Spring Postcard from Brightwater
3-26-09 - Sunny, 48 degrees Light wind from the south and later east
The river is waking up - the ice has moved out and the sounds of spring are all around me. At the Todd cabin, I park my car and sit for awhile to acclimate myself to the silence. Funny how those of us who spend most of our time in the city, behind the wheel of a car or a computer keyboard consider the sounds of the woods to be silence. Gradually, I notice the greeting; a hesitant knocking of what looks like a Hairy woodpecker - as I turn to look, it hides behind the trunk of the tree. Only when I turn my head and begin to walk away do I hear the resounding tap, tap - tap. I look back to catch a glimpse of the bird but it is silhouetted by the late morning sun, creating a slight halo around the woodpecker. The sound stops again as I gaze at the light dancing on the water. As I strap on my pack and head towards the gate the feathered emissary sends me on my way - tap, tap, - tap.
The Boulevard is still deep in snow, eight to ten inches in places. The fallen branches are slowly melting down through the crust, leaving their imprints like fossils in the making. Mr. Giberson has been busy, cleaning up the fallen limbs and stacking them on the side. I leave the shelter of the trees and head down past the farmhouse towards the launch ramp. Here the snow is mostly gone and the ground is beginning to thaw in the sunny spots. The boats are still safe in their winter cloaks, and as I reach the launch ramp, a flock of ducks calls out and flies around Denny Reed point.
I climb back up and crunch on around towards the McCarthy and Price cabins. At the shore, the mouth of the Narrows is calm and a beautiful, emerald green. A big, fat loon is slowly drifting in on the tide, looking well fed and peaceful. Overhead a huge flock of Canadian geese are heading homeward in a giant, ragged “V”. Are they honking just for the pleasure of it or are they trying to keep in formation? Standing on the deck at the Price Cabin, I become aware of a swift rustling in the scrub bushes down by the shore. Two, brown, mink-like creatures come frolicking into view. They are chasing each other and gamboling around the rocks and trees - it certainly looks like spring. There is a soft gurgling of freshets and springs running all along the shore.
I come across a fallen branch of a maple tree stuck butt first into the snow of our driveway. Despite it’s permanent separation from the tree above, the spring buds are still pushing out from the branch. People often say they are waiting and waiting for spring, but I find it sneaks up on me. It is relentless in it’s annual appearance - the sun, the rains, and finally the buds and crocuses. The salt water is crystal clear this time of year and it beckons me to go for a sail. May 15th is the deadline to launch “Amparo”, the Seasprite 23 - perhaps we’ll make it.
I finish my walk and creep carefully up the ice on the hill near the Blachley cabins. I am thinking of two of our number who wont be back to share the joys of the summer this year. The passing of old souls is as relentless as the spring - you may wait for it or it may sneak up on you, but it always comes. The spirits of Lucy and Rollie will be soaring high with the Osprey this summer and we will miss them.
See you all very soon! All the best, Tom W.
Around the Boulevard - Starting at the Mailbox 2008
Bruce and Kathy Kirkham will move down to Brightwater in late June with frequent trips back to Augusta. Keith, Beth and the girls will arrive around the first of July and stay for a week or so before heading overseas. Brian and Kelli may drop in in August. The Coys will not be visiting this year.
Bob and Pat are planning to be in Brightwater mid-June They are still working on their plans to add to their Basin Cabin. They claim to be looking forward to seeing everybody.
Bill and Margaret opened their cabin at the end of
May. They are expecting to arrive for the summer the last week in June
and stay until mid September. They are also planning a few weekends in
October. Margaret completed all treatments on Leap Year Day and since
that time has: leaped” into a time of removed energy and resuming her
previously enjoyed activities. Bill and Margaret celebrated with a 2 week
trip southern California during April. They are feeling truly blessed by
God and that life is great! Their children, Bill Jr., Kathleen, and Chad,
and their families, will join them when they can.
Margaret has received an e-mail from Dill Paiste and Mark Wilson at the Phippsburg Church. They would like to do a repeat of the “Brightwater” Sunday, with a service of hymns, etc. They would like to do this on July 27th or August 3rd. Please email Margaret with your thoughts @
Moving up the hill…
Sarah and Dennis have not completely figured out their summer plans. Their son, Michael, graduates from high school in June and will attend James Madison University in the fall. They will be in Brightwater on and off during the summer and hopefully more in the fall when the kids are off to school. Sarah and Dennis hope to participate in the Friends of the Basin events this year.
Lael and Chris plan to spend as many weekends as they
can in Brightwater as well as the first 2 weeks of August. Chris hopes to
defend his sailing title in a respectable and humble manner. Their daughter,
Nina, has graduated from Bates College this spring. Congrats Nina!
As you all know, Lois pasted away in November. It is with great fondness that she is remembered. Her spirit will always be a part of Brightwater.
Debbie plans on being at the cabin from the end of May through the end of summer. Elly’s son and his family will join her over the 4th of July. Rick plans on sailing with Debbie this summer. There will a memorial service for Vicki in Brightwater on July 26th. Vicki loved to be in Brightwater. Her presence and energy will be missed by everyone.
The Hobart Family
Mary and Eddie arrived in Brightwater in April. Eddie has returned to Arkansas, but will be back later in the summer. Mary has been busy gardening and setting up the cabin. Debbie and her family will visit from Greene whenever possible. Geof, Beth and their children, Katherine and David, will be there the week of 4th of July and the 3rd week of August. Lori will be there with as many of her family members as possible (Scott, Alyssa, Chris, Geoff, and Greg) most weekends and the first two weeks of August.
Macy and Edie will be at the cabin for most of the summer along with Celia and Kai. Celia will be working at Sebasco and doing odd jobs for anyone who might need her help. Heather and Sammie will arrive on July 15th with Phil joining them on the 23rd. They will stay until August 5th. Harris and Carla will be there as often as possible, with a week of vacation in there somewhere. Tom and Camilla will make the trip from South Portland as often as they can, or sometime after Tom has put in everyone’s moorings and he feels safe to show his face again.
Eleanor and Rollie have put their most of their plans on hold for the moment, waiting for more news about Rollie’s health. Rollie has suffered a heart attack and several small strokes. It is very likely that he will need full time care. At this time, Gary and Eleanor may come for a couple of weeks at the beginning of July and return to Florida. Su, Phil and their 4 children will be there in July and the first week of August.
And Around the Bend
The Charlie Lambert family will be in Brightwater several weekends in June and most of the month of July.
The Brassard family has welcomed the newest member of their family, Josefina True on October 30. Her big sister, Nora, is being a great big sister. They all plan to be in Brightwater for July 4th, a week or two around the annual meeting, and hopefully again in September. Sarah’s sister, Emily and brother Ben and his wife Aimee have been enjoying the cabin on weekends and hope to be there more this summer.
2007:- Summer is here.
As I sit here looking at the New Meadows with rain beating on the roof and thunder rumbling in the distance, where did it go? Should be just getting back from the 3rd sail of the summer regatta series but as with last week, the race was a non starter with too much wind this time and the forecast storms just arriving. Maybe next week. We may have to extend the series by a week if the weather continues to thwart our plans.
4th of July was good though and it was good to see so many people on the Price rocks. Few photos below
On July 15th the Friends of the Basin organised various events including a walk of the land given to the Nature Conservancy by Dick Hatch and a very interesting talk by Nancy Sferra of that body about what they hope to do with the land.
Email from Jim with photos 2nd
Hi nick and Jim and everybody, The power came back on last night so I can send some pictures now.I called CMP last week and asked them NOT to drive in to clear the wires on the stretch of road between the mailbox and Whiteheads so they rolled right through with a couple big bucket trucks. Need I say the road is a mess? Here are some fotos of trees down at Johnson's, Cameron's and Lamberts. See you soon, jim
Email from Jim re recent storm 17th April 2007
well boy, didn't she blow. trees and limbs down everywhere, no power in bath or phippsburg, 2 feet of water over route 209 south of the store so I couldn't go check out the 20 foot breakers at Popham. I tell you I was ready to do some surfin, its only in the 40s today but I was already wet so why not. the beach out of reach, I took a stroll around Brightwater to see how things looked. I was in good company with Kai, Sealia, and Hairus Whitehead. I'm happy to report vrey little property damage. The hardest hit was the Johnson lot. There must be 20 big sprooce (thats plural for spruce)down along the drive and near but not touching the cabin. A huge one came down at Cameron's with only the top 20 feet laying gently on the roof, a leaner at the Lambert (river cabin) has probably bent the dripedge on the roof. There are about eight trees down on the wires between the field cabin and Whitehead's and many more in the woods and across driveways. I will take some pictures tommorrow and send to Nick to put up on the website. I can spend some time cutting up down trees in the next few weeks, if you want me to cut on your lot let me know. I don't know if jimmy still has his chipper, we may want one come summer. In particular the Johnson place will take a lot of work, Lamberts and Camerons should get trees off the roof soon and I will try to get the trees off the power lines before CMP comes down with big trucks. We had some pretty bad washouts in the road also.
Leighton's hill and the launch ramp road both have deep gullys in them now. Thats the report from here, Jimmy please forward this to the membership, i don't have a complete list with me. thanks, jim
Picture of Price Typhoon after recent snow.
James Loney Letter from Jimbo re his dad 9th March 2007
Hi Jim, I think Mary must have my house bugged or something. She is amazing. Dad, at 89 years of age, went in to the hospital two weeks ago for the second time in a month for problems with his feet. Probably a combination of gout and very poor circulation. This time he was having severe and constant pain. His kidneys are only functioning at about 40%, his heart at 25%. Fluid builds up in his extremities but diuretics and heart meds heavily tax his kidneys. His dementia doesn't cause the confusion you see with Alzheimer's, he just has no short term memory. He tries very hard to cope with pain, (and successfully hides it from everyone) refusing painkilling narcotics till he is practically in tears. With the tentative hold he has on reality he hates the feeling narcotics induce and would rather struggle with the pain which keeps him grounded and has made him remarkably lucid, even recovering some of his memory. That was wonderful and both Pat and I were able to have some conversations with him that we should have had years ago and have been unable to have (due to his dementia) in recent years. With the fluid pressure and poor circulation he developed lots of small ulcers on his left leg and foot which couldn't heal without blood supply. He was dying from the outside in and the only remedy was amputation above the knee. For a week I struggled with the choice between palliative care (manage his pain while letting the infection overtake him) and surgery. It took that long to get an answer from the surgeon and anaesthesiologist as to whether they would even do the surgery due to his poor condition. They gave him a 25% chance of survival at best and they don't like to lose anyone on the table. Also, our "do not resuscitate" order would normally be cancelled when he went in to the operating room so he might come out on artificial life support and be maintained indefinitely in that state. We had to get the staff to agree that that would not happen. Finally the hospital gave the OK, my family was all in agreement with my decision (and dad's expressed wish)to take the chance on surgery despite the poor outlook. While for quite some time it appeared to all of us that he has had a very poor quality of life, we don't really know what it is like for him. He spends most of his time asleep and apparently dreaming vividly, often talking in his sleep. I think that when a strong willed person loses the ability to express their will in the physical plane due to infirmity and in the mental plane due to dementia, their will must naturally seek expression in the spiritual plane. I believe it is possible and natural to express volition in dreams, I think we do it all the time but have not been taught to control or to even be aware of it. I don't have any idea what dad may have learned to due there. BUT...My cousin Steve Loney, Dad's baby brother's son, sent me a package two weeks ago. The note said he found it in an antique store near there (the town dad grew up in) and that he had to get it for me because of the writing inside. I opened the package, it was a Hawaiian lap steel guitar built in the 1930s by the Oahu publishing co. Hawaiian music was a huge craze at that time. Visible through the soundhole of the beat-up, unplayable guitar, it says "LONEY STUDIOS". What Steve didn't know: Ma Sharbough was the mother of dad's best friend Twisty. She took a great interest in dad and did more for him than either of his own parents. She was a music teacher and a laundress. When they were in high school she taught Dad, Twisty, and their girlfriend Doris how to play Hawaiian guitar, they formed a trio that performed at the school and a few other places. Twisty and Dad were also fascinated with radio at this time and were building radio transmitters and receivers in the shack behind Ma's house out of scavenged parts and pieces. I asked dad whether they used to broadcast live performances of their trio and he said he was sure they had. (his childhood memories are still pretty reliable) Growing up in the competitive environment of the depression with 5 younger brothers and sisters, dad formed the habit of putting his name on virtually all his possessions. Almost every piece of radio and electronic gear I cleared out of his house had his name scratched in at least one place. I am sure there are other possible explanations but I have a very pleasant image of Dad arranging the letters of a rubber stamp kit and marking his guitar, then broadcasting music with his friends "Live from Loney Studios in Willard Ohio". Another thing Steve didn't know: In late January I was looking at instruments on e-bay and impulsively bid on an Oahu Hawaiian lap steel guitar. I didn't know about the one Steve had bought yet. I had no interest in learning this style of play and figured the guitar was not worth the work required to fix it. When it arrived at the boat shop where I work I opened it up and berated myself for my foolishness. I didn't even take it home, but gave it to Bert that afternoon for a project. (he wasn't that interested either) After I received the guitar from Steve I got mine back from Bert and compared them. They are virtually identical, even the cases. Sometimes you have to poke me twice to get me to pay attention. I realized that dad wanted some Hawaiian music. I had one cd of Hawaiian slide guitar classics (I think I had listened to it once previously)I tuned up the Oahu I had bought and fiddled around till I could approximate the sound and I took Dad's in to the shop for repair. I ordered an instruction book and a bunch more discs. We have been playing the music we thought dad would like, Big Band tunes, Nat King Cole, The Mills Brothers, but when I put the Hawaiian cd in he started tapping out the rhythm and singing along in a very animated way. I played a little for him and he said, "I don't mean any criticism but you've got to jazz it up a bit, you know, that wah wah thing". So I put the guitar in his lap and he tried to show me what he meant, then said he was pretty rusty and would have to practice up when he got home. That was all before the surgery and it gave us all a very positive feeling about things. He came through surgery the day before yesterday with no complications and was smiling and eating and tapping out the rhythm two hours later. The next morning he was feeding himself. The luthier made a special effort and got dad's guitar fixed in a hurry, it is hanging on the wall in his hospital room. My sisters and all the family have been great through this whole thing, Molly flew in the night before last and is waiting for me to pick her up for another visit with dad, so I've go to go. My Cuban band is putting on it's first show tomorrow night, I haven't had a chance to practice all week but I figure I'll have a huge emotional reservoir to draw from. I'm going to try to send you a video clip, I hope it is not too large. If Nick could put it on the website (with this letter)I would really dig it. love jim (Video clip not arrived yet, Nick)
Picture of deer at Brightwater this winter
Here is the link to the video file: www.leightonimages.com/bwaterskit.wmv It is a 58 meg file so viewers should download it to their computers before trying to view it unless they have a very fast connection. (From Geoff leighton)
Celia visited London for a few days, we had a great visit and managed to get her sailing on the Thames twice. Of two races sailed she won one and finished up wet in the other! Carrying on a great tradition started by Dick Kelly the year before.
Mary is just thinking of leaving though the rest of the East coast is gripped in winter. Charlie and Jimbo are taking their boats and moorings out Saturday so summer must be over!
Holbrooks drop their prices! Many satisfied customers!
Life at Brightwater is too stressful!
Rink writes:-I was in Maine recently with Denny to go to Celia Whitehead's musical, in which she plays the lead role of Peter Pan at the Chocolate Church. She was terrific, not only in her singing and acting but also "flying around" on a suspended wire 20 feet in the air. We had dinner with Macy, Edie, Harris and Kye at Macy's home
From Mary:-The Brightwater Road has been widened and now has a paved 18ft strip from Mrs Blacks to just past Perkins driveway. Those that have the pavement are very happy. The Gibersons will now be able to open their windows without dust in the summer. The neighbors that gathered while the paving was going on debated about the speed of the cars. Some said they can't go much faster than they do now. naming a few names. We all need to be good neighbors and pass the word to slow down. I leave paradise tomorrow much to my sorrow, but Beth needs some help and I feel selfish being here in the peace and quiet of this beautiful place. Hope all is fine. I go to Lori's on Saturday. Love to all Mary No signs of building in Wynburg East yet.
And from the Kirkhams:-We went down to Brightwater yesterday. The town has paved Basin Road up to
Thistles, and it appeared that they were about to pave Brightwater Road up to the top of the hill past Giberson's. That's either good or bad news, I guess, depending on your paving position.
Best, Bruce and Kathy
summer as part of our 75th anniversary celebrations we are planning to have a
picnic in the Brightwater meadow at noon on August 11th. Games for kids of all
ages, earnest debate for others. We would like to invite as many people
associated with Brightwaters past as possible to come.
That evening there will be another party in the Wynburg Barn with providing the music. All invited.
Softball game on Sunday the 12th am.
We are going to try having the regattas on Saturday afternoons next year (wind check on the Sunday) for those that have to leave Sunday.
The annual meeting in 2001 will be held on Saturday the 4th of
August at a place to be determined at 9.00 am.
There will be a work day on Monday the 6th August. Meet at the mailbox. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Oct 10th:-Sadly, Denny's brother Jake died of a heart attack in September and there will be a memorial service at the new Wynburg Memorial Garden in August next year.
still at Brightwater writes:-Today is beautiful the trees are taking on a wonderful
color. I figure at least 18 boats have now enjoyed the new improved launch
ramp. Boats still in the water Kelly 2, Leighton 2, Harris 5 plus Charlie's
friend Boo Boo 1, In the basin, Charlie's boat he purchased from Gus 1, and
Dave Popalardo 1. For those that are getting out to bail it has been a lot of
work for those that haven't the boats are a little lower into the water.. The
Blachleys have a boat on the dock in the water. Should be a good high tide this
week to get that out. The Bulls new boat finally arrived after the mast saga!
