Shoutin' Into the Fog
Growing up on Maine's Ragged EdgeBook - 2006 | 1st Islandport Press ed
The first part of the 1900s was a time of change, turmoil, and too often, struggle on the Maine coast. Young Tommy Hanna grew up right in the middle of it all. He was born dirt-poor on Georgetown Island, the eldest son and second of eight children. By 1930, his family, descended from successful nineteenth-century seafarers and entrepreneurs, lived in a tiny bungalow pieced together with second hand wood and cardboard. They struggled against the Great Depression, cold Maine winters, insufficient food, and the embarrassment of being "on the town." Yet, Tommy, who also struggled against growing, seemingly unalterable estrangement from his father, found small ways to transcend the poverty and despair -whether a game of baseball, old-time radio shows, playing guitar or fashioning a homemade bobsled to run down a snowy hill on a cold winter's night.
Writing with sensitivity and humor about family, forgiveness and overcoming adversity, Hanna's personal tale also helps cast a light on the native Mainers who struggled in the face of wrenching transition, as traditional fisheries and coastal trade died away, yet "King" Lobster, tourism and World War II had yet to rally the economy and lift people from hard times. It is a real part of Maine history that Hanna writes about with tender, subtle splendor.