in d in g th e rig ht c o m m e rc ia l b ro k e r to h e lp yo u sell y o u r p r o p e r ty d e m a n d s ca re fu l c o n s id e ra tio n . A ll c o m m e rc ia l b ro k e rs a re n o t th e sa m e - a s y o u 'll d isc o v e r w h e n y o u c o m p a re th e m w ith G e n d ro n . So b e fo re y o u list w ith a n y b ro k e r, look for: C* 11 'V h i GITA S ellin g c o m m e rc ia l p ro p e rty is n 't t G l C U l ^ C l 1 1 U I L like se% n g re s id e n tlai p ro p e rty . A t G e n d r o n , c o m m e rcial p r o p e r ty is all w e sell, so w e c an give it th e a tte n tio n it d e se rv e s. In fact, a t G e n d r o n , each b ro k e r s p e c ia liz e s ev en fu rth e r, fo c u sin g o n in c o m e , in d u s tria l or re ta il p ro p e rty .

P \ rr")P V I P VI C P A t G e n d r o n , w e sell m o re c o m m e rc ial 1 C 1 I V - C p r o p e r ty th a n a n y o th e r P o rtla n d -a re a b ro k er. T h a t e x p e rie n c e c a n b e a b ig p lu s w h e n it c o m e s to n e g o tia tin g a d iffic u lt d eal o r s tr u c tu rin g co m p lex fin a n c in g . A fte r all, y o u tu r n to y o u r b ro k e r fo r g u id a n c e a n d a d v ice, a n d it's n ice to k n o w th a t w h a t y o u 'r e h e a rin g is b a s e d o n solid e x p e rie n c e.

M arket Knowledge ™ts^ $ esof p r o p e r ty a re in d e m a n d ? W h o 's in v e stin g ? W h o 's sellin g ? You c a n t k n o w u n le s s you k n o w th e m a rk e t. A t G e n d ro n , o u r tra ck re c o rd s p e a k s for itself: M ore th a n 97.5% o f th e p r o p e rtie s w e sold la s t y e a r b ro u g h t th e ir a sk in g p ric e s o r m o re . In a d d itio n , w e k n o w th e in v e sto rs. We h av e a list o f 500 in d iv id u a ls a n d firm s th a t re g u la rly in v e st in c o m m e rc ia l p ro p e rty . T n h P c rri

^ c o m m e rc ia l b ro k e r h a s a leg al o b lig a tio n to act in h is c lie n t's b e s t in te re s t. A t G e n d ro n , w e b eliev e th a t re sp o n s ib ility tr a n s la te s in to a few b a sic ru le s. For in s ta n c e , w e d o n 't o u y o u r o w n listin g s - a n a ll-to o -c o m m o n p ra c tic e - b e c a u s e th a t w o u ld p u t u s in a p o sitio n o f n e g o tia tin g a g a in s t o u r clien ts. A n d w e 're n o t d e v e lo p e rs, so w e d o n 't h av e a v e s te d in te re s t in sellin g o u r o w n p ro p e rtie s b e fo re w e sell y o u rs.

V P Pi \\ \71 t v

^ b ro k e r s h o u ld b e ab le to m ak e a C Cl L I V 1 L y p r o p e r ty m o re sella b le by re c o g n iz in g n e w o r e x p a n d e d u s e s , o r by c ra ftin g in n o v a tiv e fin a n c in g s w h e n n e e d e d . A t G e n d ro n , o u r lo n g e x p e rie n c e is a c o n s ta n t so u rc e of id e a s. O u r b e g in n in g s in re sid e n tia l sales h a v e ta u g h t u s cre ativ e m a rk e tin g te c h n iq u e s . O u r fa m ilia rity w ith c o n s tru c tio n allo w s u s to s u g g e s t sm all c h a n g e s th a t ca n m a k e b ig d iffe re n c e s in a p r o p e r ty 's m ark etab ility . Gendron: Professionals who have what you're looking for. S p e c ia liz a tio n . E x p erien ce. M a rk e t k n o w le d g e . Integrity. C reativ ity . T o g e th e r w ith h a rd w o rk , th e y 'v e m a d e u s P o rtla n d 's # 1 c o m m e rc ia l bro k er. So if y o u 're se llin g c o m m e rc ia l p ro p e rty , call o n e o f u s to d a y at 775-1811. Top to b o tto m : R oger G e n d ro n (left) w ith clien t Jo h n M a th e w s, John G e n d ro n , L o u ise G e n d r o n (left) w ith clien ts D eb ra B achorow ski (cen ter) & D o n n a T h u rlo w (rig h t), R ichard G e n d ro n , C h a rle s G e n d ro n & H elen G e n d ro n -B e la n g e r.

Gendron Commercial Brokers


FEATURES 14

Judd N elson, Star of St. Elmo’s Fire. By Colin Sargent.

19

Why The Swan Dive Dove. By Dennis Gilbert.

22

Upscale and Ultra-Chic Hit The Portland Waterfront.

DEPARTMENTS 2

A p ril 1986 V o lu m e 1, N o. 1

On The Town: Performing Arts and Entertainment Listings. By Michael Hughes.

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Portlandiana: Discovering Rare Portland Glass. By Jim Kupel.

36

Movers And Shakers: Top Commercial Photographers. By Marcia Feller.

39

The Carpenter, New Fiction By Lawrence Spingarn.

40

Commercial Real Estate: Liberty Group and Updates. By Richard Bennett.

46

Politics: Joseph D. Casale, Mayor. By Robert Kemp.

49

Residential Real Estate: Hobart Harnden and Listings. By Richard Bennett.

50

Restaurant Review: Hamilton’s India Restaurant. By George Benington.

55

The Arts: Reviews By Mark Melnicove.

60

Flash.

C over Photo: “U pscale and Ultra-Chic Hit the Portland W aterfront ” © 1986 by Peter M acom ber, M acom ber, Inc. Model: Stacey Teas. Location: H arbor Fish, Custom H ouse Wharf, Portland. Dress courtesy of Jordan Marsh Co. Jewelry by Tavecchia. Hair and m akeup by Lisa Ross. APRIL 1986

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O N THE TOWN Deadline for listings is six weeks in advance of publica­ tion date. Please send materials to Michael Hughes, Listings Editor, Portland Monthly, The Lafayette, 638 Congress St., Portland, Maine 04101. Please include: date, time, place, co n ta ct person, telephone number, c o st and a description of your event. If you have any questions, please call Portland Monthly at 775-4339.

___________ MUSIC___________ D aniel and Todd P h illip s, v io lin ists. Handel, Sonata for Two Violins and Piano; Mozart, Sonata in A major; Brahms, Sonata in D minor; World Premiere: Eugene Phillips, Duo for Two Violins (1985); Moszkowski, Suite for Two Violins and Piano. Sponsored by th e Portland Cham ber Music Society. Immanuel Baptist Church, High St., Portland. Tuesday, April 1, 8 p.m. 772-8038.

S en io r recital by flu tist Jenny M enna, w ith Ron C ole, p ian o, and Jara G oodrich, harp. Bach, Sonata No. 7 in G minor; Lauber, D anses Medieval; Bozza, Image; Copeland, Sonata for Flute and Piano. University of Southern Maine, Gorham cam pus, 34 Corthell Hall. W ednesday, April 9, 8 p.m. Free. 780-5256. Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite P low b oys, one of New England’s finest bluegrass bands. University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus, College Room in the Student Center. Thursday, April 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. Free. 780-4090.

Isaac Stern, vio lin ist. Stern is not only one of this century’s great virtuosos, but he has been tireless in his sponsorship of the fine arts in this country. His concert and teaching to u r of China in 1979 w as d ocum ented in the A cademy Award winning d ocum entary “From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.” Sponsored by the Portland C oncert Association. City Hall Auditorium. Fri­ day, April 25, 8 p.m. $17/$13/$10. 772-8630.

USM J azz E nsem ble, University of Southern Maine, Portland cam pus, Luther Bonney Auditorium. Thurs­ day, April 10, 8 p.m. Free. 780-5256. USM C oncert Band and C horale, Cathedral of the Im m aculate Conception, Congress St., Portland, Friday, April 11, 8 p.m. $3/$l. 780-5256.

Richard G o o d e, p ian ist. The third concert in Goode’s Beethoven Sonata cycle. Sponsored by the Portland C oncert Association. St Luke’s C athedral, 143 State St., Portland. Thursday, April 3, 8 p.m. $10. 772-8630. Portland String Quartet w ith g u est artist Ann H ob­ s o n Pilot, principal harpist with th e Boston Symphony O rchestra and th e B oston Pops O rchestra. Barber, Sere­ nade, Op. 1; Haieff, Eclogue “La Nouvelle Heloise”; Debussy, D ances Sacred and Profane; Beethoven, String Q uartet in E flat Major, Op. 74, “The Harp.” Immanuel Baptist Church, High St., Portland. Friday, April 4 ,8 p.m. $7.50/$5/$3. 799-0632.

Trio Live Oak. From 3-part m asses to the love songs of the troubadours and the taverns, this Trio com bines scholarship and show m anship in perform ances that have the spontaneity of improvisation. Trio Live Oak perform s 12th to 16th century w estern European music on medieval instrum ents; their specialty is the tradi­ tional and the art m usics of medieval Spain. John Fleagle on cornet, rebec, oud, and tenor voice; Nancy Knowles on flute, viol and soprano voice; and Frank W allace on vihuela d e mano, lute, and bass voice. University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus, Luther Bonney Aud­ itorium. Friday, April 25, 7 p.m. $3/$2 for students. 780-4090.

King Arthur, an o p era by Henry Purcell, perform ed by Amare Cantare, M eredyth Jones, Director. Presented by Dyer-York Arts as part of Music in B aroque Culture, a project of th e Maine Humanities Council. York Institute M useum Gallery, Main St., Saco. Saturday, April 5. $5. 283-3861. Portland Sym phony C ham ber O rchestra w ith g u est con d u cto r C atherine C omet. Rameau, Suite from C oncerts for Strings; Bach, Coffee Cantata; Schubert, Symphony No. 3. Eastland Ballroom, Sonesta Hotel, Porttland. Sunday, April 6, 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. $10. 773-8191. The Portland B rass Q uintet, Safford Center North Yarmouth Academy, 123 Main St., Yarmouth. Monday, April 7, 7:45 p.m. Free. 846-6171. O liver Lake, m em ber of the renow ned World Saxo­ ph one Q uartet. Portland M useum of Art. Sunday, April 13, 3 p.m. Free with M useum admission. 775-6148.

Flutist Jen n y M enna and harpist Jara G oodrich, “Music at Noon (a n d ’/>).” Works by Bach, Ibert, Persichetti. Bowdoin College, 101 Gibson Hall, Brunswick. Monday, April 7, 12:30 to 1:30. Free. 725-8731, x253. S tu d en tH o n o rs R ecital. University of Southern Maine, G orham cam pus, 34 Corthell Hall. Tuesday, April 8, 8 p.m. Free. 780-5256. The H illiard E n sem b le o f London, one of th e w orld’s leading vocal ensem bles, in a program ranging from Medieval love songs to contem porary works written for them . Bowdoin College, Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center, Brunswick. W ednesday, April 9, 8 p.m. $6. 7258731, x253. 2

APRIL 1986

S a x o p h o n ist Dave D em sey, celebrating the release of his new album, “D emsey Plays Wilder,” a tribute to the great American tunesm ith and com poser Alec Wilder. T heater of Fantasy, 50 D anforth St., Portland. Sunday, April 27, 7:30 p.m. $5. 775-5957.

The Portland Sym phony O rchestra with conductor Bruce H angen in “The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan.” Stars from the legendary D’Oyly Carte O pera Company per­ form favorite selections from “Pirates of Penzance,” “H.M.S. Pinafore” and “The Mikado.” Portland City Hall Auditorium, Saturday, April 12, 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, at 3 p.m. $15/$13/$10/$7. C oncert preview Saturday, April 12, 7 p.m. in the Auditorium. 773-8191.

C onductor B ruce H angen and the Portland Sym­ p h on y O rchestra w ith so p ra n o Mary B urgess, m e z zo so p r a n o Birgit F innilae, and the Choral Arts S o ciety d irected by Robert R u ssell in a perform ance of M ahler’s Sym phony No. 2 ( “Resurrection”). This is B ruce H angen’s last appearance in the PSO’s regular season. Portland City Hall Auditorium, April 29 and 30, 7:45 p.m. $16/$14/$10/$7. C oncert preview, a free infor­ mal discussion by conductor, guest artists and musi­ cians, Monday, April 28 at 6:30. Box supper, $5,773-8191.

C o m p o ser O d alin e De La M artinez, “Music at Noon (a n d ’/ 2).” Bowdoin College, 101 Gibson Hall. Monday, April 14, 12:30 to 1:30. Free. 725-8731, x253.

___________ DANCE___________

Kenny R ogers in concert, with special guest Lee Greenwood. C um berland County Civic Center, Tuesday, April 15. 775-3458.

“Kids A fternoon,” with m ovem ent specialists and children’s entertainers. Portland D ance Center, 25A Forest Ave., Portland. Saturday, April 5,1 p.m. 773-2562.

H eavy m etalist Ozzy O sbourne. Cumberland County Civic Center, Friday, April 18. 775-3458.

B allet H isp an ico of New York fuses the fire and color of Spanish and C aribbean dance with m odern ballet tech­ niques. Cony High School Auditorium, Augusta. Wed­ nesday, April 9, 8 p.m. $9/$6. 622-7131.

T hom as T essito re, classical guitarist, has performed th ro u g h o u t New England as a soloist and as a cham ber musician. His perform ance is the final one in the 1985/86 Faculty C oncert Series at the University of Southern Maine, G orham cam pus, 10 Bailey Hall. Saturday, April 19, 8 p.m. $5/$3. 780-5256. N ortheast W inds. Irish folk music featuring pub tunes, ballads, sea chanties, and instrum entals. T heater of Fantasy, 50 Danforth St., Portland. Saturday, April 19,8 p.m. $7/$5/$4. 775-5957.

“Live From Studio I” series featuring Boston-based Betty Fain and D ancers prem iering a dance set to the m usic of Thelonius Monk. Portland Dance Center, 25A ForestAve., Portland. Friday, April 11,8 p.m. $3.773-2562. Fifteenth A nnual Spring P erform ance, The B ow ­ d o in D ance G roup. Directed by June Vail, Bowdoin College Director of Dance. Pickard Theater, Bowdoin College, Brunswick. Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12, 8 p.m. Free. 725-8731.

USM W ind E nsem ble and C ham ber Sin gers, State St. Church, State St., Port land. Sunday, April 20,3 p.m. $3/$ 1. 780-5256.

NEDCO Jazz D ancers. Centre of M ovement, 19 State St., Gorham. Sunday, April 13, 2:30. $4/$2. 839-5939.

C o m p o ser Karl A age R asm u ssen , “Music a t Noon (an d 'A )." Bowdoin College, 101 Gibson Hall. Monday, April 21, 12:30 to 1:30. 725-8731, x253.

INSIDE OUT, C asco Bay M overs. New dances premier­ ing at the Casco Bay M overs Spring Concert include a work choreographed for the com pany by Ram Island


Dance com pany m em ber Larry Lee Van Horne; th e title piece by Artistic Director Sheila Bellefleur; new work by Tom McGary and Kelly Holyoke, currently m em bers of the Ralph Robinson Ballet Com pany in Bangor. McGary and Holyoke will also join th e M overs for INSIDE OUT. Portland Performing Arts Center, 25A Forest Avenue. April 24, 25 an d 26 a t 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 27 a t 2 p.m. 774-0465.

__________ THEATER__________

holistic practitioner to see how their treatm ent fits into a larger framework. 761-0611. H erbal H om e R em ed ies and O ther T o o ls o f SelfH ealing. An introductory course in using herbs with an em phasis on practical experience. Instructor Hal Merm elstein. M onday evenings 7-9 for 8 w eeks, March 31 through May 19. $60. Sponsored by the H ealth R enais­ san ce Foundation. 761-0611.

READINGS/EVENTS

Portland Players, 420 Cottage Road, South Portland. Children of a Lesser God, by Mark Howard Medoff, April 4,5,6,11, and 12. Friday and Saturday perform ances at 8; first and third Sunday perform ances at 7; seco n d Sunday m atinee at 2:30 (n o evening perform ance). $7.799-7337.

“W hy Four Israeli Artists?” by John Coffey, Curator, Bowdoin College M useum of Art. Bowdoin College, W alker Art Building. Sponsored by th e M useum of Art. W ednesday, April 2, 1 p.m., and Sunday, April 6, 3 p.m. 725-8731, x253.

Figures o f S p eech T heater, w ith Jo h n and Carol Farrell in “I m agination,” an unlikely history of the w orld from th e big bang through th e sp ace age told entirely by household objects. The actors include icetrays, sho etrees, a to a ster oven and rubber gloves. T heater of Fantasy, 50 D anforth St., Portland. Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 6 at 2 p.m. $6/$4. 775-5957.

“P oetry and P o litic s” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Born in 1919 in Yonkers, New York, the poet-publisher is bestknown as th e proprietor of the City Lights Bookshop in San Francisco, and as th e au th o r of m any volum es of colloquial verse, including A Coney Isla nd o f the M ind (1958). Bowdoin College, Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center. Monday, April 7, 8 p.m. 725-8731, x253.

Portland Lyric T heater, 176 Sawyer St., South Port­ land. “Hello Dolly,” April 25 to May 17. Friday and Saturday perform ances at 8; Sunday at 2:30. $8.50. 7991421, 799-6509. Sh akespeare & Com pany, University of Southern Maine, Portland cam pus, Luther B onney Auditorium. Friday, April 18, 7 p.m. $3/$2 for students. 780-4090. Portland Stage Com pany, 25A Forest A venue at the Portland Performing Arts Center. “The Cherry O rchard” by Anton Chekhov. Tuesday-Sunday, M arch 29 to April 20. Ticket range $8-$ 15, discounts available. 774-0465.

OTHER EVENTS OF INTEREST International C ham pionship W restling. Cumber­ land County Civic Center, Tuesday, April 1,8 p.m. Ring­ side $8, general admission $6. 775-3458. The M aine Event B ull A uction. An auction p resen ta­ tion featuring Stabilizer, a 2,400 lb., prize-winning sem i­ retired cham pion stu d bull. As th e Evening Express recently noted, “Stabilizer’s com petitive c areer is over, but the value of his sperm still m akes him hot property on the breeding circuit.” Cum berland County Civic Cen­ ter, Sunday, April 6. 775-3458. Maine Food and L odging Show , a trad e show for people in th e re stau ran t an d lodging industry. Cumber­ land C ounty Civic Center, Tuesday, April 8 and W ednes­ day, April 9. For m ore information, call N ortheast Trade Shows, 775-1196. “Apri 1In P aris Bal I,” a benefit for th e O pera T h eatre of Maine with th e Bill Street Big Band. Dinner, dancing, a roving accordionist, and pianist Keith M cClelland round out the evening’s festivities. S onesta Hotel Grand Ball­ room, Portland. Friday, April 18,6:30 p.m. $25 p er person. 775-2588. Kora T em ple Shrine Circus. C um berland County Civic Center, M onday to W ednesday, April 21 to 23. M onday a t 2 & 7, T uesday a t 10,2 and 7, and W ednesday at 2 & 7. $2/$4/$6. 775-3458. Maine State R epublican C onvention. C umberland County Civic Center, Friday to Sunday, April 25 to April 27. 775-3458.

___________ HEALTH___________ Open Forum on AIDS, Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Kennebunk High School Auditorium. Spring Body Fair, Saturday, April 26, University of Southern Maine Gym. W orkshops on yoga, Trager, polarity, Feldenkrais, A lexander technique, shiatsu, exercise and more. Concludes with a contradance. 761-0611. O rientation to H o listic H ealth C are, Monday, April 7, 7 p.m., I l l W escott Road, South Portland. For anyone who is interested in holistic health care, and particularly for those beginning a course of treatm ent with any

“T hey Paved P arad ise . . .” by Neil Smith. Portland Stage Com pany’s Lunchtim e Discussion Series in con­ junction with PSC’s current production of Anton Chek­ hov’s “The Cherry O rchard.” (See T h eater) Smith is a scholar in urban geography from Columbia University and a u th o r of the book Uneven D eve lo pm e n t Portland Performing Arts Center, 25A Forest Ave., Tuesday, April 8, noon. Free. “Joh n C. D onovan P olitical S c ien ce Lecture Se­ r ie s.” Inaugural address by William Willard Wirtz, form er Secretary of L abor in the Johnson Administra­ tion. Bowdoin College, Daggett Lounge, W entworth. T uesday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. 725-8731, x253. P oet R obert Bly. In addition to his critically acclaim ed poetry journal (called, chronologically, The Fifties, The Sixties, The Seventies, and n o w The Eighties). Bly is an essayist, lecturer, translator, student of mythology, and w eathervane of the m ale experience. Nordica Audito­ rium, University of Maine Farmington. Thursday, April 10, 8 p.m. Free. 778-3501, ext. 288. Capturing Y our A ud ien ce. A two-day conference designed to assist artists in finding the b e st w ay to attract, develop and maintain an audience for their work. Topics of discussion include: advertising; mail-order, catalogue, and o th e r alternative m arketing ideas; pro­ tecting o n e ’s work; and m aking the right personal pres­ entation. Sponsored by the Maine Crafts Association and h o sted bythePortlandS choolofA rt. April 12& 13,10to5 each day. Registration at the Baxter Building of the Portland School of Art, 619 C ongress St., from 2 to 5 on Friday, April 11, and from 8 to 10 on Saturday, April 12. $80/$65 MCA m em bers. For information and registration form, co n tact The Maine Crafts Association, P.O. Box 228, Deer Isle, Maine 04627, or call 348-9943. R ebecca C um m ings, au th o r of Kaisa Kilponen, winner of th e 1984 Maine State Commission on the Arts and Humanities C hapbook Competition. She will read from works which draw m uch of their inspiration from the Finns of Oxford County, am ong w hom she was raised. University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus, Col lege Room in th e C am pus Center, Saturday, April 15, a t 7 p.m. “The C learest Lens: A d is c u s sio n o f W illiam T rost R ichards’ In th e W o o d s , ” by Brian Lukacher, Bowdoin College Instructor of Art. Sponsored by the M useum of Art. Bowdoin College, W alker Art Building. W ednesday, April 9,1 p.m., and Sunday, April 13,3 p.m. Free. 725-8731.

J The newly renovated Top of the East at the Hotel Sonesta is the high point of any night on the town in Portland. Gaze out over the harbor from your table in the stars. Sit back, enjoy or even da nce if the spirit m oves you, to the sounds of M arlene Daley at the piano. Enjoy a variety of sup erb ly prepared hors d ’oeuvres. It’s high tim e you com e and

“A m erican A bstract E x p r essio n ism ,” by Larry D. Lutchm ansingh, A ssociate Professor of Art, Bowdoin College. Bowdoin College, W alker Art Building. Spon­ sored by th e M useum of Art. W ednesday, April 16,1 p.m., and Sunday April 20, 3 p.m. Free. 725-8731, x253. “J ea n B aptist C am ille C ourot’s The P o n d ,” by Thom as B. Cornell, Professor of Art, Bowdoin College. Bowdoin College, W alker Art Building. Sponsored by the M useum of Art. W ednesday, April 23,12 p.m., and Sun­ day, April 27, 3 p.m. Free. 725-8731, x253. Leo C on n ellan , w inner of the prestigious Shelley Memorial Award and the Portland-born author of 12 books of poetry, including The Clear Blue L ob ster Water

OF THE EAST Sonesta Hotel Portland 157 High Street Portland, M aine 04101 207-775-5411 APRIL 1986

3


Country. The New York Times recently called Clear B lue L o b ste r W ater C ou n try “powerful and coming from the

PORTLAND MONTHLY

S e n io r E d ito r Art D ir e c to r A d v e r tisin g D irecto r

Colin S argent S usan Garry, Fit To Print Bobbi L. G oodm an

C o n trib u tin g E d itors On T h e Tow n M overs & S hakers R e stau ran t Review s C om m ercial & R esidential Real E state T h e Arts

M ichael H ughes M arcia Feller G eorge B enington M adeline M cTurck R ichard B ennett Juris U bans

deep regions of the now-declassified creative uncons­ cious ... Mr. C onnellan is a credible w itness to the great w orld’s desolating injustice.” Sponsored by the Maine W riters and Publishers Alliance. T heater of Fantasty, 50 D anforth St., Portland. Friday, April 25, 8 p.m. $4/$3 MWPA members. 775-5957. “The B eh avior and E cology of the A tlantic W alrus,” by Dr. Randall Reeves, affiliate of the Arctic Biological Station, Canadian Wildlife Service. Sponsored byPearyMacMillan Arctic M useum and Arctic Studies Center. Bowdoin College, Beam C lassroom, Visual Arts Center. Monday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. Free. 725-8731, x253. “Grant W ood and Marvin Cone: An A m erican Tradi­ tio n ,” by John Coffey, C urator, Bowdoin College M useum of Art. Bowdoin College, W alker Art Building. Sponsored by the M useum of Art. W ednesday, April 23, 12 p.m. Free. 725-8731, x253. “L on gfellow ’s Portland,” lectures, exhibitions and to u rs sp o nsored by the Maine Historical Society in celebration of the bicentennial of the W adsworthLongfel low House. Two lectures discuss the W adsworth and Longfellow families and the house that bears their names: “The W adsworths: A Portland Family,” April 9, and, yes, “The Longfellows: A nother Portland Family,” April 16. Both lectures are by author/historian Joyce Butler, C urator of M anuscripts, Brick Store Museum. The final tw o lectures of “Longfellow’s P ortland” deal, appropriately enough, with the legacy of Henry W ads­ w orth Longfellow: “Henry W adsw orth Longfellow: An American T astem aker,” by C hristopher M onkhouse, C urator of American and European Decorative Arts, R hode Island School of Design, on April 23; and "A C ontem porary Look at Henry W adsworth Longfellow,” by Daniel Aaron, D epartm ent of English and American Literature and Language, Harvard University, on April 30, followed by the closing reception of the “Longfel­ low’s Portland” series. All four lectures take place at 7:30 on W ednesday evenings a t the First Parish Church, C ongress St., Portland. The Wadsworth-Longfellow H ouse will be open from 1 to 3 in the afternoon of each lecture date. Free. 774-1822. Children’s M useum of Maine, W estbrook College, Stev­ ens Avenue, Portland: Parent Enrichm ent Program s on Tuesday evenings at 7:30. April 8, “Disciplining our Children,” J. McCarthy; April 15, “Early Childhood Edu­ cation,” Joanne C. Holmes; April 22, “Stress in Early Childhood," Bruce St. Thom as; April 29, “Keeping Chil­ dren Well,” Frances M. Linehan. $2. 797-5483.

Portland Monthly™ is published by Colin and Nancy Sargent. A11co rresp o n d en ce should be addressed to 638 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04161.

The Children’s M useum will also offer a series of Chil­ d ren ’s Enrichm ent Program s on Saturday mornings in April and May. 3-5 year olds at 9,6-8 year olds at 10:30. $2 for non-m em bers, $1 for members. 797-5483

FILM A dvertising Office: 638 C ongress Street, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 775-4339.

S u b scrip tio n s: In the U.S. and Canada, $18 for 1 year, $30 for 2 years, $36 for 3 years.

