Mary Brewer had been working at “The Register” office for over ten years when I sent a letter to the editor in 1975. My tale about picking up lobsters for Phyllis Washington at “Treasure Island” on Little River cleared the editorial staff in good shape with only the lightest touch from the punctuation department.
Doubled up paper bags from Finast grocery store, provided by then lobsterman Mr. Alley, had let go on my walk home and the lobsters took off down Hiawatha Trail. The story wasn't particularly noteworthy but it was the beginning of my association with the paper and Mary B.
Over the years, Mary and I have crossed paths many times, mostly during Mrs. Cowan's term of office. We both had a lot of fun with Marylouise and could share stories until the cows come home. Mary B and Mrs. Cowan were very special friends.
Initially Mary was a summer intern at “The Register” while in high school. She wanted to write and that was her best local chance. She studied journalism at the University of Maine for two years, then, anxious about lacking marketable skills, attended “Katie Gibbs” in Boston to learn typing and associated professional skills.
On her first official “assignment” for the paper Mary was wearing her best Katie Gibbs outfit as she climbed down a ladder at Boothbay Fish and Cold Storage to get a photo (Polaroid) of Stan Coffin's boat covered in massive ice after a day's fishing. High heels, straight skirt, blouse, gloves and hat. I imagine Stan took note.
It was nice to visit Mary and Butch at home. Their grandchildren, Hannah and Nicholas, were in -- the aroma of chocolate chip cookies freshly baked got the pup's attention, and mine. The first time I visited Mary at home, there was a custom-made balance beam in the center of the living room for daughter Sarah's gymnastics practice. It was a Sonny Hodgdon model.
That was a while ago.