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<v Speaker>The following program presents personal views and opinions which are not necessarily <v Speaker>those of Maine public television or the funder. <v Speaker>Some program content may not be suitable for young children. <v Speaker>Maine Public Television's production of Our Stories is made possible through a television <v Speaker>demonstration grant from Rural Development, part of the USDA. <v Speaker>[music plays]
<v Man>Remember the 16th Sunday. Temperature of 28 degrees wind north east. <v Man>Wind speed is 12 knots, snowing about 7 a.m.. <v Man>Snow steady for the rest of the a.m. <v Man>and into the p.m. <v Man>A few of our island fishermen went out today. <v Man>A meeting at the Lobster Co-op Dock this morning by the directors to discuss <v Man>the dividend that will be paid to the lobstermen this year. <v Man>Big expenses were incurred and repair work on the dock with a bigger newbuilding. <v Man>The fishing has been very good this fall and it looks like it will be the co-op's <v Man>best year ever. <v Man>Going fishing is a lifestyle, it's not a not a job or an occupation. <v Man>I guess, I don't look at it as a bottom line, profit driven for profit. <v Man>You know, I work the way I work because it's the way I like to work. <v Man>What do you think they'd wanna do with a ?jumbo?
<v Man>Yeah I'll get it past it. <v Man>The two years that I was teaching. I went out with uh very, you know, anybody that would <v Man>take me. And then when I got through well, before I got through teaching, <v Man>I decided I wanted to try it uh, because I figured <v Man>if I didn't try it, I'd always wonder if I could have done it. <v Man>And uh and I- I went and y' know, built some traps and got a small <v Man>boat and and I went fishing. <v Man>And the rest, as they say, is history. <v Man>[music plays] The <v Man>fishermen catch lobsters. <v Man>We bring them in and sell them to the co-op. <v Man>We have a manager. We pay him to make sure we have <v Man>bait and to market our lobsters ya know t- to our advantage. <v Man>It's just nice to own your business from top to bottom.
<v Man>You know, we catch him and we sell and we share in the profits. <v Man>It's a nice communist idea [laughs]. <v Man>I think w- without the co-op, it would probably be uh harder to maintain <v Man>the ?inaudible?. <v Man>Uh to maintain a community of anyone, because it does. <v Man>It's if you're not a fisherman, you're a carpenter and caretaker, and there's <v Man>only so much of that. <v Man>And over the years, people have wanted to fish and been able to go fishing. <v Man>And if they worked at it they made a real good living. <v Man>Her father has always loved it and my grandfather. <v Man>I remember them doing it. Then when I was 11, I got a license <v Man>and all the people trapped in a rowboat.
<v Man>After I get this ?inaudible?, I came home. <v Man>He did a little ?inaudible?. <v Man>Then I got the jobs in fishing for a while and then I got my own boat. <v Man>You know, very glad I did, because I wouldn't wanna done anything <v Man>else. <v Man>'Cause I really enjoy fishing. <v Man>It's like gambling a lot. <v Man>Your own ?inaudible?. You never know what you're going to get in it. <v Man>You might get nothing. <v Man>You might get not ?inaudible? <v Man>up to 25 or 30 dollars in just a couple minutes. <v Man>You know. <v Man>But the end of the day is what counts I don't know what you get the week in, what you get <v Man>for a check for the week is what really counts but. <v Man>Well, this is the way to make a living and you're your own boss.
<v Man>If you make mistakes you know that's your own fault, if you <v Man>wanna go by yourself, you can you can't stand yourself. <v Man>That's just too bad. <v Man>On both sides of my families, where they all came from was this was this island <v Man>and the other one over there, Big Cranbury. <v Man>And uh. <v Man>?inaudible? I've been off around a lot of parts of the world and I never saw <v Man>any place I liked better. So here I am. <v Man>[mixer buzzes] <v Woman>I think a community is much richer when <v Woman>when people, uh, when their roots are there <v Woman>and they continue generation after generation to be there because <v Woman>there's so m- [laughter] there's so much interest in the place from the people I think,
<v Woman>that they want to see the community carry on and thrive. <v Woman>Father, we thank you for this day. <v Woman>For all it's been done for us. <v Woman>We thank you that we can gather as friends around the table tonight and have such <v Woman>abundance. We give you thanks in Christ name, amen. <v Woman>How did the house come along today, Judy? <v Judy>Oh, actually, [man speaking] we got a lot done today. <v Woman>You did? I have some. <v Judy>We finished. Here. <v Judy>Anna [laughs] I think we should ?get? Anna. <v Man>Son he's now official. ?Richard's son he's now official? <v Man>A fourth ?inaudible? and the fisherman. <v Man>So because of those five sons, there's <v Man>more people been here. <v Man>The sad thing is some of them are now moving to the northeast or <v Man>southwest or.
<v Man>It's kind of strange that a lot of outboard motor <v Man>boats, it take you to the northeast in five or six or seven or <v Man>eight minutes. <v Man>Except in the wintertime, you can't use the bigger boats, faster boats. <v Man>So much easier to leave the island now than it used to be. <v Man>And people aren't bothering to, not wanting to stay on <v Man>the island. <v Woman>Supposed to be good tomorrow isn't it? <v Woman>Mhmm. Tomorrow or Friday, so. <v Woman>Oh, really? <v Woman>Was there any rain this weekend? <v Woman>That'll be good. <v Woman>I probably knew I was leaving Isleford by the time I was about 5. <v Woman>They knew from a very young age that this would not be where I would, where <v Woman>I would live. I really wanted my life to be different than so many of the lives I had <v Woman>seen on Isleford. And so, you know, I tried to pursue that by <v Woman>you know going to going away to boarding school and going to college and and pursuing <v Woman>this career thing. And uh really wanted to kind of separate
<v Woman>myself as much as I could from where I had grown up. <v Woman>So how was your day Cal? <v Cal>Was good. I stayed pretty busy. <v Woman>Mhmm. <v Cal>I had um some good sales. <v Cal>Sold some snow shoes. <v Woman>Oh, you did? <v Cal>Yep. You know, I've had this sort of uh ambivalent <v Cal>relationship with the island. <v Cal>And part of what that's been about for me is that <v Cal>because of because the island is where it is and because it has this culture <v Cal>in the summer of you know the summer community with lots of play time, <v Cal>people on vacation, lots of fun summer type things <v Cal>going on um it's a small community, <v Cal>it's a closed community. I think. <v Cal>It sort of projects this romantic idea <v Cal>of what island life is like. <v Cal>And that's always been difficult for me because.
<v Cal>Island life is is it has elements of romance. <v Cal>But for me, it was not romantic. <v Cal>[music plays] <v Narrator>Summer sweet summer on the Cranbury Isles. <v Narrator>Temperature 75 degrees at noon. <v Narrator>Wind south by west 8 naughts, the lobster men are setting more traps and hauling them <v Narrator>more often now. The fishing is picking up and more ?shadows?
<v Narrator>are showing. $4 and a quarter per pound for hard shells and <v Narrator>275 for ?shadows?. <v Narrator>A little village store is very busy now with islanders and tourists. <v Narrator>The post office is located in the store, which makes it a favorite social gathering <v Narrator>spot. Mark and Vicky Fernald have a new baby daughter, Emma, who <v Narrator>was born this morning. <v Woman>It is so busy compared to what it used to be. <v Woman>I- I've kind of um been in shock, especially after this last summer. <v Woman>There were so many people. I couldn't believe how many people we had. <v Woman>And they all walk up the street and in the cars all have to wait. <v Woman>And they don't even they're touched by the magic of the island. <v Woman>They don't even get out of the way. They're just loving it. <v Woman>They're just smiling and happy and walking right across <v Woman>the road [laughing] [kids shouting], having a great time.
<v Woman>People talk about, I miss the island magic. <v Woman>I have to go back and get some, you know, the summer people or people that have lived <v Woman>here for a little bit off season. <v Woman>Um, I'm thinking of one person in particular. <v Woman>And she says that she goes, oh, yeah, I'm over in Northeast Harbor, but I miss the island <v Woman>magic. I have to go get some. <v Woman>That's the nicest lookin' sight I've seen all month. <v Woman>When did-. <v Man>[man speaking]. <v Woman>That ?vest? lookin when did you get back? <v Woman>When I would go home in September, I would draw pictures of boats all fall <v Woman>and be homesick for the island. <v Woman>And I would think that I would see people from the island. <v Woman>I was so in love with it here. <v Woman>I would see Lewis Fernald. I would see Francis Fernald. <v Woman>I would do a double take and see the boy that worked on the mail boat that year. <v Woman>I would turn around and think I saw Anne or or Cora <v Woman>any number of people.
<v Woman>And and then I realized it wasn't them and I'd go, oh. <v Woman>[laughs] I really did. <v Woman>I had it bad [laughs]. <v Woman>I wanted so much to be here. <v Woman>I don't make a living doing this. <v Woman>I haven't had any salary for three years. <v Woman>So it it can't survive the way it is. <v Woman>And I've been to a store keeping conference that the um <v Woman>Island Institute held and other island people were there and other shop keepers. <v Woman>And basically there's only one island that's making it. <v Woman>And it's because they have twelve hundred people there. <v Woman>[music plays] <v Man>It was impossible to save any money when I first had it. <v Man>No matter how hard you worked, we had a family.
<v Man>Now it's entirely possible. <v Man>Because uh, instead of 30 cents a pound for love. <v Man>Right now, the lowest it's been this year is two dollars and seventy <v Man>five. <v Man>And some of the some of the guys can uh catch a lot more lobsters than we used to. <v Man>Scientists say it's all gone by, but I don't think so. <v Man>I think it's more lobsters than ever. <v Woman>I think my father has like one of the strongest work ethics of anybody <v Woman>I've met. He really never took a day off. <v Woman>He worked. If he wasn't lobstering, which he did, every possible opportunity <v Woman>he could, uh he was in his shop or his shop down at the dock, in the summer.
