Southport Column: A memorable send-off, library art and more

Tue, 09/10/2019 - 11:00am

As all of you who drive Route 238 on Southport know, the Thompson (Decker Cove) Bridge has not yet been closed due to replacement efforts. Ashley, at the Southport Town Office, sent me the following word from the State of Maine highway department. They say that while the work was slated to start the day after Labor Day, the DOT crew that will be working on our bridge is still tied up finishing their current project. Instead the work is now scheduled to begin at least by the end of the month. Stay tuned.

Janet and Oliver Cusano literally had a rousing send off following their last day of work at the Island Store, which they had owned and tended so faithfully for many years. As they were leaving the store in their car, two fire trucks appeared, lights flashing and sirens blowing, to escort them home. Well done, all.

We have been fortunate to have store owners who contribute so much to the life of this community. Certainly the Climos, with their wonderful party at the end of the season and always warm greetings, contributed much to our life including their son, Smith, who remains as our selectman. Even the quieter couple who ran the store between the Climos and the Cusanos were pleasant and helpful. Very early on, when the Pinkhams owned the store, I remember taking our daughter, Susan, as a toddler, to the candy counter where the refrigerated beverages now are stored, so she could choose a few pieces of penny candy. Times change, but thank goodness the store remains. We welcome the new manager, Nancy Long, her assistant manager, Skip Simons, as well as the remaining and new staff.

From Sandra Seifert comes the following account of Douglas Preston’s presentation at the Southport Memorial Library about the experiences that led to his book, “The Lost City of the Monkey God.” Mr. Preston, a photographer for National Geographic, described both in pictures and in words the dangers of his two trips with a scientific team to the Honduran jungle to locate this city.

They encountered animals there for which it was the first time they had seen human beings and were not afraid to come close, which caused serious trepidation within the scientific group. He stated that the American scientists would not be returning to continue research due to the leishmaniasis several contracted. Leishmaniasis is a type of parasite carried by the sand fly. It can cause lesions, which left unattended, can lead to death. Several of the scientists had to be treated at the Institutes of Health upon returning from Honduras. One scientist almost died. Preston stated that the Honduran scientists are continuing the exploration of that area. Several artifacts that were recovered are displayed in the American Embassy.

Sandra says Mr. Preston enjoyed his visit to our library, saying the library was “lovely.” When she asked what books he was currently reading, he said he had very eclectic reading habits. Currently he is reading a novel by Ruth Rendell, “Adam and Eve and Pinch Me.” He also reads nonfiction books about history, war and exploration. He likes David Reich’s book called, “Who We Are and How We Got Here.”

Sandra also reports on the new pictures exhibited on the library walls from September through October. Artists are Lois Glaser and Bruce MacDonald. Lois is the photographer and Bruce is the painter. Together, they have produced a fine show of each of their artistic styles. Notice the details in Lois’ photos: the reflection in tidal pools, the large moon, and all things golden.

Both Lois and Bruce have used snow scenes; so beautiful and calming. Bruce paints the lake and mountain scenes and country fields with stone walls. The Bay Lady sails smartly along with her sails filled with wind on a comfortable heel. Boothbay Harbor and the footbridge, snow covered lobster traps, and line with color to liven the scene decorate another wall.

The library’s winter hours are now in effect: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8.

For those of us currently debating cataract surgery or who have remaining questions after such surgery, a reminder that on Tuesday, Sept. 17, beginning at noon at the Community Center in the Meadow Mall, summer Southporter Dr. Paul Schacknow will explain such surgery and answer questions. Dr. Schacknow is an ophthalmologist, consulting for the East Florida Eye Institute in Stuart, Florida, a professor, and author. All are invitied.

In response to my question last week as to whether anyone else had discovered a dead bird that appeared to have no injuries to explain its demise, Seth Stewart responded that he also discovered a dead bird lying on the lawn on the north side of his house. He guesses the bird was a swallow. I called Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine, to ask for their take on this situation. They say such finding are sad but common.

On a happier note the three osprey chicks born in the nest on the top of the Southport Bridge have fledged. Occasionally you will see one of them or a parent still standing or sitting on the nest. Let’s hope the state of Maine allows the nest to remain next spring so rebuilding does not have to occur again.