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Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 13, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, July 13, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, July 13, 2017
Author talk to detail Castine in the 1950s

'Salt Water Town' by Donald Small

Author Donald Small will give a talk about his book, Salt Water Town, on Monday, July 17, at 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Donald Small

Author Donald Small will give a talk about his book, Salt Water Town, on Monday, July 17, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Parish House in Castine. His talk is part of Witherle Memorial Library’s Maine Writers Series.

Small, a native of Castine, takes the reader back to Castine and its characters in the simpler time of the 1950s, bringing to light their daily lives in a series of connected short stories. “Some of the writings are based on events related to me by people who lived there at that time, some come from my experience, and the rest are pure fiction. Likewise, the characters are a mix of real and fictional” who face challenges and celebrate joys as we do today.

Small spent his childhood in Castine where he attended the local grammar school and filled his summers with excursions into Witherle Woods, swimming at the Back Shore and salt water pool, caddying and learning to play golf, riding his bicycle, mowing neighbors’ lawns, and camping on islands in the Bagaduce River. It was a time when children over the age of about six years were allowed, even expected, to fend for themselves on any day they were not in school. He attended Castine High School, graduating in 1956, one of five in that year’s class. His English teacher encouraged him to write, and he won a state essay contest, but did not continue with a writing career.

He attended the University of Maine and spent six years attempting to learn something of engineering, according to a press release. Following graduate school he worked in industry doing research and developing new equipment. He lived in several locations around the United States and Canada, but eventually returned to Castine where he enjoyed teaching engineering courses at Maine Maritime Academy for 30 years before retirement.

Salt Water Town was published in 2016 by Penobscot Books, a division of Penobscot Bay Press, which publishes Castine Patriot, Island Ad-Vantages and The Weekly Packet. Caroline Spear, editor and project manager of the book division, said that Small’s book is their best-selling book to date. Visit to purchase a copy.