A baguette request

Going through more stuff, things, papers and piles. I found an entry I wrote during a trip to Monhegan Island back in, I think it was 01994. It was my second time there to stay with a friend and her family who migrate there every summer to work, paint, cook and do the the things folks do during a summertime on a remote Maine island.

This is tapped straight from the pages in an old little notepad.

Just a few notes about my
trip to Monhegan Island,
Maine. The drive here was
long. It was more painfully
exhausting than my drive
across country. Who understands
how your tolerance for
pain & threshold of
sleep deprivation works.
anyway. It took me 12.5
hours- with a stop in
Amherst for a couple of
hours to see some girlfriends.
I also had to sleep at
a gas stop for an hour.
When I finally made it
to Port Clyde I had just
missed the 10:30 AM ferry. So
I had 4 hours to kill.
LOBSTER – at 11 AM. With
the plastic bib and all.
It was perfect. Nothing like
truly fresh Maine Lobster. Now
I know why this place is,
“The way things should be.”
3 more hours to kill – so I
went to search for some
Krusty Italian bread for
my friends family. I hadn’t
the time in New York because
of my work schedule. First
I stop at the next town
over – nameless little dot of
a small – I mean small gas station/
mini mart. Bread selection was
a bit lacking. Got in the car,
went to the next wee bitty town,
or rather a bakery right outside.
Clean, white, airy place. Queen Anne’s
structure. Inside the man
tells me he had just sold
the last 2 loaves of Italian
bread. Asks if I’m interested
in a loaf of molasses, wheat,
corn meal, etc.. bread. Dark
semi-burnesque crust. I
go for it. “Oh, I don’t need
a bag.” – Baker, “I wasn’t going
to give you one.” Nice way for
to start your vacation after
a night of New England driving
alone. So that was behind me.
The baker must’ve been having
a bad day. Drove down to
Thomaston. Perfect spot on the
main street. Popped into a
bookstore for a bit. Did not
see my new favorite author’s
books. She’s from New England Too!
well. I left. Into the bakery café
across the street. 2 loaves of
Italian/French baguette type
loaves with that risen look
of Sourdough. Bought ‘em. I
hope my friends family likes ‘em.
Well as far as I was concerned
this quest for bread was complete.
I headed back to Port Clyde &
slept in my car. Big mistake.
Oh that grime, sweat from napping
in your car. I woke up just in
time to purchase my ferry ticket
& board the little ferry. Actually,
I learned it was some or other
Army boat with whatever purpose
in WWII – maybe I – looked newer
than WWI. I guess I’m finally
getting an eye for these things.
Or not. It suited my need perfectly.
Get to the island. Just a bit too many
people. I’m just happy I made it. That
would have sucked to miss the
3rd & final ferry of the day.
Because of my early morning visit
to friends I missed the first
boat. Of no fault of my own I
missed the 2nd boat. The jerk
at the dock apologized. He said,
“I saw you drive up for the
ferry, but for whatever reason
I sent it on.” I was nice –
cordial, because that’s how
these New Englanders are &
just replied, “Oh, that’s okay.” I
have become too easy on people.

I think that’s enough.

When I arrived on Monhegan, my friend was waiting for me at the dock. That’s customary on the island. And it’s nice to help friends drag their things up the hill and to the house. Save a dollar a bag from using the truck to deliver them. Her family was staying in a different house that summer. Though none of the houses are hard to find. You learn to navigate there during the day and by night—slow and low is the tempo—while you’re off sneaking and stalking about the island drinking and smoking. We arrived at the house and her mother was in the kitchen. I pulled out the loaves of bread. The baguettes were wrong. They wanted plain ol’ baguettes. Not sourdough. Those are on the island. Same with the other breads. I failed on the bread mission. But the rest of the days were sweet, and went very slowly and lasted very long-ly.

I was sure, though, that the cranky baker back in Tiny Dot knew I’d be thinking of him sometime later in the day.

“Welcome to Maine, please go home.”

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