Southport Column: Easter sun, Democrats and more

Tue, 04/02/2024 - 8:45am

    Look for an obituary for Agnes (Toni) Helming in this paper. Toni, as we all knew her, spent summers on Southport for many years with her husband, Fred, and six children, two of whom live on Southport year-round now. Our family had a special love for Toni as she was born in a town adjacent to where I was born and Kit grew up. Consequently Kit’s stepgrandmother, who owned a summer cottage on Southport, and Toni’s mother, Mrs. Anthony, were close friends. All three women, Mrs. Anthony, Kitty Boylin, and Toni Helming had a very similar physique. I can still see them in my mind’s eye walking at a sturdy pace either uphill to the Anthony/Helming house at the end of Marr’s Point or up to Kitty’s cottage across the drive from the Thompson house that is located across the street from Robinson’s Wharf. Even last summer, when, after a picnic lunch on the dock at Cozy Harbor, I would ask if I could drive Toni home or at least walk home with her, she always said, “No thanks,” and off she would go at a steady clip. I understand that she died very peacefully as so she should after a long and fruitful life.

    Another death for which I have not yet see an obituary is of Kathy Hauser, who, with her husband, Gene, lived for many summers on Pratts Island. Gene was a great repairer of clocks, so if you had antique clock or a favorite clock that ceased working, you could bring it to him for good repair.

    How lucky for us that at least Easter weekend brought sunshine and a respite from the rain. It still was a stretch to don an Easter bonnet on Easter morning as the air was still quite chilly, but many did do so, and I know several Easter egg hunts went on as planned.

    The Southport Democrats met at the Southport Memorial Library Tuesday, March 26, to elect delegates to the Democratic state convention. Eleven people attended and elected Cathy Messmer and Matt Elder as delegates along with Bill Messmer, who had been elected at the party caucus in February. The state convention will be in Bangor, May 31- June1. Other issues discussed were climate change and transparency and how they factor into how the town approaches fiscal spending projects such as the rebuilding of the town landing. In response the Southport Climate Action Team was explained along with mention of the April 2 film at the Harbor Theater titled “Inundation District,” focusing on the renovation the seaport in Boston. Also discussed were campaign issues, what issues the Southport Democrats should champion, and how best to canvas the island in search of peoples’ opinions.

    The Gardening Group continues to meet on Thursdays at the Southport Memorial library. This week, weather permitting, we will meet, but then adjourn to the Southport Town Hall to begin to tidy up the front gardens there. All are welcome.

    Another renovation at the Southport Town Hall that is not the work of the gardeners, is the Selectmen’s office. You may have noticed the sign directing you to the room in the back of the building for selectmen’s meetings. When they occupy the front room again, they will have new flooring and new paint on the walls. High time as particularly the flooring had many tripping hazards.

    In other news from the town hall, if you have a Southport mooring, the mooring bills will be sent out on April 15. News about the bridge is unofficial, but the word is we will still have single lane traffic this summer, but at some point the bridge will be able to be open to boat traffic, probably not every half hour.

    April Fools’ Day at the Southport General Store was fun. A sign on the door said 111 rubber ducks were hidden about the store as well as 260 tiny ducks. You were invited to search for them. In the few minutes I had to search I found 16, some hidden among other products and some in plain sight. Also, you were invited to buy a cupcake, and if it had filling, you received a free sandwich. Another good piece of news is that on Thursdays fresh baked bread will be available for sale.

    Thanks to the crew that got downed trees quickly off the road after our last storm. From the weather report, it sounds as if they may be busy again this week.