Articles by: Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay

Managing Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Fay, managing editor of The Ellsworth American since 1996, is a third-generation Californian. Starting out as a news reporter in 1974, he has been an editor since 1976, working in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont before settling in Ellsworth with his wife and two daughters. [email protected]
  • Grape expectations

    Grape expectations

    Our niece, Ivy, prefers Log Cabin syrup to the real thing. Having grown up in California, where maple syrup must be imported, she finds the real stuff too intense. Her loss, yes, but … there you are. Our own sainted mother, a dedicated drinker of black coffee, dawn till the 11 o’clock news, actually believed

  • Valentine wine

    Valentine wine

    Ogden Nash’s mini-poem, “Reflections on Ice-breaking,” posits as follows:   Candy is dandy But liquor is quicker.   Clever, yes, but why must it be a competition? Why not have candy and liquor — especially if the liquor is a red wine and the candy is dark chocolate? Never were two basic food groups so

  • Hancock County valuation edges up

    Hancock County valuation edges up

    ELLSWORTH — The state’s valuations of most of Hancock County’s municipalities rose last year, though not by much. The valuations are used by the state in determining state aid to local schools. The valuations also are used by Hancock County to assess each municipality’s share of county government budget. The state property valuation for 2017-18

  • Auld Lang what?

    Last Thursday, Jan. 25, was Robert Burns Day. The Scottish poet’s birthday is an occasion for drinking, bagpipes, poetry and haggis. We indulged in all said diversions with the exception of the haggis and the bagpipes. Also, the poetry. Haggis is a delightful Scottish dish in which taste-tempting sheep’s offal is mixed with yummy suet

  • Crimes of passion

    Crimes of passion

    Martin Cruz Smith, in his breakout novel “Gorky Park,” profiles a beverage called chifir. His protagonist is chugging it to stay awake. “Chifir was tea concentrated not twice or 10 times but 20 times,” Smith wrote. A man without food, Smith continued, “could work three days straight on a few cups of chifir.” Chifir came

  • Tempranillo and “the river of human history”

    Tempranillo and “the river of human history”

    Like music, snowflakes or presidential tweets, wines are miracles of variety. Every country has its wines, every state in the union has its unique terroir out of which grow dinner wines, picnic wines, dessert wines, dry, sweet, austere, bold or tropical wines. Cheap burgundies and unaffordable Chassagne-Montrachets. No two alike! Clifton Fadiman, the literary critic

  • Live. Learn. Drink. Repeat

    Live. Learn. Drink. Repeat

    The old saw about learning something new every day reliably describes the experience of recreational wine drinkers. Example: A thoughtful New Year’s Eve guest sourced us a bottle of 2015 Scaia Corvina (Global Beverage, $13.99). We’d never heard of it — didn’t know if corvina was a growing region, a grape or a car. It’s

  • Label shaming

    Label shaming

    The cool guys at our middle school wore Levis. But Mom swore by JC Penney and the dorky denims sold therein. They put the dung back in dungarees. Same deal with footwear. The swingers had Converse Athletics. We never advanced beyond Keds. At eighth-grade graduation, a solemn occasion at our school, the girls wore long

  • Letter from the editor

    Greetings! Each year at about this time, we give a State of the Letters Page address, variously commenting on the volume and tone of the year’s Letters to the Editor. We’re about to do it again but also — big bonus — we’re tossing in a few suggestions on how to make your letters really