Sharing ‘time in a bottle’

Ken Burns said he decided to make his film about World War II partly because the stories were being lost. The veterans were slipping away from us. When we finally learned the true tale of a dog-fight with a B-32 over the Pacific, just recently, it was too late to hear the words from the man himself.

So when we listen to one of our “tribal elders” tell a little boy about the time he flew a plane like the Waco on display at Owl’s Head Transportation Museum just up the road from us here at Spruce Point Inn, we treasure the authenticity of the memory, delighting in its magnification through wonder-filled eyes.

The Mid-Coast is filled with such memories and moments, waiting to be discovered, sometimes where we least expect them. Like Proust (or the restaurant critic Anton Ego from “Ratatouille”) we sink our teeth into a bright summer day and find ourselves transported to an August picnic and a just-picked tomato from the vine, eaten like an apple, with the juices running down our arm.

We “take the kids” to Boothbay Railway Village to ride the steam train and discover a car just like the ’58 Thunderbird we had in college and share the delight of that roadtrip with “grandma” when we drove all night to watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain.

We walk into the Aquarium and step back into the first one we visited on that family summer vacation forty years ago. We find an amber-tinged home movie (remember those?) flickering in our mind’s eye.

The sense of place is tangible – and, even better, a treasure we can introduce to someone else – where there’s time left in the landscape. Time preserved in the authentic sense by a museum or historic site; and also the timelessness of a harbor, coastline or spruce forest that a visitor from a century past would recognize. The familiar, the “time in a bottle,” we pour to the glass of the next generation, one-on-one or around a festive table.

The artifacts are waiting. Our Inn-siders’ list of “places to go and things to see” are packed with spring-doors into memory.

Yes, we work hard to make sure we exceed guests’ expectations of our accommodations and dining, the waterfront, the recreational toys and our beautiful setting, But we also know how to help you find things you didn’t know you haven’t forgot. That’s really what we mean when we talk about ‘oceanside memories, made in Maine.”