Maine Mini – The Welcome Letter

The Coast of Maine Mini-Reunion: The Welcome Letter

Well, October is on its way and with it the Class of ’65 Coastal Maine Mini-Reunion.
Reunion activities begin on Tuesday, October 2nd. Registration will take place in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn at 65 Commercial St., Portland, from 4:15 to 6:45. Registration will consist of a simple “check-in” and receipt of the reunion welcome pack. People arriving after the registration table has closed can register on Wednesday morning before we board the bus in front of the Hilton to head to our first event.

The bus will leave the Hilton at 9:00 AM both days.

If you are arriving at the reunion by car, the Hilton offers its guests valet parking for $29 per night. If you are not staying at the Hilton, the Casco Bay Parking Garage at 54 Commercial St. is on the ferry wharf just across the street from the Hilton and is open from 6:30AM to 12:45 AM.

We have a busy and, we hope, enjoyable schedule of events for both Wednesday and Thursday. Our itinerary will be:

Tuesday, October 2nd

  • 4:15-6:15 Registration in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn, 65 Commercial St, Portland
  • 6:30-9:00 Welcome reception with cash bar and dinner at the Old Port Sea Grill, located at the end of the same block as the Hilton. Note: your menu choice from online registration will be noted as a reminder on the back of your name tag. After we have dinner, we will have “Getting to Net-zero” – a dialogue with Denny Gallaudet and Mac Rogers about their efforts to reduce carbon emissions both at home and in their Maine communities

Wednesday, October 3rd in Portland

Note: we will be traveling by bus each day. For anyone wishing to travel on their own, be aware that, while parking is available at some venues, it is not available –or easy to find- everywhere. The buses are accessible to all. If you decide to travel by car instead of the bus, please let us know by texting 207.650.4977 (this number is good for texting, but not for voice calls or messages –too many robocalls).

Breakfasts will be on your own. The bus to our first event will leave the Hilton at 9:00 AM. The folks at the Hilton make the following suggestions for early breakfasts within walking distance of the hotel: “We would recommend folks give our breakfast a try, if the breakfast room is not crazy busy. We serve a great breakfast that starts at 6AM. It is cooked to order eggs, omelets, pancakes and French toast, with ample buffet items, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, etc. for $13.95. We do have a tour group in house as well, that will be eating breakfast on the Thursday,4, th and Friday, 5th…so they may want to have a backup plan if the dining room is full.

Breakfast in walking distance:

Standard Bakery for those coffee and pastry eaters

The Port Hole for full breakfast. Open at 7AM on Custom House Wharf

Arabica Coffee House  9 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 207-210-6473. 7AM Open

Starbucks for coffee, breakfast sandwiches, etc.

Holy Donut

  • 9:15-11:15 Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI): tour by the staff and presentation by Dr Andrew Pershing, Senior Scientist.
  • 11:30-1:00 Buffet Lunch at the Cumberland Club with presentation by Quincy Hentzel, Executive Director of the Portland Chamber Commerce. The historic Cumberland Club is a private social club located in the heart of Portland’s Art District.
  • 1:00-2:30 Portland Museum of Art (PMA): presentation by Mark Bessire, PMA Executive Director and docent-led tours of the highlights of the collection. Note that the PMA is across the street from the Cumberland Club.
  • Free afternoon to explore the Old Port and Portland-area sights. The Old Port is a district of Portland known for its cobblestone streets, 19th century brick buildings and fishing piers. The district is filled with boutiques, restaurants and bars. Portland’s is a working waterfront, with everything from fish piers to restaurants to office buildings. The Portland area has many sight-seeing options from beaches, to coastal walks to artisanal breweries –to name just a few. Your welcome packet will contain an annotated list of some of these attractions. Note: For those wishing to head back to the Hilton before their free afternoon activities, a bus will leave the PMA at 2:30.

Dinner on your own. Discover the wares of Portland’s award-winning chefs. Portland was recently named Restaurant City of the Year by Bon Appetit. I have read somewhere that Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other US city . Bear in mind, San Francisco, we have a much smaller “capita” than you. In any case, beyond the list in Bon Appetit, you can try Googling Portland restaurants for further names. Bear in mind that some of the most popular locations do get booked up well in advance. Many of those also take early walk-ins, however. Worth checking.

Thursday, October 4th

  • Bus will leave the Hilton at 9:00 AM and arrive at the Maine Maritime Museum between 9:30 and 9:45. All events through lunch will be at or from the Maritime Museum.
  • Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, ME featuring a video on modern shipbuilding at the Bath Iron Works (BIW).
  • Shipyard (BIW) and lighthouses boat tour on the Kennebec River.
  • Docent-led tour of the 19th century Percy and Small shipyard, the only intact shipyard in the country for building large wooden sailing vessels.
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Buffet Lunch at the museum’s Long Reach Hall overlooking the Kennebec River.
  • 1:20-3:00 Afternoon choice among three tours in Brunswick:

Note, as a reminder your choice of tour will be noted on the back of your name tag.

  1. Docent tours at the Joshua Chamberlain Museum (org/chamberlain)
  2. Docent tours of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum (edu/arctic-museum/)
  3. Tour of the LLBean Boot Manufacturing Facility (com/2015/07/14/l-l-bean-makes-iconic-boots/ ) Steve Smith, CEO of LLBean, will be present for the tour.
  • Return to Portland for a break between 5:00 and 6:00. Bus to Falmouth for dinner will leave the Hilton at 6:00.
  • 6:30-9:00 Reception with cash bar and Buffet Dinner at the Dockside Restaurant in Falmouth. Located in the heart of Casco Bay at Handy Boat Marina.

Dress during the days will be casual. Dress for dinners will be business casual. As to the weather, in early October we could experience late summer, early winter (not likely) or even autumn weather –or all three. Temps could range from the 40’s to the 70’s. Skies could range from sunny to rainy.

A note about New England fall color: for good color, we generally need to have had –at a minimum- some moisture during late summer and then a hard frost. Lately, along the southern Maine cost, that combination has been somewhat rare. We had drought conditions for a good chunk of the summer, relieved lately by the arrival of “leftover” moisture from events in the tropics. Hard frosts are nowhere in sight at this point. Those wishing to enjoy New England’s fall should think about taking some time to head  inland and/or north. Local weather outlets often have “foliage reports” detailing the percent of full color to be expected in specific regions of the state.

For those of you interested in which classmates will be joining us, check out the public link at for the latest list.

We look forward to welcoming you to Maine and to a good time!

Lance Fletcher and Stanley Trotman, Co-Chairs

Denny Gallaudet, Mac Rogers, John Todd