Mon, 11/22/2021 - 8:00am

The Southport Memorial Library will hold a food drive from Nov. 20 through Dec. 20 to benefit the Boothbay Region Food Pantry. You may drop off non-perishable food at the library during open hours, which are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday evening 6-8.

If you are interested in Southport Land Use Ordinances for cluster developments, note that amendments have been proposed to those ordinances. They will be discussed at a public meeting, Dec.1 at p.m. at the Southport Town Hall. You can read what these proposed amendments are on the town website, or peruse a printed copy at the Southport Post Office, the Island Store, or the Southport Memorial Library. If you do plan to attend the meeting, please wear a mask.

Last Thursday Lisa Clarke, Valerie Gamage, Sarah Sherman, Eden Climo, Emily Hurd on the phone, and I met at the Southport Town Hall to talk about next steps to take after reading and summarizing the returned questionnaires concerning upgrades to the land around the Southport Central School. A reminder of that summary reported last week - of the nearly 60 questionnaires received, 38 people said they would like to see modest improvements made to the Stuart Thompson ball field and to other play areas. Among the 19 people who said no major improvements were needed, eight of them did want to see some work done to the pond to enhance the skating opportunities. Much conversation centered on the pond with most folks agreeing that time had passed to make skating possible during this winter season. Some work to improve the Stuart Thompson ball field might be possible as well as some work covering a muddy portion of the woods where the children play. Several individuals have volunteered to donate their time, talent, and material to work on those tasks, and perhaps other volunteer work days could be organized.

It was suggested that the benches now in the triangular park area near the Southport Methodist Church might be moved to the grounds around the school since few if any people use that park. The Eagle scout who cleaned up and cleared that area has agreed, and Sarah Sherman will discuss the idea with the church. Work will continue to create more definitive plans in consultation with the architect and Adam Harkins, Southport’s new Facilities Manager, perhaps with suggested phases in which to complete them. The Selectmen will be kept up to date with the plans with the goal of obtaining their approval. An overall goal is to keep a balance between simple improvements and retaining the timeless character of the area.

Part of the timeless character of the area is the continued presence of Stuart Thompson, a man so fondly remembered by his family and the many people who knew and worked with him on Southport. If you check the 1988 Southport Report you will see a short summary of Mr. Thompson’s life and the list of the work he did for his beloved town. For example, when Southport had its own summer water system, Mr. Thompson was the superintendent, which meant he had to clear the pipes, make sure the water was turned on and off at appropriate times, and fix any concern a water customer might have. (But even he could not change the color of the water, which was rusty brown due to iron.) He owned and operated the school bus, thereby getting to know most of the school children. He was the fire chief, and the constable, and the truant officer, and a member of many committees and boards. Knowing nearly all of the town’s people, he knew when someone could use a good meal, asking his wife, whom he called Jeannie, to cook up a pot roast or another healthy dish he could take to the home. Mr. Thompson delivered lobsters for Robinson’s Wharf and built and remolded houses with Morris Sherman. He served in the Coast Guard during WWII, always having an interest in boats and ships. You would often find him in his boat house drinking tea or eating ice cream. He played soft ball on a regional team, thus you find his name on the ball field. He loved a good story, giving everyone a good laugh. “A nice, kind person,” summed up his daughter, Ann Maher. Look for more stories about and told by Mr. Thompson in further columns.

With darkness increasing, lights and decorations are appearing on Southport. The Town Hall’s front facade is trimmed in pine, wreathes are up on the Methodist Church, and the front lawn of a house on Plummer Road displays a lighted boat and pine tree with the porch pillars wound in lights. Several other houses illuminate the night with lighted trees and house fronts outlined. I hope more lights will come as we move by one holiday and approach another. Maybe even the lighted figures will appear again by the pond. Hope so.

Two generations of women gathered in the Kinsey’s barn last Saturday afternoon to enjoy a delicious lunch and then make swags and wreaths from fresh pine. What fun to watch the experts bunch and fashion the greens in the perfect shape for hanging. Others of us struggled to make the pine bend to our desires, but we learned that a lovely bow can cover a variety of mistakes.