To the editor:

It was with great sadness I read the latest Working Waterfront newspaper. Although I have never lived in Vinalhaven, I was raised being told what a great place it is, from my father and grandmother, who did live there until 1927. I lived my childhood through them, feeling it was my home and my roots. I felt close to the island and pictured my being there .

I finally got to the island two years ago. I waited 50 years to get there, at age 74. When I set foot on the soil I felt like I’d come home. The trip was somewhat disappointing, as it was graduation day, and everything closed early, yet I was still happy to be there.

I grieve for the islanders as they watch small old homes being bulldozed for large fancy homes. Maybe one of those houses was my homestead. It’s not a good feeling.

Unfortunately Grandfather died suddenly while away, in 1927. My father always grieved for him dying away from home. He always said, “I’d hate to die in this God forsaken place,” and he did. Had he lived I would be there in body instead of spirit. I’ve always been thankful I was on the island before it is changed.

My father was Robert F. Sawyer, b. Vinalhaven 1905, My grandfather, Ansel Baker Sawyer, was also born there in1879. I have a brother buried in Thomaston, ME.

I am so sad for you islanders, I pray for your homes and jobs.

Thank you for sending me the paper.

Janet Sawyer (Michel)
Belleview, Florida