Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Day with Brother John

        Last year at this time while on vacation it rained the entire time here in Maine. This year has been a different story. Thus far only one day has been stormy. The rest of the time has been beautiful sunshine and blue skies.
So the other morning my brother, John and I headed out for a day of activities. It began with a visit to an antique car museum he had visited several years ago. It was privately owned by Richard C. Paine, a man who simply loved the earliest cars made in America, during a time referred to as the “Brass Era,” (1895-1917). The early cars had a lot (and I mean a lot!) of brass on the cars. Brother John hadn’t been back to the museum because he had heard the gentleman had passed away and that the cars had been sold off. However, a few days ago John saw a flier advertising the museum, which is what prompted us to go.
The museum is called the Seal Cove Auto Museum , located on Mount Desert Island up the coastline of Maine (This area of Maine is referred to by the locals as “Downeast”). We discovered that the man had indeed passed away, but a board of directors along with local supporters wanted the cars preserved. A few of his later model cars were sold off which provided the necessary funds to upgrade the entire museum. We spent about two hours strolling amongst these beautiful automobiles, the likes of which we will never see again. My favorite car was a 1913 Peugeot “boat tail” design. Another beauty that easily catches the eye is the 1910 Stoddard-Dayton. You should see the incredible horn system on this! It actually has a small keyboard by the drivers seat so the driver can select to play whatever tune he desires in announcing his arrival!
We stopped for lunch at a local place called Mother’s Kitchen. It was a non-descript building that looked as though it had once been a very small house. We were told they serve everything homemade and fresh. They were right! I had a delicious Dagwood sandwich chased down by a bottle of Old Soaker root beer, a local brand produced in Bar Harbor named for a granite ledge off Sand Beach that disappears at high tide, becoming treacherous to unsuspecting sailors.
Next stop was the Northeast Harbor Golf Club, built in 1895, located on Mount Desert Island.  As is the case in many of Maine’s golf courses, they were among the first to be built in the United States. The reason for this is that many wealthy New Yorkers and Bostonians spent their summers in Maine. The demand for golf courses was the pleasure and eventual passion of the idle rich. Many of these early courses are much as they were one hundred years ago. Though short in distance for a golf course (5504 yards from the blue tees), the degree of difficulty is significant. The fairways are open with little to bother the straight hitter. But wander off line and you will find yourself in gorse, trees, bogs, and cleverly disguised pools of water. Add to this a very hilly course with postage stamp-sized greens and you have the makings for a tough but enjoyable round of golf. In typical fashion, John beat me!
Dinner that evening was homemade soup (and biscuits) that John had made – and one of my favorites – corn chowder! Yum! It was a most enjoyable day.
Much activity around the cabin here in Corea today as john, wife Lynne, and our sister Joy are preparing for tonight’s dinner guests in celebration of our mother’s 95th birthday. The menu? Lobster, flank steak, coleslaw, potato salad and green beans. Dessert will be homemade apple pie and strawberry pie.
Wish you were here!


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