April 1986, Vol. 1, No. 1, copyright 1986 by Portland M onthly. All rights reserved. Second class postage paid at Portland, Maine 04101. Opinions expressed in articles are those of authors and do not represent editorial positions of Portland Monthly. Letters to the editor are w elcom e and will be treated as unconditional ly assigned for publication and copyright p u rp o ses and as subject to Portland M onthly’s unrestricted right to edit and com ­ m ent editorially. Nothing in this issue m aybe reprinted in w hole or in part w ithout written permission from the publishers. Return postage m ust accom pany all m anu­ scripts and photographs subm itted if they are to be returned, and no responsibility can be assum ed for unsolicited materials.

4

APRIL 1986

GALLERIES/EXHIBITS M aine Photo B iennial, Tour 1985-1986. A juried exhibit of 30 Maine artists, including prizewinners Katie Fagan and William Thuss. W ellehan Library at St. Joseph’s College in North W indham, April 2 through April 30. M onday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 8 to 4; Saturday 10 to 5; Sunday 10 to 10. Sister Kathleen Smith, 892-6766. E leventh Annual Art A uction, Portland School of Art, Baxter Auditorium, 619 Congress St., Portland. Featuring w orks by PSA stu d en ts and faculty. Friday, April 11. Preview of paintings, sculptures, drawings, jewelry, prints, photographs and ceram ics from 4 to 7; auction begins at 7. Free. 775-3052. “Portland, M aine Trade B anners o f 1841,” Library Building of the Maine Historical Society, adjacent to the W adsworth-Longfellow H ouse on Congress St., Port­ land. Part of “Longfellow’s Portland” (se e L e c tu re s / Readings). M onday to Friday, noon to 4, through May 16. B ow d oin C o lleg e M useum o f Art, Bowdoin College, Brunswick. Four Israeli Artists, through June 8; American A bstract Expressionism: W orks from the Perm anent Collection, through May 11; Grant Wood and Marvin Cone: An American Tradition, April 4 through June 1. T uesday to Friday, 10 to 4; Saturday, 10 to 5; Sunday, 2 to 5. Bowdoin College, Brunswick. 725-8731, x253. Joan W hitney P ayson G allery o f Art, W estbrook College, Stevens Avenue, Portland. 1 +1 =2.Thisshow of w ork by married couples, each husband and wife a recognized artist, suggests “another w ay of looking at art, o ne that em phasizes the ‘com m unal’ aspects of its creation, the natural relationships and associations th at o ccu r in a system of shared values” according to Grace Glueck in the New York Times. Among the artists included in the exhibition are Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Mary Beth Edelson and Robert Stackhouse, Sondra Freckelton and Jack Beal, Joyce and Max Kozloff, Ellen Lanyon and Roland Ginzel, Pat Passlof and Milton Resnick, Miriam Schapiro and Paul Brach, Sandra Shannonhouse and Robert Amason, and Nancy Spero and Leon Golub. April 12 through May 18. Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 4, w eekends from 1 to 5. 797-9546. Portland M useum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland. John Hultberg, Selected Paintings, 1953-1984. An exhibi­ tion of 39 paintings by Hultberg, an artist w ho h a s been called “a painter of the in-between,” for his large, densely colored works th a t fall betw een abstraction and realism. The painter now lives on M onhegan Island. Through June 8. Also on view in April, The Peggy B acon Collec­ tion, and contem porary paintings from the Perm anent Collection. M useum admission $3/$2/$l. Free admis­ sion Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 775-6148. Portland Public Library, 5 M onum ent Square, Port­ land. “W ilderness of Maine”, photographs by Nancy Jacob. April 2 through April 29. Monday, W ednesday and Friday 9 to 6; Tuesday and Thursday noon to 9; Saturday 9 to 5. 773-4761 xllO.

The G arden o f th e Finzi-C ontinis, by Vittorio De Sica (Italy, 1971). University of Southern Maine, Portland cam pus, Luther Bonney Auditorium. Friday, April 11 at 5; Sunday, April 13 at 4. $2/$l for staff, faculty, students.

Portland Sch ool of Art, Baxter Gallery, 619 Congress St., Portland: Senior Show through April 11. M onday through Friday, 10 to 5, T hursday to 7, Sunday 1 to 5. 775-3052.

T ouch o f Evil, by Orson W elles (America, 1958). Port­ land M useum of Art. Thursday, April 17, 7 p.m. $2.50 M useum m em bers/$3 non-members. 775-6148.

A bacus Gallery, 44 Exchange St., Portland. Fine and decorative crafts and jewelry. M onday to W ednesday, 9:30 to 6; T hursday to Saturday, 9:30 to 8; Sunday 12 to 5. 772-4880.

C him es at M idnight, by Orson W elles (America, 1966). Portland M useum of Art. Thursday, April 24,7 p.m. $2.50 M useum m em bers/$3 non-members. 775-6148. 10th Annual M aine Student Film and V ideo Festival. O pen to Maine residents 19 years old and younger. Deadline for entries is May 15,1986. Public screening and aw ards presentation June 7, 1986, 1 p.m., Portland M useum of Art. For entry forms, write, Maine Alliance of Media Arts, 4320 Station A, Portland, Maine 04101. C inem a City, W estbrook Plaza, W estbrook. 854-9116. M aine Mall C inem a, Maine Mall Road, South Portland. 774-1022. The M ovies at Exchange Street, 10 Exchange St., Portland. 772-9600. N ick elo d eon C inem a, Tem ple and Middle Streets, Portland. 772-9751.

B arridoff G alleries, 4 City Center, Portland. Selections of Gallery artists, selected nineteenth and tw entieth century works, and esta te paintings. M onday to Friday, 10 to 5; Saturday 12 to 4. 772-5011. C on gress Square G allery, 594 Congress St., Portland. Hand Colored photographs by David Klopfenstein. April 4 through May 2. Opening reception Friday, April 4,5:30 to 8 p.m. M onday to Saturday, 10 to 6. 774-3369. Frost Gully Gallery, 25 Forest Ave., Portland. Exhibi­ tions of recent works by artists represented by the gallery. M onday to Friday, 12 to 6. 773-2555. H obe Sound G a lleries, 1 Milk St., Portland. Group Show culled from the present artists represented. April 9 through May 3. M onday to Saturday, 10:30 to 5:30. 773-2755.


Maine P o tters’ Market, 9 M oulton St., Portland. Stoneware, porcelain and earthenw are by 14 Maine craftspersons. M onday through Saturday 10:30 to 5:30. 774-1633.

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Maple H ill Gallery, 367 Fore St., Portland. Home Show 1986: Charles Mark, wood; Susan Ferago, ceram ics; Jamie Davis, ceram ics; Janet Markarian, w ood and fiber; LynnThor, fiber; Lin Fife, fiber. Through April 6. Four One Person Shows, featuring Ronald Hayes Pearson, jewelry; Sharon Tow nshend, ceram ics; Sondra Bogdonoff, w ear­ ables; Beth Changstrom , ceram ics. Through May 11. Opening reception Friday, April 11,5-8 p.m. M onday to Saturday from 10 to 6, T hursday evenings to 8, Sunday from 11 to 4. 775-3822. The Pine T ree Sh op and B ayview Gallery, 75 Market St., Portland. Landscape p astels by M argaret A. Gill; Wood Assem blages by Larry Largay. March 20 through April 30. M onday to Saturday, 9:30 to 5:30. 773-3007. Poste-s P lus G a lle r ie s, 146 Middle St., Portland. Gala openiig of new gallery on April 12,5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., featumg works by Peyton Higgison, III. Free, public invite!. The Gallery will also feature prints by Will Barnet, R.C. Gorman, Elizabeth Shippert, Ron Bolt and KaikoVloti. M onday to Saturday, 10:30 to 5:30.772-2693. The ftein G la ss G allery, 20 Milk St., Portland. New expermental joined pieces ip glass by Peter Greenwood. April 0 through May 12. Opening reception Thursday, April 10, 5-7 p.m. Tues-Sait 10-6 an d by appointm ent. 772-9*72. Time* T en , 420 Fore St., Portland. Fine functional crafts from len Maine craftspersons, including clocks by Ron Burke, handw ovenrugs by Sara H otchkiss, an d earth ep ware pottery and tiles by Libby Seigars. M onday to Saturday from 10 to 6. 761-1553.

_______ RESTAURANTS________ Alberta’s. 21 Pleasant Street, Portland. All th e selec­ tions from A lberta’s ever-changing menu are cooked to order over their m esquite charcoal grill. Steaks, seafood, and butterflied leg of lam b are accom panied by hom e­ made soups, breads, and desserts, including “D eath by Chocolate.” Lunch, dinner, Sundaybrunch. Major credit cards. 774-5408. Afghan R estaurant. 629 C ongress Street, Portland. Delicious and exotic Afghani cuisine in a family setting. Atmosphere includes paintings by ow ner with fun per­ spectives. 773-3431. Amigo’s. 9 D ana Street, Portland. A wide selection of Mexican food in a relaxed setting. Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, everything m ade from scratch. Brings th e Mex­ ican experience to th e Old Port. Lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, clo sed Sunday and Mon­ day. 772-0772. The B aker’s T able. 434 Fore Street, Portland. Relaxed bistro ben eath th e Old Port Bakehouse offers diverse European cooking, veal, fish, tournedos, hom em ade chowders, soups, stew s including bouillabaisse are available, as well as fresh bread s and pastries from upstairs. Local artists exhibit occasionally. Major credit cards. 775-0303. Boone’s. C ustom H ouse Wharf, Portland. They’ve been serving an extraordinary range of seafood since 1898. Portland m em orabilia and antiques are displayed in the heavy-beamed dining room , and th ere a re nightly sp e­ cials in addition to th e extensive menu. Lunch and dinner daily, all major credit cards. 774-5725. Bramhall Pub. 769 Congress Street, Portland. Soups and sandw iches in a p retty brick-walled setting beneath the Roma Cafe. 773-8329. Cafe A lw ays. 47 Middle Street, Portland. One of Port­ land’s new est restaurants. Features strong, ambitious menu and a rom antic atm osphere. Cafe C orn erb rook . C ornerbrook sh o p p in g plaza, opposite th e Maine Mall, South Portland. The theatre kitchen serves up su ch specialties as sau te e d soft-shell crab, philo pie, seafood and p a sta salads. Q uiches and soups are created daily; jazz b ands play nightly. Break­ fast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday and Sunday brunch. 772-3224.

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5


LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

ing w ays, and it m akes P o rtland an incredibly rich place for interesting stories. T h a t’s probably w hy y o u ’re here, too. I’m a P ortland native (D eering High ’73) w ho actu ally had to go away, pilot Navy h elicopters over Kenya, Southern Europe, and th e Indian O cean to find th a t this is th e city I’ve alw ays been looking for, a place w here everything h a s n ’t already b een done, a p la c e th a t’s read y for anything. W hen th e Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Na­

“W here’s o u r clam sign?” It w as early January, and w e w ere shivering in front of H arbor Fish on C ustom House W harf with p h o to g ra p h e r P eter M acom ber, m odel S tacey Teas, an d new s cam eras from WCSH-TV an d WGME-TV, sh o o t­ ing th e w aterfront co v er for o u r p re ­ m iere issue. I h ad to pinch m yself to m ake su re I w asn ’t still just dream ing. People sta rte d crow ding aro u n d the cover sh o o t, intrigued by th e clash of c u ltu re s (u p sc a le condom inium chic vs. bustling m aritim e in dustry) w e w ere dram atizing (s e e o u r sto ry on page 22). T he old an d new P o rtlan d s are m erg­ ing on th e w aterfro n t in so m e fascinat­

tional Geographic, New England M o n th ­ ly, Savvy, and U.S. News and W orld R eport all cover P o rtland in a 1-year

C L O T H I E R S R o u te 1, F alm o u th M o n .-F ri. 10-6, S a t. 10-5 a n d T h u r s . ’til 8 781-4177

period, you know the city is hot! E nter P ortland M onthly. C ontributors in this issue have writ­ te n for everything from The N ew Yorker to th e Paris Review to Down East to Harpers to Antaeus to th e Village Voice to M aine Times to th e M aine Sunday Telegram.

And w e know y o u ’re ready for Re­ views. B usiness News. Real E state Up­ d ates. T he W aterfront. Perform ing Arts. Fiction. Style. Oh yes! Anyone w ho finds th at CLAM sign, p le ase call Nick Alfiero, H arbor Fish, 775-0251.

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6

APRIL 1986


Victorian hom e. Veal an d lam b are featured on a menu th a t changes weekly; steaks an d seafood are great, too. M arble fireplaces warm th e room s of this historic build­ ing, and conference sp ace is available. R eservations suggested. 846-3895.

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NEW LOCATION

Carbur’s. 123 Middle Street, Portland. Carbur’s is fun, from the m enu to th e antique advertisem ents, to the “Kitchen Sink Club,” a sandw ich accom panied by a parade of th e restau ran t staff. Although th e m enu fea­ tures sandw iches, soups and salads are hom em ade and inventive, too. C arbur’s h a s a new b an q u et ro o m with a special menu, and th ey have a prim e rib special T hurs­ day, Friday, and Saturday nights. Lunch and dinner, major credit cards. 772-7794.

at the corner of Union and Commercial Sts. ON THE OLD PORT WATERFRONT

C hannel C rossin g. 23 Front Street, South Portland. An elegant restau ran t with an elegant view of P ortland from its p erch on th e water. Teriaki sirloin is a favorite, as is “Fresh C atch,” th e very freshest fish available each day. Lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch, major credit cards. 799-5552.

See the many new choices in bathroom fixtures and acces­ sories, cabinet and door hard­ ware, solid brass lighting and other decorative amenities to furnish your home.

C hristopher’s. 688 Forest Avenue, Portland. Greek wines can be had with th e baked lamb in to m ato sauce and o th e r Greek specialties. Philo pies and stuffed grape leaves lead crisply into th e fresh baklava and o th er desserts. A relaxed, spacious restaurant. Lunch and dinner M onday through Friday, dinner only on Saturday, closed Sunday. Major credit cards. 772-6877. D eli O ne. 106 Exchange Street, Portland. Spinach and sausage pie, pasta, om elets, deli sandw iches are am ong the international attractio n s in this cozy place. The soups and chow ders are intriguing as well. A sunny patio w hen seaso n perm its. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Sunday brunch. Art exhibits by local talent. MC, V. 772-7115.

o £ N O V A T O i? 'c **

D iM illo’s Floating R estaurant. Long Wharf, Portland. Unique floating restau ran t has steaks, seafood, Italian cuisine, ribs, and, always, lobster. Fine wines, nightly chef’s specials, an d entertainm ent. Lunch and dinner daily, Sunday brunch. Major credit cards. 772-2261.^

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D ock Fore. 336 Fore Street, Portland. Daily specials in this cozy Old Port setting include burgers, quiches, soups, chow ders, fresh fish, steam ers, and m ussels. Lunch and dinner. 772-8619. The G alley. 215 Foreside Road, Falmouth. Located at Handy Boat Yard, T he Galley offers a beautiful view of Clapboard and C hebeague Islands plus sleek racing yachts and an impressive, varied m enu of seafood sp e­ cialties. Cocktail lounge on up p er deck. A m ust for the yachting set. 781-4262. The G ood Egg Cafe. 705 Congress Street, Portland. Breakfast is the specialty in this com fortable cafe. H ouse favorites are the hom em ade hash, English muffins, and multi-grain pancakes. The egg variations are endless, and there are herbal te a s and fresh ground coffee. M onthly exhibits by stu d en t artists. W eekdays 6-12, Saturday 7-2, Sunday 8-2. 773-0801.

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Gorham Station. 29 Elm Street, Gorham. A lovely full-service restau ran t in a resto red railroad station. Steak and seafood; American favorites. 839-3354. The G reat Lost Bear. 540 Forest Avenue, Portland. The exotic burgers, th e friendly service, the etch ed glass, the hilarious m enu m ake The Bear a special spot. T here’s also award-winning chili, ribs, chicken, and steak, and of course, the hom em ade Toll H ouse Cookie Pie. For sum m er days, th ere is a patio in Bearidise Alley, and for Sundays, a cham pagne brunch. Lunch and dinner 7 days served right to 11:30. 772-0300.

Jim T h o rn e, Pat V ilven, H . Bud Singer, D iane Shevenell, B arney B urrall Seated: Sue Lamb, Janice D rinan, C hris Jackson

Green M ountain C offee R oasters. 15 Tem ple Street, Portland. Exotic coffees and teas, interesting conversa­ tions, great location n ear One City Center and Nickelo­ deon movie th eatres. O pen late in th e evenings. 773-4475. H am ilton’s India R estaurant. 43 Middle Street, Port­ land. Portland’s p o p u lar new Indian restau ran t is reviewed in this issue of Portland Monthly. 773-4498. H o r se fe a th er s. 193 M iddle Street, Portland. The award-winning m enu offers fresh char-broiled fish, stirfries, steaks, veal Oscar, as well as notorious “Horsefries” and nachos. Many daily specials, served by a cheery, creative staff. Elegant and fun. Entertainm ent nightly. Lunch an d dinner, 11:00 to 11:45 daily. Major credit cards. 773-3501.

A T r a d i t i o n o f E x c e lle n c e i n R e a l E s ta te B r o k e r a g e f o r M o r e T h a n 3 0 Y ears.

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O n e U n i o n W h a r f , P o r t la n d ( 2 0 7 ) 7 7 3 -0 2 6 2

APRIL 1986

7


d a c k f f ir e 3 3 6 F o r e St., P o r t la n d , M e ., U n d e r t h e R e d C a n o p y , in th e O l d P o r t Y o u lik ed us. W e re g o o d at fo o d & d rin k s . W e 'r e t h e b e s t of t h e n e i g h b o r h o o d W h a t a n e ig h b o rh o o d ! R em em b er?

HuShang II. 11 Brown Street, Portland. Award-winning Szechuan, Shanghai, Mandarin, and Hunan cuisine. Spicy and inventive. A Portland mainstay. Lunch and dinner daily. 774-0800. Hu Shang III. 29 Exchange Street, Portland. Shrimp in black bean sauce, cashew chicken are am ong the Sze­ chuan, Hunan, Shanghai, and M andarian dishes offered. Daily luncheon specials, hom em ade Chinese soups. Two brick and glass dining room s. Lunch and dinner. Major credit cards. 773-0300. J ’s O yster Bar. 5 P ortland Pier, Portland. Delicious w aterfront spot for seafood lovers. Oysters, steam ed clams, very fresh seafood. 772-4828. J a m e so n Tavern. 115 Main Street, Freeport. Steaks, veal, seafood, and daily chef’s specials. Veal sauteed with proscuitto, provolone, and m ushroom s is a favorite, served in an historical colonial home. Lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch. 865-4196. L’A ntibes. 27 Forest Avenue, Portland. Elegant French cuisine served in the Portland Performing Arts Center. Perfect sp o t before and after Portland Stage productions and o th e r Arts Center events. Extensive wine list. 772-0453.

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La Salsa. 444 Fore Street, Portland. Spicy, new-age restaurant features Chile verde enchiladas, Indian blue corn tortillas and tam ales, Colache burritos, distinctive soups, and New Mexican and South American fish dishes. New location sp orts high-design interior, daily specials. Also: lamb dishes and Mexican bread pudding. 775-5674. L obster Shack. 246 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth. Striking ocean view and picnic seafood to match. Great spot to w atch Portland and C enterboard Yacht Club events. 799-1677. Madd A pple Cafe. 23 Forest Avenue, Portland. Unus­ ual, delicious, original cuisine by R ebecca Reilly in the Portland Performing Arts Center building. M anyinternational specials. Lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch. 772-6606. M aria’s R istorante. 337 Cumberland Avenue, Port­ land. Formal dining, good wines, and fine Italian cuisine. Owner and chef, A nthony Napolitano specializes in veal dishes, including veal scallopini m arsala, and there is an em phasis on fresh seafood, as well. Dinner 5-10 w eek­ days, 5-11 weekends. MC, VISA. 772-9232.

We’re proud to be selling Greater Portland The MacBride Dunham Group Industrial/C om m ercial Real Estate Portland, Maine (207) 773-7100

8

APRIL 1986

Maine’s economy is booming, that’s for sure. At the MacBride Dunham Group, we want that growth to be healthy, sustained, and solid for many years to come. After all, we live here, too. We care about what's right for this community, and for the state. That’s why it’s such a pleasure doing business in Greater Portland.

M ichel’s at Exit 8. 202 Larrabee Road, W estbrook. Seafood and steaks in a pretty, plant-filled dining room. Among the selections are a tw o-pound prim e rib, baked haddock, and Sicilian scallops. The portions are large, dinner specials change every tw o weeks, lunch specials every day. Lunch and dinner. Major credit cards. 854-9496. O ld Port Tavern. 11 M oulton Street, Portland. Steaks, seafood, salad bar, and live music in the heart of the Old Port. Award-winning Bloody Mary’s. 774-0444. P agoda. 5 Forest Avenue, Portland. Chinese food by Danny Wong in a p retty new location. 773-5071. P asta V illage. 154 Middle Street, Portland. A variety of fresh p a sta s are m ade on the prem ises of this familystyle restaurant, and th ere are hom em ade sauces to choose from. O ther Italian favorites, and wines are available, too. Lunch and dinner, major credit cards. 772-8885. Portland W ine and C h eese. 8 Forest Avenue, Port­ land. Pates, im ported cheeses and m eats, sandw iches, soups, and salads to take out o r enjoy a t a window table. O pen 10-3 weekdays, 9-6 weekends. Major credit cards. 772-4647. Rib R oom . Sonesta Hotel Portland. 157 High Street, Portland. Elegant dining with impressive full-service m enu (p a te s, m ussels in basil and lem on sauce, steaks, seafood dishes with accents o n rare flavorings), and a highly rom antic atm osphere. Also, try The G reenhouse and the newly rem odeled Top of the East lounge for cocktails and a stunning city view. Reservations and major credit cards accepted. 775-5411. The Roma. 769 Congress Street, Portland. Classic Ital­ ian cuisine h as been served in this Victorian m ansion for 61 years. Enjoy seafood linguine or veal parm esan in one of the intim ate dining room s. Daily specials, and a unique collection of Portland Glass. Smoking and non-smoking available. Lunch and dinner. 773-9873.


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Sap poro R estaurant. 24 Free Street, Portland. Port­ land’s new Jap an ese re stau ran t excites th e tasteb u d s with colorful sushi dishes and o th er traditional favorites. Beautiful waterw alk into restaurant. 772-1233. S e a so n s. 363 Maine Mall Road, South Portland. The Sheraton’s pride an d joy, Seasons features a wide variety of seasonally changing American favorites as well as live entertainm ent and fashion shows. 775-0555. Seou l H ouse. Route 77, Cape Elizabeth. A uthentic Korean favorites. Intimate atm osphere and delicious, unusual food. Lunch and d inner T uesday through Sat­ urday. 799-4031.

The Vinyard. I l l Middle Street, Portland. Seafood Diablo and baked quail are am ong the specialties of this beautiful restaurant. The em phasis is on French and Italian cuisine, with an extensive wine list to match. The m enu changes bi-monthly. Lunch and dinner weekdays, dinner only Saturdays, closed Sundays. 773-5424. The W est Sid e. 59 Pine Street, Portland. Homemade delights in a stylish little neighborhood cafe with great breads, pastries, specials, and a seasonal patio. Menu always fresh, original. 773-8223.

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Smith Farm. 226 Gray Road, W est Falm outh. The Roast Turkey Feast is a special attraction in this post-andbeam family restaurant, as are th e desserts: T he Indian pudding, apple pan dowdy, and shortcakes are all hom em ade. The staff w ears overalls and sings on the weekends. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, closed Mon­ days. MC, VISA. 797-3034.

FM WMEA 90.1 CLASSICAL, JAZZ, FOLK (MPBN)

Sn ow S quail. 18 O cean Avenue, South Portland. Plants and sunshine, and a view of the w aterfront by day, candlelight by night. All th e seafood, veal, chicken, and beef is prepared from scratch. Lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch. Major credit cards, reservations accepted. 799-2232.

WHOM 95 EASY LISTENING

Sportsm an’s Grill. 905 C ongress Street, Portland. Ital­ ian and American favorites in four hom ey dining rooms. Spaghetti, of course, lasagne, b readed veal cutlets. Daily specials. Lunch and dinner. 772-9324.

Rediscover America’s Maritime Heritage

WMPG 90.9 ALTERNATIVE MUSIC (USM) W SJB 9 1 .5 ALTERNATIVE ROCK WEBI 92.1 ADULT CONTEMPORARY WMGX 93.1 ADULT ROCK WHYR 96 ADULT CONTEMPORARY

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Nautical Furnishings Art • Antiques • Gifts Models • Books Scrimshaw • Decoys

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34 E xchange Street. Old Port Exchange. French Con­ tinental cuisine and fine wines served in tw o Victorian dining rooms. The m enu of beef, seafood, chicken, and veal changes often with the exception of th e Beef Wel­ lington. Dinner 5:30-10:00, reservations suggested. Major credit cards. 775-1100.

WBLM 107.5 ROCK AM WGAN 56 ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Valle’s. 1150 Brighton Avenue, Portland. First-rate steaks and seafood at reaso n ab le prices in a family atmosphere. A favorite for m any Port 1anders for decades. Just off Exit 8. 774-4551.

WMER 1440 BUSINESS TALK AND SPORTS

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APRIL 1986

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INTERVIEW:

LEAVING THE BRAT PACK BEHIND

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APRIL


PORTLAND LOCAL

JUDD NELSON STAR OF ST. ELMO'S FIRE THE BREAKFAST CLUB BY CO LIN SARGENT

“M aine’s my favorite p lace on the planet. I like Portland . . . I like snow.”

APRIL 1986

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^ ^ w a s just a n o th e r sta rry ca fe c a r d a rk a lle y o f an e ve n in g in the O ld Port District, a n d 2 6 -y e a r-o ld Nelson was w a lk in g d o w n Exchange. Yes, J u d d Nelson, one o f the hottest actors in the country, w ho h ap pe ns to be the son o f p ro m in e n t local L e o n a rd Nelson, p a rtn e r, Bernstein, Shur, S a w yer, a n d Nelson, a n d N elson, a state rep re sen ta tive (D-District 28) in M aine 's 112th Legislature. You can im a g in e him , tru d g in g rig h t o ut o f The B reakfast C lub d o w n the hill p a st Tavecchia w ith those in te llig e n t d a rk g o o d looks, rive tin g p o s tm o d e rn eyes, a n d to u g h shrugs e n jo yin g just a n o th e r n ig h t in P o rtla n d w he re he likes "to ke ep a low p ro file . .

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APRIL 1986


JUDD NELSON: It w as funny, b u t a co u p le of p e o p le tried to pick a fight w ith me that night. I’d nev er seen th em before! Just regular guys. Big. T hey sta rted shoving m e around. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Do you think th e y recognized you from a film? JUDD NELSON: T hat co u ld b e it. You know, maybe th ey thought, ‘Tough guy in th e movies— le t’s se e if h e ’s to u g h in real life.’ But I’m n o t really like th e ch aracters I play. I’m in a professio n of illusions. If you d o well, th e n y o u ’re creating an illusion th a t p eo p le can believe.

