Almira Almeda was a proud woman with a strong jaw. She would look you directly in the eye with her well-honed confidence and ever-so-slight smile on her lips. Almira Almeda remembered working as a shy child raking blueberries to fill plastic tubs in the hot, dusty fields at the very top of the hill until her arms ached, and her back was red with sunburn. She knew then that it would take many years of hard work to save enough money to buy the parcel for her own, but still she woke up each morning dreaming of that day.


Within her tattered, crumbling journal, Almira Almeda remembered her grandfather’s huge weather beaten hand enclosing hers, tiny, smooth and pink, as they earlier walked through the same blueberry fields when she was only 8 or 9 years old, him talking about wanting to own property on the hilltop. She thought about the gleam in grandfather’s eye as they soaked in the breathtaking sight on a clear blue-sky sunny day. She remembered as a teenager, slowly straightening up from what seemed endless hours of blueberry raking and dry lips, to see the snow capped purplish mountains far on the western horizon. Local people enjoyed riding their horses to the top field just to see that spectacular 360° view for miles around.

Almira Almeda silently vowed to herself early-on that she would someday own the top fields grandfather coveted, where she had raked blueberries with a crew of other Dresden and Pittston high school kids during her early years. It was her girlhood dream to someday make the announcement there would be a grand log house raised on her land where she could gaze endlessly out her parlor window to see that very special view overlooking the Eastern River. She often escaped her siblings; another well-worn book and her journal with then mostly empty pages in the crook of her arm as she hiked to her hiding spot, a huge boulder warmed by the sun, which she hid behind to read or write in her own private world for hours in the fresh air under the soaring eagles.

When Almira Almeda was 23, she married 25-year-old Zina Blinn from Dresden in a happy mid-August ceremony at her family home in Pittston (near the peak of Blinn Hill) with all 16 of her siblings and his 10 brothers and sisters surrounding them, quite a crowded house that day. Baby Alice came along within the first year of their marriage. By the time their second child, Effie Jennette was born in 1861, Almira Almeda had begun to hold well-attended Suffragette meetings at their modest home. Other strong women were attracted to what she had to say and impressed by her beliefs, her ability to draw interesting speakers to fan the flames of passionate local women for the cause.

The East Coast was a hotbed for the women’s movement in the United States during the mid-1800s, when Almira Almeda Kincaid Moody, Blinn lived in Maine. During the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, female leaders gathered for what would be remembered as the birth of the women’s suffrage movement.

Almira Almeda’s passion became the origin of her being known as a driven woman, a social organizer of local women, and their strong political values. She learned confidence from the value of hard work as a young girl from a large, demanding family. As a young married woman, she not only continued to hold meetings and tend to her husband and little family, also birthing twin girls she and Zina named Helen Grace and Grace Hannah in 1874. She was notorious for having taken extraordinary social risks for her time in addition to tending to the demanding schedule of housekeeping, gardening and mothering, providing inspiration, rewarding to her and many others in her town. She was also known to have made the best blueberry jam in the area!

Almira Almeda indeed finally achieved the breathtaking view of the mountains as owner of Blinn Hill property. She met the challenges, disciplined herself to stick with the hard work, invested her hard-earned money, and at last reaped her reward. She was truly “Blinn Hill Baronness” in the huge estate at the very top of Blinn’s “blueberry hill.” You can visit her and Zina’s gravesites in the Pine Grove Cemetery; halfway along the road to the peak of Blinn Hill, nestled in with scores of other Blinn’s, now spelled Blen after cousin Owen changed the spelling of their name later, due to a family tragedy.



Bernie remembers the Bean family’s sporting goods store selling sensible boots, fishing rods, and hunting & camping equipment from the two-story farmhouse with creaky oiled hardwood floors on the main street in sleepy Freeport village. The family began the outdoor-gear store in 1912, back when you would see many familiar faces talking away with one of the clerks, usually a Bean family member. Of course, Bernie was merely a young buck then, a “hippie” during his high school days back in the 1960s.

They now live in Cape Elizabeth, driving past the Burnham and Morrill baked bean-canning factory on the bay on their way up I-295 to Brunswick. Discussing the improvement in odor wafting from the 3rd story windows of the factory, they reminisce about the offensive smell of Stinson’s fish canning factory on the waterfront in Long Reach, just above the BIW shipyard where they worked so many years.

Now Bernie is a grandfather, driving the posted speed limit on Atlantic Route One into Brunswick in his conservative beige Volvo station wagon with Lindy, his wife, and grandmother to their twin grandsons by his side. Lindy and Bernie met at White’s Beach next to the big bonfire at the Freaker’s Ball and Concert. That was the summer they had both graduated, were married in the moonlight there, barefoot on the cool sand before a dozen of their friends, several short but passionate weeks later.

