Quo Vadimus: “Where are we going?”
Last week, one misty morning in Maine, my husband, the dogs and I hopped into our car and drove up the coast, all the way to Brooklin, in search of the saltwater farm and former home of the great American writer, E.B. White. It was quite an adventure, and it wasn’t easy. The White house is unmarked, had not been turned into a museum, and is now occupied by new, unrelated owners. White had always been a private and aloof man. For instance, in the New Yorker, he published a series of essays under the dateline “Allen Cove,” a designation that appears only on nautical maps. That way, said White, no one will be able to find [me] except by sailboat and using a chart.
But still, we found it. Here’s a tiny taste of our incredible trip:
“It’s late September and my husband and I are walking down a plain gravel path towards the cedar shake writing shed of someone who hasn’t invited us: Elwyn Brooks White, better known to some as the late, great essayist E.B. White, and to those who still don’t know, the man who wrote the classic children’s books ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘Stuart Little.’ With each step away from the old brown barn and closer to the shed, we see living relics from White’s world: a lush emerald garden. An old chicken chopping block. A tall apple tree doubling as a raccoon lookout tower. The sterling pond, large brown geese skirting its brim. And then, as if the shed was just a shed, the writer’s studio appears.”
Want to find out what happens next? Rather than physically go to E.B. White’s former home (which is now a private residence now, which we should respect), why not tune into WRITERS’ HOUSES and pay your respects to the wonderful person and author, E.B. White. Founded in July 2010 by A. N. Devers, Writers’ Houses is a phenomenal online publication dedicated to the exploring writers’ spaces and art of literary pilgrimage.