Life and Times on Pleasant Pond

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9780615366104: Life and Times on Pleasant Pond
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This fascinating book chronicles the lives of families who settled in Maine's northernmost county, Aroostook. Here in the quaint community of Island Falls, these families developed one of the area's most treasured bodies of water, Pleasant Pond, in Island Falls. With historical maps and photographs spanning more than 150 years, the author uniquely weaves history and memories with The Pond's residents' personal stories bringing this magical place to life.

Theodore Roosevelt discovered Island Falls in 1878 and enjoyed three visits to the home and hunting camp of his lifelong friend, Bill Sewall, son of one the town's original settlers. Through the joint efforts of President Teddy Roosevelt and Maine's former Governor Llewellyn Powers, the woodlands around this area of Aroostook County are protected and in the Martha A. Powers Trust.

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About the Author:

Sandra Newman grew up in the small northern Maine town of Island Falls and spent her summers with other pond kids, swimming in the wicked-cold water of Pleasant Pond. Sandy enjoyed leisurely, fun-filled days with her friends: she was rarely seen out of her swimsuit, except when sleeping or for the proverbial trip to town. Sandy survived on macaroni salads and water-skiing. That was all a pond kid needed and asked for. She returns each summer to swim, kayak and play golf with her many lifelong friends.

While living in New Mexico, working as a tour director and Rocky Mountain Ski Instructor, Sandy discovered storytelling. She loved entertaining eager listeners with her sharp, quick-witted stories about her hometown of Island Falls, the town's local residents, and life on the pond. When a friend whose family was among the first settlers on Pleasant Pond asked her to tell his story, she happily agreed. This is the Pond s story. Enjoy!

Review:

Anyway....I finally found time to get to your book. I'm glad I waited until I could give it my undivided attention. Sandy....What a labor of love! Every page is an expose of your passion for the people of Island Falls. You bring worthiness to the simplest fish story and boundless significance to a people whose peace is found in the knowledge that they seek no separate significance....as secretly they know they achieved it generations ago. You paint a technicolor Cheshire grin on every face of Aroostook County. Indeed...the myth that Utopia is unsustainable may have to be re-examined. There may be just too many trees in the sightlines of the rest of us to see the glorious forests of Northern Maine. Bless you Sandy. Bless you for your insight and your passion. Steve Stephen R. Jones Communications Practitioners West Vancouver, B.C. --Stephen R. Jones

I hope this note finds you well. Of course I've finished the book, and have re-read certain portions several times. Anthony likes to hear me read aloud his story;, among other parts of the book that I like. In short, I'm probably as excited as anyone, including yourself, that your book has finally been written. It came with much anticipation, and it did not disappoint. To realize Joe Edwards' dream that his stories and history could be recorded for all to appreciate, will be a special topic in all of our future discussions. . . . I am in love with this book! (I think I could be your biggest fan!) With everyone that I have spoken to and discussed the book with, I've been met with very favorable responses. You ought to be mighty satisfied with yourself, and your efforts to get this dream realized. It is a lovely book of stories and photographs, both recent and nostalgic that captures not only the experience of life on the pond, but the imagination of an idyllic life, as well. It is a book that will be treasured by generations of families who have already experienced their own piece of the dream life in Island Falls, but also to a broader audience as well. The book provides a wonderful historical narrative that outlines the connection between the land and the first families who settled the area, but also the connections between the families themselves. However, the book is something more than a history, because it reads like a romantic memoir as well. Many readers from the area would easily identify with the youthful experiences portrayed, and reflect on similar situations of their own, when fun on the pond was truly felt as one of life's greatest gifts. Time itself, can seem irrelevant here. Your experiences become a metaphor for others who have lived the same dream. For those who have yet to partake of the pond's shimmering lake or glorious, star-filled skies, the book becomes a Walden Pond of sorts, creating within the mind's eye, the ideal place to be, whether young or old. In short, whether the reader has firsthand experience with the pond or not, the book tells the story of where one would rather be. Thanks for being so generous as to include the short stories of others. Ted Roberts' story of catching fish is but one example of the transformation from adult back to youth, which must occur with regularity on the pond. Fond memories with friends and family is the mainstay of our pond experience, and the inclusion of others' perspectives makes certain that your own recollections is by no means unique in this regard. These stories are sure to make one feel more young at heart, and at more peace within yourself, when reflecting on the simple family values that dominate our days here. It seems it is almost impossible to allow life to get too complicated! Bragging rights indeed! It is really fun to read those stories about music heard over the pond from the pavillion, fishing for the big ones, showing good 'ole respect for one's neighbor (or stealing one's first kiss!). Sandy, what more can I say? You've managed to make a whole community proud to know that the place that they've known is special in their own way, is VERY special in a collective way. I hope that the acclaim is more widely spread, and that your book could be embraced by a larger audience as well. Don't hesitate to use any of my accolades when you promote it in the future. I sure hope you qualify for an award or two for the excellent work you've done. You are an amazing person, rich in experience and willingness to share with others. You allow for an easy friendship with everyone I have spoken to. I look forward to looking through your web pages at at the photographs and stories that have brought you around full circle, and back to the place of your youth. I wish you every success in the future --Joe Sardina, MD

Life and Times on Pleasant Pond, is a celebration of Aroostook county and Island Falls as well as the pond where Sandra Newman spent every summer growing up. Her comprehensive love letter to this corner of Maine is both a memoir for natives and an invitation to readers who have never been there. Replete with photographs from many local family albums and from Newman's own cameras, as well as from the Island Falls Historical Society, the slick publication spans 150 years of local history, beginning with the first settlements through the Civil war and the days when Theodore Roosevelt found solace and friendship in his visits with William Sewall of Island Falls. Fishing stories and loving recollections of people are prominent in the material Newman collected in dozens of interviews, which culminate in 40 pages of Your Stories and Memories - her gift to the people of her home community. Kathryn Olmstead Editor and Designer Echoes Magazine --Kathryn Olmstead

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