Lindy and Bernie manage a tiny natural food shop on Maine Street now that they have both retired from working the second shift at the shipyard in Bath. Many changes in their state and the world in the fifty-odd years of their lives have passed swiftly. Remembering the white water rafting, climbing Mt. Katahdin, kayaking the Saco River, they smile at the memories they have shared. They attended the launching of the state-of-the-art destroyer, DDG-1000, named the Zumwalt by BIW, completed in 2016.

As they take the I-295 exit onto Pleasant Street in Brunswick, they each turn to the other and smile an all-knowing familiar smile of comfort, a hand seeks another and fingers entwine. They share with one another a good life, at the salty and quiet pace of Midcoast Maine, “the way life should be.”


Where would you imagine a nymph to spend the starry nights of summer? In the cool deep forest where the fireflies serve as lanterns, lighting the way to her velvety thick, moss-covered bed, of course!


She awakens in the early dawn to delight at the sight of a dew-kissed spider web, sparkling in the golden sunrise like a lacy doily illuminated by twinkle lights. The faeries of the forest arrived. Each bearing a treat of refreshing spearmint berries for her to nibble on for breakfast. Spying a honeycomb left behind by a friendly neighboring bear, which must have been startled into abandoning it, the nymph scoops it up on her way to the spring for a quick drink of fresh spring water mixed with a quick stir of honey.


When the light misty fog of morning lifted, she was stepping out from under her invigorating waterfall shower. Carefully arranged lacy twigs in her hair, enabling her to travel unseen across the lush green meadow grass leaning toward the sun, she made plans to run with the fawns at midday.



The second marriage for both, their intentions were to elope on a magical island off the coast of Maine. That day they were married on the Monhegan Island dock on a glorious clear sunny morning, despite the forecast of a grey and rainy day. Wearing tiny white leather ballerina shoes and a dress she designed of antique curtain lace discovered at a little shop in Hallowell. She carried a feathery green bouquet of maidenhair fern he had freshly picked that morning as his gift to her on their way to catch the Laura B. out to the island.


They sat quietly holding hands in the back seats en route on the Laura B. coast guard boat out to Monhegan, fingers linked, smiling nervously, reflective of their separate lives, apprehensive of their future together. They were both excited about their secret trip. The Captain, attentive at his helm, looked back and forth overseeing his passengers with a watchful eye, intent on his destination in the distance.

Met at the dock by two anxious old friends, Zoe with her brilliant smile and Newt in his flamboyant Mexican Sombrero, who were to stand as witnesses at the ceremony. Moments after changing into their Mexican-themed wedding clothes, the bride and groom met at the agreed upon spot on the dock. He predictably, arrived first. She could not keep her dried chili pepper earrings with silver balls gleaming in the sun, and chili pepper corsage from flipping around in the slight breeze. No matter, they were on a secret mission to be married and not many would even notice.

Clutching her copy of the Prophet in one hand, her bouquet of ferns and bright red chili peppers in the other, she filled her lungs with brisk salt-air, for a moment looked upward into the blue sky and rounded the corner of the boathouse. He was a handsome groom in his top hat, wearing the Mexican print shirt and satin tails she had sewn for him, but all she could see was his kind face and the tears in his eyes, twinkling in the sunshine.

As they said their vows on Marriage on the dock, under the warm August sunshine, with guidance from Justice Karen W. quoting from the Prophet, the Captain swung his boat around in the little harbor where passengers cheered & whistled as they threw handful after handful of birdseed at the groom and the “Secret Bride” of Monhegan!


The Judge inhales long, exaggerated breaths through flaring nostrils, expelling air slowly through his aged lips, blue veins visible through the thin, dry skin, beginning to crack at the corners of his mouth. He ponders how many hours he has listened to cases such as this one, most with life-altering conclusions. Still, he listens attentively from his bench, gavel in hand.


Behind those inquisitive eyes, he silently yearns to exchange places, only for a fleeting moment with the offender, just to sneak a glimpse of what he harbors within, what makes him tick. Ironically, he tries to imagine that solitary moment of exhilaration when one is convinced of the need to commit the alleged crime, blocking the apparent consequences of being caught. He wonders, “what kind of emotion could possibly override logic and reason, knowing the consequences of being caught?” He realizes most motivations to commit the crimes in the cases before him today were mainly done out of desperation. Other cases are committed under the influence of addictive substances, and for those individuals, he has the most compassion, regardless of the crimes. He knows too well the disease of addiction, has his own skeletons in the closet, and at least two of those skeletons are hardly cold yet.

Beneath a cumbersome, flowing robe, he sits in academic judgment of the crimes committed by others, standing there in his courtroom, now frightened and anxious. He is an envious man with starry green eyes, hiding his secret envy from the courtroom filled with witnesses, curious onlookers, law students, as well as the accused and their defense attorney’s.

Today he considers with each breath the impact of what his decision might have on the life of the person standing before him on this day.

Here sits Judge B. Mused.