Friday, May 20, 2011

Columbus Replica Ships to Land in Kittery

On Tuesday, June 14, the “Pinta” and the “Nina,” replicas of Columbus’ ships, will open in Kittery. The ships will be docked at Badgers Island Marina East, 4 Island Ave., until their departure early Tuesday morning, June 21.
The “Nina” was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The “Pinta” was recently built in Brazil to accompany the “Nina” on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.
Both ships tour together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’ for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel,’ a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers used to discover the world.
While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $6 for students age 5 to 16. Children 4 and under are free. The ships are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. No reservations necessary.
Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30-minute guided tour with a crewmember should call 1-787-672-2152. Minimum of 15 people required. $4 per person. No maximum. Visit the website at or email
Photo caption: The “Nina” and the “Pinta,” replicas of Columbus’ ships, will open in Kittery in June. (Photo courtesy of

Ogunquit Mourns the Loss of Hospitality and Community Leader

Robert E. Hanson passed on May 14, 2011 at his home in Ogunquit, Maine. He was born on July 21, 1941, in Waterbury, CT, the son of Ralph and Beatrice Hanson.
Bob graduated with a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT in 1963. He was a Tau Beta Pi recipient and a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Association. After graduation, he accepted a job at the Manned Spacecraft Center (NASA) in Houston, Texas. While in Texas, he met and married his wife, Karen. In 1968, a desire to return to New England for the four seasons brought them back to Connecticut, where he was employed as an electrical engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut.
In 1971, Bob moved with his family to Wells, Maine and began a career in the hospitality industry. Their original property was the Somerset Motor Court located in Wells. Eventually, they moved to Ogunquit and owned and operated the Sea View Motel. After selling the Sea View Motel, they built the Juniper Hill Inn and subsequently acquired the Milestone and the Gorges Grant Hotel. Bob always had a thirst for knowledge and growth and obtained both his real estate broker and surveyor licenses while operating his varying properties. Bob was a proud man and always possessed a heartfelt gratitude for those at all levels that contributed to his success. He was a firm believer in treating everyone with respect, dignity and honesty, and considered all those that were a part of his organization as family, realizing that nothing was attainable without their efforts. He was a proud member of the Ogunquit business community, dutifully serving on the Planning Board, Board of Assessment Review as well as the Ogunquit Appeals Board and cared a great deal about the beauty, community and people of Ogunquit.
An active supporter of local land conservation efforts, Bob loved the outdoors and was a proud member of the American Tree Farm System in Maine. He often spent his down time on his land in North Berwick, cutting wood, gathering with friends, or simply taking in the beauty of the region. He enjoyed daily early morning walks on Ogunquit Beach. Bob and Karen spent much of their winters in Marco Island, Florida and made many lasting memories in the warmth of the area. Bob was also an avid reader, with particular interest in history and genealogy.
Bob enjoyed family above all else; it was his first and only priority. The challenges, hard work and effort all made sense – it was for his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Karen, 4 children and seven grandchildren: Shari L. and partner, Kevin Griffin, grandson Justin Snell; David F. and wife Kelly, granddaughter Gracie; David R. and wife Nancy, grandchildren Ethan, Ella, Claire; Robert C. and wife Michelle, grandsons, Samuel and Jonah; one sister, Olive H. Peterson.
Memorial visitation was held on Thursday, May 19, 2011 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road, Wells. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. at Holy Spirit Parish/St. Mary’s Church, 236 Eldridge Road, Wells. Interment will be private.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your charity of choice; or: The York Land Trust Inc., PO Box 1241, York Harbor, ME 03911,; or: Beacon Hospice, Inc., 42 Brickyard Court, York, ME 03909, Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, Wells,
Photo caption: Robert E. Hanson, local hotelier and community leader, passed away on May 14 at his home. (Courtesy photo)

Gen ‘X’ Messiah

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
“Nazareth, North Dakota” is Tommy Zurhellen’s first novel that spans from 1980 to present day, and depicts the lives of common people in the barren northern mid-west. The story takes a biblical spin on the lifestyles of the lower middle class American community, which invites plenty of social and political comparisons while also allowing the author fodder for clever wordplay.
The novel follows Roxy, a down on her luck ex-waitress whose poor taste in men is nearly as tragic as her inability to meet a decent man. She finds herself in Cairo, Illinois, after a baby is dropped into her care, and another loser boyfriend runs off with legal problems. Her journey with this mysterious baby, Sam, leads her to Joe, a hard working and honest carpenter.
Back in North Dakota, her family manages through life by maneuvering around corrupt town police officer Severo Rodriguez. His business in illegal stills and penchant for throwing Molotov cocktails into outsiders’ vehicles reveal how badly this town is in need of salvation. Roxy’s nephew, Jan, preaches his evangelical shtick as his mother swore he was a miracle child. As time moves along, the real miracle child presents himself above false prophets, as the oldest man in the world (who also lives in Nazareth) predicted would happen.
Written in tight prose with little flash or pretense, “Nazareth, North Dakota” is like reading James Joyce’s “Dubliners” or Louise Erdrich’s “Love Medicine.” Even if the biblical parallels are lost on the reader, the characters are interesting at how they manage through the doldrums of day to day life. As the novel seems to settle into this cozy study of small town dynamics, we see Sam develop into an interesting, misunderstood, and rebellious youth who just might change the world.
Among the interesting scenes with Sam’s transformation are a debate he has with an Ethics professor, although only this debate’s aftermath is depicted, and his friendship with Daylene Hooker. Daylene’s nickname “prostitute” hearkens readers back to Christ’s befriending of Mary Magdalene, showing one way in which Zurhellen weaves ancient characters into new ones.
Each chapter is divided like a short story, and has a date with the title. The book only runs a little over two hundred pages, and like the testaments depicting the life of Christ, it leaves large portions of time unaccounted for.
The first one hundred pages are interesting and read well, but some readers might be lost on the point for such detailed accounts of so many villagers. Eventually these eccentric stories tie into a finely woven tapestry of modern legend. To the unsuspecting reader, the leaps in time are also jarring at first. But, once the reader realizes the timeline spans in a short space, like the Bible, the story moves along smoothly.
“Nazareth, North Dakota” is a strange and fascinating trip, and an astute retelling of the story of all stories. Born in New York City, Zurhellen convincingly portrays not only small town life, but that of mid-western life with great fluency. Readers who are weary of the run of the mill bestseller, or are looking for a good story that is written well, should look for this title.
Pub Date: April 15, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9845105-6-6. Page count: 212pp. Publisher: Atticus Books.
Photo caption: (Courtesy book cover image of “Nazareth, North Dakota”)