Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you
Paul Simon
Thanks to Gary Cliser for creating this video for me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Alan Philbrick

One of the biggest highlights of my life was a road trip we made from California to Maine. It was a three week journey full of wondrous sights. The idea for the trip came from a visit from the father of a friend.

Alan Philbrick had never been to California. Spending most of his life in Maine, the cross country trip he made also filled him with wonder. He couldn't get over the red rocks in Utah and Arizona. He was in awe of our mountains towing over the valleys.

When he left to go home, he invited us to spend some time in Maine, taking a trip with him on his lobster boat. An educator by trade, his passion was teaching about lobsters, the history of Maine, and then, providing his passengers with a lobster bake in Camden Harbor.

Captain Alan aboard the "Lucky Lady"

We traveled to Maine on Route 66, following it all the way to Chicago. We stopped at so many places and visited friends along the way. We spent several days in Erie, Pennsylvania. We made a stop at Niagara Falls and did the touristy thing on the Maid of the Mist. 

Still, the highlight of the trip was the lobster tour Alan provided. Instead of including us on one of his tours, he took us out all by ourselves. He taught my husband how to navigate the waters around the harbor, we pulled our own lobsters out of his traps, and saw all the lighthouses. We also learned everything there was to know about lobsters. Alan called them the "Serial Killers" of the sea. He told us lobsters used to be prison food until the prisoners complained. Lobster was the easiest and cheapest food available. So much of what he shared is still with me. 

Gary banding a lobster to take back. 

We returned to Alan's house in Rockland to spend an enjoyable evening, pigging out on the lobsters we pulled from the harbor. 

As a family history person, it is important for me to share these pictures since we have lost touch with the family. I don't know if Alan is still living but he looms large in our memory. He is a wonderful teacher, friend, host, and we can never thank him enough for taking the time to share his world with us. And...we will never eaten lobster again because there is no way to recreate the experience of pulling our food from the sea and eating it fresh.  

Thanks Alan!


  1. your journey is going to be an awesome tribute. glad i stopped by. happy a day!

  2. I love the idea of your posts, I have a Blog Is History The Agreed upon lie (not on A-Z maybe next year) You have such a wealth and fun of ancestors and images that if you wish I would love to have you as a guest, on stories about ancestors. Feel free to contact me via Found you via A-Z challenge