John Rensenbrink

John Rensenbrink

In the past week, The Times Record has done two frontpage stories about the Gulf of Maine bookstore and the Green Independent Party.

There were misunderstandings that prompted the publicity. These misunderstandings have been sorted out.

The feelings that were aroused are now happily moderated, and friendship has been renewed.

I feel it is my responsibility to state my part in this unfortunate matter, since I contributed to the misunderstanding that I feel has gotten out of hand.

Saturday, a couple weeks ago, I noticed in the window of the Gulf of Maine Bookstore a sign for Democratic candidate for Legislature Mattie Daughtry in Brunswick’s District 66 and none for Fred Horch, Green Independent candidate.

I was surprised. I had mistakenly thought that the owners Beth Leonard and Gary Lawless, both longtime friends, were members of my party, the Maine Green Independent Party.

I made an angry complaint, but was told by Beth that they are Democrats. I should have reversed myself and apologized on the spot.

Unfortunately, I didn’t. When I got home I called Beth and Gary with an apology. Again, unfortunately, they did not get that message. Not getting a reply, I emailed Beth and Gary a few days later with a deep apology. The apology was accepted both by email and when I visited the store the next day.

For my part in this, I apologize, not only to Beth and Gary but also to the Greens in this region and especially to Fred Horch, whose picture and campaign for the Legislature were prominently displayed on the front page of The Times Record as part of your story on the matter, thus casting a negative light on his campaign.

He had nothing to do with all of this. That his name and campaign were impacted gives me considerable grief.

Every Green I know loves the Gulf of Maine bookstore. There was never any intent to stop buying books there.

The store is a mecca and a fountain of light and caring about the world.

I, for one, have been friends with Beth and Gary forever, and have steadily supported their venture from the start when it began decades ago in a building across and down the street from where they are now.

JOHN RENSENBRINK, of Topsham, is senior adviser to the Maine Green Independent Party.

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