Friday, July 15, 2011

‘Deadliest Catch’ Crewmember Lends Helping Hand in Hometown

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
A Kittery man, the chief engineer of the F/V Northwestern, one of the boats featured on The Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” was lending a hand to a local charity at Bob’s Clam Hut last weekend during a visit to his hometown.
Darren M. Dyer, who grew up in Kittery and attended Kittery schools, graduating from Traip Academy, autographed books, photos and other memorabilia while talking to hundreds of people at Bob‘s Clam Hut to benefit Ethel’s Tree of Life last week.
Ethel’s Tree of Life aids people with disabilities and/or special needs. It is headquartered in South Berwick.
Dyer lived in Kittery from the time he was three until just after graduation when the family moved to Harrison, Maine. Two years ago he moved to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and eventually became part of the popular show that depicts life and work onboard vessels fishing in the Bering Sea.
“I’ve only been a commercial fisherman now for three years,” Dyer said, smiling, while resting his hand from signing. “I hated the ocean growing up on it. I wanted nothing to do working on the fishing boat, and now here I am. I haven’t lived on land for three years.”
Dyer said the original idea for the show was to document the fishing industry in the Bering Sea.
“Once they got there and saw what it was like for the guys on the boat,” Dyer continued, “they decided to switch gears a little bit and maybe make a documentary on an individual boat and crew.”
Dyer said Capt. Sig Hansen’s boat, the Northwestern, was one of the first chosen for the project.
He’s known Jim and Linda Higgins since he was a child and, after seeing the web site, felt it was a very worthwhile cause. Linda Higgins is the chairwoman of the group’s Board of Directors.
Knowing he was coming home, he contacted Linda Higgins and they decided to work together to raise some awareness and raise some money for the whole foundation.
“I think it’s amazing to work with them,” he said. “There’s nothing I’d rather be doing right now and I’ve always loved Bob’s Clam Hut.”
Dyer is recuperating from ankle surgery.
Linda Higgins said Dyer “liked to give back to the community” and “likes what the Tree of Life does” so “it just evolved.”
She said Pat Barrigar, the general manager at Bob’s, was incredible and the whole project was set up in a little over a week.
Barrigar said she became involved by “answering a phone call. They called and asked if we could do something to help and we figured out a way to do it.”
In addition to providing space for the signings, a portion of the meals sold from the start of the session until closing were donated to the charity.
According to its web site, “Ethel’s Tree of Life is dedicated to working with young people who live with any disabilities and/or special needs.
“Special needs can be defined by anything that causes students to have difficulty learning, whether it be a disability or perhaps a situation at home (like a death in the family). ETL students learn to say ‘I can’ through many varied learning experiences.”
Additional information is available on the web site at
Dyer is on a crew with Capt. Sig Hansen, Norman Hansen, Edgar Hansen, Nick Mayvar and Jake Anderson.
Other charities the boat and crew helps include Wounded Warriors, Heroes to Heroes, Children’s Cancer Foundation and Women’s Breast Cancer.
Bob’s Clam Hut has been serving fried clams and other classic clam shack fare since 1956 and has long been a contributor to Ethel’s.
Photo caption: Darren Dyer, seated right, talking with Linda Higgins, seated left, of Ethel’s Tree of Life, and Pat Barrigar, standing, general manager at Bob’s Clam Hut. (Photo by Larry Favinger)

3rd Annual Herb Noble Memorial Charity Ride

The 3rd Annual Herb Noble Memorial Charity Motorcycle Ride will be held Saturday, July 23 at Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel. The day will start at 8:30 a.m. with a breakfast buffet and sign-in. Those who register ahead of time will have T-shirts waiting at the registration desk. Motorcycles will leave Bentley’s at 10:30 a.m. cruising back roads, with one stop before circling back to Bentley’s by early afternoon. The Bentley’s half bus will be available to transport non-riders who want to participate. After returning to Bentley’s there will be live music by The Alan Roux Band and The Dirty 3rds. The registration fee is $25 per person with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. Funds will be used to provide food vouchers, gas cards, transportation costs, housing expenses, etc. to help ease the burden that the families often face while going through treatment along side their child. Anyone who wishes to attend the event, help out or contribute (you do not have to own a motorcycle or be a rider to take part) may contact Bob Noble at 985-6002 or Tom Noble at 632-7602. For more information visit or (Courtesy photo)

Book Review: ‘Maine’s Museums’

By Chip Schrader
Book Review Editor
“Maine Museums: Art Oddities & Artifacts” by Maine author Janet Mendelsohn is a compilation of entries about the many museums that Maine has to offer. For the reader’s convenience, each chapter is divided into the 7 regions of the state: Southern Maine, Casco Bay and Portland, Midcoast, Down East, the Western Mountain and Lakes Region, Kennebec Valley and Northern Maine.
Attractions within York county include the Automotive Museum of Wells, the Trolley Museum in Kennebunk, and the Naval Museum in Kittery, to name just a few. Mendelsohn begins each entry by covering the address, hours of operation, and contact information followed by a single paragraph summary of what visitors will find at each of these sites.
For the impatient searcher, this paragraph sufficiently pulls out the vital data without committing the reader to a full description. The fuller descriptions follow the heading “Why Go,” and is intended for those who prefer a good story or some background information, including interviews with the curators of each of these museums, who are typically experts within their field, and specific pieces to look for within the exhibits.
The “Why Go” segment also includes an historical backdrop of the collection. One of the more intriguing entries describes the controversial psychological theories and popular culture influence of Wilhelm Reich, M.D., in relation to his former laboratory “Ogonon” in Rangeley. This “mountainside retreat” was partially designed by the Austrian physician, and has been converted to become the Wilhelm Reich Museum.
A most peculiar museum features umbrella covers in Peaks Island. While even an umbrella museum seems far-fetched, a museum for umbrella covers seems to push beyond what we would normally find interesting.
The most fascinating entry for Southern Maine is the International Cryptozoology Museum located in Portland. The exhibits include information about the Loch Ness Monster, Yeti, and the numerous unidentified species that have been sighted throughout Maine. The curator and Cryptozoological expert, Loren Coleman, states that many of these sightings are errors and hoaxes, but there are still many instances that are worthy of scientific evaluation.
The handiest aspect of this guide lies in the fact that it is so specialized. Within any generic travel guide, museums are often buried between oceans of information, and the casual reader will likely glaze over most of its contents. Being so specific in topic, each entry gets sufficient space to shine. There are also tables, graphs and pictures to pull highlighted content from the page to the reader’s attention.
Janet Mendelsohn’s approach to this guide transcends the mere goal of attracting visitors to a hope of raising awareness to many resources that are often hidden from the allure of beachfronts and big marquis attractions. From the introduction on, her purpose is to save museums from a dwindling economy and increasingly apathetic budgeting. Paperback: 240 pages. Publisher: Countryman Press (June 6, 2011).
Photo caption: Maine Museums: Art Oddities & Artifacts by Janet Mendelsohn book cover (Courtesy photo)