Loving the LC arts scene: I am on a roll. Or, rather, Lincoln County’s arts scene is on one.
I recently wrote about some incredible new faces in the local art world, sketch artist extraordinaire Phoebe Dean and wood wizard Rob Jones, whose work can be found at the new gallery Wooden Alchemy in downtown Damariscotta.
This week, I am just as pleased to tell readers about Whitefield writer May Davidson, whose new book, “Whatever It Takes: Seven Decades of True Love, Hard Work, and No Regrets,” is due out next month from Islandport Press. Granted, I didn’t just discover May Davidson this week – LCN readers will recognize her name from her beautifully written column, “No Longer Lower Round Pond.”
I have had the pleasure, on two occasions, to spend time with May at her house on a lovely property in Whitefield, chatting about life and about her book, which tells the story of her long, adventurous life with her late husband, Jim, who passed away in February of last year. They were married for 68 years and four months, having met three years before, when she was 16 and he was 18.
“We fell in love right away and we stayed that way,” May told me.
The two of them toiled and laughed alongside each other as they built their first house using $20 worth of wood, and they worked together over the decades at whatever job made sense at the time – fishing, lobstering, sheep- and chicken-farming, long-haul trucking, and more. The very successful Round Pond business North Country Wind Bells was a product of their imagination and tenacity as well.
“Along with the wish to pay well-deserved homage to our state of Maine, there are several reasons for this effort to show what coastal Maine life was like for one couple in the last half of the 1900s,” May writes in the prologue to “Whatever It Takes.” “The first is to offer some encouragement to young people who either want to stay here or move here from another state. It is much easier to make a living in Maine now than it was 50 or 60 years ago, especially if you have a profession. But if, as we did, you wish to be self-employed, an entirely different scene is encountered – particularly if you have absolutely no working capital and only a high school education. One of the messages of this book is: it can be done.”
May goes on to say that “if you have the determination to stick with your goals, the rewards of living in the earthly heaven of Maine are beyond price.”
A second reason for writing the book is that “every half-century deserves some recognition, even if it is in a small place and in a quiet way,” she writes poetically.
It is precisely the combination of grit, wit, and tenderness that May displays in her writing, her demeanor, and her approach to life that make her and her work such a pure delight.
That said, watch this space for more about “Whatever It Takes” when it is released.
And – spoiler alert – things are so rockin’ that I already have my next column’s amazing artist lined up for an interview.
(Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write me a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543. I love to hear from readers.)