If last Saturday wasn’t the biggest day of the year in Winthrop, then it must come close. It was the day of the lobster roll luncheon at the Congregational Church, the annual art fair, and the library book sale. Our little town—population circa 6,000—actually had throngs, yes, throngs, of people on the street as they looked at art, bought food from various civic organizations, and meandered to the lovely green at the Congregational Church for more goodies, and most important, lobster rolls.

Since we live only a mile from town, the first big decision my husband, Clif, and I had to make was whether to walk or to ride our bikes. At first we decided to ride our bikes, but books were to be involved in this outing. Let me confess that our house is bulging with books. The bookshelves are filled, and books are tucked into every conceivable space. This year, I vowed I would only buy one special book from the library sale, and thus we could ride our bikes.

When I stated this lofty goal to Clif, I immediately realized how ridiculous it was. “Let’s bring backpacks and walk,” I quickly suggested.

“Good idea,” Clif replied.

So with our backpacks, off we went, bright and early, jaunty even though it was already a very hot and humid day. The book sale was held at the town office, and we were there well before the doors opened at 9:00. There was a line, and we were close enough to the front so that I noticed the usual group of booksellers who always come early enough to be first. They swoop in to buy cheap books, which they in turn will resell at higher prices in their own shops. The competition among booksellers is keen, and I once witnessed a nasty exchange—at a library sale in Brunswick—between two booksellers jockeying for position in line.

I have never had a run-in with booksellers for the simple reason that we are not attracted to the same books. As soon as the doors opened, I rushed over to the cookbook section, grabbed everything that looked interesting, and retired to a corner where I could decide if I really wanted all those books. The answer was no, but I came away with plenty, as this picture shows.

Cook Books
Books from the library sale

Clif found a few science fiction books, and now laden with books on a day that was getting hotter by the hour, we buzzed through the farmers’ market, saying hi to Farmer Kev, Marinna of Snafu Acres, and Karen of Wholesome Holsmstead. Today, there was no room in the packs for food from the farmers’ market.

“That’s all right,” Karen said. “You certainly support us.”

We sure do, and next week we will be at the market to buy some things.

We strolled through the art fair, and there were several artists who caught our attention, especially a young man from Waterville—unfortunately we did not get his name—who specializes in paintings of warehouses and industrial buildings. It seems to me he is good enough to go beyond sidewalk art fairs and eventually be shown in galleries and museums. He has the talent; all he needs is some luck.

In the middle of the fair, we fortified ourselves with some hand-cut fries from one of the local civic organizations—I can’t remember if it was the Lions or the Kiwanis. My, those fries were good and at $2.50, a real bargain.

After that, it was on to the Congregational Church for a much-anticipated lobster roll. But first, we stopped at the goodies table to choose dessert, two handmade lemon cookies, moist and chewy. (I could have one right now with a cup of tea.)

Gerry Edgar and Marlene Douglas at goodies table
Gerry Edgar and Marlene Douglas at the goodies table

We picked up our lobster rolls, and found a place to sit in the shade. The temperature was well over 90 degrees by this point, and the shade was very welcome.

Lobster roll!
Lobster roll!

As we were eating, a young man and his grandmother asked if they could sit next to us in the shade. Of course, we answered. I noticed the that the young man’s T-shirt had the logo “Rambler Productions.”  Being a nosy person who is interested in movies, I asked him about it. From Spencer Roberts—the young man’s name—I found out that Winthrop High actually offers a film class and that the new high school has some decent equipment. I also learned that Spencer is a film student at New England School of Communications in Bangor, Maine.

Spencer Roberts
Spencer Roberts, film student

Spencer told us that two summers ago, he had helped worked on a film called The Putt Putt Syndrome, parts of which were filmed in beautiful downtown Winthrop.

“Winthrop?” I asked in astonishment.

“Winthrop,” Spencer answered. “At Norcross Point and at Dave’s Appliance. I shot some behind the scenes stuff for the DVD, and I was a gofer, too. The movie is going to be showing next Saturday [August 27] at Railroad Square in Waterville.”

I had known nothing of a film being shot in Winthrop. How had that escaped me?

“We’ll have to go the movie,” I said, reflecting on the things you can learn at a lobster roll luncheon in a small town.

Spencer and his grandmother left. Clif and I finished our lobster rolls and headed home. Between the books and the heat, the walk was a real trudge, and I was happy to reach our shady yard, ditch the knapsack, and sit on the patio.

Slowly, slowly, I recovered from the heat. I had iced tea, a snack, and plenty of books to peruse. A perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.






  1. Sounds like a perfectly lovely day! And how cool is that about The Putt Putt Syndrome being filmed in Winthrop a little bit! 🙂

    1. Shannon, very cool indeed that some of the Putt Putt Syndrome was filmed in Winthrop. I’m still amazed that I didn’t know a thing about it. What the heck!

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