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Reviews. Business News. Real Estate Updates. The Waterfront. Performing Arts. Fiction. Style. NAME ADDRESS

Nelson is w e ll p re p a re d fo r th e illusory. A rece nt M ia m i Post a rti­ cle took note o f his N ew E n g la n d intellectu al tra p p in g s w he n he used th e term " collective su b je c tiv ity " to describe the p la y he has just s ta rre d in — the O b ie -w in n in g Lyle Kessler hit, " O rphans"— a t the Burt Reynolds Ju pite r Theatre in F lorida. "It snuck out. I h ave no id e a h o w it h a p p e n e d ," Nelson to ld the Post in mock dism ay. Nelson's voice, accent, in fle c­ tions, and shadings o f la n g u a g e a re P o rtla n d o rig in a ls . A n in tu itiv e ly ta le n te d a ctor a n d a h a rd w o rke r, J u d d m em orized the 8 0 -p a g e script fo r Orphans in 12 days in tim e to e arn p ra ise like this in the M ia m i H e ra ld : "N elson's is an e x tra o rd in a ry

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p e rfo rm a n ce , sculpted from subtle alterations o f posture, from the w a y his arms d a n g le , from the d a rtin g m ovem ent o f his h e a d , from the w a y he shapes his w ords. His Philip is e ndearing, d a m a g e d , a n d hilarious."

PORTLAND MONTHLY: W h at’s it like w hen y o u c o m e b a c k h ere after starring in (M aking The Grade, Fandango, St. E lm o ’s Fire, The Breakfast Club, and, to b e released in May, B lue City )? D o p e o ­ p le here treat you differently? JUDD NELSON: M aine’s m y favorite p lace on th e plan et. I like Portland. P o rtlan d ’s w here I w as raised. I feel m o st com fortable in th e New England clim ate. I like snow. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Your p a re n ts a re highly re sp e c te d an d w ell-know n h ere, b u t as a “Brat P ack” alu m n u s w h o ’s starred w ith Rob Lowe, Emilio

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Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, et. al., you’re know n all over th e country. How are they reacting? JUDD NELSON: My p a re n ts have been very supportive of m e all my life. I’m su re th a t th ey ’re thrilled th a t I’m doing so well in su ch a com petitive atm o s­ phere. T hey w ant for m e w hat all par­ en ts w ant for their children, th a t I be successful and happy. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Howdo friends of y our family tre at you at parties now? JUDD NELSON: The sam e, really. Oh, m aybe th e y sq u eeze my ch eeks a little m ore and sq ueeze m y hand a little h a rd e r w hen th ey see me, bu t th e ones w ho have alw ays loved m e still love me, an d th e o n e s w ho never liked me (p a u se s, laughs) pro b ab ly like m e less. PORTLAND MONTHLY: How did you get y our big break? W hat took you out of P ortland? JUDD NELSON: It w asn’t like that. I w as going to college. I w ent to Bryn Mawr and Haverford for 2 years, m ajor­ ing in Philosophy. T hen I decided to go to acting school (Stella A dler’s acting co n serv atory in New York). PORTLAND MONTHLY: Who are som e of y o u r friends w ho are actors? Do you h ang ou t with co-stars like Rob Lowe? JUDD NELSON: No one th a t anyone w ould know. Two friends are Jim Harri­ son and Barry Hanna. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W hat’s been your favorite part so far? JUDD NELSON: I’m an actor. I like all th e p a rts I do. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Do you have a girlfriend now? JUDD NELSON: Yes. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Is she from Maine? JUDD NELSON: No, sh e ’s n o t from Maine. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W here are you living now? JUDD NELSON: In Los Angeles. PORTLAND MONTHLY: How do you get around? JUDD NELSON: I drive a Jeep. PORTLAND MONTHLY: How could P ortlan d b e tte r en co u rag e ac to rs to do w hat y o u ’v e b ee n able to do? Not m any sta rs have co m e from Maine; y o u ’re in a se le c t group of leading movie p er­ form ers th a t includes Rudy Vallee, Ann Miller, Phyllis T haxter in th e 1940s, and 18

APRIL 1986

Gary Merrill. T here w as quite a gap until you cam e along. JUDD NELSON: W hat a b o u t Linda Lavin? PORTLAND MONTHLY: OK, Linda Lavin. JUDD NELSON: T h ere’s no way to ‘e n co u rag e ’ som eo n e to do w h a t’s really n e ce ssa ry to act well. Or do any­ thing, for th a t m atter. It h a s to com e from within. I d o n ’t think you can push anyone to do anything he d o e sn ’t w ant to do. PORTLAND MONTHLY: P lay an y sports? JUDD NELSON: I like tennis and b a s­ ketball. And soccer. Soccer. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W hat are so m e of yo u r favorite h a u n ts around Portland? JUDD NELSON: I like 3 Dollar Deweys. W hen I’m in P ortland I som etim es go o u t to Two Lights and P ortland Head Light and just look o u t at th e ocean. 1 like lighthouses. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Are you think­ ing of doing any screenw riting in addi­ tion to acting? JUDD NELSON: (la u g h s) No. I’m an actor. I have a lot of things in the w orks now, though. I have a new movie, Blue City, com ing o u t in May. I’m in it with Ally Sheedy and Paul Winfield. It’s a m urder m ystery action film. PORTLAND MONTHLY: In th at strange n ig h tto w n e n c o u n te r on E xchange Street w hen th o se guys tried to sta rt a scuffle, w hat did th ey say to you? Did they refer to any particular movie? JUDD NELSON: No references. They called me a few n asty nam es. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W ere you dressing like th e c h a ra c te r in The Breakfast Club? W hat do you think set them off? JUDD NELSON: No (lau g h s). I w as w earing Bean boots. Jeans. A sw eater and a dow n parka. Regular clothes. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W hen y o u ’re doing a movie, do p eo p le on location ask you w here y o u ’re from? JUDD NELSON (assum ing a tourist voice): ‘Oh, you com e from Maine, huh? M aine . . . I w ent th ere in th e sum m er on ce.’ T h at’s w hat th ey say. It’s funny hearing it, b ecau se I’m a local, you know.


STYLE

WHY THE SWAN DIVE DOVE MORE MATTER WITH LESS ART S hortly after the Swan Dive closes, L !A ntibes moves uptown to the larger space. What was fo rm e rly L ’A ntibes becomes the Cafe Always. La Salsa moves to Fore Street and in to its place moves H a m ilto n ’s. The Vinyard

closes down and reopens ‘under new management. ’ The Bag closes and R uby’s takes over. A ll this in the space o f a few months. H ow come? Does the restaurant business seem that fascinating and satisfying? That easy?

STO RY BY DENNIS GILBERT APRIL 1986

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h en a M acD onald’s franchise c lo se s its doo rs, as th e o n e lo cated on C ongress Street recen tly did, it is quite a m om entous event. Not so extraordinary, a t least in Portland, is th e closing of a sm all, pri­ v ately ow ned, an d perso n ally styled re sta u ra n t like th e Swan Dive. Yet th ere is som ethin g stran g e in this: w hen one, as com m on as ketchup an d p ed d lar of th e m o st hom ogenized of foods to th e m o st co m m o n of ta ste s, bellow s so in its final breath, w hile th e o th er, distinc­ tive and u nusual to th e opp o site ex­ trem e, folds a s quietly and discreetly as A nna Pavlova at th e edge of th e lake. One is like a w indow popping o u t of th e Hanock Building, plum m eting 20 stories, and sh atterin g on th e p av em en t below. After al 1, it w as only a window. Probably not th e first, either. And th ere are m any m ore of them . N evertheless, it stirs very d e ep -se ated anxieties: Are m ore to fol­ low? Is th e w hole building com ing dow n? The other, to continue th e m etaphor, perform s its m arvelous dance, and th en th e cu rta in falls. Shouldn’t its p a ss­ ing be just as disturbing? Or has th e opening and closing of th e sm all re s­ tau ran t b eco m e so com m o n p lace in this tow n th a t w e h ard ly n otice it any­ m ore? Or care, for th a t m atter, as long as th e y hurry up an d ren o v ate th e space? If th e M acD onald’s w hich closed w ere located in Dover-Foxcroft, w ould th e general gasp have b een any quieter? Of c o u rse not. But if th e sam e franchise had m an ag ed to lure aw ay enough w orkingm en’s lunches and family su p ­ p e rs to p u t C ollette’s o r th e Nugget out of business, th e lo ss felt by local diners w ould have reach ed a different magni­ tu d e altog eth er. If eith er of th o se re s­ ta u ra n ts d o s e d , it w ould rem ain closed for a long w hile b e c a u se it w ould take q uite an intrepid, thrifty, hard-working, and tireless perso n indeed to reopen it. Things are d o n e differently h ere in P ortland, w here th e re alw ays seem s to b e so m eo n e w aitingto be d e a lt into th e gam e, so m eo n e w ith a slightly different style an d th e co nfidence th a t he will draw b e tte r cards. C onsider th e latest ro u n d of dealing an d shuffling: Shortly after th e Swan Dive closes,

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APRIL 1986

requirem ents. First, it m ust be different. Unique. It m ust be a reflection of m y originality and of the originality of th e ta le n te d crew I have a ssem b led to help m e w ith this project, for I am not so bold as to p resum e th at I am cap able of solving every problem and caring for every detail myself. Second, it m ust be th e kind of p lace th e peo p le of tow n w ould be pleased, even delighted, to have as an option on th e evenings th ey wish to dine out. I u n d erstan d very clearly th a t this undertaking will require long hours of hard work, th e fortitude to m ake my w ay through days filled with little anxie­ ties, and a kind of v o luntary self-exile into the realm of a night-shift subcul­ tu re out of sync with th e general popu­ lation. But th e sacrifice d o e s n o t seem to o great for this m eans of satisfaction and self-expression, and this gift: this service I wish to offer th e tow n in order to contribute to its growth and diversity. W e’ll call it Chez Gilbert. No, w e’ll call it The P ortland. B etter yet, w e’ll call it Gilbert’s of Portland. And b ec au se we have w orked hard and considered every detail and decision carefully, people are going to loveus. T hey’ll flock toour dining room even in th e m iddle of the w eek and from as far aw ay as Camden and Portsm outh, m aybe even Boston, and th e critics sim ply w on’t be able to o rt 1and is an inviting tow n, not just find th e w ords, except to say, ‘This is to re sta u ra te u rs b u t also to artists just w hat this tow n needed!’ an d investors and professionals Now, think of this sketch as one of (all of w hom like to dine o u t now and th o se ‘w h a t’s w rong with this picture’ th e n ) as well as th o se people w hogam es. My first m istake is presuming com pile th e re su lts of surveys ab o u t th a t my ow n personal styles and tastes, th e b e st p laces in th e co u n try to live. It w hich are so successful at hom e and h a s a h a n d so m e new m useum , a uni­ am ong friends, are salab le—th a t I can versity, a law school, an art school, satisfy my inherent need for creativity h otels, d a n ce and th e a te r com panies, and self-expression and m ake m oney at clubs, even a new mall lo cate d ta s te ­ it, at least en ough to pay th e bills. This fully o u tsid e town. It’s not to o large, not m otivation for going into th e business is to o quiet. It’s friendly, charm ing, e n te r­ extrem ely unrealistic in its unchecked taining, clean, and fun. W hat a good enthusiasm . It’s like Alfalfa o r Andy p lace to live and work. Hardy exclaiming, ‘Say! I’ve got an idea! But m aybe it n e ed s som ething. A L et’s p u t on a show!’ little m ore rom ance. A little pizzazz. If you surveyed the ow ners of the 20 W ith this in mind, a little capital in my m o st successful re stau ran ts in town, p ocket, an d a sp a c e m ade in heaven th ey might say they loved th e business, com ing u p for lease, I decid e to op en a and th ey m ight say th e y liked being restau ran t. T here are m any choices to their own b osses, b u t how m any of be m ade, b u t no m a tte r how I style this them do you think w ould say th ey were p lace it m ust fulfill tw o fundam ental in it for a c h an ce to ex p ress them­ L’A ntibes m oves uptow n to th e larger sp ace. W hat w as form erly L’Antibes b eco m es th e Cafe Always. La Salsa m oves to Fore Street and into its place m oves H am ilton’s. The Vinyard closes dow n an d re o p en s ‘u n d er new m an­ ag em en t.’ T he Bag c lo ses and Ruby’s tak es over. All this in th e sp a ce of a few m onths. How com e? D oes th e resta u ra n t bu s­ iness seem th a t fascinating and satisfy­ ing? T hat easy? In fact, to m an y itd o es. T here are lots of o th e r reaso n s, too, w hy it attra c ts intelligent, talented, am bitious, c re a­ tive people. For o n e thing, it is challeng­ ing, an d for an o ther, you can b e your ow n boss. It affords th e o p p o rtu n ity to create, as well as th e further gratifica­ tion of direct praise: o o h s and a ah s and oh m y’s. Every night is a dinner party, and th e re is th e satisfaction of knowing you are m aking p e o p le happy. To som e it is a m ean s of self-expression. A few re sta u ra te u rs get rich. It even h as the feel of a by-gone aristo cratic w ay of life, in spite of th e fact th at you happen to be taking o rd ers ra th e r th an giving them . And it’s fun. Som etim es it’s fun. If th e se observations suggest w hy so m eo n e ch o o ses to open a re stau ra n t, th e y d o not, how ever, explain w hy Port­ land seem s to be su ch an oasis for him.

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selves? (A ctually so m e m ight, th e Barnum s and Baileys.) But th e reality is, in spite of all th o se o w n e r/c h e fs grinning out of the glossy p ag es of G ourm et and Bon A p p e tit an d F ood & Wine, th a t there is very little opportunity, at least in this tow n, for a re s ta u ra te u r to stroll through his d iningroom singing, ‘I g o tta be me!’ The se c o n d thing w rong w ith this picture is also a m a tte r of perspective: the notion th a t offering an altern ativ e to the existing handful of o th e r sm all restau ran ts in tow n is necessarily a contribution to P o rtlan d ’s grow th and diversity. (L ater on, w hen b u sin ess falls of f and 1sta rt losing m oney, it m ay seem like a gift, like I’m giving it aw ay.) In th e beginning 1w as entirely genuine in m y generosity, b u t now I se e th a t it w as som ething like giving a p u p p y to a friend. The little feller’s awful c u n n in ’at first, but th e n h e ’s got to b e w alked and fed and tak en to th e v et for his ch e c k ­ up. And he k eep s doing th e sa m e old tricks. Some gift. ey o n d th e ir size a n d age ( o r sh o u ld I sa y y o u th ), th e re is som eth in g e lse th a t th e quiet, intimate, upper-price-range, au courante resta u ran ts in tow n have in com m on: they all sh a re th e sam e family tree. Rem em ber T he G aslight? T he Hollow Reed? T he Cafe du Vieux Port? G ard­ ner’s? M arcel’s? Caffe D om us? Cafe Florentine? W ith o n e exception, p e r­ haps two, n o n e of th e se a u n ts and uncles lasted m ore th a n five years. In a w a y — a very b ig w ay , in a cap italist econom y th a t te n d s to w ard m edioc­ rity as m uch as brilliance—th e only m easure of ‘w h a t this tow n n e e d e d ’h as to be c o u n te d o u t in d o llars an d cen ts. As often an d as fondly as P o rtla n d ’s tenured g o u rm an d s rem inisce a b o u t the Gaslight— th e first an d to m an y still the best of this g en re— th e re ’s n o d eny­ ing th at th e p lace w ent b ankrupt. T he Swan Dive w as a g reat critical su ccess, sw eeping aw ard s a n d charm ing th e press, b u t in th e en d it died for lack for patrons. T he Vinyard, too, did very nicely for a while. But ev en tu ally th e clientele, especially th o se from o u t of town, began to w o n d er w hy th e dining room w as half em pty; in fact, w hy th e re

B

w a sn ’t aw aiting line. And to suggest, by w ay of com fort an d consolation, th a t if this little gem w ere lo c a te d in S anta Fe o r S an ta B arbara o r S anta Anywhere, th e lot w o u ld b e jam m ed w ith Jaguars an d M ercedes Benz’s (driven, p resu m ­ ably, b y p eo p le w ho h a d an ap p recia­ tion for th e v ery fine things in life). T h at w as a lovely th o u g h t, e x ce p t th a t th e u nderlying tru th w as th a t w e w ere in th e w rong location! location! location! It’s entirely p o ssib le th a t all th e se defu n ct re s ta u ra n ts w en t to seed: T hey w ere inspired, th e n th e y w ere tired. It’s also p o ssib le th a t th e y w ere successful on ly b e c a u se th e y w ere new. But this im plies as m u ch a b o u t th e tow n a s it d o e s a b o u t th e con cep tio n , or m iscon­ ception, of th e re sta u ra n ts them selves. T h a t it w as d eceptive in its p rom ises of p a tro n a g e an d plenty, professing to be all grow n u p an d e d u c a te d an d in dire n e e d of so m e cu ltu re w ay up h ere in N orth ern New England, only to tu rn its back, saying, ‘T h a t’s n o t w h at I m ean t.’ Well, this T om and Daisy B uchanan ap p ro a c h ju st d o e sn ’t c u t it, and it d o e s n ’t d o a d am n ed thing for th e grow th an d diversity of this town. Every tim e I w alk p a st a half-em pty office building, o r h e a r of a n o th e r one going up, I w onder w ho on e arth th e se e n tre p re n e u rs think is going to ren t from them . But m aybe this kind of in v estm en t isn’t su ch a gam ble after all. M aybe th is tow n is going to b u st wide o p e n o n e of th e se days, an d th e se real e s ta te b a ro n e ts a re th e dogs barking b efore th e quake. For all its growing pains, tho u gh, an d for all its new re fin e m e n t a n d its e v e r-e x p an d in g p o p u latio n of tra n sp la n te d professions craving a snapping, crackling bite of big ap p le ta s te and style, it d o e sn ’t do very w ell by its sm all, fine-food re stau ran ts. At least th a t’s w h at th e nu m b ers show. W hen th e s e p la ce s o p e n th eir doors, th e y offer so m ething special. But th ey d e m a n d a tten tio n , too. You can sit on real e sta te , b u t th e food w o n ’t keep. P o rtlan d is an inviting tow n all right. It’s you n g and growing. It’s on the b o ard . But is it on Boardw alk, or loiter­ ing at th e c o rn e r of Baltic an d M editer­ ran ean ? No m a tte r how m any p eo p le th e re a re a ro u n d h e re w ho have a thing for food p ro c e sso rs an d c o p p e r p o ts

a n d w a n t to learn how to cook and enjoy a health ier diet at th e sam e tim e as th e y are participating in w hatever tre n d h ap p en s to b e in vogue—w h eth er it is n o u ve lle cuisine o r Cajun cooking o r French Provincial— th e m o n ey ’sw orth Y ankee m entality is still having its day, a t least in this neck of th e w oods. It m ay b e a h a rd pill for so m e of us to sw allow , b u t th e re ’s no denying th e su c c e ss of th e Sam e Old Thing ap ­ p ro a ch , w hich tra n sla te s th u s in th e P ortland dialect of restau ran tese: ‘Give th em p len ty of food and th e y ’ll com e back.’ Som e p la c e s w ould even add: ‘And it d o e sn ’t m a tte r how good it is, either, b u t sn ap it up.’ C ertainly th e n u m b e r of k itch en m an ag ers th a t callo u s in th eir philos­ o p h y is sm all; a n d granted, in very large o p e ratio n s it is n ex t to im possible to give every m eal th e careful atten tio n you give to th e b o s s ’s dinner. But b etw een th e slop joints and th o se little cafes in th e clouds is w here m o st of P o rtla n d is getting its grub: d e c e n t re s­ ta u ra n ts serving good, h o n e st food w hich is, quite literally, m ore m a tte r with less art. h en e v er o n e of th e ‘g o u rm et’ restaurantsclosesdow n,every­ b o d y ’s got a theory. T he food w as lukew arm . T he tab les w ere to o sm all. T hey didn’t give us enough vegetables. T he service w as just okay, know w hat I m ean? 1 didn’t like the soup. I’m n o t certain, but I think the wine w as a little off. On and o n and on. And th e se are th e sam e p e o p le w ho w ere excited by th e p ro sp e c t in th e first place, w ho said, ‘You sh o u ld o p en a re sta u ra n t. It’s ju s t w hat P o rtlan d needs. ’No m a tter how pointed o r point­ less th eir theories, though, th e c o n c lu ­ sion is alw ays th e sam e: T he m arket co u ld n ’t b e ar it. I d o n ’t know if I buy th a t, at least not in a strictly econom ic sense, especially since a m ediocre m eal and a half can get you a m ighty fine one instead. If th e m arket c a n ’t b e a r it, I think it’s m ore likely b e c a u se th e G enuine Provincial likes a little novelty now and th e n b u t

W

C ontinued on page 54 APRIL 1986

21


THE WATERFRONT

UPSCALE AND ULTRACHIC HIT THE PORTLAND W

hen re v e rb e ra tio n s s u rro u n d in g P o rtla n d's y v a te rfro n t rea ch

th a t's as r e a l a n d lo c a l a n d s u b s ta n tia l as the h a d d o c k c h o w d e r

a ll th e w a y d o w n to the N e w York Times (J a n u a ry 26 ), you

d ish e d u p e ve ry d a y b y the S eam en's C lu b , a n d in the process,

kn o w things a re h a p p e n in g h e re , fast.

e le v a te the le v e l o f discourse on w a te rfro n t m atters.

S u d d e n ly b o th th e o ld a n d th e n e w P o rtla n ds a re in vo g u e ,

It w o u ld b e sim p listic to say th e re a re just 2 sides to the

sim u lta n e o u s ly . W a lk p a s t Boone's, H a rb o r Fish, a n d the Port Hole

w a te rfr o n t sto ry (th e 'o ld ' vs. the 'n e w ' o f the Times, fo r instance)

re s ta u ra n t on Custom House W h a rf, a n d the sto ry w rite s itse lf

w h e n th e re a re dozens o f re fra c tio n s in v o lv in g W -2 z o n in g a lo n e .

a ro u n d you.

O n e story just d o e s n 't cu t the m u s ta rd , a n d th a t's w h y w e 're

S a y e th th e Times: ". . . th e F rid a y n ig h t c ro w d is h e a v y w ith

in tro d u c in g su b sta n tive c o v e ra g e o f th e w a te rfr o n t as a service to

'la w y e rs a n d p e o p le in suits,' re p re se n ta tive s o f th e n e w e r, m ore

o u r re a d e rs . In th e first o f this m on th 's pieces, John T aylor ta ke s you

fa s h io n a b le a n d w e ll-to -d o city th a t has e m e rg e d in the last

to a 2 a .m . re n d e zvo u s w ith th e Bath Iron W orks d ry d o c k , w h ile in a

d e c a d e ."

co m p a n io n p ie c e , J e ffre y M o n ro e gives you a p o r t d e v e lo p m e n t

L o cally, e ve ryo n e 's lo o k in g in te n tly a t w a te rfr o n t issues,

e xp e rt's o p in io n s on the k in d o f m a ritim e in fra s tru c tu re P o rtla n d

try in g to fin d th e g o ld e n m e a n o f econom ic d e v e lo p m e n t a n d

ne e ds in o rd e r to s tre n g th e n its e lf as a p o rt. O u r h o p e is to g iv e you

m a ritim e in d u s try , a n d th a t's g o o d new s fo r th e city, b e ca u se a ll o f

a little p a r t o f the w a te rfr o n t story— a c c u ra te ly a n d c o lo rfu lly —

th e s p e c ia l in te re s t g ro u p s sh a re o n e com m on fe e lin g — a r e a l lo ve

w ith each issue.

fo r th e w a te rfro n t.

N e x t m o n th w e 'll o f fe r you a rin g s id e se a t a t th e n e w Fish

Exciting d e v e lo p m e n ts like th e Fish A u c tio n , Tony D iM illo's

A u ctio n a n d te ll you w h y ta n k e r tr a ffic h e re is in cre a sin g . It's an

n e w F lo a tin g H o te l, the C h a n d le r's W h a rf co n d om in iu m s, a n d 40

excitin g tim e fo r th e w a te rfro n t, a n d w e 're p ro u d to b e b rin g in g it

a n d 5 0 P o rtla n d Pier h a v e ra is e d p u b lic in te re st even h ig h e r.

to you first-h a n d .

Each m o n th w e w a n t to g iv e yo u a taste o f th e w a te rfr o n t

22

APRIL 1986


APRIL 1986

23


PORTLAND HIGH AND DRY “ ✓ “ 'V pen all flood valves 50 percent.” I I “C o m m e n c e flooding.” And w ith th a t th e Bath Iron Works floating drydock sinks 32 feet into Port­ land harbor. This “evolution,” to use th e naval term , begins o n o rd e rs from Dock Control a t 2:45 o n e co ld m orning u n d er th e skeptical gaze of a yellow ish c re sc e n t m oon slung low in th e so u th ­ ern sky. It d o e s seem early for a m ati­ nee, b u t th e re is n o p o stp o n in g high tide. By su n u p th e d o ck will h av e been pu m p ed cle a r with th e 452-foot frigate USS Hawes d eftly c ra d le d o n th e blocks. As a lifelong sidew alk superin­ te n d e n t I can testify th a t th e se docking op eratio n s are som ething to see. Except for so m e of th e tan k ers that call at Spring Point in South Portland, size alo n e s e ts th e B1W dock apart from everything e lse in th e harbor. M easuring a b o u t 850 b y 200 feet, it is pro b ab ly th e largest co n trap tio n m ost p eo p le in tow n will ev er see, if they care to w alk along th e w aterfront to th e foot of India Street. T h ere th e bright blu e wingwalls, e a c h to p p ed by a 25-ton crane, d o m in ate th e scen e in striking disproportion to their surround­ ings. How this an o m aly cam e to re st in P o rtlan d is a tan g led y arn th a t n o o n e at BIW seem s especially eag er to spin.

