To the editor:
The Lincoln County News recently had a front-page story, “Damariscotta Planning Board approves farm-to-table restaurant” (Jan. 17). A photo showed the old wooden building, overhanging the river, perched on pilings at 23 Main St., Damariscotta.
My great-grandfather, George L. Cotter, kept Cotter’s Meat & Grocery here and started selling Sunday newspapers in 1898. Nana, Mabelle Cotter Alexander Sherman, helped fetch the papers with horse and wagon from the train depot in Newcastle. Every Sunday since, for over 75 years, she left her Elm Street home at 5 a.m. to get as many as 1,000 papers from Portland, Boston, and New York ready for customers.
I remember, as a small boy, sitting on a stack of papers watching the townspeople come and go Sunday mornings; many she knew and most greeted her, “Good morning, Mabelle.”
My brother and I would be the first in town to read the antics of The Katzenjammer Kids in the comics. We knew them as the funnies. At age 3, I assumed it was a story about my older brother and cousin, one with black hair, one a blond. Detective Dick Tracy, who was the very first with a wristwatch telephone, always got his man.
When we got bored, the open deck outside was a place to observe the barnacle-encrusted pilings sunk in the riverbed, tangled in seaweed; one time a fisherman hauled up his minnow trap to find it full of writhing black eels.
What a thrill it will be next summer to sit overlooking that so familiar river eating Damariscotta oysters, mussels, and maybe smoked eels from Waldoboro.