It was a memorable, even historic, gathering in the seacoast town of Rockport, Maine. John Gould; his wife, Dorothy; their daughter, Kathy; friends; and various editors - past and present - from The Christian Science Monitor gathered to honor Mr. Gould for his 60 years with the newspaper. (That is a record, as far as we've been able to determine.)
The location was a banquet room at The Samoset Resort. Windows filling one side of the room looked out across the ocean to Mt. Desert Island, Deer Isle, and Blue Hill, Maine. It was a beautiful setting, a beautiful day.
After a sumptuous buffet lunch (the lobster-corn chowder was especially good), guests stood to honor John. Among the attendees were five Home Forum editors, past and present; the Goulds' daughter, Kathy; and Monitor editor Paul Van Slambrouck. Mr. Van Slambrouck presented John with a plaque that read:
"Presented with much gratitude to John Gould, master essayist, in honor of his 60 years of Down East wit and wisdom in The Christian Science Monitor." Mr. Gould's first regular column for the Monitor appeared on Oct. 21, 1942.
"It's an honor for John," said Owen Thomas, editor of The Home Forum page, on which Gould's columns appear every Friday, "but it's also a rare privilege for us to be able to stand and tell John how appreciated he is, how good he is at what he does, and how many people he has blessed over the years."
After others had risen to salute him, John had a few words to say. You can hear excerpts from his remarks by clicking on the links below.
Among the attendees: past Home Forum editors Roderick Nordell, Maggie Lewis, David Holmstrom, and Susan Leach. Monitor photographer Melanie Stetson Freeman and former Monitor director of photography Neal Menschel were also on hand.
Audio from the luncheon:
1. Maine's double-eagle treasure is still waiting to be found.
2. John Gould's "gold uncle," the Yukon prospector.
3. How does Gould find so much to write about?
4. L.L. Bean meets Eleanor Roosevelt, and Gould was there.
5. On working for The Christian Science Monitor and its readership
Other John Gould resources
Five Gould essays that span the past 60 years.
Transcript of Gould's live online "chat" on Oct. 23, 2002.
Our coverage on Oct. 21, 2002, marking Gould's 60 years of writing for the Monitor. You will find a brief biography of Gould, congratulatory comments from his many fans, and an annotated bibliography of the 30 books he's written - so far.
Our announcement of "John Gould Day," which was declared by Maine's governor and celebrated by the state on Aug. 21, 2002. There you will find the governor's proclamation, as well as Gould's recipe for The Deacon's Blueberry Cake.