,

\ *

24

*

APRIL 1986

H en ry S tupinski, th e lo cal g en eral m anager, told m e th a t th ey found the d ock “b y accident, really.” T hat w as so m e accident, involving as it did a m ultim illion dollar public bond issue, law suits, hearings, and a clam or audi­ ble as far aw ay as H ancock County. Ultim ately, after m uch backing and filling, th e G eneral Services Adminis­ tratio n in W ashington transferred the d o ck in 1982 from th e Navy Inactive Fleet in th e Jam es River, Virginia to th e S tate of M aine w hich in tu rn leased it to BIW. By th e fall of 1983 it w as m ade fully operational. T he m erch an t ship­ ping tra d e th a t just a few years ago w as th o u g h t to b e in p ro sp ec t for th e dock h a s so far failed to m aterialize, Reaga­ nom ics having brought dom estic ship­ building to a standstill by abolishing a n ticip ated subsidies. Only th e Navy

m akes re p e a te d u se of th e new ly re ­ conditioned facilities, bu t w ithout even approaching dock capacity. T he dock could acco m m o d a te four frigates all at once, o r a capital ship displacing up to 60,000 to n s and draw ing 35 feet. By h erself th e Hawes looks a b o u t as soli­ ta ry as a b ar of so ap in an em pty bathtub. N evertheless th e show m ust go on, and even w ith only o n e frigate to be docked, th e sp e ctac le is impressive. In co n ception the dock is u tterly simple. It co n sists of nothing m ore th an nine self-contained, rectan g u lar tanks or sections. Each section carries tw o addi­ tional tan k s m o u n ted on hinges at eith er end. W hen raised th e y form th e tw o wingwalls th a t en clo se th e dock, just as the nine sections bolted together side-by-side form th e floor. Nine se ts of


valves an d pum ps, ea c h s e t in d ep en ­ dent of all th e o th ers, reg u late th e flow of w ater. Fill th e tan k s w ith 41 million gallons a n d th e d o c k sinks so a s to receive a ship. Pum p th e ta n k s (a t v a st expense) w ith th e ship positio n ed b e ­ tw een th e wingw alls an d o v er th e blocks an d voila, you have a drydocked hull ready for below-the-waterline work. T here’s really nothing to it— e x cep t of course d isa ste r if you m an ag e to get it wrong. Stan French, th e do ck m a ste r at BIW, know s how to get it right. A retired naval officer (a n d native of Maine), he tra c e s his ex p erien ce of such op eratio n s b ack m ore th a n forty years to Holy Loch, S cotland w here during th e w ar he sk ip p ered a floating drydock of a b o u t th e sa m e size an d type a s BIW’s. B ased in Bath, h e co m es to P ortlan d for sch e d u le d dockings and brings w ith him a b o u t 60 trained hands. He c a n get by w ith so few b ecause th e BIW d ock h a s b een com -

BY JO H N TAYLOR p letely au to m a te d . W hen first co m ­ m issioned in 1943 it required a livea b o ard crew of 27 officers and 845 m en w ho o p e ra te d all th e m achinery by hand. W hile statio n e d at G uam during th e su m m er of 1945, th e y do ck ed a to tal of 58 ships including 5 b attlesh ip s a n d 2 carriers. Shortly after V-J Day th e d o ck w as p lac ed in m o th b alls and rem ain ed o u t of com m ission for 37 y e a rs until BIW h a p p e n e d along. It is now th e largest dock of its kind in full op eratio n anyw here in th e w orld and sh o u ld b e good, so th e y to ld m e, for at least a n o th e r 30 years. T h e D ock M aster an d his assistan t, Jeff Neale, o rc h e stra te th e efforts of th e docking crew from D ock Control, a h u t p e rc h e d on th e w est e n d of th e n o rth wingwall. Inside th e h u t six m en m an ip u late an arra y of sw itches th a t governs the circulation of w ater through th e dock. O ut on th e w ingw alls so m e 50 line h a n d le rs w inch th e ship into position o n ce th e tu g s have e a se d h er within reach. At th a t point th e dock m a ste r ta k e s over an d it is his re sp o n ­ sibility to position th e ship with su ch precision th a t w hen th e do ck is raised th e hull an d crad le fit h a n d in glove. T he p o ten tial dan g ers c re a te d by a lo p sid ed job of cradling are o n ly to o obvious.

“ I’v e b e e n d ry d o c k in g sh ip s for y ears,” Stan French observes, “b u t I still c a n ’t sleep th e night before a job. Every tim e feels like th e first time. M aybe th a t’s th e w ay I o u ght to feel.” P ossibly so, b u t h e is n o t w ithout reso u rces. For all its sh e e r bulk, th e d ock is rem arkably responsive to p re ­ cise adjustm ent. In Dock Control Stan n o te s th e b u b b les in tw o levels p laced at right an g les to e a c h o th e r th a t indi­ c a te th e fore and aft a n d p o rt an d s ta r­ b o ard trim of the dock. By opening a valve h ere and closing a p um p th ere h e c an m ove th o se b u b b le s to th e ex act reading required. He also h as a pair of surveyors with tran sits m onitor­ ing th e “deflection” o r tilt of th e dock floor, an d ju st before ordering th e final lift h e se n d s divers dow n to th e blocks to ch eck by h a n d on th e seating of th e ship a b o u t to b e raised. W ith grip h o ists rigged th e docking crew can th e n adjust her position to th e n earest q u a rte r of an inch. By m id-m orning Stan French looked p le a se d w ith a job th a t h a d p a sse d off w ithout a hitch, b u t he is n o t o n e to get carried away. “You hav e to realize,” he said, “th a t this is a vanishing p ro ­ fession.” John Taylor lives on the Eastern Prome­ nade. His publication credits inch ide The Village Voice, The Nation, The American Scholar, and Columbia Journalism Review.

APRIL 1986

25


ERSTANDING THE liJ PORTLAND

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APRIL 1986


ooking o u t at th e h a rb o r of P o rt­ land, o n e c a n n o t h elp b u t e n ­ vision th e days w h en g reat m asts crow ded th e w aterfro n t a n d tall ships, their sails filled w ith wind, m oved p a st th e lig h th o u ses of o u r c o a st h e a d e d for far-off lands. It is v ery e a sy to find ro m a n c e in a tim e w h ere th e se m ajestic sovereigns sailed th e seas. It is also v ery e a sy to forget th a t th o s e v e sse ls carried th e life’s blo o d of th is nation, allow ing it to grow an d p ro sp er. T he age of sail, like m any o th e r rom antic perio d s in o u r history, is gone now, b u t n o t th e re a ­ son it existed: w orldw ide com m erce. T he foundation of P o rtlan d as a city w as built aro u n d h e r w aterfro n t, a n d th a t w aterfront, like th e econom ic c o n ­ ditions th a t hav e gov ern ed h e r life, h as gone th ro u g h feast an d famine. O nce again, th e city is experiencing e c o ­ nom ic grow th after long y ears of d o r­ m ancy, b u t a lack of foresight an d careful long-range planning along P ort­ la n d ’s w a te rfro n t c o u ld stifle th a t growth. A b a ttle for P o rtla n d ’s limited sh o re ­ line h as d ev elo p ed b etw een ele m e n ts trying to ride th e b allo o n of p ro sp erity th at h a s g rasp ed th e a rea an d th o se w ho w ould prefer to se e th e a rea rem ain quain t an d quiet. For th o se w ho w ant to s e e P o rtla n d ’s grow th continu e, th e re se e m s to b e little c o n ­ se n su s o n w h a t direction it sh o u ld take. This is p articu larly tru e o n th e w aterfront. To u n d e rsta n d how a p o rt can grow and develop, o n e m u st first u n d e r­ sta n d how a p o rt functions. G enerally,

L

O PINIO N BY JEFFREY W. M O N RO E DIRECTOR O F PORT P R O G R A M S M ARITIM E C O LLE G E STATE UNIVERSITY O F N EW YO R K

During this period, th e m ovem ent of cargo a b o ard ship w as revolutionized by th e introduction of containers. Safe, efficient com m odity m ovem ent direct from m an u factu rer to bu y er m oved

this involves tw o im portant elem ents: to facilitate th e interconnection of co m ­ m odity m ovem ent to an d from w a ter­ b o rn e tra n sp o rt m o d es and to provide for shore-based support of vessel opera­ tions. In sim ple term s, it is providing fast, efficient cargo handling to and from v e sse ls an d servicing th e n ee d s of v essels an d their crew s. H isto rically, p o rts grew b e c a u s e m aterial and goods n ee d ed to be tra n s­ p o rte d as econom ically as possible, a n d in th e p ast, as is still tru e today, tran sp o rtatio n by w ater w as th e ch eap ­ e st way. B ecause of th e vessel traffic th a t developed, support industries grew up in th e p o rts, su c h as shipyards, repair facilities, su p p ly o perations, and ag encies in te re ste d in th e w elfare of seam en. W h eth er th e econom ic b ase d ep en d ed on a single com m odity o r on many, overland tran sportation system s supplied an d d istributed large c o n ­ sig n m en ts of cargo funneled th ro u g h th e port. P ortland w as no exception. O v erlan d tra n s p o rta tio n c o u ld n o t c o m p e te with th e c h e a p e r w ater trade. A fter th e g reat industrial b o o m s of th e w ar years, o v erland sy stem s and th en air tra n sp o rtatio n linked th e nation to g eth er, a n d e x ce p t for large bulk ship m en ts, effectively co m p e te d with w a te r tra n sp o rtatio n . W hat h a d p re ­ viously b een a sy stem of n u m ero u s p o rts serving m any sm all regions now b e c a m e a sm aller n u m b er of larger p o rts serving few er b u t larger regions. O ver th e last several d e c a d e s, w e h av e c o n tin u e d to se e this tre n d dom i­ n a te cargo m o vem ent in this nation.

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quickly o n sch e d u le d runs. Today, sm aller feeder p o rts provide contain­ ers by b arge to large transshipm ent p o rts su ch a s New York, w here huge, fast ships carrying as m any as 2,000 forty-foot co n tain ers m ove their cargo to m ajor p o rts th ro u g h o u t th e world. T hrough all of this, P ortlan d has rem ained a quiet onlooker. Bulk ship­ m en ts all b u t ceased , co a sta l tankers w ere re p la c e d by b arg e traffic, an d th e m ovem ent of oil to C anada through P ortlan d b egan to w ane. In addition, one of th e oil term in als clo se d down, and v essel traffic in th e h arb o r slow ed to a co u p le of ship s p e r m onth. Cargo found m ore expensive ro u te s to and from th e region. A w aterfro n t with co n d o s an d re sta u ra n ts seem ed a via­ ble alternative. B oth private in d u stry an d th e sta te realized th a t a so u n d regional eco ­ nom ic b a se built aro u n d an active port in this a rea w ould b e essential to main­ tain th e grow th th a t P o rtlan d w as ex­ periencing.

W hen Merrill Industries first pro­ p o se d its private cargo facility, it w as m et with cautious optim ism by those w ho w ere in terested in seeing Portland revitalized as an active port. The 1983 B ond Issue calling for p o rt develop­ m ent th ro u g h o u t th e sta te continued to en co u rag e th o se ideas. Add to th at th e Bath Iron W orks expansion, the h o p e s of th o se behind th e Marine T rad e C enter and New Fish Pier and th e city’s wish to preserv e a working m aritim e w aterfront, an d all th e pieces w ere beginning to com e to g e th er for carefully planned, stead y growth. Then th e battling began, m ostly b e ca u se of th e loss of focus on a com m on goal an d th e lack of leadership n eed ed to get there. T he private se c to r has show n itself willing to invest in th e a re a ’s econom ic developm ent, yet under proposals from th e M ayor of Portland, it will n o t only h av e to co m p ete with o th e r already d ev elo p ed p o rts b u t with governm ent in its ow n harb o r as well. The proposal

■HLEEK S H E R I U k

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APRIL 1986

for a public pier lacks o n e im portant elem ent, cargo. After seeing the Maine State Pier lie dorm ant for years, the M ayor w an ts to p u t $4 million into a new pier, b u t still th ere is no cargo. It still rem ains m ore efficient to move the agricultural com m odities and m anu­ factured goods from our small indus­ try b a se o u t by truck o r rail. If c o n ­ tainer tra n sp o rt do es develop as an alte rn ate m ode, th e limited am ount w ould m ost likely m ove o u t of the area by rail to B oston, w here th e containers could th en link up with barge transport to New York, th e n o rth e a st’s major hub port. Yet th ere is enough potential bulk cargo to m ake an a rea term inal feasi­ ble, and through Merrill Industries’will­ ingness to invest in th e area, we have one. O ne th a t generates tax revenue and c o sts th e public nothing. This may, in turn, gen erate new industries o r in creased p o rt utilization, but until w e see th e potential for this private investm ent realized, a public facility can n o t be justified.


u t w e are looking at o n ly a sm all seg m en t of th e big picture. T he city of P ortlan d an d h e r w a te r­ front are n o t th e on ly facto r th a t need s to b e co n sid ered in all of this. South P o rtlan d h a s a vital sta k e in th e a re a ’s grow th. In fact, all of th e a re a ’s w a te r­ b o rn e p e tro le u m tra n s p o rt m oves th ro u g h South P ortland. For years, South P ortland h a s b een th e only ele­ m ent th a t h as kept th e a rea alive as a port. T h ese are th e m ajor players, tw o cit­ ies with a vital stak e at risk, an d with them , a su p p o rtiv e s ta te an d private industry willing to contribute. If govern­ m en t is to play a ro le in all of this, it m ust b e to provide leadership and su p p o rt to th o se w ho w an t to invest in the area. This m eans a com m on agency cre a te d b y th e sta te , P ortlan d , an d South P ortlan d to e n c o u ra g e careful planning an d a rea grow th as well as m arket th e ad v an tag es of th e p o rt to th e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n in d u s tr y . T h e pieces a re all in place. N ot o n ly are

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th e re carg o facilities existing b u t also su p p o rt facilities for every ty p e of v es­ sel. Looking bey o n d th e b o u ndaries of th e harbor, this co m m o n group w ould n e e d to en co u ra g e th e d ev elo p m en t of o v erland as well as w aterb o rn e tra n s­ p o rta tio n w hile th e s ta te looks to link­ ing P o rtland with national tra n sp o rta ­ tion system s. This w ould bring ab o u t an additional stro n g econom ic founda­ tion th a t w ould allow th e a re a ’s grow th to rem ain vital. T h o se w ho find it p ictu resq u e to see th e h a rb o r filled with p leasu re b o a ts a re forgetting th a t th e P o rtlan d th ey ch erish to d a y w as built u p o n se a p o rt econom ics. T he constru ctiv e and c o n ­ tin u ed grow th of th e a re a’s m aritim e in d u stry will provide n e e d e d jobs and ta x d o lla rs o u tsid e of th e volatile e c o ­ nom ic b a se th a t h a s b e e n built on th e service industry in this area. P o rtlan d will never be a great se a ­ p o rt with great industrial com plexes occu pying every sq u a re inch of o u r w aterfront. But an active m aritim e in­

d u stry can b e an im p o rtan t contribu­ to r to th e re v en u e s w hich keep the area sound. This industry m ust prim ar­ ily consist of private-sector investm ent u n h a m p ered by short-sighted govern­ m en t policies o r desires. A $4 million public cargo pier plus p o tential long­ term public su p p o rt of th a t pier w ould discourage private-sector investm ent an d is by n o m ea n s th e an sw er at this time. If new m arkets can be d ev elo p ed and m ulti-m odal cargo shipm ent su b ­ stantially increased, th e possibility of a n o n -c o m p e titiv e sp e c ia liz e d p u b lic term inal could b e considered. W hen all th e se points are consid­ e re d by all of th e parties involved, th en th e a rea can have sen sib le grow th and constructive developm ent. Commander Jeffrey W. Monroe is the Senior Deck Training Officer and Director of Port and Inland Water Education Pro­ grams at the State University of New York Maritime C ollege in the Bronx. Cdr. Monroe is a 1976 graduate of Maine Maritime Academ y and is currently in the transpor­ tation m anagem ent program at SUNY. He h old s a federal unlimited licen se as Master Mariner for Inland Waters and Chief Mate Unlimited, upon ocean s. In addition to his acad em ic year training program s, Cdr. M onroe supervises the at-sea cruise pro­ gram for deck licen se students during the c o lleg e ’s annual cruise. He has also been responsible for the developm ent of new cou rse programs in tugs and towing, port and terminal operations, ship repair and shipyard operations and marine electron­ ics. He also serves as curator of the Mari­ time Industry M useum at Fort Schuyler. Cdr. Monroe is a resident of Cape Eliza­ beth, Maine, w here he lives with his wife and two children. His other work includes contributing author of The Merchant Marine Officer’s Handbook and several educational program texts.

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A FIELD GUIDE TO WATERFRONT PERSPECTIVES It's a ju n g le o f voices cla m o rin g to be h e a rd in a w a te rfro n t tu g -o f-w a r th a t's be in g p u lle d in a t least e ig h t directions, not th e sim ple tw o o f th e 'o ld ' a n d the 'n e w .' W h a t's p e rh a p s most a m a z in g is the fa c t th a t each o f the perspectives b e lo w seems to have merit:

Side No. 1: These p e o p le say th e w a te rfro n t should rem ain the home it has been to sm all, in d e p e n d e n t fisherm en a n d th e ir su p p o rt industries d o in g the same th in g th e y have fo r the last 350 years. A lte rin g o u r presence on the w a te rfro n t, th e y say, w ould fo re v e r change the charm a n d scenic fla v o r of the P ortland w a te rfro n t.

Side No. 2: These a re p o rt d e v e lo p m e n t thinkers w ho a re concerned w ith th e city's m a ritim e in fra stru ctu re on a la rg e scale (tankers, piers, fish processing plants a n d su p p o rt industry) a n d w a n t the city to do w h a te v e r is necessary to keep P o rtla n d as a liv e as possible as a m a jo r port. Basing w a te rfro n t futures on the service industry (residential, fin a n ce , tourism , specialty stores) a lo n e w o u ld be too risky and vo la tile fo r long-term g row th.

Side No. 3: W est End residential p ro p e rty ow ners co m p la in in g o f noise from Side No. 2.

Side No. 4: The "A n y th in g G oes" crow d. These p e o p le a re fo r fre e m a rke tp la ce philosophies ta k in g hold on th e w a te rfro n t. "A n y th in g g o e s," as long as it's e conom ically sound, creates a strong ta x base fo r the city, a n d assures economic p ro sp e rity fo r the fu tu re . If you let n a tu ra l selection ta k e over on the w a te rfro n t, th e m a rke t w ill d e cid e w ho a re the most v ia b le tenants fo r w a te rfro n t space. This w a y, P ortland w o u ld n 't be w asting o p p ortunities by sitting on vast expanses o f d e re lict w a te rfro n t space d u rin g the city's boom years. D evelop now, w hile we have the chance. H a rd e r years m ay be a h e a d . Fishermen shouldn't be fa v o re d just because they're so "c h a rm in g ..."

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APRIL 1986

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Side No. 5: M o d e ra te s fo r m ixed zo n in g to fin d th e m a g ic b a la n c e th a t g u a ra n te e s a p o rtio n o f th e fish in g in d u stry, ta n ke rs, re s id e n tia l, a n d com m ercial e le ­ ments fo r th e w a te rfro n t, th e re b y ensuring a cushion o f re p re s e n ta tio n so th a t if one e le m e n t busts, th e w a te rfro n t w ill still be b u o y e d by th e others. W e w a n t a little b it o f e v e ry th in g fo r th e w a te rfro n t, th e y say, in o rd e r to keep P o rtlan d vita l as a city a n d to m ake sure th e city d o e sn 't p u t all its eggs in one basket.

Side No. 6: P eople w ho w a n t a to ta l m o ra to riu m on w a te rfro n t d e v e lo p m e n t. Too much has h a p p e n e d to o fa s t a lre a d y , th e y say, a n d w e should h a lt all d e velopm ent until w e have im pact studies an d the g u a ra n te e d infrastructure to s u p p o rt a ll o f these new plans. W e see b ig , o u t-o f-s ta te m oney com ing in a n d fe n c in g P ortla n d 's w a te rfro n t o ff so th a t locals a n d sentim ental w a te rfro n t strollers w ill n e v e r be a b le to see 'o u r o w n ' w a te rfro n t anym ore.

Side No. 7: U pscale residents w h o say if we w a n t to live on th e w a te rfro n t a n d w e have th e cash, w h o has a rig h t to p re v e n t us fro m b u y in g it? The w a te rfro n t is chic now ; in style. W e 'v e re a d a b o u t it in N a tio n a l G e o g ra ­ phic, th e N e w York Times, a n d the W a ll S treet Jo u rn a l. P o rtla n d , th e y say, has c o u rte d us fo r d eca d e s: W h y blush now w h e n w e 'v e fa lle n in love w ith the city?

Side No. 8: Longtim e w a te rfro n t p ro p e rty ow ners w h o p riv a te ly say, w e love tr a d i­ tio n a l w a te rfro n t uses. W e 'v e g ro w n up w ith th e m . But e v e ry o n e else is m a kin g m illions w ith th e ir re a l estate in P o rtla n d — w h y, a fte r all these years, c h a n g e th e zo n in g so w e c a n 't m a ke ours? S hould p o liticia n s be a b le to te ll us ou r la n d isn't w o rth as much as w e th o u g h t it was? W e th o u g h t this was A m erica.

Side No. 9: W rite us w ith yo u r ow n voice. It m a y be an e n tire ly new perspective (we d o n 't p re te n d to have co ve re d th e m a ll), o r it m a y be a c o m b in a tio n o f several o f them . P o rtla n d M o n t h ly in v ite s y o u to w r i t e le tte rs to th e e d ito r w it h y o u r o p in io n s on th e w a te r f r o n t fo r p u b lic a tio n in f u tu r e issues. W r it e to 6 3 8 Co ngress S tre e t, P o rtla n d , M E 0 4 1 0 1 .

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PORTLAN D IA N A

Identifying Rare Portland Glass

BY JIM KUPEL PHOTOGRAPHS BY D O N N A J. KOSTIS


h e re ’s a standing, op en invitation in P ortland for natives and immi­ g ra n ts alike to join o n e of th e city’s m o st un ique groups. It never h as official m eetings, although m em bers are know n to get to g eth er at antique show s an d curiosity shops. T here are no officers, b u t th e re is a so rt of hie­ rarchy. You d o n ’t n eed m oney to b e co m e p a rt of th e group, b u t it might help. To join, all you n ee d to do is develop a passion for P ortland Glass. T here are c o lle cto rs of P ortland G lass from Hawaii to Maine, b u t P o rt­ land is th e official hom e turf of th e

T

“Mrs. H urd acknow l­ edges that it is s till p os­ sible to fin d pieces o f Portland Glass tucked away on the back shelves o f curiosity shops o r at y a rd sales. ”

group. On W est Com m ercial Street, rough ly at th e b a se of Em ery S tre et, th e P o rtla n d G lass C om pany p ro d u c e d p re sse d glass in a variety of shap es, colors, an d p a tte rn s from 1863 to 1873. T he com p an y em ployed 120 to 200 p e o p le and sold 1 million pieces in a p eak year. T h at w as before th e c o st of APRIL 1986

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raw m aterials, energy, an d tra n sp o rta ­ tion m ad e th e firm so unprofitable th a t it w as closed. T he m an n er in w hich th e com p an y w as dissolved form s th e basis for a m ystery of identification w hich rem ains to this day. G lass w as being m ad e in th e U nited S tates a s early as th e 1600s, but until 1800 m o st of th e glass in this cou n try cam e from England. W hen glass w as em b arg o ed during th e War of 1812, U.S. prod u ctio n in creased dram atically, but th e com m odity w as expensive. M ost of th e glass in th e U.S. w as blow n freehand an d into m olds until 1827, w hen p re sse d glass p roduction began. This in creased th e am ount of glass being p ro d u c e d an d som ew hat re d u c e d its price. During th e first half of th e 1800s, th e n atio n ’s b e st p ressed glass w as p ro d u ced in New England, New Jersey, an d Pennsylvania. The P ortland G lass C om pany faced stro n g com petition from th e Pittsburgh Glass C om pany and th e Sandwich Glass C om pany of M assach u setts, b o th of

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w hich m ade p re sse d glass in similar patterns. Portland Glass w as considered to be excellen t in quality and design. It is said th a t Mrs. Lincoln even bo u g h t a se t for th e W hite House. A lthough the P o rtland Glass C om pany e scap e d the g reat P ortland fire of 1866, it w as unable to co m p e te with firms clo ser to the n atio n ’s p o p u lated areas. W hen th e com p an y finally closed, its a ss e ts including its m olds w ere sold, an d m any of th e craftsm en left to work for rival com panies. At th a t point it b ecam e increasingly difficult to identify a piece of original P ortland Glass. O ne of th e distinguishing c h a ra c ter­ istics of P o rtland G lass is th e em b o ssed le tte rs P.G. Co. on th e b o tto m of its pieces. But according to Megan T horn, Public Inform ation Officer at th e P ort­ land M useum of Art, even th e em b o ss­ ing d o e sn ’t necessarily m ean th e piece w as m ade by th e P ortland Glass Com­ pany, b ec au se th e m olds continued to be u se d after th e P ortland glassw orks w ere closed.

D isputes surrounding th e identity of original Portland Glass are com pounded by th e fact th a t m any of pieces pro­ d u ced didn’t even have em bossing. A ccording to a 30-year-old new spaper article, M arion Dana, th e grand dam e of P o rtlan d Glass, h ad over 50 of th e 200 p a tte rn s rep u ted ly pro d u ced by the Company. However, the Portland M use­ um of Art, w hich now ow ns her collec­ tion, sta te s th a t only th ree p a tte rn s can b e d o c u m e n te d as originating at the P ortland Glass Company. T he Tree o f Life, Palm er Prism, and Loo p and D art w ith R ound Ornaments

are th e d o c u m en ted p a tte rn s of Port­ land Glass, prim arily b e c a u se th e com ­ pan y held p a te n ts for ea ch of them . An especially striking piece is a com pote dish in th e Tree o f Life p a tte rn which has th e last n am e of its designer, W.O. Davis, w ritten by the b ra n ch e s of the tree. The predom inant historian of Port­ land Glass w as Frank Swan, w ho w rote books on th e subject in 1939 and 1949. His cousin, th e late M arion Dana, was also a prem ier co llector in th e a re a and revised Sw an’s w ork with a book she produced. T oday th e collections of b o th Marion D ana and Frank Swan are in th e Port­ land M useum of Art. The form er was p u rch a sed by Maine Savings Bank and given to th e M useum in 1975. T he Dana family d o n a te d their collection to the M useum in 1956. The M useum ’s collec­ tion to tals ab o u t 500 pieces, w hich are displayed on a rotating basis. T he Rom a Cafe also h a s several nice p ieces in ca ses in b o th th e front and back dining room s. P o rtland G lass can also b e seen at th e Jo n es Gallery of G lass and Ceram ics in Sebago, ow ned by Dorothy-Lee Jones, w hich is open from May to November. Jo n es agrees th a t P o rtland Glass is “very difficult to identify” and concurs with th e M useum ’s opinion th a t only th re e p a tte rn s can definitely be attrib­ u ted to th e P ortland Glass Company. Furtherm ore, sh e feels th a t th e Palm er Prism p attern rem ains in question b e­ c a u se sh e h a s n o t h e ard of any pieces th a t actually exist. Jo n es m aintains a library at the gallery w hich h elp s stu d e n ts and col­ lecto rs beco m e familiar with th e nu an ­ c e s of th e different ty p es of glass within various periods. She n o tes th a t design


pattern s an d th e form s of th e objects changed from d e c a d e to d e c a d e m uch as th ey d o today. This h e lp s n arro w th e field of investigation. The M u seu m ’s in te re st in P ortlan d Glass h a s b e e n ex p an d ed re c e n tly by

“It m ay be as d ifficult as stum bling on a $50 bill. It co uld also be as lucrative.

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research w hich m ay ultim ately lead to the excavation of th e P o rtlan d g lass­ works. T he re se a rc h p h ase, funded by a grant from th e N ational Park Service through th e M aine Historic P reserva­ tion Com m ission an d m atc h e d by a grant from M aine Savings, h a s ju st been com pleted. After a review of this work, which will hopefully identify th e actual location of th e old P ort an d Glass Com­ pany, excavation of th e site m ay follow. It is h o p e d th a t th e re su lts m ay simplify the iden tification p ro c e s s involving Portland Glass. The difficulties in identifying P o rt­ land G lass h av e n o t dim inished its p o p ­ ularity. Som e p ieces sell to d a y for m ore than 10 tim es w h a t th e y w ere w o rth 15 years ago. Josep h in e Hurd, a P ortland collecto r w ho ru n s a sm a ll an tiq u eb u siness o u t of h e r h o m e in B o o th b ay Har­ bor during th e sum m er, says th a t she has h a d inquiries a b o u t P o rtla n d Glass from all over th e c o u n try this year. Mrs. H urd acknow ledges th a t it is still possible to fin d pieces o f P o rtlan d Glass tacked aw ay on the back shelves o f (uriosity shops o r a t y a rd sales. B ut she

cualifies this b y pointing o u t th a t su c h a fnd h ap p e n s less an d less th e s e days. Discovering a piece of u nacknow l­ edged P ortlan d G lass m ay be as diffi­ cult as stu m b lin g o n a $50 bill. It could also be as lucrative. If you w ould like to join th e g ro u p of P o rtla n d G lass co lle c to rs— for fun o r p rofit—Mrs. Hurd h a s so m e in tro d u cto ry advice. “D evelop y o u r ow n ta s te an d judge­ m ent,” su g g ests Mrs. Hurd. “Study the glass. Train y o u r eye to o b serv e th e fine points of style, d ecoration, m aterial, and co n stru ctio n . H andle th e pieces. Visit show s an d m u seu m s.”

