Happy Halloween!

All Hallowed Eve today is here

A dreaded day of horror and fear.

Our wish for you this dark, dank night

Is to make it through without a fright.

One way to ensure you feel just dandy:

Gorge on leftover Halloween candy!

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Grand Old Opera House

One cool feature of Stonington is the Opera House.  It’s one of Stonington’s most prominent buildings, with its large green facade facing the bay and its old-fashioned lettering, complete with a period at the end.  Kish and I went to a screening of Stephen King’s It there on Friday night.  I can attest that going to watch a creepy movie about Maine written by Maine’s most celebrated writer in an old building in Maine, and then walking home in pitch darkness trying to steer clear of sewers, definitely increases the flesh-crawling quotient of the film.

The Stonington Opera House has an interesting back story that tells you something about how the commitment of individual people can make a difference to a town.  The current structure was built in 1912 and housed opera, vaudeville, plays, and movies, but fell into disuse.  (You can read about the building’s history here.)  According to locals, it was abandoned and in danger of being torn down before a group of people formed the Opera House Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, specifically to renovate and operate the building.  The project received donations and support, recently a new wing was added, and the Opera House now features year-round entertainment and cultural offerings.  Kish and I are looking forward to attending a live performance there one of these days.

Imagine what a loss it would have been if this iconic historic building had been demolished!  But because some far-sighted folks were willing to take a chance and invest their time and effort into a project, the building was saved and the lives of the people of Stonington and its surroundings are a little bit richer as a result.  It sure beats the swing of the wrecking ball.

Back Of The Plane

I seem to always get seated at the back of the plane.  I’m not quite sure why, but the rear lavatory and I are consistently on intimate terms.  On this flight, I was seated next to the window in the last row and was the last person off the plane.  It’s one reason I like flying Southwest, where I can pick a middle seat up front.

Although sitting at the back of the plane stinks — sometimes literally — it does give you time for people watching, and inner heckling.  “Hey Grampa, have some consideration for those of us trying to make a connection and put your freaking sweater on after you leave the plane!”  “Lady, do us all a favor and use baggage check for that oversized bag next time!”  “And Mountain Man, please remember when you turn around that that overstuffed backpack is knocking into the people behind you!”

Next Day News


Kish and I have been up in Maine, staying in a cottage where there is no TV, no internet, and incredibly spotty cell phone reception.  We were going to go watch the Ohio State-Penn State game at a bar, but at the last minute the neighbors invited us over for a get-acquainted dinner and we couldn’t say no.  I drove to the store and heard the Buckeyes were behind 28-17, but after that point we were off the grid for the rest of the night without any way to check the score.  I am embarrassed to say that I figured Ohio State had lost.

So you can imagine my delight when I arrived at the Bangor airport, was able to check my emails and the news, and found the Buckeyes won a come-from-behind thriller that keeps them in the conversation for the College Football Playoffs.  Apparently J.T. Barrett played an almost perfect game, and the Buckeyes defense cam up big when it counted.  Sometimes next day news is good news.

Now I’m wondering if the YouTube 30-minute replay will be available when I get home.

Rock Bound

Maine has a famously rock-bound coastline.  Stonington is rock-bound to the nth degree — which is presumably how it got its name.  Most of the rock is granite, and you see outcroppings sticking out of pretty much every bay, inlet, and yard.  It’s everywhere.

Our cottage has a beautifully made foundation consisting entirely of fitted granite blocks.  Visitors who’ve seen it nod approvingly and say:  “That’s Crotch Island granite.”  Crotch Island is located near Stonington, and the quarries there supplied the granite for most of the foundations, fences, and walls in town.  It’s good granite, obviously — but why did it have to be called Crotch Island?