Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

One River~One Ocean

Image
I came of age on the Swift River, jumping off bridges and rope swings, diving off cliffs, floating down rapids, sitting in natural whirlpools, rock hopping upstream mesmerized by the smooth stones made silken and bright under the clear, cold, fast moving waters.

The Swift dumped into the other river I grew up on, the Androscoggin. I would watch in confusion and sadness at the contrast of that pristine water merging with a river that served as a receptacle for anything unwanted. The Androscoggin received raw sewerage from humans and effluent from the paper mills along her banks, spewing bi-products deemed necessary for bleached paper products including mercury and dioxin. We did what we wanted to the Androscoggin making it in the top 20 most polluted rivers in the US. It's condition, odorous foaming yellow, inspired the Clean Water Act in 1972 by Rumford's native son, Senator Edmund Muskie.
The mill was and is a way of life in the mountain valley region of western Maine. Bread…