<v Woman>And he had six children. <v Woman>Uh didn't have you know the sort of the cushion of <v Woman>a job with sick days and vacation time and pension plans. <v Woman>And and uh one of the major stressors that I think he perceived was <v Woman>financial stressors. You know, they probably were more others. <v Woman>Ya know others more underlying that maybe he wasn't aware of and <v Woman>maybe most of us weren't either. <v Woman>But, um. <v Woman>I'm sure it was a difficult time. <v Man>Oh, I was drinking uh for a long time, I drank a <v Man>5th of whiskey every single night. <v Man>Maybe a couple of ?inaudible? to be along with it. <v Man>And it really started to bother me. <v Man>And I thought I
<v Man>might try to cut back on it, so I cut it in half and then I'd have <v Man>terrible nightmares. And so the next night I dreamt my ?inaudible? <v Man>and sleep like a log. <v Man>But it is when you consume alcohol it- <v Man>a lot of it, it ends up consuming the vitamin B12 in your <v Man>system, which takes care of your nervous system. <v Man>So I- I had a anxiety attack at the table with all of us <v Man>eating, though no one knew. <v Man>And I thought I was going to die right here. <v Man>And I drove around the shop, picked my plate up, took it in there. <v Man>Without me shopping, I never built a wooden log to trap for fast in my life because I <v Man>was scared straight to death, ?inaudible? <v Man>was insane, my heart racing an' sweating <v Man>an' ya know so terrible. So I knew I had a big problem. <v Man>And while I was thrashing around trying to solve it, Anna told me that
<v Man>she'd had enough. That I could either quit drinking or else, so <v Man>I knew she meant it. I knew the time to do something, well, heartfelt, <v Man>because I knew that my I'd never have drink again matter of fact, <v Man>she gave me my last drink that night did I quit <v Man>and the tears was running down my cheeks because I knew that was the last drink <v Man>I was going to have. And I thought that was terrible. <v Man>But it wasn't it was ?inaudible?. <v Man>Well, I just knew it had to happen and she was pushing me into doing it. <v Man>So people ?I've got the hospital? <v Man>For some reason or other. So, it was all right. But <v Man>I just knew I didn't wanna drink anymore and I knew I wasn't going to <v Man>until that was 35 years ago and ?inaudible?
<v Woman>I was 19 when I came out here, I was 18 when I got married. <v Woman>When I came out here the following summer, I was 19 and I hadn't, you know, I <v Woman>felt I hadn't lived. I hadn't done anything. <v Woman>So. Why do I have to come out on this block? <v Woman>Because he was thunderstruck. He thought of course we were gonna live on a houseboat. <v Woman>Well, we did. I came over kicking and screaming, and crying and- It <v Woman>took a long time, really, for me to become what I felt <v Woman>was proud of the island and finally saying I'm home. <v Woman>Took about 15 years. Really. <v Woman>It was hard. [music plays] <v Narrator>September the 14th Sunday. <v Narrator>Thick fog early and a light rain. <v Narrator>Reverend Doug Hale and his wife Ruth were delayed by church service this morning
<v Narrator>as the ferry didn't make its usual trip due to malfunction. <v Narrator>John Bliley eventually gave them a ride aboard the Delight and church was held <v Narrator>to the large congregation. <v Narrator>Reverend Hale gave a memorial remembrance. <v Narrator>For Lena Bradford, a friend and neighbor who died last week. <v Narrator>Lena was an island girl who grew up here and went to school here. <v Narrator>She had been sick for some time. [people chatting] <v Woman>It's the most important thing in my life, my faith is. <v Woman>My faith in in Jesus Christ. <v Woman>And uh, because I know if I have Him and know what He has done <v Woman>for me, that is the ultimate gift anybody could give. <v Woman>[organ plays]
<v Man>We pray for all of us who mourn the passing of Lena. <v Man>Even though we are grateful for her release from suffering. <v Man>Give us grace with which we may put bomb <v Man>on the ruins of those around us. <v Man>Put together, we may more nearly represent the kind <v Man>of community Jesus came to found. <v Woman>I know that I'm loved. And no matter what else is going on, um- I <v Woman>have that that that joy within me. <v Woman>[people singing]
<v Woman>Thank you. I- I think most homes here are pretty open. <v Woman>That's you know most the time we just go in somebody's house without even knocking, just <v Woman>open it up and say hi. <v Woman>Um, because it's oftentimes we do call it just like a family. <v Woman>I think everybody needs somebody else anyway, uh no matter <v Woman>if you live on an island or in the midst of a city. <v Woman>Um so I think friends are are um vital <v Woman>in anybody's life. <v Woman>Um [coughs] some days especially, you know, if you if you're feeling kinda down <v Woman>or things aren't going just right, an' you wanna just um get out and <v Woman>get a different view of things, it's just go and go next door to your neighbor and <v Woman>and have a cup of coffee or tea or and talk about, about <v Woman>issues, even about maybe what's bothering you that day and. <v Woman>Usually come away feeling um lifted up.
