Danforth Maine

View from my lot. 
Danforth Maine is by all rights a small little podunk town, population about 723, and I like it that way.   No big ass shopping malls, and Walmart is at least a thirty minute ride. Mother Nature is the big attraction in this podunk town.

My grandfather, Pat Vecchio, was a commercial builder here in Baltimore, specialing in Brick houses in Rosedale.  In the winters when he couldn't work he decided to go hunting.  He met some friends and one year went down a lot of small dirt roads into the Maine woods.  He stumbled upon some people named Ardis and John Hayman, and bought a lakefront property on East Grand Lake. His winters would now be spent making a lodge and hunting camp. He called this camp called "Pat's Mamu".  His dream was to stop buiding and run his little camp full time.  My grandmother Dolores cooked with my mother Cynthia's help. She had three brothers, Orland, Mike and Brian Vecchio that would also see the wonders of Maine. My mother and her cousin Becky cleaned the cabins.  So began the love of the East Grand Lake.
Nightime view from my camp.

The Curse and The Lesson
Unfortunately, my grandfather never got to retire to his dream place in Maine. He became ill with lung cancer (due to asbestos he had worked with earlier in his life, but back then none of this was known) and died here in Baltimore in 1976.  His oldest son Orland Vecchio sold the camps to Living Waters Bible Camp, but would soon be found dead in his car of carbon monoxide poisioning.  (To my knowledge my Mike or Brian haven't been back to Maine yet.)My grandmother went back to Maine a few times before she had rectal cancer, when she beat, but ten years later died of pancreatic cancer.

My mother always missed the lovely lake and so she moved to the Danforth-Weston Maine area in 1991 with her husband Dan McLain. They built a lovely house overlooking Mt. Kathadain. Her property was built on ten acres and if you walked down a rocky mountain behind her house you could eventually get to the lake. Dan had a hard time finding work and they both became alcoholics.  I bought a lovely camp in 2007 from Mr. Donald and Mrs. Jean Sanborn in nearly Greenland Cove.  My intentions were to someday look after my folks. Don Sanborn became a dear friend to me.

In 2010 my mother was diagnosed with rectal cancer, and her operation was scheduled in December 2010. A few days prior to Mom's operation, we lost Mrs. Jean Sanborn suddenly.  My mom made it through her operation and I visited with her in the hospital.  She died later that night after we left, under mysterious circumstances.  Her husband Dan McLain was found dead in their home almost seven months later. 

My brother and I intended to keep Mom's house in Maine but there was a problem: we could not find the will and so the house would now be split with two of his children from a previous marriage that he hadn't talked to in four decades.  Everything , which is nothing, would have to be sold and split up four ways.  So is life, full of suprises and the great unknown.

So here I am now, missing my elders, and owning a lovely camp in Maine that Mr. Sanborn spends more time in than myself.  You see although we bought it from him, it's still his camp. There's so much love there, a camp him and Jean built and lived in for 40 years. He's now my caretaker, but the curse haunts me now as work makes it impossible for me to get to Maine.

The one thing that means more to me than anything is being able to sit on my property at night, and look out onto the hardly-populated lake. The twinke the lights to the left in the distance are those of my grandfather's camps.  I know everyone is looking down on me, and I feel so close to them and to God in this place.

Do you know the moral of this story ? 

Life is too short to NOT BE IN MAINE.