Breakfast Booth

August 4, 2009

Alice Anderson dives into two strawberry pancakes with whipped cream at the Harbor Cafe in Stonington, Maine. The cafe is the one restaurant on Deer Isle that's open all year. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

Alice Anderson dives into two strawberry pancakes with whipped cream at the Harbor Cafe in Stonington, Maine. The cafe is the one restaurant on Deer Isle that's open all year. Photo by Cheryl Hatch

Yesterday morning, Alice and I grabbed a table tucked in front of a window with a view of the harbor at the aptly named Harbor Cafe in downtown Stonington, Maine.  Today, when I woke at 5 a.m., I  wandered outside: light and the loud voices of fishermen were already spilling into the the fog-shrouded streets from the cafe.

In Maine, rumor–and custom, apparently– have it that you’re considered a foreigner if you weren’t born in Maine. People can live here for 30 years and still be considered an outsider. In this climate, Alice was skeptical that my usual keen curiosity and desire to strike up conversations would be met with much enthusiasm.

I turned in my chair and introduced myself to a group having breakfast in the booth behind us. I told them Alice was working at the Zone C Lobster Hatchery. I told them she was also on the board of our nonprofit, Isis Initiative, Inc.

Mary Halpin, a local woman, asked me about the work of our nonprofit. When I explained that we sponsored scholarships and helped support college education for women overseas, she quickly explained that she is a member of P.E.O., the Philanthropic Educational Organization, one of the pioneer societies for women, founded in 1869. For years, they kept their mission and their membership fairly secretive, Mary said. Now they’re trying to spread the word and reach the younger generation.

I smiled at Alice as she joined our conversation.

Pancakes and possibilities.

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One Response to “Breakfast Booth”


  1. Thanks for sharing information on your organization.
    I am impressed by it’s longevity and it’s mission.


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