The Lefty - Lobstah Forum, Volume 2
by Doug Mayer and Larry Jett

Good Morning Larry,

Even before there was Larry Jett, there was downeast Maine. It is believed that the name Maine derived from European sailors/fishermen using the coastal islands for cod drying looked north, saw mainland and called it “the Maine.” Maine was downeast only after the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were created—because to get to Maine from Boston one sailed downwind and mostly east—down east. Route 1 and I 95 were in no one’s vision then. All this was before Larry Jett—how much before is uncertain.

But in our 300 club, our route is not down east, but up country, up the Kennebec River, past the Bath Iron Works, past the tidal reach at Augusta, and past the former Maine Central offices at Waterville, further upriver to Skowhegan. Alongside the Kennebec, Route 201 is now the highway, and it runs alongside the river past Caratunk and the Forks and the Moxie plantation, through Jackman and ends at the border with Quebec. Had it been a road, it would have been the one Benedict Arnold took on his way to acquire Quebec the city—except it wasn’t much of a road then, and he didn’t acquire Quebec.

But in our 300 club, that road leads to the shop of Dominick Rinaldi, one of the 300 Wizards. They improved both my B (camshaft) and L (rear suspension), and currently are working on the engine of another member’s K. Of course there are two Dom’s—elder and younger, and they both know a ton about these cars. And Dom the elder corresponds with Mr. Jett of California I see from reading the previous e-news. That suggests to me that the Rinaldi reach is far and wide.

So, were you to come to the far right of the United States map, you might go down east for some lobster, or you might go up country to see Skowhegan and the shop of Dom Rinaldi.

Doug Mayer
Northport, Maine

Good Morning Doug,

Ah, Mr. Mayer; my Maine-main-man; so very nice to get something from your sharpened quill!  Just a suggestion, you might quit using cod liver oil darkened with squid fluid as several cats were following the mail man and he wasn't pleased with his entourage.  I know your ink formula costs less than Sheaffer Skrip but a thriftiness nature may have unintended consequences.  Dang cats keep me up at night making new models.  That aside, I do appreciate your professorial tutorial on how things once were, and how to get from Boston to Northport without a gps.  Years ago I was the children's story teller for kids during regular church service.  I explained that this handheld item was very much like God in that it always knew where you are and will help you get where you want to go even if you make a mistake.  Just then it squawked "Lost satellite reception".  Sorta lost my audience for a bit.  You have one of these yet?  I shredded my maps and stuffed the pillow with strip maps which may yet come in handy should I get lost in a dream.

As you may have learned, these states on the Left Coast (the left side of the fly-over states) have given up our previous manic fear of earthquakes and replaced it with fear of fire.  You can buy a modest home in downeast upcountry further up river Maine for the annual home fire premium at State Farm in CA.  

So sorry you brought up Benny Arnold's name.  I remember him from the third grade.  He could never make up his mind about anything.  When playing dodge ball, he kept changing sides.  Confused lad.  Remember him?  Believe he entered ROTC after high school.

Enjoyed your travelogue story and checked out Caratunk Maine.  There you have a town of 69 folks living in 55.7 sq. miles with Pleasant Pond in the middle.  The Pond is fed by Pleasant Pond Stream which flows through the northwest shore of Pleasant Pond before climbing up (?) Pleasant Pond Mountain which supports a population of lake trout and brook trout.  Probably all the fish are pleasant as well and I did not make up the bit about the stream climbing the mountain.  It says so on Google so it must be correct.

In contrast, San Francisco has but 46.8 square miles with a population of 883,000 odd (which is a mostly correct adjective as well) and not all  are pleasant as I recall.  Been thrice to the far right up part of the U.S. so maybe you can visit us one more time before we extricate ourselves from the Golden-but Charred state and move to either Caratunk or New Zealand to search for old friend Dave Agnew who I miss as much as you.  From Fort Mayer on a sleek schooner with full sail, you two should be able to reach the Mexican Cession Unorganized Territory around the Cape Horn in 90 days.  The cape is where your ocean's water meets my ocean's water.  These waters used to shake hands there but now even a fist bump is verboten.  A virtual hug and double back pats to all Maine Mayers and fellow sympathizers.

Larry Jett
Newark, California