Boston Post Cane Passes On



If you are like me you spent a good deal of time outside in the past week clearing away winter’s debris and setting up for your flower and vegetable gardens. Doesn’t it feel good? I expect many more folks will be growing vegetables this year with everything that has happened. Every cloud has a silver lining and the cloud of the past few months has a silver lining of resetting our thinking about our habits and our priorities. Plus getting your hands dirty is always therapeutic.

Southwest Harbor recently had one of those “moments in time” when Elizabeth King passed away at the age of 103. Wife to one long-serving Southwest Harbor selectman and mother to another, Elizabeth personified the hardworking, straight-talking, warm-hearted person that characterizes people in Southwest Harbor. As I mentioned when her husband Stanwood King passed away several years ago, Elizabeth and Stanwood were very close friends of my uncle and aunt Lawrence and Maud Phillips. In the fall, after Elizabeth and Stanwood had closed the Hotel Dirigo for the season and Lawrence and Maud had closed the Claremont for the season, they would go for a long roadtrip Downeast and to the Maritimes to unwind. I think it is hard for folks who didn’t live in Southwest Harbor during those years to understand the way both couples ran their seasonal businesses. They were innkeepers in the purest sense, meaning that whatever needed to be done, they did, and many times worked right beside their employees when things were busy. They also treated their guests with warm professionalism that brought many of them back year and year.

Now for the “moment in time.” Elizabeth was the currently keeper of the Boston Post Cane (actually a replica, the original is in a display case at the town office) as the oldest resident of Southwest Harbor. A page is turned, the cane will go to the next oldest resident, and life goes on. We miss Elizabeth for all that she has done in her quiet way behind the scenes as part of Southwest Harbor history, but mostly we miss Elizabeth for being the person she was and that will stay in our hearts. Our hearts go out to daughter-in-law Betty King, granddaughter Leslie Lee King Watson, grandson Storey King, their spouses, and Elizabeth’s great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Island Connections, 15 Eagle Lake Road, Bar Harbor ME 04609; Meals For Me, P.O. Box 28, Bar Harbor ME 04609; or Hancock County Home Care & Hospice, P.O. Box 156, Blue Hill ME 04614.

Patty Pinkham sent me word of the passing of her aunt, Nina Turner. I agree with Patty’s sentiment that Nina was a special woman and lots of people will miss her. Here is what Patty wrote about her aunt: “Nina Turner passed away on Monday morning, April 20, at Sonogee. Nina was the last of Enoch Stanley’s family. She was very proud of her childhood years on Great Cranberry Island, and told many stories! She served in the Army during World War II, then married and raised her family in Sedalia, Mo. About 10 years ago, after losing her husband, she returned to Maine and shared a place with her sister Mae. They enjoyed many years of drives, arguments, laughter, and companionship. Nina especially enjoyed the folks at Norwood Cove Apartments, breakfast at Kozy Kove, and drives by the ocean.” Thanks, Patty. I met your aunt at Norwood Cove when another great lady, Nancy Dunbar Bulger, moved there after selling her home in Manset. There are a lot of people in Southwest Harbor, Cranberry Isles, and Tremont who have a special place in their hearts for dear Nina.

Gail Royal at Westside Florist wrote me about an informal design class she gave on April 16 for the members of the flower guild at St. John’s Church and I am sure we will start to see the beautiful results of the guild’s work soon around the church. Gail also said that they are taking orders for corsages and boutonnieres for the senior prom, which is Saturday, May 9, and also for the all-important Mother’s Day coming on Sunday, May 10. Don’t wait. Especially, for the senior prom. I waited to get a tux for my senior prom back in 1973 and ended up with a traditional one when my classmate Kyle Jones got the latest cool style. I went in high dork style.

I’ve got to mention the recent accident at Otter Cliffs involving 1972 MDIHS grad Jeff Dugan. My thoughts, along with well as many of his friends around here, have been with Jeff as he recovers at Eastern Maine Medical Center from very serious injuries. I’m sure that he and his family would love to have notes of how we are pulling for him from his island friends. If you send a note to Eastern Maine Medical Center, 489 State Street, Bangor ME 04401.

Juanita Lanpher of North Echo Lake or South Somesville, whichever you like, is turning 90 and her daughter-in-law Terri, writes there will be an open house at the Somesville Union Meeting House Church Hall this Saturday, May 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. where family and friends will celebrate Juanita’s landmark. The family requests no gifts, just companionship.

Connie Stanley of the Pemetic Music Boosters e-mailed news of the boosters first annual plant sale at the spring concert on Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. Come early and browse to get a head start on your gardening with potted perennials. The sale is made possible by dedicated show choir mom Sue Whitby. A table will be set up by the door as you come in. The award-winning show choir that placed second in the state will be performing songs from the movie “Enchanted” featuring Catie Forthofer who won top female vocalist in the state for the middle school division. At the concert there will be a remembrance of Desi Gray who died tragically last fall and was a member of the Pemetic music family. The music boosters invite the public to come to the concert and celebrate her all-too-brief life.

I’ve heard that many are disappointed that I don’t have more news from the Pemetic School in this column. I’m happy to put in any news from the school that is provided to me. Many times I try and dig up information to get it in. Since I don’t have children in the school and no longer lead dramatics at Pemetic, I’m not at the school as much as I used to be. Please, please call me or e-mail me with news. I can’t write about what I don’t know about. All I can do is try my best.

Tonight (Thursday) at the Southwest Harbor Public Library, Candace Stover will lead a discussion of the first Community Read book, “Peak.” Following the discussion Ned Johnson, a cinematographer and photographer will give an inside look on a film about Mount Everest. Everything begins at 6 p.m.

Mark you calendars if you haven’t yet for the MDI Lioness Rummage Sale at the Tremont Gymnasium Saturday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The Lionesses will be setting up Friday night beginning at 5 p.m. so you can bring clean used items to donate to the sale with the exception of computers or large electronic items.

The second annual Pet Cat Walk to benefit the Hancock County SPCA will be at the Pemetic School on Sunday, May 10 with registration beginning at 10 a.m. and the walk starting at 10:30a.m. The suggested donation is $5 per animal. Call CeCelia at 479-3022 with any questions.

The 51st Annual Down East Fair at Church of our Father in Hulls Cove will be on Saturday, July 18. The fair committee is collecting auction items, antiques, books, jewelry, toys, white elephant items, linens, yarns, crafts, tools silent auction items and good clean clothing for the boutique. No appliances or computers. Please deliver to the parish hall. For more information call 288-5193. Thanks for your support!

I really did not plan it this way, but it turns out that Elizabeth King’s son S. Leslie “Les” King was the last person to officially walk the town lines of Southwest Harbor. Les complained ever since the State of Maine dropped the requirement of each town to walk their town lines every other year that the town should still do it even thought they weren’t required. I guess the folks at the Bass Harbor Woods development can see the wisdom of Les’s words now that the National Park Service has come up with their version of the Southwest Harbor-Tremont town boundaries. It’s always good to know your history.

On the subject of land, just over half the land in Southwest Harbor is National Park land. How and when did the park acquire so much land here on the Backside?

If you’re disappointed that there isn’t more news about your area of community interest, please contact me with information about events and accomplishments in Southwest Harbor. I here at [email protected], 667-2544, or P.O. Box 144 Southwest Harbor ME 04679. Happy May.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]