I turned onto the River Road, near the Boothbay Play House. My good friend Dick spent summers there back in the ’50s looking for a career in acting.

River Road parallels the Damariscotta River, narrow, hilly, winding but without a view of the river. Access roads lead down to expensive homes, Dodge Point Preserve offers foot trails down to a rough beach and remains of a century old brickyard. Nearby is the Baker Woods, donated by Bob and Margaret Baker who once lived on High Street.

No one ate clams from the river when we were kids, raw sewage emptied from homes including Nana’s on Elm Street. Today signs advertise: Norumbega and Glidden Point Oysters. The yellow Merry Barn looks the same as when Howie Davison called square dances for us teens.

In Newcastle the former Ray Hall Garage reminded me of Gary Hall’s yellow Jeepster, he was one of the few boys with “wheels” and would drive us to Bath for lobster rolls and the new drive-in movie.

Traffic was stopped at the Congo Church where Affie Witham, the minister’s wife, would conduct Junior Choir practice. Patsy recently revealed she was jealous of our Summer stays on isolated Green Island in Penobscot Bay as a reward for choir attendance; she attended Catholic Church.

Slow moving cars let in traffic from Academy Hill and The Mills. The Ford Garage is replaced by a condo overlooking Damariscotta; penthouse available for half a million, complete with boat dockage, gym, and inside parking. Wonder who lives there? All those familiar buildings lining Main Street; Nana’s paper store, the historic Cottrell House now has an Airbnb, next to a house where we lived, now a Thai restaurant, Patsy’s former home is an Asian restaurant, Clark’s Spa (our malt shop) where cherry cokes were a favorite, and Alexanders 5 & 10; every store a memory.


Out back, on a tidal inlet, is Skidompha Library’s used book store, larger than the original library where Wells and I devoured Bomba The Jungle Boy and Tom Swift and his Electric Plane. We sneaked a look at the racy (then anyhow), “Forever Amber” a novel all our parents were reading that was banned in Boston.

There were two restaurants then; Riverview and the Diner. Not much eating out, everyone ate meals at home or carried a lunch box to the job at Bath Iron Works. Now there are twelve eateries on Main Street.

“Joe Lane Lobsterman” was my choice today, I’d promised to bring Lobster Rolls for Patsy and watch for eagles from her deck on Cottage Point. While waiting for those freshly made Maine delicacies I studied the old black and white photos lining the walls. “Will you give me a discount if I can find me in one?” I inquired.

Found one with four generations of Alexanders: Nana, Mabelle Cotter Alexander Sherman, at her Sunday Paper Store with my dad, Jimmy Alexander , with my brother Jamie and baby in his arms. Nostalgia overcame me, here I was two houses down from my Cotter homestead, looking at my family.

Driving down Bristol Street, Day’s Cove at half tide, I ticked off those sea captain’s homes where my friends lived; Poppy, Porter, Chris, Carolyn, Wells, Middy, Joan, Connie, Eddie and Joe; the Bristol Street Gang.

Who says you can’t go home again? I just did.

Meetinghouse is a community storytelling project hosted by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Read more stories from Maine at www.pressherald.com/meetinghouse

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