Russ Brackett was the local Nissen bread man back in the ’70s when I worked overnight clean up at The Tugboat Inn. He would land at the most ridiculous hour, entering through the kitchen door, to replenish bakery goods for the restaurant. We'd have a quick visit and maybe share a slice of pie and a coffee and then he would be on his way. A nice break from cleaning the rubber floor mats on the line.
The next regulars to land in the kitchen, other than a variety of late night over drinkers, would be Marita Miller and Lizzie Balsdon, the preparers of foods for the upcoming day. Back then the entire length of the inn, out over the water, was restaurant, seating a ton of people and generally very busy. The staff was predominantly local with an occasional lad from Ireland tossed in. Sean Fleming comes to mind, a friend I have visited in Cork — we keep in touch still.
I don't see Lizzie often, only now and then at the Hannaford shopping with her relative Mr. Hanna, who kept the dump going for many years. But Marita, I discovered, helps out at Mung Bean, one of our favorite local shops dating back decades to our earliest postcard days. They were among our first and most considerate customers.
I stopped in to say hi to Marita as things were winding down after Christmas. She is such a happy soul but when she saw my camera bag her antennae went up and she immediately tensed.
"Now Mitch" she said, "you know I hate to have my picture taken! Don't you ever dare!" I smiled and we chatted. "Now Marita," I said, "you know I love you. There's no reason to think I would ever embarrass you." I swear a customer in the shop was dialing "9-1-1" as Marita protested.
I'd heard that Marita was about to have hip replacement surgery and I wanted to stop by to wish her well. My camera goes with me.
The surgery went well. When you see her please mention the nice photo and her new hip!