Southport Column: Holiday events and more

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 7:45am

Here is some wishful thinking, or, perhaps, the thoughts will bear some fruit. Many people come from a distance away to enjoy Gardens Aglow and the Boothbay peninsula’s lights festival. But not many, if any, come on to Southport Island. Yet there is a good reason to do so if you are looking for more Maine specialties.

For example, Maine lighthouses are special, and you can get a good look at two of them, Cuckolds and Hendricks Head. Granted, you cannot get an up-close look, but you can drive to Town Landing at the end of Southport to view Cuckolds and a wonderful ocean view in general. Then you can drive by the Island Store to Hendricks Head beach to view Hendricks Head Light. On the way back you can stop at the Island Store to enjoy great soups, excellent sandwiches, delightful baked goods, or a tasty pizza. Even some of us who live here year round may need a bit of “out of the house” time and would enjoy such a ride and good food.

So many Southporters contribute to our enjoyment of the scenes around the island. Thanks to Nan Jackson for keeping up the planters at the Post Office. Every day in the summer she waters the flowers, and in our recent cold snap she was even seen chipping ice off the decorations!

Decorations are changing from fall scenes with pumpkins and colored leaves to the reds and greens of Christmas. Wreaths are up on the Southport United Methodist Church. Decorations are going up at the Town Hall. Before the official “Southport Lights Up” celebration, more decoration will appear, including our lighted, action figures at the school pond.
Mark you calendars now for Sunday, Dec. 1 beginning at 4:30 p.m., when we will gather at the Southport General Store to pull the lighting switch, sing some carols along with the Southport School children, and enjoy warm cider, cookies and pizza from the store. All this is sponsored by the Southport Island Association. Santa usually appears too with a bag of presents for the children present.

Before that event mark your calendars for Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28, 8:30 until 10:30, when high school students from the class of 2022 will be hosting a free breakfast at the Southport Town Hall, helped out by the Southport Island Association (SIA). Especially if you have house guests Thanksgiving Day, you may want to skip cooking breakfast in addition to the traditional dinner and take or send your guests to the Town Hall for the start-of-the-day food. Or perhaps you just want to join the conviviality such holiday gatherings generate. Free food, youngster offering community service, friends and neighbors together for a meal. What better!

Another calendar item a bit further in the future is the Southport Central School’s winter concert, which will take place at the Southport Town Hall beginning at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. The youngsters are deep into rehearsal. Perhaps you will find a picture elsewhere in this paper.

Much of your Christmas shopping can be accomplished on the island both at the Alpaca Farm store, where the socks are especially appreciated in our family, and next door at the Southport Memorial Library Craft fair scheduled for Dec. 6-7 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

An update on some news from last week concerning bell ringing at All Saints by-the-Sea on Veterans’ Day. Not only did Byran Awood return to the island to help ring the bell as he had done as a teenager to mark the end of World War II, but he was assisted by his wife, Margo, plus Pam Baldwin, Al Moses, Seth Stewart, and Ron Ross, all of whom had a pull at the bell rope beginning at 11 a.m. on the 11th of November to honor our veterans and to pray for peace.

With Thompson’s Bridge closed, I have no occasion to drive north beyond Cross Road, but did so today to see what’s new. I see the new Fields’ house well under construction with what looks like a lovely porch looking southeast over the water. Further down Ed Jewett is building a second house in his project, Captains Way. And, of course, when you get to the bridge, all sorts of heavy equipment is assembled to remove the current bridge and get ready to build the new.

A new sign has appeared at the Ship Ahoy Motel. Through a call to the realtor who was previously handling the property, I learned that the family who owns the motel has taken it off the market and perhaps intends to continue to operate it as a motel. Hard work, I am sure, but it will be good to have the property lively again this coming summer.

I also see a “sold” sign on the what most of us know as the Pierce property sitting at the triangle of Pratt’s Island Road and Cozy Harbor Road. Not sure who has bought it or what use they intend, but will try to find out.

Please remember that any news for the Thanksgiving week column must be in to me by Friday, Nov. 22, before noon. Thanks.