Perhaps the most visually fascinating part of last summer on campus was the draining of Lake Andrews and subsequent bulldozing of the muddy bottom, the first steps of a large-scale restoration project (see pg. 8). As the water level lowered day by day, all sorts of junk appeared from the murky depths: a bowling ball, mangled bike, table, stereo set, desk, bed frame, chairs, tennis shoes, bottles, cans, three 30-pound snapping turtles (they were relocated to a nearby pond), and many overgrown goldfish (contaminated from life in the Puddle, they met their maker).While the items only added to the Puddle’s ability to amuse, others prefer to imagine a pond that amazes with beauty. For example, Jack Keigwin ’59 (who with his wife, Beverly, has supported the Lake Andrews restoration project with a major gift) has long envisioned “a place for recreation for the soul and mind.” That potential seemed realized by early September, shortly after the project’s completion, when guests at the opening reception for the Museum of Art’s Notations of Color exhibition mingled outside Olin Arts Center. They had a full view of the new landscaping around the pond and saw, below them, how the fading sun lit up the elegant curves of the new amphitheater, built stone by stone with no masonry (called a “drystack”), by a local craftsman using granite from a Smithfield, Maine, quarry.
Jack Keigwin’s point about recreation for the soul and mind could also have been directed at the nearby Androscoggin River. While the Lake Andrews work was beginning last spring, the Lewiston Sun Journalpublished a series of articles on the once-polluted Androscoggin, two of which are reprinted in this issue. While vastly different in scale, the cleanup of the Androscoggin and the restoration of Lake Andrews both emphasize not just environmental awareness, but also a deep-rooted human need…for what, exactly? Perhaps the photos — and the faces — on the outside covers and the inside front cover of this issue give a clue.
Phyllis Graber Jensen wrote and photographed the profile of Portland defense attorney Tom Connolly ’79, the former star Bates debater who is the unlikely Maine Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
For Jensen, the process of interviewing and shooting a subject are entirely separate matters. “When I shoot, I’m so entirely focused on what things look like that I really can’t even hear what’s going on,” she said. “I hear conversations, but I’m pretty oblivious to their content.” So when she photographed Connolly on a walk down Exchange Street in Portland one sunny day last summer, she didn’t catch what the neophyte candidate said to the people he met, one by one, along the way, a diverse group including two mounted police officers, the U.S. marshal for Maine, a reporter, and a rock musician. But she could see how Connolly engaged each person, talking shop with the U.S. marshal or referencing George Harrison with the musician.
Jensen said that Connolly displays not just a gift of gab, but a talent for rhetorical give-and-take, clearly honed at Bates and in the courtroom. “Tom has a good radar for knowing whether to continue with a conversation or not. He’s always looking for clues, for eye contact,” Jensen said. “In his public persona, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he’s not a clown or a wacko. He has a sense of humor that lightens the very serious subject matter of both his platform and his work as a criminal-defense lawyer. And there’s a certain irony in that.” Readers interested in checking out Connolly’s complete platform can go to his Web site: www.TomConnolly.com.
H. Jay Burns, Managing Editor