First it was Berna furtively taking my money for scallops in the parking lot of the Belfast Hannaford. “This looks like a drug deal,” she said. Those scallops were so fine, it almost was. Then just last week I met up with Bobbi Heath at the Cumberland Farms at Yarmouth. She handed me a buoy and drove off. Nothing weird about that, except that it was well into the wee hours of the night and we were both just passing through.
Bobbi and I are participating in the seventh annual buoy auction to benefit Penobscot East Resource Center (PERC). This is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the fishing future of Maine. Its co-founder, Ted Ames, studied the cod spawning grounds on the coast and believed that his fellow fishermen’s deep knowledge of the sea should be part of global fishing management decisions. “Aquaculture—fish farms and hatcheries—costs billions of dollars. The ocean is free… It’s there, year after year, as long as you take care of it,” he said.
PERC serves 50 fishing communities in eastern Maine, and the buoy auction is its largest fundraiser. The sixty or so buoys that are contributed will be displayed in businesses throughout Stonington all summer. They’ll be auctioned off on August 1.
This is the fourth year I’ve participated, and Bobbi’s first. She’s painted circles around me. She went right for the graphic-design jugular with a fantastic color scheme and simplified, exciting image.
I had intended to paint in Stonington with Renee Lammers, but another obligation got in the way. So I made a quick trip up and back. By “quick,” of course, I mean four hours in the car. I did vocal exercises, I sang, and then, as always, I started making up stories.
I learned that I could recite and memorize my own copy, up to about 750 words. When I had to stop for construction, I voice-texted what I’d memorized to my email and moved on. Later I corrected the transcription errors and saved the stuff as a Word document. One day soon, it will appear here as blog posts. For a person who can’t even remember the lyrics to “Happy Birthday,” that wasn’t bad at all.