81 Slices
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Have you ever strolled this sand?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

The obvious question is: Where are all the people? It’s rare that this stretch of coastline is so quiet that there isn’t someone enjoying the sands. There’s almost always a beach stroller, shell seeker, sandcastle builder, or sunbather on this, one of the state’s most popular beaches. That’s the way it’s been here since the Pilgrims were splashing in the surf to the south — even longer, according to local historians. Englishmen first stepped ashore on this curve of the midcoast in 1607, more than a decade before the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, and the same year as the settlement of Jamestown. Of course, they were gone months later, after erecting a small fort, a church, and some fifty houses. They also built the first boat ever constructed in what would become Maine — the fifty-foot pinnace Virginia. But they found winter Down East just wasn’t for them – so they abandoned fame, fortune, and future reenactment villages to the Jamestownians and the Mayflower Pilgrims and left everything else to archaeologists. In recent years, local partisans have made the case that the first Thanksgiving in the New World was enjoyed right here, but the people of Plymouth, Massachusetts, with their rock and their cute costumes, didn’t buy it. The only pilgrims the beach sees now are the summer-loving, sun-worshipping kind. And boy, do they come — some 180,000 visit each year. The 529-acre site is famous for its dunes, its cold waters, its rivers, and undertows — and its difficult parking. Striped bass fishermen flock here as well, and movie stars like Paul Newman and Kevin Costner once spent a few days in the vicinity. With the 3,640-foot expanse of sand, the islands offshore, the surf crashing, the boats passing by, it’s not hard to understand the appeal. See page 99 to learn more about this sandy spot.

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7. Hardcore Christian Gamers: How Religion Shapes Evangelical Play · Shanny Luft

Heidi A Campbell Indiana University Press ePub

Shanny Luft

ON THE WEBSITE HARDCORE CHRISTIAN GAMER (HCG), EVANgelicals share their faith as they deliberate over their favorite video games.1 Their religiosity is overt. Members engage in online Bible study, post prayer requests, and share spiritual testimonies with one another. For example, in a discussion forum designated for sharing spiritual testimony, someone wrote of contemplating suicide before finding spiritual and community support in a church. Someone else shared witnessing a church member’s broken leg healed through prayer, and yet another described his spiritual struggle upon learning his brother was gay. Alongside these sincere and personal testimonies of faith, members of HCG converse about their favorite video games, including action games like Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, 2007–), role-playing games like Elder Scrolls (Bethesda Softworks, 1994), and first-person military shooters like Halo (Bungie, 2001–2010; 343 Industries, 2011–) and Call of Duty (Activision, 2003–). What many, although not all, of the games discussed on these forums have in common is their overt depictions of violence. In Assassin’s Creed II, for example, the player controls an assassin slaughtering his way through sixteenth-century Italy, dispatching enemies by thrusting swords into their backs, plunging knives through heads, burying axes in skulls, slitting throats, and jamming spears into the spines of his adversaries.

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Do you recognize this island retreat?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Not every Maine summer home has its own protective, nonprofit organization to look after it. That’s your first hint that this was the house of a notable Mainer. The man who purchased this midcoast island in 1881 was one of the most famous people to graduate from Bowdoin College, a school his name will always be associated with. Though his travels took him away from it more than he liked, our hero always relished returning to this seventeen-acre island in the Brunswick area. He first saw the green isle when he was a schoolboy on a tour of Casco Bay, and ever after he had a restless determination to own it. When he was able to do so, he paid $500 for his own little piece of paradise, and he soon began to remake it to fit his vision. The result of his efforts is dazzling, in a classic old Maine cottage sort of way. Home and Garden Television thought enough of the place to showcase it in a special episode. It’s the kind of summer home any Mainer would want, with five gabled bedrooms upstairs, glassed-in porches to take in the vistas, a three-sided fireplace, porthole windows, and a study where our man could sit with a 270-degree view of the sea. The Bowdoin alumn spent many a happy day here after making his name — in a controversial struggle against epic odds — and forcing his way into the annals of world history. Upon the death of his wife, the family donated their beloved summer place to the state, and it’s now a historic site and open to the public for tours. The interior is a time capsule, preserved as the military hero might have left it, and pleasant trails await explorers on the island itself. Local tour boats run trips through Labor Day. Turn to page 100 to learn its location.

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Have you ever found this forgotten fort?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

If you’re like many Maine motorists, you’ve driven within a mile of this old blockhouse dozens of times and never known it was there. Built in 1809 to protect a busy midcoast shipbuilding harbor, the fort sits just off Route 1 on an island few Mainers realize is an island, overlooking one of the area’s largest rivers. The solid little citadel was the focal point of an impressive compound at one time, with heavy bunkers, palisades, and a waterfront battery, and it was garrisoned for much of the nineteenth century, as a 1985 archaeological excavation revealed. And the site saw a few tense moments — it was threatened with bombardment during the War of 1812, and fifty years later the Confederate cruiser Tallahassee passed menacingly by not far downriver. Today the fort still sees quite a bit of action, but its many invaders are armed with nothing more threatening than cameras, Frisbees, and overflowing picnic baskets. (The solitary ranger who now mans the octagonal fort would be instantly overwhelmed if the park’s many day-trippers mounted an uprising.) Home to an interesting historical display, the blockhouse is one of the nation’s best preserved forts from the period and became one of Maine’s earliest state-owned parks, purchased in 1923 from the U.S. War Department for $501. Wide, grassy swaths overlooking the river and views of seals and ospreys have since made the spot popular among locals and those taking the scenic back way to a famous resort harbor not far down the road. Things are totally serene on the scene these days — especially under a fair May sky — but there are a few visitors who wish they could blast an unsightly old power plant out of the view across the river. See page 101 to learn where to find it.

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Can you guess the name of this cunning harbor?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

You’re thinking, Cutler, perhaps? Or Corea? Some tiny, isolated fishing village Down East? Not even close. Though this harbor — more of an inlet really — has all the hallmarks of a salty hamlet east of Ellsworth, it’s actually near the mouth of a wide river that empties into Casco Bay. Reached by one of the many roads that wander pleasantly south from Route 1 in the midcoast, paralleling tidal rivers, quiet marshes, and undisturbed coves, the village hasn’t seen the tourist and summer-home development that has spread across its neighboring peninsulas — at least not on the same scale. The boats of lobstermen and deep-sea fishermen outnumber pleasure craft here, though a few fair-weather residents favor the harbor, too. (When she wasn’t meeting with President Eisenhower in the White House or staring down Joe McCarthy, Margaret Chase Smith could be found at her summer place on a secluded point in the village.) The name of the harbor is resonant and oddly familiar, but most never find their way here, and those who do know the community often know it from the water — everything is oriented toward the mouth of the river. In this respect it’s almost insular, and indeed it technically sits on an island. The acreage that was settled and became this community was purchased from the Natives in 1659 by Colonel Shapleigh of Kittery, and by 1733 the cunning harbor pictured here was settled by the gentleman for whom it’s named. It’s remained relatively quiet ever since, even though the village is separated from pulsing Route 1 by a mere five miles. But what a difference those miles make. Turn to page 98 to identify this location.

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