<v Woman>I was I was thinking like, for instance, the families that have moved out I was thinkin <v Woman>of Paul and Brenda right now because we were talking about that earlier. <v Woman>How how much? [music plays] <v Woman>When my father was dying, he planned a great big party up here <v Woman>to say goodbye and he had everything handled. <v Woman>I think he had Karen was gonna help cater it <v Woman>and he was all ready to go and he was dying. <v Woman>And he didn't make it. <v Woman>He didn't make it to his goodbye party. <v Woman>And he said, I want my party to go on anyway. <v Woman>And so I think that the idea of everybody being at the <v Woman>neighborhood houses is you know, inside me from that <v Woman>and from being at Grange Hall an' from being at the Firemen's Ball and from being <v Woman>a Whitsun nitwits and literary evening and all the things that are traditional that
<v Woman>go on at the neighborhood house. [people talking] <v Woman>Hi ?inaudible? you want some punch? <v Woman>[music playing] I grew up at a time in the 50s when Milton Lord was part of the island <v Woman>and he and his wife did square dance calling. <v Woman>And that was wonderful. <v Woman>And when I thought about my party, I thought I would love to have that kind of <v Woman>folk dancing that we had. Then the copper lines and the community <v Woman>coming together when they can all be awake in the middle of the day. <v Woman>They're not tucked in bed, ready to go fishing in the morning. <v Woman>[square dance calling] If you can slow anything down so a community can be a community <v Woman>that's wonderful and a community can't <v Woman>be a community if it's so busy that it doesn't have time to communicate.
<v Woman>[applause] <v Woman>I think the community, as I have known it throughout my life, especially throughout <v Woman>my adult life, is changing quickly and <v Woman>quite dramatically. <v Woman>Um there are a lot of people who will be having to make choices soon <v Woman>and and some this this fall about um <v Woman>what to do with their children when they go to high school. <v Woman>Um some families um on Isle Ford on <v Woman>Great Cranbury have chosen to send their kids to boarding school and that enables <v Woman>them to stay on the island with the rest <v Woman>of their children. And they continue to go to the island schools until high school. <v Woman>But the majority of people um do
<v Woman>move off with their kids and stay over on the mainland while they go to high <v Woman>school. Then you know the the more children that <v Woman>are going off to school, you know, the the smaller and smaller the population here is <v Woman>gonna become. <v Woman>You know, 2 of my brothers and their families won't be living here um <v Woman>at least throughout the school year this winter. <v Woman>Um it's kind of scary because when I when I live here, I like to to, you know, to think <v Woman>of the island the way I've remembered it. <v Woman>And just, you know, it's nice to remember, <v Woman>think of people back here doing what I know that they do all winter long. <v Woman>And when those people aren't here, can't quite imagine the island anymore. <v Man>[bird chirping] Well, we moved off to Northeast Harbor in September, and I've been <v Man>commuting every day. <v Man>It's been a pretty big adjustment. <v Man>Um it's been good. I think it's been good for my wife and my kids, but it's a little hard
<v Man>for me with a commuting. <v Speaker>All right, you guys. <v Man>It's just a mile to the dock. Less than a mile probably. <v Man>And uh I take my own boat most days when the weather lets me [clears throat] <v Man>so I can be ?inaudible? from I can be from my house to the island in about 15 minutes. <v Man>And uh most days unless then pretty soon off to haul my boat up and take me about. <v Man>And then I'll be an hour. So that'll that'll slow me down a lot. <v Man>[people talking] [boat running] <v Man>There's a trend now that a lot of people going off to bring their kids to a bigger <v Man>school. I think um there's a lot more. <v Man>They just feel like there's a lot more to offer over there.
<v Man>I mean, just academically, this school is is wonderful. <v Man>The kids come, my children started this fall and they were at par with or or <v Man>better than most of the other you know, the other kids. <v Man>And uh so I think that there's no problem there over here. <v Man>I think it's just the social part of it, having other friends, uh extracurricular <v Man>activities. I think that's really lacking here. <v Man>[children shouting and laughing] <v Kelly>I I remember times when, especially in the fall, because fall was a really, <v Kelly>really tough time. <v Kelly>Um, Labor Day was usually like this mass exodus <v Kelly>an' um the boat would be filled with people leaving, <v Kelly>leaving for the year. And that that was a really hard time for me. <v Kelly>I felt a lot of grief during that. <v Kelly>Probably from the time I was like fifth grade on.
