Letters to the Globe Magazine

Readers write in about a town’s ties to its paper mill, and how quilting helped a daughter preserve memories of her mom.

Paper Tale

Just a note of praise for Bill Donahue’s article about Jay, Maine (“Is This How a Mill Town Dies?” August 16). I’m familiar with Jay, and the social and economic problems of northern Maine. Donahue captures the place perfectly—not least as he ends the article with the words about Father Dumais, of the local Catholic church.

Jonathan Dorfman, Newton

I was enthralled by the Maine paper mill article. It helped me understand a world that I had no idea even existed. As a sophisticated reader, it’s always a delight to find out something new and uniquely American.

Shelley Newman, Weymouth


My family owns a tree farm in New Hampshire, one hour west of Portland, and just learned how much further our logger had to drive our recent timber harvest to get it to a mill. His tale of waiting in line, and receiving less for our logs than anticipated before the Jay explosion (this at a time when wood is generally commanding handy returns), warns that the entire northern New England logging industry operated by independent loggers may be in peril.

Elizabeth Gillette, Ossipee, New Hampshire

Fantastic story. Those mills also supplied a lot of the railroad traffic moving through Massachusetts. The loss is evident outside of Maine, too.

Route202, posted on bostonglobe.com

Maine will lose $2 billion a year, [the article] states. The new system, soup to nuts, is [about half a billion] flat. Time for the good state of Maine to step in and help subsidize the cost.

artmind, posted on bostonglobe.com

Maine needs to look forward, not backward, as it appears most of the people interviewed in this article are. Trying to return a dying industry back to life is a fool’s errand. The question is about how to support people and towns—tradition—while looking for innovation and ecologically sustainable solutions during this transition.


BostonIsReallyGreat, posted on bostonglobe.com

Quilting Ties

Sue Cuyler’s article about her mom’s quilt tugged at my heartstrings (Connections, August 16). I also helped create a flower garden quilt with my mom. It was the most difficult quilt I ever made. After she died, my sister, Jeannie, took the unfinished squares and completed the quilt as a surprise to me on my 40th birthday. From start to finish, it took 22 years.

Anne R. Ferguson, Amesbury

I often enjoy and relate to the Connections articles in the Sunday Magazine. They hit home, and the essay about the quilt was such an article. I have two quilts that are perfect for coverlets. They come from my mother’s side of the family. I never knew the name of the pattern. I was so thrilled to learn the name when I read the article. “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” is perfect. What a happy surprise and discovery for me.

Jean Ferguson, Needham

Quilts have many layers of stories, decades of tales, and a warmth of a very special kind. My grandmother’s quilting friends made a very special Sunbonnet Sue quilt. It ended up on my childhood bed, used and loved and warm. A life of sharing quilts and embroidery brings many warm memories.

Martha F. Barkley, Belgrade Lakes, Maine


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