For all of the time we lived in the Harbor, Mr. Steane owned and operated Rocktide. And, for a fair stretch, I got to work with him on ads, brochures and promotions.
Mr. Steane always arrived at Rocktide in semi formal business attire, which included one of his substantial assortment of bow ties. I used to bust him about the bow ties. He, in turn, suggested that I look into “upgrading” my attire. We managed to tolerate our differences.
However, clothing was one thing, punctuation, layout and design were totally different matters. Mr. Steane would go over everything Rocktide with a fine tooth comb. With his pointer finger sliding under each word of ad copy, he would review my work. I almost drove Jim Behringer (Harbor Print Shop, then located in basement of the Boothbay Register office) crazy with constant adjustments and changes. Mr. Steane ran a tight ship. Bill Harris at the Register patiently smiled, mostly!
The Rocktide ship, for my tenure of service, was guided by the insights and supervision of Bev Jackson, Mr. Steane's office manager. She saved my bacon more than once, helping to mediate challenging situations. She also wrote the checks. We were, and still are, good pals.
Other folks who come to mind from that period include dedicated staff like Toat Fossett, Jimmy Sewall, Pop Robinson, Gert Muise, Evelyn Brewer, Peggy Stover, Phil and Marylou, Trish Smith, Jim Bowden, Tom Perkins, Ramona Gaudette and many more.
Our good friend George Reed did a lot of the interior woodwork on the property, which changed every year. Eventually George built things so they could be easily removed.
But change was part of who Mr. Steane was. His family produced tobacco in Connecticut, then potatoes in Aroostook County. He arrived in Boothbay Harbor hoping to build boats on the property that became Rocktide. Over the years, Rocktide constantly evolved. It seemed to be part of the character of the property, and Mr. Steane.
Something tells me that, if he were to cruise by the property today, he would appreciate seeing it well cared for and utilized. He was not one to let things sit.