<v Kelly>I would I would leave the school and I had a favorite place I would go to, <v Kelly>um, down on um Bunker's head, and there was a rock <v Kelly>there that had uh carved out seat almost just in the rock. <v Kelly>It's just the perfect seat for someone small. <v Kelly>And, um, and I would go down there and I would sit there and look out over <v Kelly>um Mount Desert and, uh. <v Kelly>I would really feel alone. <v Kelly>And, probably about the time I was 10, I started smoking too, so I bring my cigarettes <v Kelly>down and I'd and I'd sit there and wonder, you know, jeez, what are those kids like over <v Kelly>there and how would I ever fit in? <v Kelly>Um, that was a really hard time, really. <v Kelly>You know, especially those 6th, 7th, 8th grade years. <v Kelly>[running footsteps] I <v Kelly>guess I started experimenting a little bit with alcohol, um,
<v Kelly>when I was pretty young, you know, 10 or 11. <v Kelly>I think my parents knew very little. <v Kelly>And I think that's sort of kind of been um the norm [laughs]. <v Kelly>Yeah, I've I think I've always done a good job at sort of protecting them from things <v Kelly>in my life. And it was easier because I didn't live there and I chose not <v Kelly>to live there since I was almost 14 years old. <v Kelly>And um I just was very kept <v Kelly>things very much private from them. <v Kelly>So when I called them from detox, I knew that they would be very surprised. <v Kelly>Um and I knew it would take <v Kelly>years, [laughs] you know um, for them to really <v Kelly>you know come to know a lot about what brought me there. <v Man>I was down ?in the woods? ?cutting woods?, Anna hollered to me, told me, <v Man>come in. She had something to tell me, then she said that Kelly was
<v Man>up ?in Bangor? in the detox and I said, ?what? <v Man>we couldn't ?blame? it ?inaudible? what it was because we didn't realize she had a <v Man>problem that ?inaudible?. ?I was? <v Man>surprised that it uh, that she was <v Man>in the same fix as I was in not being able to handle it properly. <v Man>And I was also glad that she decided to do something about it a lot younger than I did <v Man>when I was 36 or 7 somethin' when I started to do something <v Man>about mine. She did hers. <v Man>I think when she she's 21 or 2. <v Man>And I was real proud of her. <v Man>Somebody wants to straighten themselves up when they got a problem I think it's great. <v Man>They get rid of the problem. <v Man>Solve it in some way. Well they done real good ?inaudible?. <v Man>[music plays]
<v Narrator>October the 28th temperature of 42 degrees wind Northwest <v Narrator>at 25 knots. This has been a very dry summer and early fall. <v Narrator>Up until yesterday Northeast I recorded 14 inches of water <v Narrator>in my well at 7 a.m., a few light sprinkles fell also this <v Narrator>morning. Tis a windy day. <v Narrator>I drove down a narrow road ways later and then walked to ?Mash? <v Narrator>Pond with my binoculars. <v Narrator>No eagle seen this year by their nest. <v Narrator>A goodly gathering at the school this evening for a potluck, supper and parents night. <v Anna>At the time, I didn't realize that it probably would have been a good idea for Kelly to <v Anna>have gone off island and gone to a different school for 7th and 8th <v Anna>grade year. I don't know how that would have worked out, but as I look back, I <v Anna>think it probably would have been better for her because she chooses now... <v Anna>I- I think it was such an issue for
<v Anna>her that she choose she's the only one <v Anna>that chooses not to live on the island at all. <v Anna>I mean, she does come back to visit from time to time. <v Anna>But her memories, I don't think are as as uh <v Anna>good and warm as the the of the older ones that did have <v Anna>other friends to play with, people to be with. <v Anna>I think about different kinds of ways of living. <v Anna>You know, people would come here just for the summer and what their lives are diff- are <v Anna>when they're not here. <v Anna>And I think years ago I used to think when they left the island, <v Anna>I thought, oh, I feel lucky. <v Anna>Wish I could go up with them, you know. <v Anna>But now I don't. I think. Oh, I'm I'm sorry they have to leave because um <v Anna>I don't know. I guess I've just become. <v Anna>I I've become um a settler, you know,
<v Anna>just settled right here, and it's my home, it's it's where my heart is. <v Anna>It's like a [sighs] probably somebody <v Anna>maybe being lost for a long time, maybe. <v Anna>And finally, they found a home. I think. <v Anna>[women talking] [raining] <v Man>This island is a a community of people who are very curious, interested <v Man>and intelligent in the ways in which they approach things in the world. <v Man>They're very aware of what's um <v Man>possible, what's but another has to offer. <v Man>And that's an intelligence that hasn't to do with any literal sense of education. <v Man>It has to do with really the primal intelligence that makes a difference, you see. <v Man>In the Bronx, where I grew up during the Depression years, it was uh <v Man>apartment houses, you know, 3, 4, there are 4 or 5 story buildings. <v Man>And we knew the people in the buildings, we knew our neighbors and they set out on the
<v Man>street. We talked to the neighbors. <v Man>Um the neighbors looked after the children of a community like my mother, <v Man>looked after one of the elderly in our apartment house and took care of things for her. <v Man>And there was that spirit of community that I found when I came here, <v Man>that is everyone was drawn upon for whatever he or she had to offer. <v Man>Being a small community, that was um the thing that opened <v Man>up so that people could be um feel needed in that. <v Man>[door opening] [bell ringing] [door shutting] <v Man>I thought, oh, yeah. [laughs] <v Man>It's essentially a recognition that we are all human and that it's that essence of <v Man>relationship, one to another is the foundation of being human. <v Man>So you can call it community or whatever you like. <v Man>You can form different kinds of groups, but it is that need to communicate one with <v Man>the other and to draw out, you know, in exchange what each has to
<v Man>offer, you see. And so where that is lacking, where people get convoluted, <v Man>caught up in themselves alone, then that breaks down. <v Man>And they're not recognizing that the other is like me, you see, and then they can <v Man>distance themselves. And then you don't get community. <v Man>You have people caught up in their little cloistered, closed in worlds and <v Man>uh the concerns breakdown and the community then breaks down. <v Man>Good, you see, that's what happens when you're away for a week. <v Joy>That's right. <v Man>You get all the presents when you come. <v Man>[woman laughs] Thank you, Joy. <v Joy>You're welcome ?inaudible?.
<v Man>[inaudible screaming] I see that's the one thing we all share in common, and that's <v Man>a childhood. It's universal. <v Man>Anyone who has survived childhood has that within him <v Man>or her because um that's what you've grown through. <v Man>So that's the universal experience of all the people you meet childhood, <v Man>you see. And so that spirit stays in me. <v Man>You know, I tap back to it because it still it flourishes <v Man>that kind of curiosity and wonder and excitement. <v Man>I don't want to dampen. I don't want it to die down. <v Man>I don't want it to be in conflict with my being an adult. <v Children>[children singing] Swimming, swimming, in a swimming pool. <v Man>Some people want their kids to have the wide range of <v Man>uh extracurricular activities that you get in a in a larger <v Man>school where, you know, everybody's in the 1st grade and 2nd grade in the 3rd grade, <v Man>other people are happy here because, you know, the kids get the individual care
<v Man>that they they may need or if they're an advanced <v Man>student, they can go along at their own rate. <v Man>I myself, I speak I think for Cindy and myself, I would just, <v Man>you know, happy as can be with the education that our kids get. <v Cindy>What'd you do this morning? <v Kid>Well, I think that being in a big school I wouldn't really like because there would be <v Kid>too many kids. <v Kid>And also I wouldn't get all the fresh air and I couldn't bike <v Kid>up to school. <v Kid>Stuff like that. <v Kid>Bye mom [kiss]. This is my book, The Islesford's Seasons. <v Kid>Part two, summer. School's out for the summer. <v Kid>More business for Dad. <v Kid>Lobster prices are great. <v Kid>There's a lot more freedom for me because I don't have to go to school. <v Kid>I have lots more fun in the summer because we all go swimming
<v Kid>and picnicking on Sand Beach and hiking on the island. <v Kid>Part four, winter. <v Kid>When winter comes, we start a fire in the mornings, so we are nice and toasty ?warm?. <v Man>When I moved on in 1973, the first winter I was <v Man>here, the only people here my age all winter <v Man>were Rick Ally, Julie Ally and Jim ?Brain?. <v Man>And there were other people in and out through the winter. <v Man>But they you know that people had apartments in Northeast and they were up there. <v Man>They went away for the winter. So I guess I kind of thought that's what it was like. <v Man>And then we went through, I guess, where a lot of us a lot of people had moved <v Man>here after that, myself included, were kind of uh what rebellious, actively <v Man>looking for an alternative to putting a coat and tie on or punchin' 40 hours <v Man>in at the factory. So we uh a lot of people
<v Man>that had roots here, married, got married and lived here. <v Man>And, you know, there was uh a population as large in it as now. <v Woman>I love Islesford, and I I hope that we will always have ties there. <v Woman>Um ideally I'd love to be able to have a place that we could go to. <v Woman>Ya know own a place out there. <v Woman>Um, I think that it has provided for us a really <v Woman>good foundation for our family. <v Woman>I think we were really active and involved in the community and I think <v Woman>that that was a really good example for our children. <v Woman>I think that's a little bit more difficult to do when you're in a larger community. <v Woman>You know, when there are more people and you're busier and all that. <v Woman>Um, so for that, you know, I've really enjoyed the experience out there. <v Woman>Did you guys play outside for recess today?
<v Girl>No, we played inside. <v Woman>Islesford offers a tremendous amount of comfort and safety. <v Woman>And I think that things become a little bigger <v Woman>and a little scarier from Islesford you know, something that seems so simple, <v Woman>for example, getting in the car and driving somewhere, I know for a lot of people on <v Woman>Islesford is a big deal. <v Woman>Um and I don't want that for my kids, you know, I want them to be comfortable <v Woman>with doing things that a lot of people just take for granted that I know people in <v Woman>Islesford don't. <v Man>When something comes along that that would be good for you to do. <v Man>I- I think it it feels overwhelming, you know, like like playing <v Man>in little league or going to camp. <v Man>Uh there's no way I would have ever done like that growing up on Islesford. <v Man>I I uh I was scared. <v Man>I I wouldn't've I I wouldn't've done it.
<v Woman>[box sliding] Well, when you're in the boat and well and baiting traps, it's not not real <v Woman>heavy work, but it's a long day. <v Woman>By the end of the day, you know, you really feel it. <v Woman>Be down here at 6:30 and be done [box sliding] <v Woman>by the time we weigh the lobsters up and get bait, be done by 4:00, 4:30. <v Woman>And then just go home and sit on the couch for a while. <v Woman>[laughs] I mean, it's tiring it's long days and 5, we went 5 days in a row and- <v Woman>you can't do anything else, you get behind on all your paperwork, you get behind <v Woman>on the the dishes, cooking, and but <v Woman>you just gotta just, you know, get through it. <v Woman>And now this time of year, you catch up. <v Woman>So it's just like real busy, it's nothing- you can't do anything else for a while except <v Woman>go ?all upstream?. But, you know, we've been used to that for a long time. <v Woman>And so you just it's just in your mind. <v Woman>That's what you're gonna do. [music plays] [shoveling] You
<v Woman>learn a lot by going with somebody. <v Woman>And uh I think that's about the best way to to <v Woman>learn how to lobster is to ya know go as a stern, stern man. <v Woman>Stern person. <v Woman>You know, just see how it's done. <v Woman>The hard part about fishing is your ?inaudible? <v Woman>and you're away from your your kids and family. <v Woman>So. You know, that's that's one reason I took some time off <v Woman>because I didn't want to be out in the boat if I was needed for something. <v Woman>There's times I've been able to go out for a a few days a week <v Woman>and have somebody come in when they were younger and get 'em off to school. <v Woman>And then spend the rest of the time of the week catching up at home.
<v Man>I know my grandfather, my father's father used to and my mom's father did <v Man>went lobstering. <v Man>And uh, I'm sure they their parents before them went <v Man>fishing of some kind. Back then it was probably groundfish and more for cod <v Man>and haddock. Stuff like that. <v Man>Lobster didn't come on 'til later on. <v Man>Really came on in my dad's day. <v Man>Lobstering much easier to take care of a fishery than ground fishing. <v Man>When they catch the fish it's the most concentrated in the spring when their spawnin' so <v Man>drag 'em up. If you caught all those, those are all like female lobsters <v Man>and you kept 'em all, the lobster fishery would be the same. <v Man>I mean, there's not much you can do about it. <v Man>You you drag 'em up or if you hook 'em up anyway, you're bringing surface. <v Man>They're not gonna make it down.
<v Man>Well, as the big measure, which is five inches, anything above that. <v Man>That's the back measurement. <v Man>Uh I think above that you have to throw back. <v Man>If she's got eggs, you will notch a second flipper on the right. <v Man>That's uh a punch drunk. <v Man>She's a breeder, has eggs, got just a few on started. <v Man>Growing underneath. <v Man>That's I let that one go. <v Man>I learned a lot from my father. But I also learned a lot from being up ?inaudible? <v Man>shop with his boys. <v Man>Um they were building traps. I always had a few traps growing <v Man>up, but not a lot. <v Man>And uh, it was like Mark and uh Danny Studd full time fishing, <v Man>before I did, I went to art school.
<v Man>Well, this one is from uh its uh actual <v Man>place. It's down on the uh eastern side of the island there's a <v Man>a marsh in behind this fellow that I suppose it's me, but um- <v Man>in behind here in this wind is no ?these? <v Man>snow in and uh the skies come up, he said <v Man>sunblock. And he's looking out over there and, uh oh, <v Man>he looks to the right and there's 5 geese comin' around there <v Man>this is just uh wishful thinking. <v Man>Maybe [laughs]. <v Man>Before you even start with this and know what size I want or anything, I just <v Man>I do a little thumbnail sketches like the one on the moon and um <v Man>come up with a design and um they <v Man>may be just little little drawings, you know, simple takes two minutes <v Man>to make or somethin' and you can get an idea from that.
<v Man>This is another one from my past, <v Man>I'm about oh, 8 years old in this maybe, something <v Man>like that. Maybe even younger that uh I <v Man>used to ?inaudible? my dad and I would go tuna fishin'. <v Man>But uh first we call lobster traps in the morning and <v Man>then hope during the day that it was going to stay calm so we could get out, <v Man>look for some tuna fish. <v Man>I like doing things with my hands and painting is doing things <v Man>with your hands, but it's not the physical things I like working on a <v Man>trap or something like that or hauling traps, tuna fishin', or whatever. <v Man>Well, basically, I just enjoy it. <v Man>But uh um I'd like to show other people um maybe <v Man>what I see. <v Man>I guess. ?That's about it?. [music plays]
<v Narrator>December the 8th, Monday, temperature 33 degrees, wind northwest, <v Narrator>sunny in the A.M. with a few clouds, some of the lobster men are bringin' in their <v Narrator>traps to store on the bank for the winter. <v Narrator>Stephanie Ally dropped by the house this morning. <v Narrator>She plans to set some traps of her own in the spring and would like to use my <v Narrator>old ?buoy? colors. Of course, I said sure. <v Narrator>It would be nice to see the red, white and orange combination in the water again. <v Man>Remember, yeah? <v Woman>Yeah. <v Man>The generation before before me, oh uh <v Man>8, 10 years before me, uh just about every one of those people moved off, <v Man>went to college or went out of state, gone. <v Man>Right to and then our generation was one that wanted
<v Man>to come back. For some reason, I'm not sure why. <v Man>Oh, I never wanted to go away anyway [laughs]. <v Man>Oh, I just loved it here. I had such a good, great childhood here and <v Man>uh hmm ?inaudible? <v Man>I don't know what it would be like where I would go if I had to had to move off. <v Man>Seemed like a trend just to move off in the winter. <v Man>I suppose it's easier. <v Man>Well, these people, you know, it makes life easier for 'em. <v Man>It is a little difficult here. <v Man>Um, what I see happening is uh this island becoming a summer community. <v Man>Um they'll still own the houses, but, you know, they'll be there just in the summertime. <v Man>And some of the older houses, a couple fairly recently have <v Man>gone up for sale across fairly high price tag.
<v Man>And a young family that wants to live here year round, a fish <v Man>can't they can't pay that and fail in <v Man>the last two places, uh families from off island ?and? <v Man>?bottom?. And they might be here in the summer they may not even be here in the summer. <v Man>And uh [coughs] there's that when a when a house just <v Man>sitting there with no family and not uh contributing too much to the <v Man>community. I mean, tax wise, I suppose it is, but um <v Man>as far as people bein' there. <v Man>[man talking] [car driving] <v Kelly>I think now I think now in my life, I feel really grateful that I <v Kelly>have it as a heritage. You know, I think there's a lot I learned from Islesford. <v Kelly>I think my my love for the outdoors is probably very <v Kelly>strongly rooted in having grown up where I did.
<v Kelly>I also think that as difficult as so much of my alone time <v Kelly>was as a child, that it's given me what <v Kelly>I think of now as almost the gift of being able to be alone <v Kelly>well. [phone rings] <v Kelly>Repeat performance. <v Kelly>I'm here until 6. And um you know now with my with <v Kelly>my work an' my store, I I feel <v Kelly>um like I'm getting back to sort of the roots of my family and being self-employed <v Kelly>and, you know, starting something from nothing and creating a <v Kelly>pretty neat little business. <v Kelly>And um and I feel really glad to be <v Kelly>in Maine still, I love Maine. <v Kelly>There's no place else I really would want to live. <v Kelly>And I'm really glad to have a way that I can sort of create
<v Kelly>a community of my own within uh within my state. <v Kelly>Um I think I learned a lot of that from my dad [music playing]. <v Kelly>He didn't verbalize a lot about his appreciation for nature <v Kelly>and and the beauty of his surroundings, but it was <v Kelly>very clear that he felt that he has still, I think to this <v Kelly>day after, you know, 50 years of lobstering, <v Kelly>I think he still finds wonder in something that he might hole <v Kelly>up in his trap or the sunset or <v Kelly>you know, some beautiful scene around him. <v Kelly>I think even though they may be things he's seen over and over again, he still finds <v Kelly>the wonder in it. And I think I've learned a lot of that from him. <v Narrator>December the 21st. A nice day. <v Narrator>12 degrees at 5:00 A.M., but 26 degrees at noon, wind northwest.
Our Stories
The Cranberry Report (Islesford, Maine)
Producing Organization
Maine Public Broadcasting Network
Contributing Organization
Maine Public Broadcasting Network (Lewiston, Maine)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
"Thirty minutes by mail boat off the coast of Maine, a small community of 89 year-round residents struggles to survive on Little Cranberry Island. A summer population of nearly 400, buoyed by wealthy summer folk, mixes with hard-working fishing families and the boatloads of tourists who come only for a few hours. In the face of this precarious mix, the little town of Islesford has maintained a sense a family. And, like many families throughout the world, residents come together to worship, celebrate, work and help each other survive. In a state known for tight-lipped, one word responses, The Cranberry Report excels at capturing the issues these rugged people deal with on a daily basis, in their own words, without expert analysis or omniscient narrator. The more candid and personal the interviews become, the more the viewer realizes that it is only the spectacular scenery which separates the viewer from the universality of the stories. In a very natural and human way the participants' stories become 'our stories', the series name of which The Cranberry Report is one of four episodes."--1998 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Copyright Holder: MPBN
Director: Bickford, Catherine
Executive Producer: Arno, Katherine E.
Producer: Smith, Brad
Producer: Bickford, Catherine
Producing Organization: Maine Public Broadcasting Network
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maine Public Broadcasting
Identifier: cpb-aacip-51887b398b6 (Filename)
Format: DVCPRO
Generation: Master
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-907638653dd (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 00:56:48
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Chicago: “Our Stories; The Cranberry Report (Islesford, Maine),” 1998-05-10, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Our Stories; The Cranberry Report (Islesford, Maine).” 1998-05-10. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Our Stories; The Cranberry Report (Islesford, Maine). Boston, MA: Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from