Outermost Island

Outermost Island

To the best of my knowledge, this is the outermost house off the coast of Maine. And these are the seasonal residents of the outermost inhabited island along the coast; mostly fishermen, their families and a handful of summer people.

I have a special love for the people of this house and of this island. And I simply want to acknowledge that love and the profound gratitude that accompanies it.

When I first came to Maine back in the late 70’s I was clueless. Really, back then I didn’t have clue one, but circumstances were such that I was soon able to start getting out to some very interesting places, the best of them far out beyond the standard coast of Maine stuff that casual visitors get to see.

It was fetching up on this offshore island that really started my Maine education. While I had been incredibly fortunate in getting my initial Maine grounding with the couple who first brought me here, it was out on the island depicted in these two photographs that the real thing began for me.

I was befriended by two fishing couples and by the largest summer family on the island. I now think back on how green I was in those years…I didn’t yet know how to really run a boat, there were so many community subtleties that were way off my radar, and on and on. But everyone, especially the three couples I mentioned, was so damn nice to me and just naturally opened up to me being there….it was very moving then, and even more so with the passing of three decades.

The kindnesses extended to me, the entirely reflexive thoughtfulness, the great fun, the enduring caring…well, it’s all the sort of stuff that makes for the finest kind of friends and, with time, family.

They all taught me so much, just by being exactly who they are and accepting my company. It was here, more than any other place, I think, that I first really got to see Maine on my own terms and with my own eyes. Out here, way out here, away from the responsibilities and meetings and machinations of the mainland, away from even the positive creative juices of certain friends/family ashore, here I started to put down some of my first island roots.

I would always be, in the vernacular, a transplant, yet the care and feeding I received here was the true start of my Maine affair.

This island and her people are, I guess, therefore, like my first real love or lover. The one you never, ever forget. The one you will always love, deep in your heart, in a very special and utterly unique way.

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