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE STAFF O F

PORTLAND M O N TH LY

DELTA REALTY ART GIRARD 400 RIVERSIDE DR. • PORTLAND, ME 04102 797-8550

APRIL 1986

35


MOVERS A N D SHAKERS

BY MARCIA FELLER

T

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h e figures a re staggering! Sales calls from all over th e country. Out-ofreaching th e several h u n d re d mil­ sta te agencies call m e all th e time. They lion d o llar level will b e g en erate d know th ey can buy quality w ork and th rough th e w ork of a handful of localth at P ortland p h o tograph ers deliver.” p hotographers. Ever so quietly, w ith­ He’s do n e w ork for Corning Glass, o u t fanfare o r w hoopla, this coterie of IBM, and m anufacturing firms such as com m ercial artists is called upon by M ontalvo Brakes. Som e of th o se shots so m e of th e natio n ’s leading businesses b ecam e p art of m edia m aterials printed to re p rese n t their p ro d u cts to w hole­ in seven or eight languages. He’s w orked sale and retail m arkets. In their w orld a on fine Belgium Crystal for Reed and p icture is w orth far m ore th an a th o u ­ Barton as well as high tech marine san d w ords. co m p o n en ts for th e D efense D epart­ Ann-Marie Tardiff, D irector of Cata­ m ent. log Art and P roduction for L.L. Bean, “T oday th e re is m ore w ork th an I can u se s a n u m b er of local ph o to g rap h ers handle. The Portland photographic com ­ in addition to having w ork do n e in New m unity is extrem ely supportive. If one York. of us is b u sy , w e recom m end a n o th e r of “All catalogs begin with photography. our colleagues. We even loan each No final printed page can ever look o th e r equipm ent from tim e to tim e if we b e tte r th an th e original photograph. get into a bind.” M ore im portantly, the im pact of the Last year he m oved into an expanded p h o to g rapher’s work multiplies millions studio on Elm Street th a t h as becom e a of tim es as w e reprint and mail out hub of activity. Is h e happy with w hat he ad d itio n al c atalo g s. Each tech n ical does? You bet! aspect: tru e color rep resen tatio n , ap­ “P hotography is b e tte r th an real pro p riate lighting for p ro d u ct and back­ work,” says the m an w ho w orks round th e clock. g ro u n d s, th ree-d im e n sio n ality , and m odel interaction, have a critical im­ P eter M acom ber’s walk up studio p a c t on th e p ro d u c t’s p rese n ce in the at 39 Exchange Street e n co m p asses a catalo g .” floor of tw o buildings. Breaking through Dan S in cla ir is behind th e cam era a brick wall and coping with tw o sep a r­ for m ost of th e m odel p h o to g rap h y at ate landlords m ay have been, in retro ­ spect, far easier to deal with th an co p ­ B ean’s. The com pany relies on its own ing with his lifestyle less th en a decad e em p lo y ees in stead of trained profes­ sional m odels. On any given day he will ago. He and his wife, Pam ela, lived in a sh o o t 8-12 m odels w ho only m inutes tw o-room c o ttag e with no running before w ere negotiating with vendors w ater o r plum bing. Yes, an outhouse! for a new p ro d u ct line, analyzing d ata He had d ropped ou t of college and w as pro cessing rep o rts, or shipping m er­ working as a carw ash er at a Volvo dealership in Brunswick. His passion for ch an d ise o u t to custom ers. He is a m as­ te r a t helping th e se “m erch an t m odels” race cars serv ed inadvertently as his change gears and relax on th e set. introduction to com m ercial photog­ Dan sp e n t his early caree r in Miami raphy. O ne day, local ad m an Greg an d A tlanta doing advertising and c a ta ­ Jackson ch an c ed to view som e racing ph o to s P eter had taken at th e track. He log w ork for Jordan M arsh, M oss Bros, w as im pressed and asked P e ter if he an d Sibleys b u t in th e 1970s re tu rn e d to would do asm all job for him. M acom ber his hom e state. could no t believe th a t so m eo n e w ould “The photographic industry is m ore p a y him to do som ething th a t h e loved decentralized today than it w as a decade a n d c o n s id e re d a h o b b y . He w as ago. Advertising agencies used to call hooked! He w ent back to school, stu ­ New York o r B oston w hen th ey needed died his craft, and hit th e stree ts of work. But th ey have priced them selves P ortland in 1974. o u t of th e m arket, even for larger, “M ost of th e ph o to g rap h ers in town nationally o riented com panies. I get


have co m e u p th ro u g h th e assistan t route. I’m different. I kind of grew up with th e agencies. W hen I sta rte d th ere w eren’t a lot of us around. I show ed my work and th e agencies called. As th ey grew, so did I. In th e early days, I h ad to hustle. It w a sn ’t e asy for m e, b u t I quickly learn ed th a t y ou have to b e a business m an an d n o t ju st an artist. You have to b e flexible an d learn to w ork with m any personality ty p es and differ­ ing styles. Photography, like art, is su b ­ jective. O ne client likes o n e thing, an o th er client som ething else. L earn­ ing n o t to tak e it all so p e rso n a l ly is o n e of th e le sso n s is m aking th e leap from p ho to g rap h er to com m ercial su c c e ss.” P eter’s co n tem p o raries an d clients are u n an im o u s in their re s p e c t for th e quality of his w ork an d th e m agnitude of his business. Karen Haskell, A dvertis­ ing D irector for Cole Haan, h a s know n P eter since h e sta rte d his business. “Each ph o to g rap h is a very perso n al work of art. L ots of artists sa y th at, b u t with Peter, y o u know he m ean s it. He seem s to re sp o n d to my p ro d u c t with as m uch affection as I do. W hen I can do p h o to g rap h y locally, P eter is my first choice.” P eter’s studio is especially active w hen w e sit dow n to talk. His assistant, Michael Piveronas, w orks busily in th e front studio organizing w hat looks like an invasion. In precision-like fashion, the floor is lined with lighting trees, pow er packs, cam eras, tripods, an d a s­ sorted a ccesso ries in quadruplicate. P eter’s a sso c ia te Mark R ockw ood is leaving in th e m orning for B rookstone in P eterborough, New H am pshire, an acco u n t th e y have w orked for over four years. Last y e a r P e te r sp e n t m ore th a n a dozen w eeks in th e co m m unity th at T hornton W ilder p en n ed , “O urT ow n.” Mark w as th e re an additional 18 weeks. “They have an o u tstan d in g studio, but w e tak e all o u r own equipm ent. We fill a van. T h ey ’re a g reat acco u n t. T hey have extrem ely high sta n d a rd s and are as critical as w e are ab o u t technical excellen ce. W e d o th eir catalo g s, advertising, an d point of sale pieces for the 60-plus sto re s nationw ide.”

“Half of o u r equipm ent goes to B rookstone. W hoever rem ains in the stu d io h a n d le s o u r o th e r accounts. We d o p ro d u c t w ork for L.L. Bean; th e w h o lesale sale s catalo g for Jacq u es de Loux, an im p o rter of fine knitw ear sold all o v er th e U nited States; F.A. McClure, a quality m en ’s w ear firm; John M en­ dez, a New York designer, a n d a num ber of M aine-based co m panies like Bass and M artha Hall.” T he dichotom y betw een com m er­ cial v e rsu s artistic p h o to g rap h y is alw ays pulling a t th e successful p h o to ­ graphic en trep ren eu r. However, w hen P o rtla n d ’s sh u tte rb u g s sp eak artistic genius, th e y m ention J e ff S tev e n sen . Jeff’s im peccable studio on Congress S treet d o e s little to expose th e philo­ so p h e r w ho w orks inside. His ex cep ­ tional com m ercial su c c e ss finances his p e rso n a l work, p rojects he not only d o e s for a client, b u t for himself. “My objective is to m ake th e cam era d an ce, to stre tc h th e im agination and c a p tu re a single m o m ent in its m o st special light. G ood p ro d u ct w ork do es n o t have to b e unim aginative. I like to w ork w ith go b o s for b ack d ro p s to a ran g e of p ro d u c ts.” (G obos are stencils th ro u g h w hich co lo red lights are p ro ­ jected . T h ey are u se d frequently in th e a tre s to en h an c e a set o r to c re ate an a tm o sp h e re su ch as th e one D ana Jo h n so n designed for th e Swan Dive.) “I’m at my b e st w hen an art director asks m e h ow to re p re se n t th e product. I have m y ow n style and vision but will­ ingly can conform to specific art direc­ tives. ” He rou tinely p h o to g ra p h s th e c a ta ­ logs for th e Scottish Lion, a New H am p­ shire b a se d retail op eratio n th a t sp e ­ cializes in im ports from th e British Isles. C atalog w ork is in ten se and requires c o n siste n t quality resu lts during eight to ten h o u r shooting schedules. Jeff can easily c h an g e gears to get up before daw n, tru d g e off to a re m o te river bed, an d c a p tu re th e e sse n c e of the river’s flow as th e m ist begins to rise. He trained u n d er som e of B oston’s finest p h o tographers, including Bruno Joachim . T oday h e w orks with o th e r APRIL 1986

37


aspiring artists w ho ho p e to follow in his tracks. In 1967, Ed H olcum , a form er pilot an d flight instructor, w as working as an engineer. He designed landing strips in A laska and co ntrol sy stem s for m arine o r land-based pow er p lants and p ro ­ pulsion system s. Many of his projects w ere in rem o te locations, and in order to d o cu m en t th e progress, h e tu rn e d to p hoto g raphy. By 1968 he h ad begun a p o rtrait portfolio of n o tab les like Henry Miller, Alan W atts, and Andre M asson. His a c c o u n ts included W orld News, Time-Life and Newsweek. In 1969, encountering an 80’s style mid-life crisis, he took off for Europe an d th e Far East, spending m uch tim e in Jap an and India. By th e 1970s he w as doing w ork for BMW and L ufthansa. He traveled light, often by bicycle, do cu ­ m enting his journeys. Unlike m any p hoto-essayists, his travel journal w as displayed at Photokina, a prestige ex­ position in Cologne, Germany. His credits seem endless: Hewlett Packard, Japan Airlines, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Polaroid, Nissan, and Kodak. T oday he resides in K ennebunkport, continuing to be called aw ay on a m o m e n t’s n o tic e to s h o o t for th e n atio n ’s leading com panies. Does he like to work here? “I love to w ork in Maine. I’ve do n e a n u m b er of local assignm ents through T he New England Group. Actually, it’s b e c a u se of guys like Ed Zelinsky at the agency and oth ers like Dan Sinclair G eorge H ughes th a t I ch o o se to work here. G eorge and I have had th e o p p o r­ tu n ity to do a n u m b er of p rojects together. He’s one of th e b e st designers I’ve seen. We did th e Maine Festival p o ste r—you know —th e one th at w as sto len every place it w ent up. W hat m o re could any artist w ant? To me it w as a grand com plim ent.” Holcum, unlike the others m entioned, is not a studio photographer. He’s happi­ e st on th e road, o u t in th e natural light. In an e ssay he o n c e w rote he said, “Light to a photographer is like paint to a painter.” But is he locked in? No! W hen last se e n he w as in Dan Sinclair’s studio experim enting with studio lights. He thinks h e ’s learning from th e best. Enthusiastic support is not uncom m on to this group of professionals. P eter F icksm an h as been in Port­ land for th e last tw o years, arriving on th e sc e n e after a successful c are e r in B oston. He first w orked in M aine w hen Sturbridge Yankee W orkshop m oved I its catalog operation to th e area. 38

APRIL 1986

“I saw a city th a t w as growing and 1 w an ted to be a p art of it. You d o n ’t have to live in a m ajor m arket o r work with exclusively national outfits to do qual­ ity work. We pro d u ce top-quality work here, and w e’re affordable. The over­ h ead in B oston and New York has got­ ten o u t of hand. Ad agencies realize th at an d call us. I get calls all th e tim e from San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Balti­ m ore. But th e m ost exciting things for m e happen with Maine com panies.” P eter p ro d u c e d a series of institu­ tional pieces for Philip Elmet, and soon after, GTE called. He w orks for Bass through its New York Ad Agency, as well as Old M aine T rotters. In doing so h e ’s b een able to p ay his dues. W hen he first sta rte d his career, a group of Bos­ ton attorneys bankrolled start-up costs. It to o k a few years, b u t h e w as able to rep ay his debts. Today, he is helping L aura B utterw orth start h e r m odeling agency. “I n eed good m odels, and sh e n eeds th e opportunity,” he says, handing me h er portfolio. “P robably one of th e m o st im portant things to hap p en to m e in th e last d ecad e is my recen t election as Presi­ d e n t of th e Art D irectors Club. T here is an extraordinary group of profession­ als he re w ho w ork extrem ely hard and pro d u ce significant work. During the next year w e will b e producing events to sh o w case their work. T here is a T rade Show sch ed u led for April 23. George H ughes is organizing a career d ay for aspiring stu d en ts, and w e plan to beco m e m ore involved in significant com m unity projects. People like Kathy Garrigan at Letterw orks, Jon Stam ell of M arketing Solutions, Dave Perkins, and Joe M cCarthy a re alread y putting things to g eth er.” This form er professional ski racer has hit P ortland at driving speed. Like his o th e r colleagues he is expanding his horizons and putting his m ark on events in his own inimitable style.

Movers and Shakers is a colum n dedi­ cated to those individuals w ho have the drive and energy to make things happen in this town. Whether in a corporate setting, a studio, or out in the trenches, each month w e will salute unique people or groups who com e to our attention. Situations as diverse as former Asst. U.S.TrusteePeterGreenleaf, w ho has started his ow n bankruptcy prac­ tice, or Meg Vosm us, w ho just open ed her new salon, Hair Expressions, in Falmouth, are of interest to this colum nist. Let me hear from you. Until next month. Marcia Feller


NEW FICTIO N

THE CARPENTER ’m a c re a tu re of habit: e v e iy night at eight I’d quit m y ow n h o u se an d w alk through tow n to Alice H am lin’s c o t­ tage. My m o th e r knew w h ere 1 w as bound and ask ed no questions. T hough I left Alice p recisely at eleven, I seldom went directly hom e. Usually I d ro p p ed by th e Dug-Out for a glass of b e e r or visited Sim m on’s Diner for pie an d cof­ fee. I alw ays c h o se th e lo n g est ro u te along th e river till I w as tired, till I w as sure M other w ould b e asleep. But o n e Sunday night—it w as E aster Sunday, in fact,— I h a p p e n e d by th e M artin Place and noticed a light b urning in th e window of th e sm all parlor. T he d ra p e s h ad been tied b ack an d th e sh a d e s raised. Since th e m ansion h a d b e e n long u n o c ­ cupied, I halted, did a double-take, approached nearer. The light explained nothing. The m ansion w as an exam p le of Victorian bad taste, built in 1878. I h ad never adm ired th e tu rrets, th e gingerbread, or the bays, yet, peepin g th ro u g h th e cracked window, I fully e x p e c te d th e ghost of old W alter M artin to b e gazing out at th e overgrow n lawn an d th e iron deer covered with verdigris. Nothing like th at took place, of course. The naked bulb hung from a frayed green cord, flooding th e high-ceiling parlor I’d nev er e n te re d an d show ing a hideous b ra ss b e d left th e re in defiance of reason. T he b e d w as m ad e up with sleazy b lan k ets an d dingy linen. And beside th e b ed w as a stack of freshly

I

m illed b o a rd s th a t c o n tra ste d w ith the peelingbrow n w allpaper and the w arped p an elin g aro u n d th e d o o rs an d the coal-burning h earth. W hat earth ly use co u ld be m ade of th e lum ber? I c o u ld n ’t imagine: W alter M artin had b een dead at least fifteen years and his nieces had no wish to repair th e house. C onsulting m y w atch, I finally tu rn ed aw ay hom e. A fter a w re tch e d night and a m eager breakfast, I arrived at th e bank half an h o u r late. N obody reprim anded me; I’m h e a d of New A ccounts, and in this tow n New A ccounts isn’t often rushed. Behind m y cage I have tim e to think. I can see al 1 th a t g oes on, everyone w ho co m e s in. On th a t p articular m orning, how ever, m y rev ery w as broken by Miss Wells an d a tall, stooping, dishevelled m an w hom I’d noticed waiting diffidently in th e lobby. O ra W ells in tro d u ced th e m an as Richard Pontiff and left him with me. “M -m orning,” he began, his acc en t clipped. “Will you h o n o r a foreign draft?” Sitting by m y desk, he fum bled in his b re a s t p o c k e t and cam e up w ith a p a ss­ p o rt b earing th e British crow n. The draft w as on a ban k in Jerusalem , P ales­ tine. Yes, th e ad d ress read Palestine, n o t Israel; th e d a te w as M arch, 1947. “Living in tow n?” I asked, noting the rav ag ed face and th e o d d cu t of his clo th es. W hile th e draft looked valid, th e p a p e r w as c reased and soiled. “Y-yes,” h e said, his lips twitching.

“J-just dow n th e road. B-but I intend to stay o n — if y o u ’ll h o n o r th e draft.” “I c a n ’t give you c ash yet, Mr. Pontiff. First, it’s 1954, n o t 1947— and th e bank might not b e functioning.” “T -th at’s quite all right. I’ll tak e a chance, and wait.” He signed th e draft with a flourish, th en glanced at m e uncom fortably, th e tick distorting his face w orse th an ever. B ecause he w as nervous, I offered him a cig arette and m y lighter. His fingers shook. He c ro sse d and u n c ro ssed his atte n u a te d legs, seem ed eager to go. In p la c e of a tie h e w ore a dirty silk scarf aro u n d his thin neck. His shifty hazel eyes couldn’t focus. His bandaged hands quickly drew my notice; tw o bloody circles h ad stained through th e gauze. The to b a c c o fum es w ere choking him. His teeth, broken and discolored, add ed to his air of neglect. I p u sh e d th e w ater carafe tow ard Mr. Pontiff, w ho stu b b ed o u t th e cigarette and gulped dow n water. “S-sixty days?” he finally blurted. “A m onth, I hope. Now if y o u ’ll fill in this card, I’ll get things sta rte d . . . ” His a d d re ss w as th e M artin Place, 13 Union Street. Even th e p o stm a n had forgotten N um ber 13 since W alter Mar­ tin ’s nieces h ad b o ard ed up th e d o o rs an d tu rn ed off th e gas. Surely th e room s w e re n ’t habitable. And w hat w ould th e M isses W oodberry think of Richard Continued on page 54

BY LAWRENCE P. SPINGARN APRIL 1986

39


C O M M E R C IA L REAL ESTATE

LIBERTY GROUP

BY RICHARD BENNETT

40

APRIL 1986


f th e re is o n e c o m p an y m o st re sp o n ­ sible for giving P o rtlan d real e sta te develo p ers a public profile, it is th e Liberty Group. W ith their num erous, innovative p ro jects and p e rso n a l inter­ ests David Cope, 32, an d M ichael Lib­ erty, 25, a re n o t o n ly a h o t n ew s item , they are also having a p ro fo u n d im pact on the c h a ra c te r of P ortland. But their im pact, th e y a re quick to point out, is o n ly w ithin th e confines of P ortland’s ch a ra c ter. “P o rtlan d h as a quality of life w e’re trying to m aintain,” says Cope. “O ur goal is to have P o rt­ land retain its a ssets, m aintain its fla­ vor. We d o n ’t w ant to ch an g e P ortlan d .”

I

N evertheless, the style of this dynamic d u o of dev elo p m en t is setting a sta n d ­ ard for su c c e ss th a t o th e rs w ould be wise to study. D istasteful of speculative d ev elo p m ent, Cope an d Liberty co m ­ m ission so p h isticated m arket studies to gain a th o ro u g h u n d erstan d in g of th e spatial n ee d s of th eir com m unity. And th eir readings of th e P o rtland m arket h av e b een right on th e m oney. For in stance, with th e formal gro u n d ­ breaking c erem o n y n o t sc h ed u le d till early April, th e twin to w ers office co m ­ p lex o n M iddle S treet is alread y over 90-percent leased. W hen th e c o n d o ­ m inium s being c o n stru c te d on Chand-

The L ib e rty G roup’s tw in seven-story towers under co nstructio n on M iddle Street w ill house 190,000 square feet o f reta il and office space w ith tw o levels o f p arkin g underneath. The $20 m illio n p ro je c t sh o u ld be com pleted b y October, 1987. The co m p le x is already o ver 90-percent leased.

APRIL 1986

41


“We never worked at being largest We worked for quality. Seven years ago, I pumped gas in Gray I ’m the same person. The most heartbreaking thing is the people who think we’ve changed. ” —MICHAEL LIBERTY

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APRIL 1986


ler’s W harf w ere m ark eted , it to o k all of three days to achieve conditional sales ag reem en ts o n all 72 u n its offered. “We d on’t tak e risks,” Liberty states. “We know w ithout q u estio n th a t w e’re th e m ost co n serv ativ e d ev e lo p e rs in th e state and th e m o st active.” T here is n o p a ra d o x b e tw e e n c o n ­ servatism an d action for th e Liberty Group. T h rough a th o ro u g h testin g of concepts, an intensive analysis of th e m arket, an d a respectful learning from the exp erience an d expertise of o thers, they can tack le th e big p ro je c ts w ith confidence an d finesse. C ope p o in ts to the w aterfro n t d ev elo p m en t as an exam ple. “We re a d th e m ark et an d dis­ covered th a t th e Fanueil Hall c o n c e p t on th e w aterfro n t w o u ld n ’t work, d id n ’t fit P ortland.” Instead, Cope trav elled all o v er th e country to look at w aterfro n t d ev elo p ­ m ents. As a resu lt, th e Liberty Group has a w ealth of vicarious ex p erien ce to draw upon. “We w an t to s e t th e sta n ­ dards by bringing in th e s ta te of th e a rt,” says Liberty. “We can look at th e sm o r­ gasbord of pro jects an d se e w hich will fit. P o rtlan d m ight n o t b e th e first, b u t w e’re th e guys th a t d o it b est. It’s a trem en d o u s a sse t.” “P ortlan d is fo rtu n ate in having q u a l­ ity dev elo p ers w h o se decisions are based on a long-term co m m itm en t,” Cope adds. “H istorically, P o rtlan d h as had th e sy n d ro m e of big B oston devel­ opers com ing in an d o u r having to live with w hat th e y dev elo p ed . Now, w e’re at th e leading ed g e of th a t so p h istica­ tion.” T hey a re ju stly p ro u d of th eir a c c o m ­ plishm ents. But tru e to their M aine upbringings, th e y are p ro u d e st of th e fact th a t th e y have h elp ed bring p ro s­ perity to o th ers, b o th to th eir in vestors and to their com m unity. “A lthough w e’ve grow n to b e th e larg est,” says Liberty, “w e n ev er w orked a t being largest. We w orked for quality.” He c o n ­ tinues, “Seven y ears ago, I p u m p e d gas in Gray. I’m th e sa m e perso n . T he m ost heartbreaking thing is th e p e o p le w ho think w e’re ch an g ed .” W hen Liberty an d C ope first m et in 1980, th e y w ere, say s Cope, “tw o young guys doing th e sa m e thing in a b u sin e ss dom inated b y sen io rs.” T heir friend­

ship an d m utual u n d erstan d in g led th em into several joint v e n tu res and ev en tu ally into a bu sin ess partnership. T hey’ve co m e a long w ay from their original one-room office in th e T hom as Block, a long w ay a t lea st in th e tangible trappings of su ccess. Their various c o m p an ies a t 38 P reble S treet o ccu p y 13,000 sq u a re feet of office sp a c e and em ploy 40 people. “M ichael and I recognize th a t w e c a n ’t h ave all o u r eggs in o n e b a sk et,” says Cope. So th e tw o have diversified th e ir e n te rp ris e s into c o n stru c tio n , m an ag em ent, finance, and m arketing com panies, and even an em bryo tra n s­ fer facility (Ju n ip er Farm, in G ray) for th e breeding of “su p er-co w s” for milk p roduction. T he m o st rec e n t addition is K atahdin Hom es, builders of m anufac­ tu re d housing for th e New England and New York m arkets. “M ost d ev elo p m en t firms have been aro u n d for a h u n d red y e ars,” says Lib­ erty, “an d are p riso n ers of th e p a st o r of specialization. We are th e only fully diversified, vertically integrated devel­ oper. D iversification h as m ade this c o m p an y grow m ore rapidly th an o th ­ e rs.” He gives Cope th e credit for th e p lanning and diversification w hich has given th e p a rtn e rs h ip th e ir u n iq u e strength. But actually, th e diversification is m erely a n o th e r c o n se q u e n c e of th e real stre n g th of th e Liberty Group, th e creative dynam ism betw een David Cope an d M ichael Liberty. T hey each have their unique skills, interests, and “very clearly defined au to n o m y .” Liberty is th e garrulous, o u tsp o k e n front m an, th e deal-m aker. Cope is th e p lan n er and th e thinker, th e detail-m an w ho c re a te s th e su ccessful im plem entation of the p o ten tials w hich Liberty p roduces. It is th e nex u s b etw een th e ta le n ts of th e se tw o m en th a t their energy is tra n s­ form ed into th e creative spirit th a t invigorates th e com p an y to p u rsu e new projects and fresh ideas. “We’re n o t geniuses,” insists Liberty. S eparated, p e rh a p s not. But together, Cope an d Liberty personify th a t y o u th ­ ful m aturity and creative traditional­ ism, th e w ell-m easured blend of th e new an d old, w hich is P ortland itself.

