Tom Evans came to Maine 95 years ago in his momma's belly. To the best of my knowledge, he has been coming here ever since.
Tom ended up on the shores of Southport's Sheepscot Bay through no fault of his own.
His maternal grandmother, Rosie Fallon (straight from Ireland, as Tom would say), had a brother who bought a place in Solon, Maine — nobody seems to know exactly why. That same brother proceeded to buy a small cottage on Little Christmas Cove.
Then his grandmother's sister bought Rosemary Cottage, just back from the dirt road that crossed around the head of the cove. Tom's ma traveled up from New Jersey to visit when she was pregnant with him.
The cottage was moved to higher ground, for a better view, by Mr. Giles and Company. The moving bill was “minimal” and rendered on a tiny scrap of paper.
Tom spent summers across the cove from the Tibbetts kids — Walter Jr., Albion, Arthur, Edward, Gordon, Jimmy and Bea. Their house still stands — a wonderful spot.
Once, Tom told me, Big Walter took him and Walter Jr. out fishing at night. The boat had no lights, but Big Walter knew the waters. Tom and Walter hung lines over the side and Tom caught a cod.
Big Walter heard a motor boat coming and thought it might be the Coast Guard, so they beat it for home. Over the years Tom lobstered with young Walter and later with Edward. He was amazed by how his friends knew where they were in a dense fog and could find their trap buoys.
One summer, Tom drove his ma home to New Jersey from Maine. He had sent away for a Maine driver's license — available by mail if you were 12. He drove the entire distance to New Jersey, even through all the traffic. No cake walk today at twice the age!
Tom and our daughter Morgan share the same birthday, Dec. 31. Tom always sends us a lovely hand-painted Christmas card reminiscent of his time in Maine. He is a good friend.