Tag Archive | "July 4th"

Little River Bombers

Sunday, July 7, 2012
Day 275

As promised, I’ve posted a few more pics from a very special Cutler Fourth Of July. The girls waiting for the start of the Coke Chug, and a couple from the exciting and dramatic Lobster Boat races…

It continues to be incredibly busy on Island, with day visitors, overnight guests, and of course ongoing restorations and repairs, not to mention the online work. I hosted Kathy’s family Ryan, Sean, Kerry, Kevin, Jill and Alycia here over the weekend, all out from the Midwest, and they came out with Tim and Kathy on Thursday for an afternoon cookout. There were eagle and seal sightings, fireworks, water balloons, hiking, reading, cards, food & drink, and lots of laughter filling this house. I love it when families come out here, either with kids, all of whom when stripped of the myriad sensory distractions that fill our worlds discover far more than sea urchins, or all adults, who are connecting in a one of a kind “reunion”. It was truly a treat having them here, and witnessing a group of six individuals fully enjoying one another’s company. Come back soon.

I stopped to look over the raspberry barren that stretches out from the north side of the Keeper’s House and watched a dogfight play out overhead. This sky skirmish, with as many as a dozen dragonflies, at altitudes ranging from 6 inches above the scrub to as much as fifteen feet, revealed a dramatic, high-speed series of challenges and chicken, as they banked and bobbed, climbed and weaved, darted and dove, and static-stopped and started, all while I looked on. Like a dozen tiny radio controlled helicopters, their operators hiding just out of view in the adjacent pines, orchestrating this battle like Generals behind the lines. And throughout this precision driven performance of aeroscience-defying maneuvers, butterflies of all sizes and colors, whimsically, merrily, flutter-by below, seemingly unaware, or simply uncaring of the theater unfolding directly above. My own delightful air-show. I’ll bet you have one too. It only costs time.

The 7th of July marks the 73rd Anniversary of the day the United States Lighthouse Service literally went out of business in 1939. It was the end of an era, and you can read the full story of the terrible last days in the online archives of Lighthouse Digest http://foghornpublishing.com/Digest/StoryPage.cfm?StoryKey=3631

I flew the flag at half staff, in honor of all those who served so fearlessly to protect the lives of others. In truth, this country would not have grown as it did, without this vital legion. I urge you to read more.

One of the local airplanes, I think piloted by Captain Brian Cates, circled the island several times over the weekend, which was great fun to watch, and wave. I have guests now, and most of the week. I wanted to thank Captain Jeremy and Charlene Cates for the perfect BBQ lunch on the 4th, and I had a call for assistance Friday. One of the smaller Lobster Boats had gotten a line tangled up in its prop and had lost engine power. I swiftly headed for the Boathouse and as I was releasing the dock lines they radioed to say they had gotten it freed and were up and running. The fact that there’s a modern-day Keeper here, who can respond with some urgency, is a great thing.

The closing snap is a shot of Captain Norb Lemieux – F/V Christina Marie, setting his flag on the 4th.

The Bell clangs. The Horn sounds. The Light is on.


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Cutler Maine – Every Day Is Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Day 271

I believe this is my fourth, 4th of July in Cutler, and at Little River Light. I also believe the 4th of July here is very, very special. Here, like many small towns still in America, the day begins to take shape a week before, as flags are hung along Main Street from the telephone poles, yards are tended to, and red, white and blue bunting appears to adorn the front porches of the road-lining homes. And yet in Cutler Maine, it just seems more charming. It is arguably one of the most picturesque villages, harbors, and island Lighthouses in the country, and for the small stretch that is its heart, in what an MIT study referred to as “little more than a curve in the road linked to a small cove with docks”, is a heart of gold.

Sure it has all the trappings on the 4th – fireworks (that this year rivaled many a city 100 times its size), BBQ’s, a parade…it also still has “cracker-eating then whistle” contests, Coke drinking (an ad if I every saw one), and “bubble-gum bubble-blowing”. And it has Lobster Boat races, and lobster crate races (a true highlight), but what’s really special is its community, one I think often lost, that truly cares about, laughs with, shares in, and takes care of one another, and at a moments notice. I believe that to the degree it happens here, is indeed rare. And certainly a treasure.

And yet, at its very foundation is a deep rooted sense of independence. There can be few occupations that so embody the image of self-sufficiency and independence as that of a Maine Lobsterman. I find the dichotomy of these two factors at play, dependence and independence,neither of which this little Village could live without, striking.

And this Lighthouse, re-lighted a mere few days after the 9/11 tragedy, was christened “The Beacon Of Freedom”, as a sign of this country’s resilience, fortitude, and independence. It’s only fitting that it should be here.

The “Beacon Of Freedom” Flag was unfurled on the Tower on Tuesday. Just so happened it coincided with the return of the “Bold Coast Puffin Tour” boat, aboard the “Barbara Frost”, with Captain Andy Patterson always at the helm. This is an almost daily occurrence off the front yard of this island, and always a welcome sight. They stop and wave, and I wave back, all the while Andy I’m sure talking about this Light, and the families that kept it for so many years. Timing is everything.

The aligning of Venus and Jupiter, which I mentioned in an earlier post, definitely did not disappoint, although planets and the moon don’t often translate into pictures. This one I’ve posted, was looking due East, as dawn was breaking…

Both the fog, and the sea smoke, rolls in and out in minutes, and without warning. It is beautiful, lolling layers of light, usually quite gentle with its grip, graceful in its comings and goings. I’ve added a snap…

The world that is my rich and gifted palette, on this the most northeastern island Lighthouse in the US, is a full spectrum of greens and blues, smears of purples and pinks, accents of yellow, and of course, grays in every shade. How very fitting…

Work continues on the Island, as do visitors. Both are a privilege. And thanks to Bob at Ridge Redemption for being so accommodating. If you live around here, you should go to there. And I’ll share some more pics of the 4th, including the Lobster Boat races tomorrow.

I am thankful to all that fought, and struggled, and risked for this country’s Independence. Amidst all the pageantry and poetry, I thought about it. And I am grateful for Andy Griffith. Mayberry had an early and formative influence on me. Perhaps that’s one reason why I love, and appreciate, Cutler as I do.

Horn sounds. The Bell rings. And this Light shines. So does this Community.
May yours also.

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