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41 E xch a n g e S tre e t. P o rtla n d , M a in e 04101. 207 772-4439

APRIL 1986

43


SHORT TAKES

THREE CURRENT LIBERTY GROUP PROJECTS MIDDLE STREET OFFICE COMPLEX, PORTLAND— T h e L ib erty G ro u p ’s twin seven-story tow ers u n d e r co n ­ stru ctio n on Middle Street, Portland, will h o u se 190,000 sq u are feet of retail an d office space, with tw o levels of parking u n d erneath. The $20 million p ro ject should be co m p leted by O cto­ ber, 1987. M arketing studies d o n e for th e Lib­ erty G roup h ad indicated a n eed in P o rtlan d for su ch an office com plex as th e twin tow ers, according to Liberty G roup co-ow ner M ichael Liberty. “One day,” h e recalls, “I w alked o u t of Car­ b u r’s R estaurant, saw th e p ro perty a c ro ss th e street, and said, ‘T h at’s w here w e’ll put th e office com plex.’” The tw o office tow ers, which are sit­ u a te d to m aximize h arb o r views, fea­ tu re a landscaped plaza consisting of brick and granite pavem ent, with trees an d o rnam ental shrubs. The tow er will be roughly th e sam e size, with a steel fram e and glass and brick exteriors. T he p laza level will acco m m o d ate two retail b u sin esses, an d th e u p p er level office sp ace will offer a contem porary interior and great flexibility of layout, w ith a b o u t 15,000 sq u are feet of usea b le s p a c e p e r floor. In a u n iq u e arran g em ent te n a n ts—including the Liberty G roup—will have equity in the ow nership of th e building. The com plex is already over 90 p erce n t leased. SIGNAL POINT, BOOTHBAY HAR­ BOR—Also cu rrently being developed b y th e Liberty Group, Signal Point Vil­ lage an d M arina c o n sists of 32 c o n d o ­ minium units sitting virtually at the w a te r’s edge in B oothbay Harbor. Ranging from ab o u t 1,600 to 2,000 sq u a re feet, th e units will becom e o ccu p ied from June through Septem ­ b e r of this year and will sell for approx­ im ately $160,000 to $330,000 each, d ep en d ing upon location and size. T here are b o th one- and tw o-story units available, with over 20 unique layouts 44

APRIL 1986

since eac h building w as designed to site. T he pro p erty w as approved by the tow n for 61 u n its, b u t th e Liberty Group su bm itted a plan requesting approval of only 43. It is unlikely th a t th e y will add th e additional 11 units allowed, in stead using th e sp a ce for a parking lot and a lan d scap ed entrance. “We are sensitive to th e n eed s of B oothbay Har­ bo r,” says Liberty G roup p a rtn e r David Cope a b o u t th e project. “We are Maine, and w e care a b o u t w h at h a p p en s in Maine.” An added feature at Signal Point is the w harf and m arina, lo cated in th e har­ b o r’s d e e p e st w ater. For a price of $15,000 to $40,000, ow ners will b e given th e option to p u rch ase one of th e 60 slips m ade available by th e Liberty Group. CHANDLER’S WHARF, PORTLAND —Liberty and Cope are p le ase d with their p lan s for C handler’s W harf on the P ortland w aterfront. In six buildings on th e pier jutting o u t over P ortland Har­ b o r will be 72 luxury condom inium units, th e first pro ject of its kind in the city’s new W-l m ixed-use w aterfront zone. A ccording to Liberty, it is “the first and th e finest.” As th e first, how ever, th e project served as a te st ca se for th e in terpreta­ tion of th e laws an d zoning ordinances and is th e p ro d u c t of th e give-and-take of th a t process. Yet, in just th ree days last July, w hile awaiting final planning b o a rd approval, th e Liberty Group re ach ed conditional sales agreem ents on all 72 units. The tow nhouse-type units have been designed in a variety of floor plans— one- and tw o-level, so m e w ith tw o b e d ­ room s, o th e rs with three. The price for th e units in th e six buildings w ere initially priced from ab o u t $140,000 to $360,000 each. Sixteen m ore units are p lanned for a sev en th building clo ser to C om m ercial Street, b u t th e description of th e se units has n o ty e t been released. O ne level of parking will be available b en eath th e concourse. The Liberty G roup h o p es th at first occu p an cy will be later this year.


OTHER DEVELOPMENTS THE MACBRIDE DUNHAM GROUP has rep o rte d th a t leasing is continuing at One City Center, th e 13-floor 225,000 square foot office an d retail com plex just off M onum ent Square. N orstar Bank, U nionm utual’s senior executive staff, and th e co rp o ra te offices of G reat N orthern P a p e r h av e alread y m oved (o r will so o n d o s o ) into th e building. Retail leasing of th e first th re e floors is progressing. O ne City C enter is being built by th e Fisher G roup of Troy, New York. The M acBride D unham G roup is m anaging th e building an d leasing th e building’s 140,000 sq u a re feet of office space. S C A R B O R O U G H ’S P L A N N I N G Board h as given prelim inary approval for “S ou thborough,” th e s ta te ’s “first major p la n n e d office park ,” lo c a te d on a 60-acre tra c t ju st so u th of th e M aine Mall on th e Scarborough-South P ort­ land line. U nionm utual is sc h e d u le d to break ground th is su m m er o n a threestory, 120,000 sq u a re foot office at S outhborough w hile V antage P ro p er­ ties, the d ev elo p m en t arm of th e M ac­ Bride D unham Group, will begin co n ­ struction on a 16,000-20,000 sq u are foot office building in th e park this sum m er, as well. V antage is expecting a n o th e r h a lf-d o z e n te n a n ts in th e w ooded park, including a m ajor h o tel in a portion of S outhborough ad jacen t to the Maine Turnpike. ALSO IN THE APPROVAL PROCESS is “R oundw ood,” a 22-acre specialty retail an d b u sin ess com m unity a half mile so u th of T urnpike Exit 7 at th e in tersec tio n of G orham a n d P ay n e Roads. R oundw ood is being d ev eloped by Vantage Properties, W hite B rothers, and F.W. Cunningham . THE 101,000 SQUARE FOOT LARrabee C om plex is now w ell o v er 50 percent leased. T he building th a t for­ merly h o u se d th e Noyes Tire h e a d ­ quarters in W estbrook h a s b een to tally re n o v a te d in to a m o d e rn b u sin e ss com m unity prim arily for service ori­

e n te d firms needing show room , office, an d sto rag e space. AMARKETING STUDY WILL BE COMp le te d s o o n ex am in in g th e d e m o ­ grap h ics of th e W indham area, w here V an tag e P ro p e rtie s p u r c h a s e d th e W indham Mall earlier this year. O ne of th e p u rp o se s of th e stu d y is to d e te r­ m ine th e feasibility of expanding the m all an d locating a large a n c h o r there. RAM AND CO. HAS REPORTED th a t w ork is being co m p leted on CityCorp Park at 100 Foden Road, n ea r th e M aine Mall in South P ortland. The office park features tw o bui ldings with a to tal of 73,000 sq u are feet of space, m o st of w hich is already com m itted. T h ese m odern buildings are spacio u s an d co m fortable w ith p len ty of parking. P e rh a p s th e m o st interesting feature is th e fu 11h e a lth facility, inc 1uding a w ork­ o u t ro o m an d a ste a m room , for u se by th e ten an ts. RAM AND CO. IS ALSO IN THE MIDd le of co n stru c tio n with th e renovation of O ne Union Street, a building w hich will provide retail and office sp ace at th e c o rn e r of C om m ercial and Union S treets in P o rtla n d ’s Old Port district. T he ren o vation of th e five-story stru c ­ tu re is a w ork of historic preservation an d will offer th e te n a n t beam ceilings, a view of th e harbor, and ex p osed brick w alls to “m aintain th e flavor of th e w aterfro n t.” The first te n a n t in th e 17,000 sq u are feet available will e n te r in early April. COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES INC. IS c u rre n tly developing p h a se 1 of th e Falm outh Executive Park, 60,000 sq u are feet of prim e office sp a c e conveniently lo c a te d a t th e ju n ctu re of R oute 1 and In terstates 95 and 295 in Falm outh. C om m ercial Properties also has its ey es on F orest Avenue in P o rtland as a likely “furniture row .” T hey have al­ re a d y p u rc h a se d th e Jotul Building at 343 F orest Avenue to lease to a furni­ tu re retailer.

building of 10,000 sq u are feet on 1.95 acres, will h o u se David L. G eary’s brew ery which will b e producing Geary’s Pale Ale for regional consum p tion sta rt­ ing in July. Geary, w ho h a s w orked on th e project for tw o years, calls th e brew ery indicative of th e “renaissance of brew ing in th e U.S.” CONSTRUCTION HAS JUST BEGUN on 40/50 P ortland Pier, a nine m onth project by G eneral Properties. The building at 40 P ortland Pier will include 20 condom inium units in five floors and will feature brick w alls an d a c o p p e r roof. T he units are ex p ec ted to sell for betw een $ 150,000 an d $300,000 and will b e available for o c c u p a n c y in late 1986. T he four-story office building at 50 Port­ land Pier will feature a nice view and 14,000 sq u a re feet of first c la ss office sp a c e w hich will lease for $17-18 p er sq u a re foot. G eneral P roperties has already claim ed o n e floor. GLEICHMAN & COMPANY EXPECT co n stru ctio n to have begun in M arch on P heasan t Run A partm ents, a 34-unit elderly, con g reg ate project to b e adja­ cen t to Gleichman’s Mallard Pond Apart­ m en ts in Brunswick. Living sp ac e and accessibility for th e h andicapped are features of b o th new projects. IN GLEICHMAN’S WALKER BAYSIDE Building in P ortland, renovation is cu r­ re n tly u n derw ay for M egaphone, Inc., an audio recording studio specializing in radio and television com m ercials. W hen com plete, th e studio will feature ultra-m odern, s ta te of th e art te c h n o l­ ogy u n p aralleled by any o th e r facility in n o rth e rn New England. M egaphone, Inc., is th e joint effort of M artin Gleitsm an, John Etnier, John Stuart, and M ichael Mclnnis.

RIVERSIDE STREET IN PORTLAND will b e th e haven of th e industrial park with th e activities of D elta R ealty and C om m ercial Properties. O ne site, a APRIL 1986

45


POLITICS

JOSEPH D. CASALE, MAYOR blo w —a state government study foseph D. Casale grew up in designated S earsport as the the Italian neighborhood at place fo r a $50 m illion cargothe fo o t o fM u n jo yH ill, a few blocks away from the City Hall handling facility. “As soon as I read th a t,” Casale says, “I nearly buildings where he spends a lo t went nuts. ” He sought o u t John o f time now. In fact, he s till lives Menario, then president o f the on the H ill in Waterville St. with Chamber o f Commerce, to show his wife, Mary, and their children, him the study and te ll him what Katy, Nicholas, and M ary Irin. he thought. Menario was sympa­ Casale worked the first years o f thetic and gave him support to his adult life as a drum m er and try to turn the issue around. In a singer with ro ck bands known variously as Cinderella and Black Dog, doing gigs across New Eng­ land to Vermont and south to Philadelphia. “I grew up in a time— the late 1960s and early 1970s— when people weren’t in­ terested in government, ” Casale says. “Iju s t wanted to p la y music and be a free spirit. Then, we thought that was the utopian desire o f everyone. ” With a fam ily came responsi­ bility, and Casale gave up life on the road with the band, taking a jo b as a longshoreman, joining the union and becoming presi­ dent o f the loca l within a couple o f years. Suddenly he was a man with a mission: He wanted to secure the w aterfront livelihood o f those like himself, the “lunchpail, blue co lla r workers, ’’whose num bers had d w in d le d from 5,000 to 300 since the end o f W orld War II. He g o t on com m it­ tees and began arguing fo r the renewal o f the waterfront, but com ing from a w orld o f action and results, he found the wheels o f government slow. Even worse, BY ROBERT KEMP his mission received a sudden

J

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APRIL 1986

later conversation withMenario, Casale groused about his frus­ tration with governm ental p roc­ esses that ignored his p o in t o f view. He wanted to know what he co u ld do about it. “Become a p a rt o f the system ,” Menario answered. “ H o w do y o u do that?” he asked. “Run fo r office, ” M enario responded, sending the novice politician to H arold Loring. “I w ill always call H arold Loring m y mentor, ” Casale says. “I w ill never forget the question he asked me— what qualifies a person to run fo r p o litica l office? I to ld him that yo u have to be educated, to have compassion, to be able to understand issues, and as I ticked o ff a couple o f o ther qualifications, he began to laugh. I asked him what he found so funny about m y answers. ‘If you want to get righ t down to it, to keep it in perspective, ’he said, ‘the o n ly qualification yo u need to run fo r p o litic a l office is one vote more than the person you ’r e running against. ’A fte r he to ld me that, I realized that if you ap­ proach things from a common sense level and you always try to cast y o u r votes as best yo u can fo r at least 51 percent o f the people, and d o n ’t let y o u r ego get any larger than y o u r IQ, you w ill preveiil no m atter how large the p ro b le m s a re .” The c ity c o u n c il’s unanimous choice fo r m ayor at the beginning o f his seventh year in office, Casale p aid homage to Loring in his inaugural address.


PORTLAND MONTHLY: Is it p ossible for a part-tim e m ayor an d city council to stay on to p of things in a developing city like Portland? D on’t you have to put in a lot of hours? CASALE: The roles of city councilor and mayor, as th e y are p erceived in this community, are su p p o se d to be parttime. However, d u e to th e rapid grow th this city has b een experiencing, d u e to the pressures of investors, and d u e to the rapid ch an g e in th e eco n o m ic cli­ mate, th e city council is having to sp en d much m ore tim e on issu es th a n o n e would think. To do this job p ro p erly and effectively, you have to sp en d betw een 30 and 50 h o u rs a w eek on th e job, including p h o n e calls, m eetings, and reading. One D evelopm ent C om m ittee meeting this m orning lasted four hours. We have a su b co m m ittee sy stem th a t is supposed to b reak dow n th e length of council m eetings. T hree m em b ers of the council are s u p p o se d to have full knowledge of an issu e w h en it co m es up. More and m o re I find th a t cou n cil­ ors have to get a quick e d u catio n on some very controversial issues. 1 think that it’s m ore th a n a part-tim e position although som e p eo p le w ould like to think that all you have to d o is go dow n to the city council ch am b ers an d say yes or no. The decisions th a t this co u n ­ cil is making will h av e long-term and far-reaching im pacts o n us as citizens and on future g enerations. T he days of the p art-tim e c o u n c ilo r a re losing ground in this com m unity, if you w ant to do the job co n scien tio u sly an d in th e best interest of th e p eo p le w ho elected you to th e position. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Isn’t th a t a lot of work for $4,400 o r $5,400 a year? CASALE: Well, th e thinking of so m e people is th a t y ou d id n ’t have to take the job if you d id n ’t w ant it. On th e o th e r hand, the w ay I look at it now, after being involved in th e sy stem for so many years, is th a t w e’re excluding a section of this society th a t m ay w ant to get involved in th e political p rocess. Everybody says th a t it’s ap a th y th a t keeps p eople from voting, a p a th y th a t keeps p eople from com ing forw ard to serve. But truthfully, I think th a t p eo p le just do not have th e h o u rs th a t it’s necessary to com m it u n d er th e system we have now — n o t e n o u g h tim e to do that and m ake a living too. Involvem ent

tak es tim e. I c a n ’t tell you th e n u m ber of h o u rs I sp en d at w ork doing city busi­ n ess, b u t I do get criticized for not paying enough atte n tio n to th o se w ho n e e d m y tim e. I know m y family is being very gracious. T hey’re being very su p ­ portive, b u t at tim es this job g rates on m y family too. I’d b e less th an h o n e st if I didn’t say that. I really think th a t th e tim e will com e w hen this com m unity will have to sta rt paying p e o p le for th e tim e th ey put in. T he council should be tre a te d at least as a se m i-p ro fe ssio n a l o c c u p a tio n ra th e r th a n the w ay th e y ’re treating it now. And th e vo ters d o n ’t u n d erstan d that. T hey say, “Oh, you peo p le are going on junkets,” o r “You peo p le do nothing b u t drink wine an d ea t ch e e se .” I’d like for so m e tax p ay ers to follow me aro u n d for a day an d se e ju st w h at I go through. I’m n o t crying in m y b eer a b o u t this; th a t’s ju st th e w ay it is in this city. This city is experiencing an u n p ar­ alleled grow th rate. We are nationally recognized now, and th e city deserves th e b e st g overnm ent it can get. I think th e b e st g overnm ent involves th e m ost p eople, and, unfortunately, financial a s p e c ts have to be considered. So if s o m e o n e w ere to offer a raise for th e council, and I th o u g h t th e v o tes w ere th ere, I’d su p p o rt it. And I’d sta n d up in front of any organization or citizen group an d explain th a t to get th e b est city g overnm ent you possibly can you will h av e to pay m ore b e c a u se of th e jo b ’s in creased tim e dem ands. Back in th e 1950s and 1960s, m aybe th e job w a sn ’t a s com plex a s it is now. I think th a t in to d a y ’s so ciety you get w hat you p ay for, an d if P o rtlan d is to con tin u e being o n e of th e b e st cities in th e N orth­ east, w e’ll have to op en o u r govern­ m ental p ro cess to m ore people. PORTLAND MONTHLY: D oes th at apply to making th e office of m ayor an elected, full-time position? CASALE: M ythinkingon th a t has devel­ o p ed o v er the p a st six years, so I think th a t I can discuss it objectively. It’s difficult a t b est to deal with a m ayor a year. I cam e into this position knowing m o st of th e p eo p le I have to w ork with, having m et them over th e p a st six years as ch airm an of th e D evelopm ent Com ­ m ittee an d in th e o th e r council posi­ tions I’ve served in. Still, continuity of

service is n o t a prev alen t feature of th e office of m ayor. Just as you get involved and feel com fortable, yo u r tu rn is up and so m eb o d y new com es in. 1think it d isru p ts th e system . Also, in national organizations, such as th e National M ayors’ C onference and th e National L eague of Cities, it’s difficult to have a focal point for this com m unity, with th e exception of Pam Plum b, w h o ’s been e lec ted as sec o n d vice-president of th e NLC. O ne y ea r th ey deal with o n e p er­ son, th e next y e ar th e y deal with a n o th e r person. So it’s h ard for P ort­ la n d ’s m ayor to have an im pact at th e N ational M ayors’ C onference. I think th a t it’s tim e for this com m unity to co m e to grips with having an elected m ayor. I h av en ’t decided w h e th e r I think it sh o u ld b e a full-time position, b u t it is tim e to think ab o u t su ch a position, to p lan t th e seed and get th e public to rally around it. Q uite frankly, if th e y ’re not satisfied with w hat the m ayor’s doing, th e y have th e option of rem oving th a t person. With th e ty p e of governm ent we have now, th ey d o n ’t h ave th at opp o rtu n ity b ec au se if they d o n ’t like w hat th e city m anager is doing, th ey have to convince five c o u n ­ cilors to rep lace th a t p erso n . And you m ay as well try to eat this tab le as do that. And this brings up a n o th e r problem w ith th e sy stem w e’ve got now. I feel th a t all councilors sh o u ld be e le cte d at large. I think th a t w e should m aintain th e district system for residency p u r­ p o ses, b u t th e re ’s no reaso n w hy you sh o u ld n ’t b e able to vo te for a councilor w ho lives on M unjoy Hill ju st b e c a u se you d o n ’t live th ere, especially w hen every v o te h e or sh e c a s ts w ill have an effect on you. I’ve b een before th e C har­ te r Review Com m ission and discussed th e se an d som e o th e r points w hich I think th ey need to look at. PORTLAND MONTHLY: How do you see th e office of m ayor? CASALE: Well, you know, w hen people com e to any com m unity, th ey always w an t to talk to th e m ayor. I d o n ’t know w h eth er it’s fortunate o r unfortunate, b u t peo p le look at th e m ayor as th e figurehead, the lead er of th e city, th e sp eak er for th e p eo p le w ho live in and aro u n d th e city. W hen peo p le co m e to d o business here, th ey get confused, b e ca u se though th ey know th a t th e re ’s APRIL 1986

47


a m ayor an d a council, th ey also have to deal w ith a city m anager, so it’s a shortcircuit. T hey have to filter th ro u g h th e city m an ag er’s office before th ey go to th e various su b co m m ittees, th e Com­ m unity D evelopm ent C om m ittee, or w hatever; an d th e y ’re cau g h t betw een a ro c k an d a h ard place. W hat I’m saying is th a t th e sy stem sh o u ld rem ain intact, th a t w e should keep th e city m anager’s office—you can call it th a t o r w hatever you w a n t—b u t th a t office sh o u ld be u n d e r th e m ayor an d th e council. PORTLAND MONTHLY: In so m e cit­ ies th e e le c te d m ayor’s chief adm inis­ tra to r is called th e city ad m inistrator— som ething like th a t is w hat y o u ’re talking about? CASALE: T h a t’s right. T hat p erso n w ould still b e resp o n sib le for th e dayto-day activities, th e city em ployees, and still have d e p a rtm e n t h ead s th at disperse inform ation an d instructions. I d o n ’t think w e have to disrupt o u r sys­ tem , b u t I d o think w e h av e to find w ays to bring it into th e 20th century. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W hat do you think a b o u t th e form er city m an ag er— Tim H oney’s —reco rd ? You did have so m e differences with him, didn’t you? CASALE: Tim Honey, I’m p ro u d to say, w as n o t only o n e of th e finest city m an­ agers th e city h a s ever had, h e ’s also a friend. I w as o n e of th e co u n cilo rs w ho sele c te d him for th a t position. I w as alw ays to ld th a t you ca n n o t be friends with th e city m anager if y o u ’re on th e council. This w as th e philo so p h y of City Hall in 1979. You d o n ’t w an t to get friendly w ith th e city m anager, b e c a u se som e d ay you m ay m ake a decision th at will affect th e m anager. You have to realize th a t y o u ’re th e m an ag er’s boss, and th a t if y o u ’re to o friendly, you w on’t be able to m ake objective decisions regarding his disposition of th e city’s affairs. I tried to follow th a t philosophy at th e beginning. But as Tim an d I w orked to g e th e r o n th e city’s affairs as councilo r an d city m anager, an d later as m ayor an d city m anager, a friendship developed. But th a t friendship w as stru c tu re d so th a t even th o u g h w e m ay n o t have ag reed o n so m e issues, th e friendship w as alw ays there. It never got to w here th e differences b ecam e p e rso n a l. I can cite tw o c a s e s w h ere we disagreed. O ne w as th e Red Sox b a s e ­ ball farm te a m com ing here. T here w as a sc h e m e for th e city to p u t u p $500,000 to bring in a p ro fessional team . My 48

APRIL 1986

thinking w as th a t this city sh o u ld in no w ay b e resp o n sib le for investing th at sum of m oney into a Double-Aball club w hich could pull up next year. The sta k e s w ere to o high; th e gam ble w as to o great. Tim felt very strongly th a tw e n e e d e d th a t as a p a rt of this co m m u ­ nity. U nfortunately, Tim lost on th at p articu lar decision. But w e m aintained an attitu d e of “Well, th a t’s th a t,” and m oved on to th e next one. T he o th e r o n e th a t co m es to m ind quickly w as this park adjacent to Tom m y’s Park. Tim w as a p p ro a ch e d by a group of bu sin ess p eo p le w ho felt th a t th at sh o u ld be d ev elo p ed as a park. My feeling w as th a t no piece of pro p erty in th e city of P o rtland w as w orth $500,000 an acre, and if b u siness people or o th e rs w ere so co n cern ed about that prop erty, let th em bid on it them selves. I lost on th a t one, b u t th e w ay I looked at it w as th a t w e all deal with th e dem o­ cratic process. We w ork with majority votes; and th e m ajority of th e council w an ted to go forw ard with th a t park. T h o se w ere tw o in stan ces w here Tim an d I h a p p en e d to disagree. W hen push c a m e to s h o v e , w e w e re u su a lly to g e th e r on m o st of th e m ajor issues. T he cargo p o rt w as o n e issue I regret th a t Tim w ould n o t get as heavily involved in as I wish h e had. I u n der­ sta n d th a t th e cargo p o rt w as just one c h a p te r in th e w hole w aterfront stra ­ tegy, and th at he w as involved in the w hole pro cess, b u t 1d o n ’t feel th a t th e city p layed an active en ough role there. I know th a t o n e co u n cilo r’s priorities are n o t necessarily an o th e r’s, and th at so m e item s get m ore attention. In the last tw o years, how ever, I do think th at th e cargo p o rt is getting m ore attention, an d now m o st of th e council w an ts to see it go forward. W hen Tim applied for the job. A.J. W ilson had b een city m anager for sev­ eral years. We w en t th ro u g h th e w hole review process. B ecause of Tim ’s quali­ fications, b ec au se of th e w ay he co n ­ d u c te d himself, and bec au se of his pro­ fessionalism , he sc o re d points head a n d sh o u ld ers above all of th e o th e r c an d id ates and w as given th e position. At th e tim e h e to o k th e position, he w a sn ’t th e fair-haired boy, th e b e st­ loved kid on th e block. I’m h ap p y to see Tim get th e recognition he deserv es now. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Have you h a d to get u se d to being m ayor? W hat’s

it like dow n at yo u r old hang-outs? Do you get kidded about being mayor? CASALE: I have h a d to get used to th e job in som e respects, because I’m n o t a p e rso n w ho is m otivated by the desire for titles. A nybody can have a title. To th e p e o p le at m y hang-outs, I’ll always be Joe Casale. T hey will kid me once in a while, saying, “H ere co m es the mayor.” In Halifax, N.S., th e y call their m ayor ‘‘Your W orship. ” W hen Iwent up th e re a while back, th a t’s how their new spa­ p ers referred to me. So for a while th e re ’s b een a little joke here at city hall and elsew here. W hen people see m e com ing th ey som etim es say, “Here co m e s Your W orship. ” I take that w ith a grain of salt. I’m sure that there’s a certain level of re sp ec t, and I’d never dow nplay how im portant 1 think the position is. Quite frankly, I’m honored to hold th e office, m ore honored th a t people v o ted m e into office to repres­ en t them , and I’m honored my co l­ leagues on th e council feel I’m capable of taking th e lead position in the city. So, although I take som e ribbing about it, and though I’m p re tty loose about it, dow nplaying th e significance of th e role, in fact I realize it’s a very responsi­ ble position. N ot th a t I’m tryingto m ake a big deal of th e title; anybody w ho know s m e know s th a t I’m a verydownto -earth so rt of perso n w ho reccgnizes th a t governm ent positions anc titles d o n ’t last a lifetime. W hen yoi have th em you sh o u ld u se them to lenefit th e people you represent, n e w in a selfish or narrow way. PORTLAND MONTHLY: W hat lo you do for fun? How do you unw ind CASALE: 1 like riding Harley-Dandson m oto rcy cles—th a t’s w hat I do br fun. T h at’s my one outlet, I think. PORTLAND MONTHLY: Trail rding? CASALE: No, ro ad riding. It’s ny o n e e sca p e w here 1can get ou t and dvorce m yself from life and be m y own person to think. A lot of peo p le might no: think th a t th a t is a quality w ay of haviig fun, b u t so m e peo p le drive cars, sorre p e o ­ ple ra c e b o ats, som e peo p le swin, and so m e p eo p le jog; I like putting on a lea th er jacket, a p a ir of jeans and )oots, and going o u t and driving a bike. Jnfortunately, I c a n ’t do th a t in th e w iner, so I get a little itchy, b u t th a t just m ales me p ay m ore a tte n tio n to th e city. Iguess th e city’s m y o th e r h o bby— and dm ost a full-time hobby, at that.


RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

obart H arnden defines th e term workaholic. He p u m p s his re st­ less en erg y eagerly into ea c h project he u n dertakes, w ith th e resu lt of financial su c c e ss an d w ith th e rew ard of “self-satisfaction” an d “being in on things.” When H arnden sta rte d his resid en ­ tial real e sta te busin ess in 1969, it w as a one-man agen cy in South P ortland. At present, H arnden Realty Inc. co m prises a large and com fortable h o u se at 1065 Broadway, h o m e to a staff of 22, an d another office in th e M arine T rad e Cen­ ter on P ortlan d ’s w aterfront, w ith a staff of 15. The rem ark ab le grow th of th e co m ­ pany o ccu rred in th e late seventies. “Residential sa le s have b e e n u nbeliev­ able. We w en t th ro u g h a tim e w here there was trem en d o u s grow th in co n d o sales,” says H arnden. “Condom inium s were a very h o t item . O ne of o u r first big projects w as th e co nversion of th e old buildings on th e W estern P ro m en ad e for condos and a p a rtm e n ts.” In 1979, “the real boom year,” H am den Realty expan d ed to th re e offices to accom m odate th e b u stlin g real e s ta te market. T hen cam e th e recessio n of 1982. “We s a t ch ew in g o u r n a ils,” recalls H arnden. He scaled b ack his operation and w aited for th e h ard tim es to pass. They soon did. H arnden exclaim s, “For the last tw o y e a rs th e grow th p a t­ tern has b een som ething like I’ve never seen before.” And now , w ith 30 sales people in tw o offices, H arnden is tu rn ­ ing down applican ts continually. In 1985, H arnden e stim ates his firm h a n ­ dled $35 million in business. O ne p ro ­ ject, such as S tonegate off M itchell Road in Cape Elizabeth, can run up to $10 million. Currently, H arnden says, his com pany is m arketing six condom i­ nium developm ents. But condom inium d ev e lo p m e n ts no longer are th e d em a n d e d ty p e of h o u s­ ing in G reater P ortland, according to Harnden. T he tre n d is n ow w ith single­ family dwellings. “C ondom inium s s a t­ isfied an eed and adesire,” says H am den. “Yuppies d o n ’t w an t to co m e h o m e to mow a law n.” However, for th e tim e being, con d o s are taking se c o n d place, and develo p m en ts like S to n eg ate are

H

in. D eveloped by Bob Taylor and D ana Goodwin of IBIS Com pany, S tonegate c o n sists of 62 single-family dw ellings at $185,000 p e r unit. H am den is exuberant about th e devel­ o p m en t b oom in th e city of Portland. “T he city’s b ee n far-sighted eno u g h to look at th e big picture. T h ere’s only so m u ch w aterfront. All bu sin ess is clearly defined. I might disagree with specifics, b u t I a p p rec iate and re sp e c t th a t th e p lan is th e re .” He feels th a t th e city has b een successful in taking care of all its re sid e n ts w hile finding w ays to p ro ­ m o te th e virtues of P o rtland to its m any visitors. For th e last five years, H arnden has b een a d irecto r with All Points R eloca­ tion Service, a nationw ide consortium of residential brokers, 600 in th e U.S. a n d 30 in C anada. This year, h e is serv ­ ing a s All Points’ president, and as such h a s h ad an un p aralleled o p p o rtu n ity to gain e x p o su re to ideas an d conditions in th e real e s ta te b u sin ess all over th e country. “I can s e e from m y five y ea rs on All Points th e ch ange in perspective. Five y ears ago, so m e peo p le still th ought y ou h a d to tak e a dogsled from B oston to P ortland. N ow people say, ‘Say, I read a b o u t P ortland. It so u n d s like an excit­ ing city.’”

And H arnden is a tireless optim ist w hen it co m es to P o rtlan d ’s future. W hile som e are predicting th e d e a th of Congress Street, H arnden see s p ro sp er­ ity just aro u n d th e c o rn e r for th e city’s traditional com m ercial center. “Con­ gress S treet’s dem ise hu rt th em for a while. But I se e th a t as cyclical. No part of th e city is going to stay dow n for long.” For relaxation, if you can call it that, H arnden ow ns a 40-foot Egg H arbor pleasure boat, and from April to O ctober h e enjoys taking tim e for a co u p le of trips D ow neast. However, as o n e w ho know s H arnden w ould expect, he finds a w ay to mix b u siness w ith pleasure, using th e b o a t as a “selling to o l” to in tro d u ce M aine to p ro spective clients. H arnden u sed to vacation annually in Florida w ith his childhood friend John Flaherty. On th e se so-called vacations, H arnden w ould swim an d relax in the m orning and w ork al 1afternoon. “ I c a n ’t get aw ay w ithout feeling guilty,” he explains. “I n eed to w ork.” In addition to All P oints R elocation Service, H am d en ’s extracurricular in­ v o lv em en ts include activity with Maine Listing Service, a partn ersh ip with his son and How ard G oldenfarb in RamH a rn d en ( a c o m m ercial b ro k e ra g e co m pany), and an effort with friends to sta rt a Business Digest m agazine in sectio n s of Florida. W here will th e future tak e Hobie H arnden? He isn’t quite su re himself, b u t h e ’s in th e p ro c e ss of finding out. T hrough his travelling with All Points and his experience with M aine Listing Service, h e ’s learned th e im portance of planning. “A lot of us grow by reaction ra th e r th a n planning,” he says. Now he h a s hired a general m an ag er for e a c h of H arnden R ealty’s offices so he can take th e tim e to plan th e future. “My long run in terest is m aintaining H arnden Real­ ty ’s strength, m aintaining its im age in th e com m unity,” h e says. “I’ve freed m y selfb y h irin g ag e n era l m anager. I’ve never had th e c h a n ce to think.” “You c a n ’t sta n d still and b e su c c e ss­ ful,” he says with a smile. “I’ve got a lot of things in th e wind.” W hichever way th e w ind ev en tu ally blow s him, H am ­ d e n ’s com m itted to going far.

BY RICHARD BENNETT APRIL 1986

49


RESTAURANT REVIEW

HAMILTON’S INDIA RESTAURANT s this is my first colum n as a re sta u ra n t “critic” for this m aga­ zine, I feel co m pelled to hang m y various food biases w here every­ o n e can se e them . I am no chef. 1 can cook b u t half-a-dozen p a sta dishes. But, I love to eat. I like food with c h a ra c te r and soul. Food th a t d o es n o t ju st lie th e re on y our palate, b u t w hich an n o u n ces its p re se n c e w ith every bite. Pate, goat c h eese, spicy “e th n ic” foods, dry, red b o rd eau x s and arid b ru t cham pagnes, cognac, m ustards, horseradish, salm on, ginger, anything with garlic, grapefruit m arm alade, P arm esan cheese, pesto, Jalap en o p ep p ers, to n am e b u t a few. Alas, I do n o t m uch care for dessert. Crem e Caram el leaves m e cold. T oo m any things to d a y seem to have had their soul extracted , includ­ ing food. W hite bread, Twinkies, dom es­ tic beer, A m erican cheese, h o t dogs, c h o c o la te are b u t a few of th e by­ p ro d u c ts of this process. I w as very p le a sed to discover th a t th e food at H am ilton’s India R estaurant has m uch of its soul intact. G ranted it w a sn ’t m ade in C alcutta (o r New York or L o n d o n ) by an Indian, b u t th e spirit is there. T he prices are no t a s low as New York cu t-rate Indian restau ran ts, but this is Portland, after all. W hat I find basically appealing about Indian food is th e c o n c e p t (o r practice, as it sh o u ld probably b e called): eating m any different flavors, textures, and “te m p e ra tu res” in close successio n — first h o t and fibrous, th e n cool and sm o o th, th e n p u n g en t and crunchy, th e n back th ro u g h th e cycle in any order. In tw o visits (o n e th e night it open ed an d o n e th e night before writing this review ) m y dining com panion and I m an aged to ea t virtually everything on th e m enu (th o u g h n o t finish). T hree appetizers are available. Poppadums are deep-fried crispy w afers not unlike huge p o ta to chips (th o u g h m uch m ore satisfying). T hey are served with a fruit chutney. Samosas seem to be the Indian version of a c ro ss betw een an Italian calzone and a vegetable p o t pie. T hey are served with a lime pickle

A

BY GEORGE BENINGTON

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ch u tn e y which, although it com es from a jar, is su ch an a ssa u lt on your se n se s it is w orth ordering for th a t re a­ son alone. M ulligataw ney soup is a curried broth of som e sort, served over B asm ati rice. It seem ed a bit bland, p ro b ab ly in ord er n o t to sca re off the timid diner. Let m e just say a w ord in favor of B asm ati rice. It is surely th e prince of rice. This long-grained rice from Pakis­ ta n an d N orthern India is a stap le of th e cuisines of th e se area s (a s well as H am ilton’s). So m uch th e better: It has infinitely m ore soul and finesse (n o t to m ention flavor) th a n its brow n, white, and m inute cousins. Indian food is p ro perly eaten with m any accom panying side dishes. On our first visit th e se w ere included with th e entree. T hey are now priced separ­ ately, b u t m ake su re to o rd er som e to fully enjoy th e meal. Chapati, is flat, u n leav en ed bread which, I imagine, is u sed som ew hat like a shovel in its native land. Raita is a cooling, soothing dish, containing yogurt, to lubricate th e palate (H am ilton’s offers a choice of tw o). The c h u tn ey p la te — featuring ginger, rhubarb, and mixed fruit chutn ey s—w as one of th e high points of th e meal. The ground, fresh ginger, garlic, lem on juice, etc. in th e ginger ch u tn ey m ake for an eating experience sim ilar to the Ja p an e se horseradish W asabe. Its aro m a and flavor go straight to the brain. T h ese a c c o m p a n im en ts a re best eaten interm ittently with th e entrees. Last night I had th e K ashm iri Rogan Josh, spicy lam b in a yogurt sauce, very tender, so m uch so th a t it fell off th e bone. U nfortunately the dish was so full of bones, of all sh a p es and sizes— I had quite a tim e w ending my w ay through. T he Rogan Josh is served with a cauliflow er bhaji and a cool, fresh c a rro t salad with black m ustard seed. T he special w as Jhinga Nariyal— shrim p coconut, literally tran slated — m ildly seaso n ed and a little on the fishy side, but good for the uninitiated. Tim atar M acchi is fresh fish in a well se a so n e d to m ato and onion sauce with fennel and black m ustard seed s—


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very te n d e r an d m oist an d spicy. Som e of th e b e st sc ro d I have h a d recently. Also available is a v egetarian dish, chicken ( Saag M urghi), an d a beef entree (V indaloo). H am ilton’s d e sse rts are three: tw o fruit p lates w ith card am o m an d rosew ater, and Delhi Delight, Sem olina halva with vanilla ice cream an d Kemra w ater. T he special th e night w e w ent was Gulab Jamun (R o se balls): tw o fried d o ugh b alls w ith pistachio, sitting in rosew ater. It w as to o sw eet for me, but m y com p an io n se e m e d to enjoy it

an d left n o trace. Chef H am ilton Ash is English, has sp e n t so m e tim e in India, and m odels his cooking after th e cuisine of n o rth ­ ern an d cen tral India. For exam ple, C hapati is a sta p le of N orthern India. In Kashmir, Rogan Josh is m ade with dry, p o w d ered ginger an d no onions (a s it is at H am ilton’s), w h ereas in o th er regions th e ginger is fresh and onions are included. T he c a rro ts with black m u stard se e d are characteristic of G ujarat in w estern central India. T he w ine list is sim ple, with a good

range of prices an d varieties including a ra th e r good, c h e a p Entre deux M ers w hich can b e d ru n k like w ater, if necessary. T he H ouse w ines are M on­ davi an d Sebastiani— a w elcom e relief from th e c h e a p Italian w ines m ost often served in Portland. H am ilton’s is well w o rth th e trip to “Little India,” on M iddle Street, ac ro ss from Jo rd a n ’s M eats. D inner prices range from $8.95 to $10.95.

©1986 G eorge B enington

APRIL 1986

53


SWAN DIVE

THE CARPENTER

C ontinued from page 21

C ontinued from page 39

gets m ore satisfaction o u t of puttin g on th e old feedbag. And besides, so m eb o d y else is going to co m e along, soon, an d o p e n a new, m aybe even m ore chic an d sophisti­ c ate d restau ran t. So there! In th e m eantim e, ‘w hat this tow n n e e d s ’ is m ore of th e sam e. And th a t’s just w hat it is getting, too. A p lace to o p e n so o n lays claim to serving th e w orld ’s g reatest ham burgers. How can th a t be, since th ere is already a p lace in tow n th a t serves th e b e st b u rgers on th e planet? W hether it can o r c a n n o t is m oot. Since th e y ’re b o th serving h am ­ burgers, th e y ’re in to u c h with th e pulse of this tow n and are tapping a sectio n of th e m arket so m uch b ro ad er an d so m uch hungrier th an p laces like th e Gas­ light an d th e Swan Dive, th a t sectio n referred to by th e old poser, ‘People g o tta eat, d o n ’t they ?’ In th e en d it m a y b e th e overzealous, short-sighted ow ner or th e fickle m arket o r b o th w ho are resp o n sib le for th e brief lifespan of th e sm all, distinctive resta u ra n t, but w hat difference d o e s it make? W h at’s im portant is this: If th ere is P rovidence in th e fall of a sparrow , th ere m ay be som ething of th a t in th e fall of a sw an, too, bu t it is a m ystery to m e w h at good it d o e s a tow n th a t is changing and growing, a tow n p eo p le like living in and w ant to b e p ro u d of, especially w hen their friends com e to visit. Especially w hen th e m ost intim ate and m em orable c o n ta c t m ost of P ort­ lan d ’s g u ests have with th e city o ccu rs in a dining room . It only m akes se n se th a t th e b ro ad er range of re sta u ra n ts th ere is, from L obster Shacks to L’An­ tibes, th e better. You can m ake y o u r g u ests com fort­ able by taking th em to so m ep lace famil­ iar, like M acD onald’s. O ryou can dazzle them , as long as all th e dazzling p laces d o n ’t go o u t of b u sin ess a t once. As m uch a s so m e re sta u ra n ts have in com m o n w ith circuses, a n d as m u ch as o th e rs do their b e s t to o rc h e stra te art and th e a te r and en tertain m en t into th e dining experience, th ey a re n ’t travel­ ling show s. And P ortlan d isn’t th e c o u n ty fair grounds, either. It’s growing an d changing an d evolving. The q u e s­ tion is, w hat is it trying to becom e? The Jew el of th e N ortheast? Or th e G reatest Burg on Earth?

Pontiff’s th read b are tw eeds, his collarless shirt, his grizzled hair, o n ce blond, th a t straggled over his forehead? But I d id n ’t voice m y prejudices. Iw as just an em ployee of th e First Maine Bank o p en ­ ing an o th er account. “T hanks very m uch, Mr. Pontiff. We’ll p u t this through im m ediately, and in thirty days— ” “T -thirty days! W hat are days in the life of m an, in th e p an o ram a of the cen tu ries?” I ducked m y head, blinked: th e tow n’s eccen trics could n o t m easu re up to Pontiff. The Englishm an nodded, rose, an d shuffled o u t of th e bank with locked feet th a t ech o ed on th e terrazzo. N obody else sta re d after him as I did; w ho else knew th a t th e M artin Place w as again occupied? I took a c lo ser look a t the draft. Five th o u san d pounds! Even before I g ot th e official rate, I knew th a t th e sum e x ceed ed w hat I ea rn e d in tw elve m onths. T he draft w as printed in Arabic an d English. The signature, illegible, w as th a t of th e Jeru salem cashier. And Pontiff’s application gave only nam e an d ad d ress, m o th e r’s m aiden nam e (M iriam LaVierge), age—w as it 32?— and occupation ( “unem ployed”). I gave th e draft, th e application, and th e d e ­ posit slip to Ora Wells, lit a cigarette, an d sta re d dow n th e h ard floor, dow n th e narrow ing vista of m y life. T hat night I quizzed M other about th e M artin Place b u t gave no ex cuse for m y curiosity. M other is old enough to have know n W alter M artin and his histo ty . She w ent to school with his nieces, Edith and Helen W oodberry. She w as glad to talk. “It b ea ts m e,” she said, peering over h e r knitting. “The h o u se is falling apart, ro tte n through and through, a haven for ra ts and roaches. The W oodberry girls sh o u ld apply for tax relief or dem olish th e house. Only a tram p, a G ypsy w ould live th ere!” I said no m ore an d w en t dutifully to Alice Hamlin, w hose m o th er is hard to take, b u t w hen th e old lady goes to bed, w e can be cozy and private enough. Ten y ears ago w e an n o u n ced o u r engage­ m ent; th e new s clipping h as turned brow n. Still, in th e opinion of neighbors, we are am o n g th e “younger set,” though I’m p a st forty. As so o n as Mrs. Hamlin dies, w e’ll plan a future together. M ean­ while, I can talk frankly with Alice. She

54

APRIL 1986

te n d s to b e broadm inded a b o u t people like Richard Pontiff. I d escribed my e n c o u n te r w ith him a n d aired my suspicions. “H e’s no pauper, Alice, and wellsp o k en too, th o u g h h e looks rath e r dissipated. W hy do you su p p o se he re n ted th e M artin Place? Certainly not to econom ize . . . Besides, w hen a fel­ low ’s u n a tta c h e d a t his tim e of life, th e re ’s nothing to do in H adley Falls except to hell around.” “You ought to know, d ear,” Alice said, chuckling. “T he kindest ac t is not to judge him. He’s just a lost soul, a rem ittan ce m an from th e N ear East. Let’s be charitable— and w ait.” At ten-thirty Alice fixed m e sardines on to a st with a m ug of cocoa, let m e kiss her goodnight. This w as th e ritual w e’d em braced. W hen I left her, m y th ro at w as dry. A glass or two of beer w ould finish off th e evening, so I m ade for LaC hapelle’s Dug-Out, w hich is nothing m uch for elegance b u t served a definite function. The barm aids are com plai­ sant, th e p a tro n s a rough lot, and upstairs, room s m ay b e let by th e hour. Shorty LaChapelle is th e chief of p o l­ ice’s brother-in-law; he w on’t lose his license or pay a fine. The m om ent I entered, Shorty greeted m e by n am e and w aved m e to a table. H e’s a big, genial French-Canadian with a budding pau n ch and five children, a family m an, a devout Sunday Catholic. Y vette C loutier am bled over with a b o t­ tle of M olson’s Ale on a tray, uncorked th e bottle, and sm iled w hen I tipped her. D espite h e r reputation, Y vette’s p re tty and appealing, with a fresh com ­ plexion and sh ap ely legs h er barm aid co stu m e em phasized. She w ithdrew dem urely; I listened to th e talk eddying around me. If I’d know n French, I might have discovered w hat th e se mill h an d s and p o ta to farm ers think of visitors from acro ss the tracks. No m a tte r how hard I’d p re te n d e d to fit in, here I w as o u t of bounds. My diction, my m anners, my social position w ere against m y being accep ted . S horty looked on m e a s an odd ball w ho cam e to stare at Yvette and th e o th e r barm aids instead of going to th e H otel Eagle for cocktails and dinners with p ro p er local girls. I’d never taken Y vette upstairs. I’d never done m ore th an flirt with her. Thirst unslaked, 1 w as ju st a b o u t to call Y vette back w hen th e o u te r d o o r op en ed and tw o m ore c u sto m ers w alked in. C ontinued on page 56


THE ARTS

POET IN EXILE RETURNS TO PORTLAND BY MARK MELNICOVE

The Clear Blue

L o b ste r^

Couritiy^ LEO CONNEliAN

LEO’S COMING HOME H e’s Leo C onnellan, bo rn in P ort­ land, Maine, in 1928, WHO In 1982, like e.e. cum m ings, M arianne M oore, K enneth P atchen, A nne Sexton, an d 59 o th e rs before him, w on the PRESTIGIOUS Shelley M emorial Award for poetry. This sa m e Leo, after 25 y e ars of “fugi­ tive p u b licatio n ” and “hand-to-m outh w andering” (a s th e NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW p u t it) will ap p e ar LIVE IN PORTLAND FRIDAY, APRIL 25 8 P.M. THEATRE OF FANTASY “A p o e t struggles,” h e w rites of him ­ self, “sp e n d s his w hole ad u lt life trying to fulfil 1w hat it w as h e th o u g h t h e could d o w h en h e w as a naive a d o le sc e n t w andering C ongress S treet in P ortland, M aine b efore h e grew up and ‘u n d er­ s to o d ’ th e ‘fixes,’ th e sexual play and th e groupie inclusion th a t sp ells su c ­ c e ss in th e land of th e free and th e hom e of th e W hopper!” HE LIVES IN A SO-TO-SPEAK EXILE FROM MAINE in C onnecticut, w here h e te a c h e s at E astern C onnecticut S tate University ( b u t to w rite his p o e m s h e h a s b e e n a hobo, dishw asher, janitor, e tc .) b u t m ore noticeably HE FIGHTS HARD FOR EVERY POEM HE GETS For exam ple, th e re are his New York poem s, p u b lished in 1975 in a 5,000 copy, u n ex p ected, underground, maddash-to-the-bookstore-sellout entitled, “A no th er Poet in New York,” w ritten in h e a te d an sw er to Federico G arcia L orca an d his book, “A Poet in New York,” w ritten 45 y ears earlier. BUT TO BE MORE SPECIFIC th e re is th e New York poem , “Violent Dying,” a brilliant c atalo g u e of all th e various form s of cu ltural rat-a-tat d eath an d d e stru c tio n th a t p a sse s for a city called New York, w here a t th e en d our p o e t says goodbye: G ood-bye New York, New York of H art C rane and William Packard, New York of G arcia Lorca, New York of Allen Planz. New York of m y y o u n g m an h o o d held in your h a n d a n d blow n over y o u r h a r­ b o rs of p o llu te d d ea th , good-bye g re a te st of th e w o rld ’s cities, good-bye, I love you b u t good-bye. SO HELLO PORTLAND HELLO

“ CLEAR BLUE LOBSTER WATER COUNTRY” w hich is th e title of his n ew est book, o n e th a t se ts Leo C onnellan’s po etry apart. In this triology, in this lyric narrative LEO’S LANGUAGE BURSTS OPEN AT THE SEAMS w hen w e m eet o u r h ero (anti-hero) B oppledock, in th e de-toxification w ard of “Little H ope,” being paid a visit by his m issus, Mrs. Bop: T he branding iron h o t in his skull . . . “Is th e re a d o c to r here!?” Bop h e ard from far a w a y . . . Mrs. Bop see m e d saying it. “This m an, m y Bop, B oppledock’s having a break­ dow n right h e r in front of m y eyes Bop floating . . . w ondering— is th a t w h at th ey do h e re a t Little H ope, break you like breaking a b o n e to th e n se t it right so it will heal r ig h t. . . is th a t i t ... th e y w an t you to b reak so y o u ’ll re c o g n iz e y o u rse lf? . . . h e y waidam inute! HIS WRITING SIZZLES AND REEKS OF THE “REAL” MAINE and of im m igrations Old (Irish ) and New (S alvadoran). M uch of book 3 of his trilogy tak e s p la ce in PORTLAND. Not th e sanitized, yuppie version of th e 80’s, b u t th e old, w orking class, ethnic (h is gran d fath er cam e to P ortland from Ireland in 1868) P o rtland th a t is all b u t a m em ory. He is writing for us, b u t also for th e grandchildren of o u r children, w ho m ay u n d e rsta n d th e c h an g es and so r­ row of w hat can never b e again, AND TOO MUCH WASTE AND SO MUCH HYPE AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT DEATH? And th e w orld is a terrible and d e s­ p e ra te seed, b u t th e good new s is, and go tell them LEO’S COMING BACK HOME “A m ong h u n d re d s of fine co m p e ten t v o lum es pub lish ed every year,” w rites M arion Stocking, ed ito r of th e BELOIT POETRY JOURNAL an d dow n-east re s­ ident, “full of individually excellent b u t ultim ately in terch an g eab le poem s, CONNELLAN’S BOOK STANDS OUT LIKE A GRANITE OUTCROP, he h as c re a te d for his B oppledock A VOICE ABSOLUTELY HIS OWN.” M aine h a s never before p ro d u ced a p o e t like Leo Connellan. On April 25, you can com e h ear why.

■ APRIL 1986

55


THE CARPENTER C ontinued from page 54

T he first w as Pontiff, drunk as a lord. His sto o p w as m ore p ronounced; he w alked with th e sam e locked gait; his clo th e s w ere in ta tte rs —and I had th e im pression h e ’d on ce carried a giant’s burden. His bloo d sh o t, w avering eyes sw ep t th e m urky room an d se ttle d on me. W ould h e ask to sh a re m y table? W ould he claim sanctuary? No, he ch o se th e b a r an d w edged in betw een th e row dies an d their w om en to w ave a fifty-dollar bill an d d em an d service. He got no service; his h o arse bark cau sed an u n d erto w of silence. T hen a red h ead in a borrow ed sailor’s cap gazed at the door, n am ed R ichard’s com panion, and u tte re d a wild yelp: “Justin! Justin!” with th e French soft J. Justin Lilly w as also drunk, swaying, hard ly ab le to advan ce, cursing the w orld an d his ow n fate. Justin w as a reg u lar at th e Dug-Out, at Red McGin­ nis’s, at T he Fog-Cutter. A m ountebank, a beggar with a ta s te for fraud, he w as th e to w n ’s only colored man, or rather, a m ixture of black, Indian, and C auca­ sian w ho lived in a cabin on th e bay w here h e co llected an d sold junk and derelict cars. W hen he cam e to tow n, he w as alw ays alo n e—a com edian with a b a tte re d su itcase full of tricks. He slept off hang-overs o n a b e n ch in th e p o st office. He loafed in front of Town Hall, w here he found his victims: teen-agers, gullible elderly ladies, Christians will­ ing to b uy his raffle tickets. N eedless to say, th e raffles n ev er m aterialized, th e d a n c e s w ere p o stp o n ed . Undersized, plausible, quick a s a fox, an d with a wall eye, Justin em bodied all th a t w as defi­ cient, h o p eless, an d ingrown. But now h e ’d sp o tte d me. He w a sn ’t going to let an opportu n ity pass. “You by y our lonesom e, M ister?” I invited him to join me. “Bully!” he said, an d slum ped into a v acan t chair. “My friend’ll join u s too. His nam e is—” “Pontiff?” I volunteered. T he w all eye glared. B eneath his h ooked n o se th e crisp m u stach e bris­ tled. W hen Pontiff shuffled over and h eld u p th re e fingers, Y vette it w as w ho fetched th e drinks. To m y am azem ent, Justin paid from a handful of coins he flung u p o n th e tale. Y vette b lu sh ed crim son; s h e ’d never b een tipped a w hole dollar. And Pontiff got an u n o b ­ 56

APRIL 1986

stru c te d view of her legs. “Nice to m eet you again,” he began. “You com e for th e atm o sp h ere, I p re ­ sum e. But you can go w here you wish, no q uestions asked.” “S u re!” Justin boom ed. “He go w here he p lease— from them h o u ses on the no rth end to dives like this—and yet he d o n ’t always go w here h e ’s expected, to th a t lady friend he b een keepin’ co m ­ p an y with since God know s when. N am e’s Miss Alice Hamlin. Lives with h e r m am m a in a c o tta g e w ith a ro se garden behind. T eaches at the high school. Clever, too, I hear .. Pontiff gulped m ore ale, ogled Yvette’s dim pled knees in th e fetching nylons. Her red g arters and ta rta n bow tie intrigued him. “Really, Justin? W hy isn’t he with Miss Hamlin, th en ?” I disliked Justin’s knowing tone, his sly winks. He w as dredging up m ypast; I squirm ed with annoyance while he con­ sidered his answer. ‘“ Cause Miss Hamlin ain’t clever en ough— and h e ’s afraid.” T hey w ere talking n o n sen se. Afraid of Alice, of th e co ttag e and th e rose garden? But w ho w as Justin Lilly to yoke m e with fear? As my gorge rose, 1 h eard dim es ra ttle into the plastic cup of th e slot m achine next to th e bar, a gam bling device n eatlyhidden from the law by an abbreviated plaid apron th a t m atched Y vette’s. Jac k p o t!A ten-dollar win! T he onlookers cheered, Shorty gave th e lucky cu sto m ers a free round, th e jukebox blared lo u d er . . . W hen I looked at Pontiff, his head had fallen sidew ays. He w as breathing heavily, he w as obviously in pain, and u n d er the neon his face w as ghastly. Before I co u ld help, Y vette tiptoed over, her sm o o th face wrinkled w ith concern. Pontiff w as gagging on his ow n saliva. “Anything wrong, gentlem en?” “G entlem en?” The w ord angered Justin. “The only gentlem an h e re ’s this bank feller. D on’t worry, Yvette. We’ll m o sey on to Richard’s house, if he can still navigate. Besides, it’s gettin’ close to m idnight. Shorty a c ts edgy. T he co p s m ay be w atchin’ him, and you too!” Y vette w inced at th a t last jibe. As she b e n t over to rem ove the g lasses and wipe th e table, I no ted th e wiry hairs on th e nape o fh erneck.H er elbow brushed

against Pontiff, w ho w oke with a gasp to inhale her ch eap perfum e, the w arm th of her body. A quick cu rrent flowed betw een them . T he tap ro o m began to em pty. T he slo t m achine quit whirring. The jukebox m oaned and died. “Lights,” Pontiff said. “Music. Wine. W om en.. .T h at’s all finished. We’ll have to go hom e in th e dark of th e m oon. Come on, lads. T he night’s still young, like Yvette h ere.” Outside, w e loitered am ong parked cars as Y vette helped Shorty and her co-w orkers lock up. W hen Shorty had driven off, w e w eren ’t su re of h e r till th e do o r open ed and she w obbled tow ard us on h e r tall heels. T he night w as nippy; sh e ’d n o t changed from her barm aid costum e. With a giggle, a skip, and a jum p, sh e let Justin and Richard take her arm s and m arch her forward. As th ey p a sse d b e n ea th a stre e t lamp, h er cheeks w ere glowing. She knew, of course, w here she w as heading and how the night could end. As I followed in h er wake, sh e dragged h er feet; w hen w e m o unted th e sagging porch, she broke loose from h e r escorts, glanced b ack at me, cro ssed herself. It w as a gesture born of despair. T hen she u ttered a gay laugh an d p assed into W alter M artin’s house. Justin slam m ed th e do o r in my face. T he m oon had vanished behind om inous rain clouds. Left in disarray, I w aited till the sh a d es w ere draw n before m oving on. Alice, how ever, had retired hours ago. I sto o d indecisive at her gate as th e rain soaked me. I could have knocked her aw ake o r throw n a discreet p e b b le at her bed ro o m w indow . . . Kid stuff! Rom antic hogw ash! A m an like m e d o e sn ’t engage in su ch antics. The bells of St. A nne’s tolled one o ’clock. I took a final drag on my cigarette, tu rn ed up my col lar, and trudged hom e to brandy and a hot tub.

