The more things stay the same

Feeling the need for a quick vacation before plunging back into the final two hectic months of the campaign, I took advantage of a trip to take my daughter back to college in Boston last week to slip away for a couple of days to North Haven Island off the coast of Maine.

The island is nestled in the Penobscot Bay about 12 miles, and an hour’s ferry ride, off Rockland, Maine. I had been to the island a couple times before, but the last trip was over 40 years ago! Like most beautiful places, I suppose, there were very few changes from my memories.

My destination was a property now owned by my uncle, Peter Strong , that long ago had been aquired by my grandfather and namesake, L. Corrin Strong. The original Corrin Strong had served as Ambassador to Norway during the Eisenhower administration, and while there had become enamored of all things Norwegian.

He arranged for an authentic Norwegian farmhouse to be disassembled, shipped across the ocean and re-assembled on North Haven. This gorgeous house, complete with authentic sod roof, sits on a narrow spit of the island where it has ocean front views on both sides. Without wanting to denigrate our beautiful valley in any way, it is no exaggeration to say that North Haven is one of the most beautiful places on earth!

The island has about 350 year-round residents, a population that swells into the thousands during the short summer season. In the “village” where the ferry comes in, there are now two small B & Bs, a couple of restaurants and 3 gift shops. The island of less than 12 square miles (about 1/4 the size of the Town of Geneseo) boasts one small grocery store and one gas station.

Despite this lack of commercial development, it was interesting to read the island’s proposed master plan. Apparently the biggest concern on this tiny little island is fear of sprawl destroying the quality of life! I guess it’s all relative!

There’s something about island life that is very relaxing. For a few days I was out of the loop and I was able to think about other things besides the current crisis in Geneseo. I did have Internet access and e-mail, but I knew not a lot was going to happen at home on Labor Day weekend.

Now I’m back, and of course, things will get very busy real fast! I hope I won’t have to wait 40 more years before I can go back!

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