June Elderkin makes a mean blueberry coffee cake. When I visit, if the blueberries are in at Hannaford, there's a good chance for fresh baked goods. So, I got a little anxious when Finn Carroll, who was doing some tree work for June, told me that he had great blueberry coffee cake with her, just prior to my visit.
“You better not be eating my coffee cake, Mr. Finn!” I threatened. He assured me that he’d left a bite or two. I was not convinced.
June and I have crossed paths often over the years. She met an old and dear friend of ours, on Southport back in the day, when she was lobstering. “I was hauling out in front of Lonny Sisson's place on the Sheepscot, when this lady hollered at me from the shore about lobsters.” That lady turned out to be Barbara Salembier, who eventually moved to a permanent home over in East Boothbay at the end of Lincoln Street extension. At that time, hers was the only house on the road, looking right up the Damariscotta river on the eastern edge of Meadow Cove.
John West, who worked for Giles Rubbish then, turned over his caretaker job at Salembiers to me, and one night June and her husband Pat showed up for cocktails while I was doing some work.
Now June lives just around the corner here on Southport and I eat her blueberry coffee cake while she shares remarkable stories about art, Monhegan and life on the Maine coast.
During my recent visit, June was all set up for painting on her kitchen table which overlooks her boathouse and Pratt's Island bridge at the entrance to Cozy Harbor. It’s a pleasant set up with a New Zealand music station playing in the background and lovely light.
What a treat to watch her artwork happening in real time while humbly accepting a second helping of fresh baked blueberry cake. Can't beat that.