letter to the editor

Thanks for the honor

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 3:00pm

Dear Editor:

I once asked my wife, Nancy, if I would ever be considered a Mainer. After all, I’d been coming here since I was an infant. Her answer was brief and to the point — “I married you, and that’s as close as you’ll ever get.”

I’ve lived here for now nearly 43 years, but I’m married to a decorated real Mainer, and I consider that better than good enough.

Nancy was recently given the Rotary Club’s highest honor, the Lifetime Service Award, for her many years of varied service to the citizens of this area.

We’re still a bit overwhelmed at the magnitude of this honor, such that mere thanks hardly show the appreciation we feel for this recognition. Perhaps the best way to gauge that appreciation is to keep watching, though it may not be easy to detect, as service of her kind is often hidden from plain sight. Nonetheless, many thanks are due: to the LSA committee at the Rotary, and all who participated in the celebration, especially the kitchen staff; to Chip Griffin and his able right hand, Sandy, for collecting so much information from so many; presentation by so skilled an orator, dear friend Al Roberts; to Brenda Blackman for her contacting people all over the country, and getting many of them to the celebration, without a single breach in security! And to the many who were in attendance to wish well — thank you all.

I’m reminded of the lore surrounding the occasion when a schooner named America was invited to compete against the British yachting fleet in a race around Isle of Wight, for a 100 Guinea Cup. The Queen of England, present at the finish, asked which yacht was in the lead. The response was “The Americans.” Reportedly, she then asked, “And who is in second?” The answer was “There is no second.” And so it is each time such an award is presented, but it is accepted with great appreciation and humility.

Each day brings opportunity for service, and you should expect no less than what has gone before. Al Roberts’ mother had a particularly clear outlook: “I’d rather burn out than rust out.”

John Van Dyke