Producer/Host: R.W. Estela
NOTE: “A Word in Edgewise” did not air this week, as the station was off the air due to a lightning strike. Host R.W. Estela has provided this transcript of the comments he had intended for that day’s feature:
Unsettled weather had been forecast for the beginning of the weekend, and the Doppler radar screen this past Friday showed various collections of yellow and red among the dark green that was moving at a quick pace across a map of New England.
Scott Phillips, a fiend of mine from the Penobscot Nation, had earlier in the week sent me an email about the welcoming he and other tribal members were planning for the Hokule’a, the Polynesian double-hulled sailing canoe that has been circumnavigating the globe for the past couple of years.
“They’ll be arriving quietly at Mount Desert Island Friday night,” he informed me, adding, “And then on Saturday morning around nine o’clock they’ll be ceremoniously working their way up Somes Sound to Jock Williams’ boatyard in Hall Quarry. A bunch of Penobscots and Passamaquoddys and other Wabenaki will be paddling out in birch bark canoes as a welcoming party.”
He asked me whether I would be able to attend, and I told him it all depended on what we would have for ceilings in the morning. Flying around the middle of Somes Sound is a little tricky regulation-wise, as the national park has guidelines recommending that aircraft be no closer than 1500 feet from park terrain.
“Well, if you make it,” said Scott, tongue in cheek, “I’ll wave to you.”
Fortunately Saturday morning arrived mostly sunny with only occasional scattered clouds drifting through.
About a quarter past nine I made a pass down the middle of the Sound and saw what appeared to be the Hokule’a halfway between Southwest Harbor and Hall Quarry and heading north.
Just leaving Hall Quarry and paddling south was a flotilla of birch bark canoes, about five in all.
The dock at Hall Quarry had a couple of dozen folks waiting, with additional spectators gathering.
Within minutes the Hokule’a and the flotilla were gamming temporarily, and then two of the canoes went to the starboard side of Hokule’a, and two went to the port side, and one went out front to take the lead.
Before long they were all pulling into the boatyard dock. I snapped a few more aerial shots and began heading north for my return flight to Old Town.
On the return trip to Dewitt Field, I thought about this group of Polynesian sailors who had been working their way around the planet since 2014 as ambassadors of peace and exploration, and I thought what a contrast their endeavors are to so many other efforts many of our fellow humans are making at the moment.
I thought, for example, about a cartoon by Clay Bennet of the Chattanooga Times Free Press that appeared this past weekend in the Maine Sunday Telegram.
The cartoon depicts a middle-aged fellow wearing a sweatshirt that has the name Trump circled with a diagonal line run through it. Out of one side of his mouth the fellow says, “I’m not crazy about Clinton . . . ,” and out of the other side of his mouth he says, “. . . but I’m not crazy.”
Ah, and we’ve still got a good couple of months to see and hear and feel way more of this sort of thing than most of us would ever care to . . . . But for alternative excursions, stay tuned to forthcoming editions of A Word in Edgewise.
From Orono, Maine, Here’s to a Great Day!
rwe edgeword © 2016