Echoes releases ‘farewell edition’

CARIBOU, Maine — A Fort Fairfield potato farm, a New Sweden skier, an Ashland photographer and Westfield neighbors are featured in the “farewell edition” of Echoes magazine, released June 26.

Issue 117 concludes a 29-year run of the quarterly publication, founded in 1988 by Gordon Hammond and Kathryn Olmstead.

“All good things come to an end, and so it is with gratitude and sadness that we announce this issue of Echoes is the last,” wrote Olmstead in her editorial, citing “realities of the marketplace” as a significant factor in the decision.

Echoes subscribers across the nation will receive Maine magazine in place of their remaining issues of Echoes, through an agreement between the two publications.

“The love of Maine and positive tone expressed in Maine are as close to Echoes’ mission as any magazine we know,” Olmstead wrote. “Even though we won’t be producing new editions, back issues will continue to be available through our website (,” she added, inviting readers to be looking for books of the best stories from Echoes.

In keeping with the magazine’s tradition of “rediscovering community” and “touching the past en route to the future,” Issue 117 features the once-daily harvest ritual of “Countin’ Tickets” in an article by Jane Russell Stanford of Fort Fairfield about potato picking on her family’s farm in the 1980s, when pickers earned 25 cents a barrel.

University of Maine at Presque Isle student Lukas Lagasse of New Sweden wonders if there might be a future for the once-exciting winter carnivals in an article about his hometown. A related article features New Sweden ski legend Ralph Ostlund, a competitive athlete until his death at age 92 in 2015.

Ostlund grew up using skis his father made, and started competing seriously at age 50.

“I skied every day after I retired,” he said. And when the snow melted, he ran, earning dozens of trophies, medals, ribbons and plaques for both sports.

In a feature article about his hometown, Ashland native Armand O’Clair of Hermon immortalizes the photographic legacy of Mack Morin and the trademark wicker chair he used as a prop for his portraits.

And Westfield native Ron Laing of Oxford entertains readers with an amusing tale about two uncles who traded houses in his hometown when Laing was a child.

In “Tell Me the Landscape,” regular columnist Glenna Johnson Smith of Presque Isle describes the “slow process” of “me becoming Aroostook.” A native of coastal Maine, she identifies the time she realized she had “learned to live in harmony with the dramatic changes of the seasons, the quick changes from snow banks to potato planting, the soft greens of early spring.”

A column by the late Winthrop Libby, Caribou native and former University of Maine president, describes his return to Aroostook County in 1985, while a feature reprinted from the March 2017 edition of Maine magazine features Joel Kuschke’s first trip to Aroostook County this year.

Issue 117 also features essays by Mary Vose McGillicuddy and Norma Best Boucher, while regular columnist Kristine Bondeson invites readers to compare recipes for “confetti coleslaw” used by her and her mother Edie.

In an article about the Aroostook River, forestry consultant Lloyd Irland links past efforts to decontaminate the river with the work yet to be done.

“On the mid to lower reaches of the Aroostook, pollution by factories and municipal sewers has largely been remedied, but pollution from the land has not,” Irland writes.

Maliseet Elder Dan Ennis of Tobique, New Brunswick, also focuses on stewardship in an essay titled “Ceremony.”

“Our traditional teachings tell us that, as caretakers of the Great Mother, we should conduct all of our life-giving and life-respecting ceremonies each and every day either on an individual or group basis.”

Echoes 117 is on newsstands in Aroostook, Penobscot and Hancock counties. Back issues are available at or by mail at P.O. Box 626 Caribou ME 04736.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.