Love Letters to Maine | Tim Glidden
Let’s get the hard part out of the way fast: I was born in Pampa, Texas. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Woody Guthrie once lived in Pampa, so it must have some redemptive qualities. I stuck around for six months before moving to New England, and I set my sights on you, Maine. Dad’s family, going back five generations, lived on the Damariscotta River. We spent summers at a screenless camp on a small island in the same-named lake. “No screens” builds character (Dad said). Despite that, I adored you.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, I was completing college in Waterville and knew I wanted to stay here forever. It took a few more years to make it happen, but by the early 1980s my wife and I were living in Topsham. Since then I’ve worked to protect your environment and natural splendor. Maine, you are so much better off today than when my dad was a young man. Your rivers are cleaner, and more of them run free to the sea. They are starting to refill with returning fish. Compared to the period just after the Civil War, your forests are lush, vast, and productive—management has been improving thanks to the tireless work of many dedicated citizens. And I’m now blessed by the opportunity to work to conserve your coast, from Eastport and Lubec to Kittery. There is (literally) no place on Earth like your coast: fruitful, gorgeous, inspiring, challenging. It’s everything a body could want, and I count my blessings every day.
Glidden is the president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust