Matthew Reed Baker of Boston magazine tackled a question of no less importance Jan. 16 than what is the prettiest community in Maine.

More specifically, he responded to a reader question of how Wiscasset got the title it puts on its sign of "The Prettiest Village in Maine."

Baker rightly notes that Wiscasset is better known as an annoying traffic bottleneck, and that the slogan rankles him with its presumption.

He further points out that Wiscasset came in fourth in a Down East readers' poll BEHIND CAMDEN, and also behind Boothbay Harbor and Damariscotta. Camden also nabbed something called Conde Nast Traveler's nod for being the fifth-prettiest town in the United States.

However, he eventually decides the whole question is arbitrary and votes for his wife's hometown of Union, which is certainly very beautiful.

What do you think, Camden?

Check out the whole column at



In a history column in the Coastal Journal this past week, Zac McDorr has an interesting article about the Maine connections with M*A*S*H. It was written based on real-life experiences by Hiester Richard Hornberger, Jr. (whose pen name was Richard Hooker). He attended Bowdoin College and served in the Korean War as a doctor.

M*A*S*H started as a novel and then as a movie featuring the exploits of surgeon Hawkeye Pierce from Crabapple Cove, Maine.

McDorr points out that while Hornberger liked the movie adaptation, he did not like the TV show's liberal leanings or Alan Alda's portrayal of Hawkeye.

He wrote followup books including "MASH Goes to Maine." The column includes a picture of the book with a lobster with human legs on the cover.



We keep seeing items in our in-boxes about ice carving.

Apparently this is not just what we do trying to scrape a clear spot on our windshields. It's actually been elevated to an "ah't" form, deah.

The Camden Library is hosting an ice carving celebration Feb. 3 (12 to 3 p.m.) with 12 teams creating frozen sculptures. The event will include some of the usual trappings: hot food and drink, music, crafts, and stories for kids.

Those spontaneously deciding to sing "Let it Go" will be asked to stay in tune.



Meteorologist Tyler Southard had this report for us this week:

"Mother Nature was flip-flopping worse than a politician to start off the week with a storm that brought cold and snow one day then rain and spring-like temperatures the next. It will be more of a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as we head into the later part of the week and into the weekend. After seeing temperatures in the 40s and 50s on Tuesday we're on our way back down with highs dropping into the teens and 20s and lows dipping into the single digits for parts of the Midcoast for Thursday and Friday morning. It will be a quiet cold though with partly to mostly sunny skies. The weekend will bring more changes as temperatures ride back up into the 40s with cloudy skies Saturday followed by some rain showers once again into Sunday. We'll cool down once again as that batch of rain moves out for early next week."



Busy Water

Busy water flowing across the land,

in all beds you cross


Yet you never leave the earth spongy.


This dawn with its spectral ray:

boats circling buoys,

a lone fisherman,

gulls cruising low for food,

a beachcomber searching the shore –

all against the horizon.


In your stream traversing path

and seaward flowing way,

down a slope in free-fall,

Water, you keep the tide intact.

— George S. Chappell


George Chappell is a retired English teacher and journalist living in Rockland. He is a former staff writer for Courier Publications and the Bangor Daily News. He has published two books of poems, "A Fresh Footpath" and "When Souls Walk Away," available at Jensen's Pharmacy and Huston-Tuttle in Rockland, Owl and Turtle and Sherman's in Camden, and at

Send in your Camden-area observations, humor, history, trivia, bits of New England poetry, photos, proverbs and wisdom. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email. Email or regular mail to 91 Camden St., Suite 403, Rockland, ME 04841. Follow on Twitter @CamdenSpyglass.