2nd anniversary party

We had enjoyed Dick and Rose McDermott Coffin’s party on their first wedding anniversary, a shore dinner served under a tent on the spacious lawn of their Waite’s Landing home, looking out at the ocean.

What a surprise to have a repeat of that lovely party on Sept. 3, 2006, their second wedding anniversary. It was also held under the open tent, on the lawn. The clambake was cooked on the premises, by Young’s Clambake and Barbecue, of Yarmouth. The party was coordinated by Ruth Kimball’s “Simply Elegant,” of Westbrook, and we were entertained again by Roy’s Trio, with Don Roy on the fiddle, his wife, Cindy, on keyboard and Jay Young on the bass viol.

Hors d’ouevres were in a small tent, in front of the large tent, and included a large platter of shrimp, with a dip, crackers and cheese, small squares of ham and chips, wine and sodas. The plates for the dinner, set at each place, included a small bag of steamed clams, steamed potatoes, an ear of corn, rolls, cole slaw, melted butter and the beautiful lobster. For dessert, we had a slice of sherbet. Young waitresses then came around to each of the many tables and handed us all a chocolate lobster, wrapped in red foil. They were delicious, and made by Haven’s Candies.

Guests were, Dick’s relatives: cousins, Christine Sanborn and Stanley and Patricia Sanborn, Alton, N.H.; Douglas Lawrence and Linda, Westbrook; Caroline Allen, Old Orchard Beach; Carroll and Nancy Pennell, Brunswick; Pam Stowe, Tucson, Ariz., and her mother, Joan McLeese, Brunswick; Frank Coffin Jr., Brunswick, and cousins Alan Coffin and wife, Joanne, and Susan Coffin and her husband of Brunswick; Howard and Lynn Nielsen, Freeport; Arlene Lay and husband, and Arlene’s daughter Eve Hladky and husband Tim, and Jeffrey Clapp and Wendy Rawson, Brunswick.

Rose’s relatives: her parents, Arthur and Patricia McDermott, Windham; Paul McDermott and his children Reed, 9, Jordan, 6, and Molly, 4 of Falmouth; her sisters, Clare Parrish, Falmouth, and her fiancA?©, Michael Langlois, of Ellsworth; Maure McDermott and her daughter Olivia, and foster child, Crystal Lee of Falmouth; Rose’s aunt, Bonnie Kilmartin, and daughter, Pam Kilmartin, and Pam’s friend, Al, of Portland.

Friends: John LaPointe and James Turgeon of Westbrook (Jim is the son of Dr. Raphael Turgeon, of Casco); Bryant and Linda Jones, of Manchester, N.H; Steve Swartz, of Portland; Don Henigan, of Gray, and friend Lisa; Michael and Ruth Carter, of Portland; Professor Bill Phillips and wife Kaoru, of Portland; Sue Leonard, who teaches French at Falmouth High School; Don Dorsey and Lorna of Freeport (Don is a retired professor at University of Southern Maine); Pam and Gale Rhodes, of Portland; Jake and Carol Palesky, of Topsham; Professor Rich Abrams and friend Cindy, of Portland; Chip Holmes, of Mount Vernon; and Harry, Anne and Ray Foote, of Portland.

It was a happy group and we thank Dick and Rose for giving such a great party.

Tony Shettleworth on dowsing

President Donna Conley led the Sept. 6 meeting of the Westbrook Historical Society, where reports were given by Secretary Evelyn Meserve, Treasurer Nancy Curran and Vice President Suzan Norton. Phil Curran, editor of the society’s excellent newsletter, and a member of the finance committee, read the financial committee’s recommendations, which the board members accepted when they met after the meeting.

Tony Shettleworth, a native of New Zealand and now living in Westbrook, gave us a very interesting talk on dowsing. He had his first experiences with dowsing when he was a youngster, and visited at his grandfather’s house. He told us of the many materials, besides tree branches, which are used for dowsing, including metal rods, or even coat hangers and pendulums. He showed us one which he uses, a small chain with a crystal attached at the end of it. He mentioned many uses in dowsing, besides looking for water. (the Funk and Wagnalls 1924 Dictionary says, under douse, “To search for water or one with a dowsing rod.” The spelling, dowse, is then printed, after that definition.

The Britannica printed, “dowsing or divination.” Shettleworth told us of other uses, such as locating minerals, looking for missing people and, if water is discovered with the twigs or rods, the water often gushes up when located.

He gave us some instances of dowsing’s use in history, too. Queen Elizabeth I hired German dowsers to come to England to teach miners the process. In the United States, Pilgrims used dowsers to locate wells. He also mentioned that Gen. Patton, when in Morocco, had a whole willow tree shipped to him, to use its branches there for dowsing.

Tony Shettleworth is a fascinating man. I was interested in his speech, too. Although he has no obvious accent different from ours, slight differences were interesting. Also he has an excellent vocabulary. How often do we hear the word “unobtrusively?” He is an excellent speaker and taught us new ideas about dowsing.

Betty Bragdon’s refreshment table at the back of the hall was a popular place at this meeting, with a great variety of sweets – small whoopee pies, slices of lemon cake and chocolate frosted cake, and molasses and chocolate chip cookies, plus punch.

At the next meeting, on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 1:30, Zip and Carol Zamarchi, collectors of antique bicycles, will give the program, and bring some of their bicycles. Members are invited to bring old photos of their old bicycles. Perhaps with the high price of gasoline, some may decide to ride those bikes to the Dunn Street hall.

Stew on this

Today’s recipe is one that our son Dan Foote’s wife, Mikiyo, gave me, after she cooked it for us when they visited us last month. I surely enjoy having guests who also cook such good food for us. This recipe was given to Mikiyo by a friend who was living in Santa Barbara, Calif., when the Footes were living in Seattle and teaching at the University there.

Seafood Stew, Santa Barbara Style

Serves 8 people

1 onion (medium)

1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large cans of tomatoes (whole)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 pound scallops

1 pound shrimp

Cayenne pepper (1/2-1 teaspoon, depending on taste)

Heat oil and saute’ the finely chopped onion

Chop the tomatoes and add. Add the scallops and shrimp.

Add cayenne pepper.

Simmer until the sauce becomes thickened (about 1 hour)

If the sauce becomes too thick, add olive oil, bit by bit.

You might want to make a smaller stew, using only half of all the ingredients. Also the price of seafood is high now, but this recipe is so good that it is worth the price.


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