Southport Column

Upcoming events, musings

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 3:00pm

The heat and humidity of the past week brought out the shorts, flip-flops and house fans, and gave us a taste of what our compatriots in the middle of the country have been experiencing this summer.

The Southport Memorial Library’s “Christmas in July” sale last Friday and Saturday briefly took our minds off the heat and drew 24 exhibitors and lots of shoppers. The event is sponsored by the 23-member Memorial Library Aides, who support the library by purchasing all supplies, small furnishings, books, copiers and computers for the library.
The sale featured a wide array of crafts, including textiles from weaving to felting, jewelry, Christmas ornaments and even goat milk soaps (the white chocolate and tangerine mousse bars seemed good enough to eat). One exhibitor, Mary Nichols of Newagen and Chicago, displayed antique children’s dolls and toys, hooked rugs from the 1930s, quilts of similar vintage and overshot coverlets.

If you are reading this column before 10 a.m. Thursday, hurry down to the library to hear Denis McWhan’s talk about his recently published book “Sand and Silicon: The Science That Changed the World.”

The next speaker in the library’s series of summer author talks is Dogfish Head resident Jack Bauman. On Thursday, July 26, at 10 a.m. Jack will talk about his new book “Gateway to Vacationland” the history of the development and growth of Portland. How fortunate we are to have these two scholars as Southport residents, willing to share their perspectives on science and history with us.

Lois Kramer, a member of the Library’s Needlecraft group, generously donated a framed needlepoint titled “Southport Library Bookmobile” to the Library last week. It depicts a whimsical old red truck with books flying out of the truck’s bed. According to Jean Hawley, the work is comprised of “millions of French knots.”

Pegi Stengel, who has summered on Southport for 14 years, spent the last nine years researching a well-known artist who lived on the island, Morgan Rhees (1855-1925). Pegi has compiled an album of photographs and descriptions of 30 examples of his portraits and paintings, some of which are owned by island residents. The album is available for viewing at the Hendricks Hill Museum during regular visiting hours or by appointment.

If you have a painting or drawing by Morgan Rhees and are willing to allow Pegi to photograph or scan it so that it can be included in the album, please contact her at 633-0066, or leave your contact information at the museum.

On Monday, July 30, from 4 to 7 p.m., the Friends of the Burnt Island Light are hosting an adults-only evening on Burnt Island for members of the Southport Island Association.

The activities include the island’s one-of-a-kind living history presentation depicting the 1950 tenure of Keeper Joseph Muise and his family, tours of the museum and Lighthouse tower with its 4th Order Fresnel lens, exploration of the Island and education center, and a light repast of grilled hot dogs and chips.
Transportation is via The Novelty located at Pier 8 in Boothbay Harbor: the boat leaves at 4:15 p.m. sharp. To reserve seats for your party, please call Howard Wright at 633-2142 before Monday, July 23. The boat carries a maximum of 75 passengers: an early reservation is highly recommended. Try not to cancel because the Friends of Burnt Island Light will be paying for your seat on the boat if you don’t show.

Early last Saturday morning, our beloved 15-year-old German shorthair pointer Bailey died.

As Penny and I deal with our intense grief from losing Bailey, our thoughts turn to the “bargain” humans strike with our pets. They give us many wonderful gifts: companionship, unconditional love, empathy, awareness of sights and sounds we would otherwise fail to detect, the exuberance of canine or feline play, the joy of living in the moment and total trust. In return, we agree to love them and take responsibility for their shelter and sustenance, arrange for veterinary care and provide support when they become ill and protect them from harm.

The human side of the bargain often includes the moral dilemma of having to make an end-of-life decision when illness, injury or simply old age dramatically reduces the quality of their lives. Few decisions in life are harder than this one. Fortunately, Penny and I were assisted most ably by Dr. Dean Domeyer who counseled and guided us through this dilemma and compassionately ended Bailey’s suffering. Thank you Dean.

Southport Harbor Master Jim Gagnon requested a reminder to all outboard and I/O owners in Cozy Harbor that their lower units must be left in the down position – in the water – unless the lower unit is protected by a heavy canvas bag or something of similar material during the months of July and August. Disregarding this requirement could put your mooring permit in jeopardy.

End of an era: the Southport bridge keepers, the Lewis brothers, are retiring. Dwight’s retirement date is Thursday, July 26; Duane’s will be the end of August. Stop by the bridge to wish them well in this next phase of their lives and thank them for many years of devoted service.

Leigh will be back next week and welcomes your news items for the column. Call her at 633-0672 or email