Dean Morrison was checking back into Southport late fall as I drove by his house.
Darned if I hadn't just been wondering how he was doing, and presto! Dean appears.
Appearances are part of Dean's way. Disappearances too. Never quite know where or when he might show up, but the appearance is guaranteed to be worth the price of admission when he does.
I stopped and we got right into old stories after a brief exchange of greetings.
“That damned Carter,” he started out, (referring to Douglas Carter) “once worked on Leonie to get me into the trap haulin' contest. I didn't want no part of it. But Carter stayed after her, you know what I mean, so I signed up. But I got even with Carter at the bar one night (the old Thistle Inn, then-owned by Leonie Greenwood-Adams) — shamed him into doing the Fishermen’s Festival Tall Tales. He was great!”
“I had a room at The Thistle back then, and was sternman for Douglas — smart guy, that Douglas. He helped me out with school after I got out of the service. I paid him back. He was a good friend. Most people don't know what all he's done around here.”
Dean's boat, the Dorothy E is one of my favorites. It’s parked in Dean's dooryard now, covered over and for sale. Dean's done a lot of work on the boat.
Quite a story he told me about the Dorothy E first coming to town with the Francis family. Fast boat. I think he told me it had an Oldsmobile engine — quite large — and then a 500 hp Cadillac.
Dean said: “Wilson (Francis) used to sit an extra while at Irene's (restaurant) after the other fishermen left to start their day — ‘give 'em a head start,’ he'd say.”
Wish I had the money to buy the Dorothy E just to admire. No harm in looking.
I have no business owning a boat!
Dean's up in Rangeley most now. He was already commuting that way when his mother took ill in Gardiner and he was helping out. He'd hit a rough patch himself, too. Dean inherited his father's place on Loon Lake. I'd bet the Rangeley locals are getting to know Dean. He's pretty sociable, most of the time.
I miss seeing him around down here though.