F

ive th o u sa n d p o u n d s sterling. To the average p erso n in Hadley Falls th a t’s a lot of A m erican dollars; w hen th e sec o n d draft reach ed my desk, I looked at Pontiff’s b alan ce and w histled. He w as spending lavishly. He’d repaired th e picket fence. He’d b o u g h t Ju stin an e n tire w ard ro b e, dow n to hideous su ed e loafers. He’d hired a N azarene w om an to clean and


cook him sim ple m eals. He c a re e n ed about tow n in Am os W ebber’s taxi on various e rra n d s th a t included th e sta te liquor sto re, w h ere p u rc h a se s w ere re ­ stricted to tw o q u a rts p er c u sto m e r p e r day. To m y am azem en t, th a t se c o n d draft from Jeru salem w as paid within thirty days. T he wild p arties d istu rb ed m e m ost. My d esk quickly b e c a m e a listen ­ ing post, a clearing h o u se for gossip. Indeed, th e w hole tow n w as buzzing over Richard Pontiff. His neighbors com plained of th e racket, th e traffic in chippies an d d runkards. On Friday and Saturday evenings Union S treet w as blocked solid; th e c o p s issued citations th a t w ere ignored. T hen A m os an d his p assen g ers cra sh e d into a tre e but esca p ed injury. We began to h o p e th a t the sh en an ig an s w ould a b a te til 1Justin, w ho’d alw ays driven like a m aniac, trad ed his asth m atic Packard for a latem odel Lincoln w ith leath er s e a ts an d a horn th a t p layed “Rule, B ritannia.” As Pontiff s chauffeur and jack-of-al 1-trades, he cam e clo se to involuntary m an­ slaughter; like Shorty, w hose b ar w as their club, th e pair led ch arm ed lives. T hey’d s ta rt drinking b efore noon. Fasting at norm al hours, th ey ’d invade th e H otel E agle m id a fte rn o o n a n d b adger th e kitchen into giving th em lunch. T hey ro am ed as far as P ortland or Bangor seeking novelty, which m ostly cam e in lovely guise; o n e fine d a y th e y m iscalculated, co llared a trio of h itch ­ hiking juveniles, an d took th em to th e cabin on th e bay. W hatever h ap p en ed there, th e fifteen-year-old b lab b ed to her p aren ts, w ho to ld th e authorities. For a w eek n o b o d y an sw ered th e d oor or th e p h o n e at 13 Union Street. “R ichard’s in tro u b le ,” I inform ed Alice. “He an d Justin could go to th e pen for this.” “T h a t’s n o t y o u r business, dear. You hardly ev er m e e t him ex cept at th e bank. You n ev er c ro ss his p a th —do you?” 1 gazed h e lp le ssly at th e wall clock: ten tw enty-eight. 1c o u ld n ’t bring m yself to d escrib e th e orgies on Union Street o r th e ra p e a t Ju stin ’s cabin. As I w as eating m y sandw ich, Alice w atch ed m e closely. In sp ite of th e h eat in th e kit­ chen, sh e grew cool. She w ouldn’t kiss m e goodnight, as M other alw ays did.

“T hat Pontiff’s a rascal,” M other said. “T he tow n w ould b e w ell rid of him. I g u ess th e m e rch a n ts like him, though. At least he buys their food and whiskey. ” “He d o e s p len ty good, M other. He p ay s Addie Neilson a w hopping sa laiy to cook. H e’s given h o u sero o m to Bill P eters w hen th e V.A. cut his pension. H e’s hired th e little M urphy b o y to cut his lawn. It’s n o t only fun and gam es w ith Richard.” As th e cruel w e ath er dragged on, Alice n o longer quizzed m e a b o u t Pon­ tiff’s doings. O ur relationship seem ed to b e m elting. A ugust w as breathing dow n ev ery o n e’s neck; I’d beco m e cran k y w ith h e a t and frustration. Who, I ask ed myself, w as Alice to p u t on th e g races of a nym ph, th e crow n of an Egeria? M aybe sh e to o h ad w earied of p o s tp o n e m e n t: She w a s forty-one, m atro n ly and unstylish. She w as begin­ ning to avoid me. She even let the p h o n e ring and ring. W ith ad d ed th irst to slake, I grabbed every c h a n c e to call a t th e Dug-Out for a b e e r, to p lay th e slo t m achine n e ar the cooler. S horty LaC hapelle knew w hat w as eating on me. He d id n ’t w isecrack w hen I lured Y vette to my table. She w as alw ays cheerful, alw ays obliging; sh e w ould have slep t with m e if I’d insisted. But it w as enough to walk her to Mill S treet, w here sh e sh ared a flat w ith a sister. O nce I e sc o rte d h er right to h er door, u n d er cover of darkness. “You’re very nice, tresgentil. W ant to com e in for a bit?” T he h o u n d s of habit faw ned at my heels. Being a little tight, I sh o u ld ’ve had th e guts to plunge; th e w ater w as over m y head, w hich w as throbbing. “It’s late, Y vette— and th e re ’s work to m o rro w . . . How ab o u t Sunday, th o u g h ? A movie, a dinner at the sh o re?” She looked a t m e pityingly: m e as good as engaged, w ho d re am e d of dark nylons an d silken thighs. “If y o u ’ve got w heels,’’sh e co u n tered , “w e co u ld go biking Sunday— after church. You n eed th e exercise too. Right?” Pausing a m om ent, I agreed—but laid dow n conditions and w orried th at s h e ’d d itch m e. I n e e d n ’t have worried. At th e ap p o in ted h o u r sh e m et m e by th e picnic grounds in Faxon’s W oods,

d ressed to th e nines in a cardigan twinset, grey flannel sh orts, and argyle knee-socks. W hen I gaped at her, Yvette laughed an d stru ck a pose. Dazzled, I w o n d ered a t h er transform ation. Was it due to Pontiff’s generosity? We biked to th e dam before I got w inded an d h a d to rest. I w as o u t of shape: to o m any b e e rs and cigarettes. Yvette, a t least, didn’t sm oke. She c o u ld ’ve b een a coed studying at Bates or Colby. I c o u ld n ’t keep m y eyesoff her as w e re tu rn e d to th e picnic ground and em ptied th e bask et M other had p re ­ pared. Two chipm unks w ere w restling am ong th e pine needles. “T hey’re awful c u te,” Yvette said; w hen sh e tried to feed them , how ever, I m entioned th e danger. “You m ean, th e y bite? T hey look so du rn ed innocent!” Like Yvette, I th o u g h t as th e conver­ sation ravelled out. Yvette w as quite aw are of me; lying on th e bench, she rolled dow n h e r so ck s an d ex p o sed her legs to th e fading late A ugust sun. Her b re a sts ro se and fell. She p re te n d e d sleep; au tu m n w as upon m e already. Yes, th e leaves an d I w ere stricken. I h ated to disturb her. “Yvette. You’re a bright girl. Are you going to be a barm aid th e re st of your life?” W hen sh e finally m oved, I w a sn ’t prep ared for h er answ er. “It’s funny— Richard asked th e sam e q u e s tio n ... Well, I d o n ’t have no plans. I’m only tw enty, so w h a t’s th e hurry? Besides, w hat else could I do?” W hen I heard th e flurry am ong the pine needles, I glanced from Y vette to the chipm unks. They w ere n o t playing; the m ale had strad d le d th e female. Yvette giggled and blushed. “Ready to go?” sh e asked, stretching and yaw ning as sh e p re p ared to m ount her bike, a ten -sp eed racing m odel with m any extras. We se p a ra te d at th e b o tto m of Dove Hill, w here th e p aved road began. Y vette took M aine S treet while I fol­ low ed th e river to avoid observation. W hen I re a c h e d hom e, M other gave m e a m essage from Alice. I’d forgotten to d ay w as h er birthday. Too guilty to phone, I p a sse d th e next h o u r chopping firewood in th e shed. I c o u ld ’ve u sed th e pow er saw; th e axe re leased m ore APRIL 198(1

57


ten sio n . T h at night m y sle e p w as fitful. My d re a m s w ere ran k w ith chipm unks, rats, vipers . .. Y vette an d I d id n ’t go biking again. From th a t point on I tried using h er as a sou n d in g b o a rd for w h at 1 co u ld only guess at. T he bank w as asking m ore of me; 1w as in line for a n o th e r prom otion, b u t w h en ev er I could break loose, I w en t to th e Dug-Out expecting a m ira­ cle an d to o k m y c u sto m a ry seat. Y vette v o lu n te e re d nothing, b u t I’d m arked th e gold earrings an d th e c o stly lacetrim m ed blouse. Fortunately, h e r rough custo m ers took few liberties with Yvette. W hen sh e re ste d at th e bar, h an d on hip, o n e leg b ent, sh e seem ed beyond reproach. She w asn ’t, how ever, walking h o m e alo n e th e se nights. Sharp at tw elve, Justin parked o u tsid e an d blew his patriotic horn. Y vette w ould look at h e r new w ristw atch, co llect h e r sh are of tips, an d leave w ith a to ss of h e r head. “She’s got class,” Shorty kept telling me. “She’ll go far.” “W h a t’s far?” I d e m a n d e d o n ce, p iq u e d b y his re m a rk , b u t S h o rty w o u ld n ’t explain till th e night I learn ed Y vette h a d quit h er job. To p rove s h e ’d quit, S horty o p e n e d th e clo se t w here h e r c o stu m e hung, devoid of glam our. “It’s th e old story, M ister. A few go on to thirty, b u t th e y ’re th e dogs n o b o d y w an ts nohow . T hey d o n ’t d e p e n d on tips, neith er.” A w eek later, Justin Lilly sw aggered into th e Dug-Out with Pontiff, b o th th e w o rse for drink. I c o u ld n ’t tell from Shorty’s greeting how frequently th e y ’d co m e h e re during Y vette’s ab sence. W hen Pontiff a p p ro ach ed m y table, he w as alm o st incoherent. I w as burning th e foul wick of jealousy. “Evening. May w e b u y th e next ro u n d ?” “He m ean s boiler-m akers,” Justin chim ed in, snap p in g his fingers at th e girl called Nell. “It’s L abor Day. Drinks are half-price. Nell! Shake y o u r can. W e’re b o n e dry.” “N ot for m e,” I said, w ithdraw ing m y glass. Ju stin ’s fixed eye glittered. “Look here! / said w e’re buying.” “And I’m not selling. I’m no t Y vette.” Nell w aited. T he p lay ers at th e onearm ed b an d it looked frightened. H op­ ing w e’d m ake p eace, Shorty m o p p ed his chin w ith a dirty tow el. L abor Day; I 58

APRIL 1986

felt th e h e a ts of August. “A bike. A fancy w ristw atch. Gold earrings and lace blouses. The w orks for peddling her tail!” Justin w rithed u n der my recital. I th o u g h t Richard Pontiff to o far gone to have heard, b u t his glazed eyes cleared. He leaned forw ard to co n cen trate, to find th e soothing phrase. “P le a s e ... L et’s n o t be dreary. Yvette h a s a m ind of h e r own. And w h a t’s a few gifts am ong chum s? The lasting gift is happiness, to w hich 1p ro p o se a to a s t... Nell!” W ith Nell as a blow zy cup-bearer, I clim bed dow n and ac c e p te d a glass of ale. Pontiff w as alert now, reading my tem per. “H appiness,” he m uttered. “O nce you ta p e r off, y o u ’ll feel b etter. Next m o n th w e’re having a big do at my place. W e’d b e honored if y o u ’d com e, with a d a te.” A date? Alice w ouldn’t go with me. My friends w ere m arried o r divorced, with growing children, and Yvette, I surm ised, w as gyrating in Pontiff’s orbit. Though sh e still w ent to th e flat on Mill Street, sh e ’d b een often seen with Ju s­ tin; w hen Richard treated , th e Par­ th e n o n w as h e r favorite restau ran t. On O cto b er 1, Richard sh am bled into the bank, rea d y to draw on his acco u n t. I w as distant, formal. “Sorry, Mr. Pontiff. Your draft h a sn ’t co m e through yet.” “Not com e th ro u g h . . . The devil! I’d b e st cable Jerusalem .” His a c co u n t had dw indled to $519.42; his rent, h e confessed, w as overdue. “Sorry again. We can only tru st the m ails.” “Yes,” he said, and th en recited a tag of Latin verse. I n ever a tte m p ted to tra n sla te the Latin. The M artin P lace w as looking b etter; even th e broken upstairs p a n e s h a d b een replaced. But to m y dism ay, Justin Lilly w as roam ing th e C handler Block in front of Town Hall, selling tickets at eight bucks a h ead for the G rand Jam b o ree and H allow een Ball a n n o u n ced on bulletin bo ard s and lam p posts. Form er victim s w h o ’d p u r­ c h a se d th e sam e tickets and gotten noth ing b u t ca rd b o ard held their ire back; w as th e tow n growing m ore tol­ eran t? On T hursday th e H adley Falls

Register featured an interview with

Pontiff, w ho claim ed h e ’d served in the d e se rt against Rommel and w on the D.S.O. forgallantry. Gallantry? I couldn’t d eny he w as gallant. On Friday, O cto b er 30, a night of full m oon, Justin cam e alone to th e DugOut and saluted me briskly. “You look good, Justin. T hat suit and h at have do n e w onders.” He frow ned, as if I w as ribbing him, and th e n th ru st o u t his chest. “I sure am changed, Mister. You know, people o n ce felt sorry for me. T hey’d give m e hand-outs, snicker b e ­ hind m y back. W ith Rich, though, it’s diff’rent. W hen I w as nekkid, he clothed me. W hen I w as starvin’, he gave m e milk a n ’ honey. You’ll never find a b e t­ te r m an th an Rich. He w as high up in life and cam e low. I w as mighty low and w as lifted higher. We’re equal now — me w hose grandpa w as a runaw ay slave, w h o se g ra n d m a w as a P e n o b s c o t squaw .” A nother drink at m y exp en se loos­ en ed Ju stin ’s to ngue further, b u t I’d m iscalculated his capacity; my q u e s­ tion backfired. “Y vette? You keep her nam e o u t of this, Mister. I b een w atchin’you doggin’ her, sn o o p in ’ around our house. We do n e nothin’wrong, nothin’them snobs on th e hill ain’t done, like Colonel Forbes and Mrs. T heophilus King and the C handlers with their noses in the air. Get lost, Mister! Stay w here you belong, at th e bank th a t ow ns this w hole b lasted tow n . . . No, I d o n ’t need m ore drinks. 1 w on’t shake hands, neither!” Early next m orning Alice p h o n ed me. 1 w as enjoying flapjacks and bacon. While I alw ays chew carefully, her obvious distress m ade m e sw allow hard and cough. “P lease,” Alice began. “D on’t go to th a t w eird affair Pontiff is having. You’ll only em b arrass m e and harm yourself.” “E m barrassyou? Harm myself? D on’t be ridiculous, Alice.” I stalled as long as I could, trying to defend my liberty. T hose evenings at th e M artin Place h a d n ’t been arranged for choir-singers or th e D.A.R. Nor could I m ention Ju stin ’s itch for th e floozies Shorty LaChapelle p rotected. W hat could I say? “Alice? A-lice! D on’t hang up . . . ”


By hanging up, sh e re le a se d m e from nv vows: Only poverty rem ained, an d I wis n o t having m y style cram ped. As I tim e d into Union Street th e following ni>ht, forty c a rs w ere lined tw o d eep imide th e M artin Place; all levels an d cm ditions h ad resp o n d ed to th e p u b ­ licity, to Ju stin ’s salesm anship. M any of th; H allow een c o stu m e s w ere stunniig. Kids w ere running a b o u t with pim pkins an d lanterns. Dr. an d Mrs. Riidge w ere o n th e p o rch , waiting to erter. Mrs. T heophilus King h ad just stipped from th e 1912 electric p h aeton. E’e n A lcid e D ie u d o n n e , C hief of Pdice, w as th e re in civvies, read y to ujhold th e law. “Walk right in, folks,” said P en elo p e Sbkes, th e tow n librarian. “Leave y our w aps on th e ben ch es. Help y o u rselv es tc p u n c h an d cookies. T h e re ’s coffee tco, if you prefer. This way, e v e ry o n e ...” T he foyer an d stairs w ere d e c o ra te d with au tu m n foliage. A fire w h isp ered in the main hearth. Babies an d puppies were underfo o t. For a m inute, I th o u g h t I was in th e w rong h o u se — till Y vette Cloutier an d Connie D rapeau p ra n c e d through th e livingroom in their sau cy barmaid’s outfits—and ta ste d th e punch —an d recognized Tom M urphy jigging to th e b leat of saxophone, tru m p et, and drum, o rc h e stra te d b y Richard Pontiff disguised as an e a r of co rn in ru sse t and yellow. As th e tem p o increased, th e respectable p eo p le m oved uneasily to the w alls, leaving Tom, Y vette, Connie, Justin, Richard, Shorty LaC hapelle and their ilk at th e c e n te r of action. T hen I knew w hat w as afoot: Richard w as drum m ing for attention. His first w ords were curiously mild. “Friends . . . The m oon is full, th e harvest’s in—corn, grapes, pum pkins, squash—th e b o u n ty of autum n. Look around you an d b e glad. C hoose p a rt­ ners. Trip th e light fantastic. Eat, drink, and b e m erry, for to m o rro w — ” To p rev e n t his falling, Justin g rab b ed Richard’s arm . T he com bo, egged on by Shorty and Red McGinnis, blew an d thum ped h arder, b u t m o st gu ests deaf­ ened by th e uproar, w ould h av e p a n ­ icked h ad n o t Y vette an d Connie, led by Justin co vered with vine leaves, p u sh ed to th e fore an d lau n ch ed their wicked can-can. Skirts flyinghigh, th e y h o o ted , kicked, and w hirled m adly. T heirs w as

p u re d iversion, for o u r h o st h a d pitched to th e b a re floor at th eir feet. Dr. Rindge w as b ending over Pontiff; Mrs. Rindge an d th e chief of police w ere trying to keep b y sta n d e rs off. “H e’s h ad a stro k e ,” Dr. Rindge finally to ld me. “Call th e param edics.” T he in terruption disappointed Ju s­ tin, w h o ’d relished this blending of o u t­ c a s ts an d Pharisees; this v en g ean ce by th o s e like him w h o ’d b een ignored and sco rn ed . C onnie and Y vette w ere also disap p o in ted . O nly w hen th e com bo a b a n d o n e d their in stru m en ts w ould Y vette sto p kicking. The spiked p u n ch h a d n ’t h elp ed m uch. As th e param edics tru n d le d R ichard to th e am bulance, th e crow d th in n ed quickly. Shorty looked pale. Y vette w as w eeping. Red McGin­ nis hid th e w hiskey h e ’d sm uggled in. Soon Justin an d I w ere alone. “W here you goin’now, M ister? Hom e o r Miss H am lin’s?” I c h o se Miss H am lin’s. Her lights w ere extinguished, yet 1 sto o d on th e p o rch ringing h e r bell over and over. She c a m e to th e d o o r in h e r ta ck y c h e ­ nille b ath ro b e, sleep y and vexed, h er hair tu m b led on h er neck, unrouged lips p u rse d to upbraid me. She rea d my face, m oved aside to let m e pass. “Y ou!Why, it’s nigh m orning, for land sak es . . . ” I g rasp ed h e r sh o u ld ers, kissed her m outh, e a se d her tow ard th e d aven­ p o rt o n w hich o u r co u rtsh ip h ad grow n stale. She d id n ’t object. At sunrise I w alked reso lu tely from her h o u se along Pine S treet to m y own. M other w as aw ake, cooking breakfast. She had the good se n se to keep quiet.

ic h a rd P ontiff d ied in Faxon M em orial Hospital, w ith Justin, Y vette an d Shorty’s nephew th e p riest as w itnesses. Naturally, F ather L a C h a p e lle w o u ld n ’t give e x tre m e u n ctio n to an Anglican. T here m ay have b e e n prayers; services, if any, w ere nev er an n o u n ced . To no b o d y ’s su r­ prise, Y vette inherited a few h u n d red d o llars an d th e Lincoln. To Shorty Pon­ tiff left his D.S.O. m edal and an unpaid b a r tab. T he drafts from Palestine w ere c u t off, an d th a t p h a se of m y life en d e d w ith a w him per th e day 1caught Justin

R

begging on M aine Street, th e finery P on­ tiff had bought him in rags, the fedora co cked over his wall eye. “I w as nekkid a n ’ he co v ered me. I w as starvin’ till he give m e milk and honey. Now’s your tu rn to help, Mister. A dollar will su re b e ’p re d a te d .. He w as bawling to th e chilly air and a few s ta rtle d p e d e stria n s. T h o u g h 1 s h o u ld ’v e h a rd e n e d m y h e a rt a n d w alked on, I w as th e su ck er o th e rs had been; I gave Justin th ree dollars. Of co u rse, h e th an k ed m e profusely. He w as com pletely unredeem ed. W eeks lim ped by till I could go to th e M artin Place. T he funeral w reath on th e d o o r w as s e re a n d brittle. L eaves sh ro u d e d th e porch. T he lawn w as m oribund. Looking through th e grimy p a rlo r window, 1saw th a t th e b ed had vanished. On tre stle s w here th e bed h ad sto o d lay a plain coffin with th e lid nailed dow n. T he pile of bo ard s had b een fashioned into th e coffin, but so m e joker h a d p la c e d a crow n of th o rn s upon th e lid, to g e th e r with a pair of b a n d ag es sh a p e d to missing hands. I didn’t linger; Alice h ad invited m e to dinner. As w as m y habit, I set the table: knives, forks, spoons, Alice’s good linen. T he Tiffany lam ps glowed, th e fire crackled. Grumbling ab o u t her arthri­ tis, Mrs. Hamlin began h e r nightly organ recital. T he steaks, how ever, w ere deli­ cious. For Alice an d m e d e sse rt w as h o m e-m ade fudge pie and vanilla ice cream . Coffee gave us stren g th to break th e news. “A w edding!” Mrs. Hamlin perked up. “You d o n ’t say! But w h o ’ll take care of m e afterw ards?” Like a plum p hen, Alice beam ed at h e r im age reflected by th e looking glass opposite. “We b o th shall, M other. Now ea t yo u r pru n es and d o n ’t fret.”

Lawrence P. Spingarn’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Antaeus, and The Paris Review.

APRIL 1986

59


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s to p p e d b y in se a rch o f a B e d a n d B re a k ­ fa s t as a restin g p la c e b e tw e e n th e ir w e d ­ d in g site , THE BALSAM S, a n d th e ir h o m e in P o rtla n d . We s u g g e ste d the BETHEL IN N ,

IT MUST HAVE BEEN MISS SCARLET

as a c h a rm in g p la c e w h e re a H a llm a rk

Or

C a rd

C h ris tm a s c o m m e rc ia l h a d b e e n

c re a te d b y Ja m ie Swise a n d so ld as role

one

o f the

m any

o th e r characters

film e d . U p o n o u r d e p a r tu re , w e c o u ld n 't

p la y in g m u rd e r m ystery g a m e s. G u a ra n ­

resist re c o m m e n d in g THE IN N AT PARK

te e d to e n live n a n y p a rty , each g a m e

SPRING as a n o th e r nicely a p p o in te d B&B

includes in v ita tio n s fo r e ig h t p e o p le , des­

th e y m ig h t try in P o rtla n d . It was o n ly then

crip tion s o f th e ir ch a ra cte rs, clues as to th e ir

th a t re s ta u ra te u r Ben r e a liz e d

th a t his

re la tio n s h ip w ith o th e r m e m b e rs, a n d a

G o o d m a n . L e ft: Jo D o n d is , te levisio n p e rs o n a l­

id e n tity h a d n o t g o n e u n n o tic e d . If w e 'd

re c o rd w h ich sets th e s ta g e a n d gets the

ity a n d w ife o f D a v id . Jo's fa th e r owns th e

o n ly h a d c o n fe tti!

a ctio n u n d e rw a y . The o b je c tiv e is to a c t o u t

R o c k la n d S tra n d .

60

APRIL 1986

A t r ig h t: P o r tla n d M o n th ly a d d ire cto r B o b b i


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F a l m o u t h E x e c u t iv e P a r k

W e are pleased to announce developm ent of Falmouth Executive Park at the juncture of U.S. Route O ne and Interstates 295 and 95. Phase I consists of a 60,000 square foot building designed to meet the most discriminating of corporate headquarters standards. Proposed amenities include gymnasium, locker rooms, lap-pool and jogging trails. Architecture by Teas, Feely & Hingston, Site Planning by M itchell-DeW an. For leasing inform ation contact: C om m ercial Properties, Inc. , _ 53 Exchange Street, Portland, Maine 04101, (207)774-1885. F A L M O U T H E X E C U T IV E P A R K

Profile for portlandmonthlymagazine

Portland Monthly Magazine April 1986  

Jud Nelson

Portland Monthly Magazine April 1986  

Jud Nelson