In Brightwater now are the Whiteheads and Hobart. We have been busy
collecting bait bags for Dick Giberson. Lots going on in Wynburg East, Gee Gee
is doing lots of cutting. The memorial stone is in and engraved in Wynburg.
Love to all Mary
3rd:- The meeting is this coming Saturday at Mary's cabin at 9.00 am with a
memorial party at 3.00 pm at the Leightons cabin in memory of Perley who sadly died
earlier this year. All are welcome. The Barn dance will be in the evening at
Wynburg and a chance to let off steam! Saturday is the Wynburg East AGM and
Sunday afternoon at 2.00 will be the 3rd Regatta of the year with Charlie in
the Lightning and Nick in the Pattie B II sharing top place in the rankings
after two races.
No controversy is expected at the Brightwater AGM this year but Barbara Kirkham said she'd like a good argument so someone will hopefully oblige!
The following week-end will be a doozy with a POT LUCK BLUES party at the Wynburg Barn starting at 6.00 pm. Music by Jim Loney and the Bluetonics! Saturday there will be a softball game in the Wynburg Meadow starting at 11.00 am and in the afternoon is the lobster bake on Hobarts rocks. Help will be needed to collect firewood on the 8th and 9th and on the day to oversee the fire. Big turnouts are expected for all these events! Sunday at 2.00 will be 4th regatta and maybe a sing. Watch this space!
Gossip:- Barbara has a new motor and is about to floor it! Moonbeams can be found in the funniest places! Debbie is without direction! The Bulls need support! Nick needs a lightweight suit! Charlie needs stability! Are doting mothers a good thing? Jim's seen the movie and is going for the cruise! Will Sasha get a new assignment?
October 21st:- Taxes have now been received and the town is keeping the old valuations for another year while it tries to sort out the complaints. Our application for Forever Wild and Open Space for our common lots has gone through however and our town tax bill is appreciably lower than last year.
October 11th:- Following the complaints about the new assessments it appears that they have been shelved for a year at least. My understanding is that our taxes will revert to the previous years smaller figure but I am not clear about whether the Forever Green and Open Space discounts will apply to the old tax figures. They should but we will know when the bills come out shortly. It is likely that the Mill Rate will increase some to raise the necessary extra income.
August 31st:- Some of us went to the meeting last night which had a few less than 200 people present, a large number of which were very unhappy about the new assessments. Some areas, such as Popham have gone down drastically, presumably because they have been over taxed for years. Other areas such as Westpoint have gone up and most of the residents are long term, not wealthy, inhabitants who will have trouble paying the taxes which in the worst cases are many times higher than last years rates. A form of capping that held increases to a small proportional increase might work but legislation might be needed before that system could be implemented.
August 25th:- There has been much ado about the new tax assessments in Phippsburg with particular angst among the residents at West Point where modest dwellings in prime locations have had their assessments increased several times over. Many of these residents are not wealthy and have lived there all their lives but may not be able to afford the new taxes. There is a general assessments meeting at the school Monday 30th at 6.30 P.M. which I will attend and let you know the outcome. At the seasonal residents meeting last week the selectmen indicated that there had been relatively few complaints, 20 or 30, at that point which was not bad considering that over 2300 properties were reassessed. A petition has been got up by local residents however, appealing to have the new assessments thrown out altogether. If this were to happen it is our understanding that our Open Space and Forever Wild classifications would stand and since Brightwater property values did increase marginally in the assessment, (although payable values decreased because of discounts) we should not be harmed. If that were to happen the result would be an increase in the mill rate and the town would have to start again in the reassessment as required by State Law. Comments would be welcome about this.
On a personal level things are quieting down now with many people back home to start school, work and other aspects of life.
The last regatta of the season was last week-end (29th) with all invited to tea at the Price Cabin after, where prizes were announced and excuses made
Jim Loney is progressing well with the Bull's extension.
It has been mooted (by me) that we have a pot luck party at the Wynburg Barn next year on Saturday evening, the week-end after the annual meeting. Jim's band can play and that would give all you would be rock stars the chance to bone up on the lyrics of your favourite ballad or heavy metal piece! Wynburg are in favour and will contribute to the cost of the band. This would also be a good date, 12th for the softball game. Some loam has been bought by Eric and myself to improve the ground so that we can all run at top speed and astound onlookers with our prowess!