2019 Calendar Letter
I will be 70 years old this year! How did that happen?
We printed our first calendar 18 years and 216 images ago. It hardly seems possible. Megan was 13 and Morgan was 11. I was 52, and my wife, Susan, ageless! We were just moving to our new home on Southport Island. And the house was a total wreck, having been left unattended for several years, open to the elements. But we were lucky and pleased to be in our new digs, right next door to the lovely Jean Thompson.
Our saving grace then (and still now) was good friend Matthew P. Kehoe, who began his visits with us in Maine at the tender age of 18. He is now 51. Matthew grew up in Maryland. His family visited my Pennsylvania family home place when he was just a child. Lindy Kehoe, Matt’s father, and my father were good friends. Lindy was the head ground’s person at University of Maryland and his brother was Athletic director. Both men were outstanding athletes. Jim, Lindy’s brother, actually qualified for the 1940 Olympics track and field team, but was unable to compete due to the outbreak of World War II.
Matthew can do just about anything. If he is unfamiliar with a process, he will study and analyze it until the cows come home. Our new home was a treasure trove of unsolved problems and Matthew dove in. He helped us patch things back together. Since his first visits to Maine in 1983 he has not missed a year. He is a big part of life here, he is family.
And, more exciting news on the family front—our son-in-law, Andrei Bazaiac, became a U.S. citizen on April 11th, 2018. In a wonderful ceremony at Scarborough high school, 58 people from 30 different countries encouraged us all. I don’t believe I have ever seen (or heard) a more diverse group of people. It was a moving and magnificent experience. Many friends of Andrei and Morgan attended. Local friends John Druce and Kit Sherrill road with Susan and me. Mary Lou Teel drove up from New York City and Mae flew in too, just for the event. Wow! Andrei’s family from Romania was not able to attend but they were able to participate through the wonders of modern technology. We had a lovely gathering afterwards at a nearby Portland restaurant.
Morgan has been at a new job for over a year now. She applied and interviewed (four times!) with the remarkable Portand advertising agency, VIA, an extraordinary organization of creative and highly motivated individuals. Both she and Andrei live within walking distance of their work in an outstanding apartment nearby. Portland, as many have come to realize, is on the move. Great restaurants, wonderful vistas and lots of young people have helped make it one of the northeast’s fastest growing, diverse centers of commmerce and exciting experience. We are happy for them.
Mae continues to live in Brooklyn, New York, and remains committed to her theatrical quests. Its not an easy skate down there but she has managed to pick up some work from time to time and has had(more recently) some modelling and movie parts. To help keep up with the living expense part, she has found a tiny niche babysitting for some very energetic youngsters not far from her apartment in Ridgewood. We try to get her home for visits as often as possible, but her schedule is not easily predicted and flights home can be pricey. We have had amazingly good luck with the Concord Express buses which run between NYC and Portland twice a day. It is a 6 hour miracle which has served us and many Mainers well.
Susan continues her work with private care, helping folks remain at home as they explore their later years. She really has a magic touch and works with some very special people. Its a unique talent at a challenging time for families and loved ones. Susan seems to be able to help everyone adjust to new circumstances.
As for me, little changes. I manage to keep busy with an abundance of projects. My weekly column for our local paper has provided some real surprises and fun exchanges with many who know the area well. Its always nice to hear from folks who love Maine. We are very fortunate.
All the best,
“The Mitchell group”
As always, a portion of the proceeds from calendar sales will be set aside for “Teens to Trails” so young people can enjoy Maine. Yay!