Memoir readings of winters past set for Castine

Posted Dec. 11, 2012, at 12:20 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 11, 2012, at 1:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Castine Historical Society, Castine, Maine

CASTINE, Maine  — A program of winter tales sponsored by the Witherle Memorial Library, the Wilson Museum and the Castine Historical Society will take place 12:15-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the exhibit space of the Castine Historical Society. Local residents George Bland, Don Small and Johanna Sweet will present a selection of personal, literary and historic memoir readings. Through these readings, the audience will travel back to Noah Brooks’ Castine childhood and a winter clamming expedition that caught the boys in a blizzard, face the repercussions of a holiday teenage prank that proved rather awkward and visit Castine during the 1940s, hear about the time when WWII British soldiers convalesced at Doc North’s house and winter travel by packet boat, train and car to Boston provided its own challenges.

Don Small grew up and went to grammar school and high school in Castine. He was a mechanical engineer, and taught for 30 years at Maine Maritime Academy. Four years ago he joined a local writers group and has been writing memoirs, short stories, poems and travelogues.

George Bland Jr. graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in English, received an master’s degree in medieval English from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied further at Oxford University on a Fellowship from Berkeley. He taught for several years in the English departments at Boston University and Wellesley College, while attending Harvard Divinity School from which he received a master’s degree in 1975. He and his wife Gene started coming to Castine in 1991 before retiring here in 2004.

Johanna Sweet was a summer resident of Castine for 40 years and is now a permanent resident. She was a teacher for more than 33 years and a storyteller for 30 years. Currently, she is an avid gardener and loves sharing stories with schools and community groups.