You can live here in this wonderful but relatively small, fairly tight knit community and know someone for years and never cross paths. Not even at the dump or Hannaford. Such was the case with Jimmy Bryer until the other day.
I met Jimmy at the Lakeview Motel back in the '70s. Joe and Helena Bernath, originally from Trenton, New Jersey, were the new owners/operators of the property. They hired me as a handy person to do whatever. Joe was not shy about assigning tasks, many of which I'd never encountered. He was kind enough to let me figure things out. There were plenty of projects.
Joe and Helena were among the earliest to invite bus tours to the region. Starr Tours, from New Jersey, brought a lot of folks to Maine, so did Jim Lynch Tours out of the northeastern hard coal part of Pennsylvania. The Bernaths welcomed them all and provided good packages for their guests. Business expanded and more space was needed. Enter Mr. Bryer and his crew, which included Fanny Latter and another gent whose name I don't recall.
Joe wanted to feed more guests and came up with an idea for a greenhouse restaurant. Jimmy and his crew did all the prep work and I, novice at everything, got to glaze the final structure, which went pretty well until the first rain washed out the glass bedding, adding unique atmosphere to the interior dining experience.
I didn't see Jimmy much again until he did the expansion at Poole Brothers on the meadow. When he finished that job, I bought my first table saw from him, a heavy metal Craftsmen, which I still have.
After all these years, Jim's work has evolved with projects similar to the domed roof structure in above photo. Circles, curves and round construction have become his new favorite things. He learned from his dad who worked in local shipyards, then at Bryer Fabrication on the Beath Road. Combining an innate talent for unraveling challenges and good old fashion on-the-job-training has led him down a new path. I've known Jim for almost 40 years. It's a long path.