Senator Angus King has a great eye for stunning photos, so I guess that’s why they titled his new book, A Senator’s Eye.
Angus is well known for his Instagram photos, and we must thank Islandport Press in Yarmouth for publishing this wonderful book featuring great photos and interesting text.
Just be forewarned: it’ll take some time to get through all 167 pages, because you’ll linger on many of the photos, enjoying their beauty. The book is divided into several sections, including one of photos in our nation’s capital, and my favorite section (of course) photos of Maine.
My favorite Maine photo is Angus’s wife Mary enjoying a cup of coffee on the bay below their campsite in Cobbscook Bay State Park, the best place to camp in Maine. And he really captured one of our favorite views of Rangeley Lake from the high ground in Oquossic.
Angus’s photos of Washington DC took me back to the 1970s when I lived and worked there. I especially liked his photo of the capital taken from an airplane just before landing. Linda and I enjoyed that view from a plane a number of times. And of course he has lots of pictures of things happening in the capital. Yup, occasionally something does happen there.
Especially meaningful is a photo of Arlington National Cemetery with all those stones decorated by wreaths from Maine, thanks to the Wreaths Across America Project led by Morrill and Karen Worcester of Washington County. Morrill was in my class and was a friend of mine at the University of Maine and we are all very proud of what they have done to honor our veterans.
There is a picture of Angus holding a dog belonging to Tim Caverly and his wife, taken at the State of Maine Sportsmanship Show in Augusta. I was actually accompanying Angus around the show that day. He had a couple of hours and my goal was to get him up and down all five aisles. But we only made it up 1 ½ aisles, because he just loves to visit with people. I think he even loved visiting with that dog!
I also love the picture of Angus with a large striper he caught in the Kennebec River while fishing with two of his sons.
A photo of a table of dirty dishes demonstrates something that Angus does that I think is unique and important. He holds a monthly rib dinner for a random group of senators from both parties, during which they get to talk about their lives, their kids, and how to make Congress work better.
“At one of our dinners,” he writes, “one of my colleagues pointed to the fellow sitting next to him and said, You know, I’ve seen this guy around here for eight years, and this is the first time we ever talked.”
And of course there’s a photo of Angus on his motorcycle. He does an annual trip on the motorcycle with my friend Gary Crocker. I was particularly intrigued by a photo of the Mayor of Belfast visiting Angus when he was governor and she was a very young girl. Today Samantha Paradis is a nurse at Waldo County General Hospital who was just elected mayor of Belfast. Angus wrote, “the amazing thing is that while Samantha has grown up, I haven’t aged a bit. Yeah, right.”
With each photo comes a story both informative and entertaining. “I didn’t know it, but all my life, I’ve been waiting around for Instagram,” writes Angus in the preface. “It combines two of my favorite avocations – photography and writing – and enables a third, storytelling. And this, in turn, has given me the chance to share little slices of my somewhat unusual life with friends, family, and well, the world.”
Angus does include photos taken by others, and my favorite is a stunning sunrise in Rangeley taken by Angus’s son who refers to himself as “the Angus King who was born in Maine.” I love that!
In Angus’s first campaign for governor, we wanted a real Mainer to do an ad, so we picked my Dad and taped the ad in his living room in Winthrop. Essentially, Dad said “Yes, Angus is from Virginia, but he’s still okay.” If I remember right, when Dad’s ad aired on TV, Angus went up five points in the poll. And he and Dad became great friends.
I was not surprised to read, on the back cover, that this very generous man has directed all the proceeds from the sale of this book to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine.