Author Roger Angell gestures during an interview at his office at the New Yorker magazine on April 4, 2006, in New York. Credit: Mary Altaffer / AP

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Roger Angell, sometimes called the poet laureate of baseball, died this month at age 101. Angell, a longtime summer visitor to Maine, may be best known for his copious musings about America’s favorite pastime, but he also had much to say — or write — about his summer home in Brooklin.

Angell, who was a writer and editor for the New Yorker for decades, first came to Maine in 1933, after his stepfather, famed writer E.B. White, bought a summer home in Brooklin. Maine was where he learned to sail, to drive and, with his recollections of fine food and beverage (especially the martini), to enjoy life.

“Brooklin has haunted me in so many ways,” Angell recalled in a video interview for his 100th birthday in 2020.

“I can’t begin to say how much the White’s place in Brooklin and sailing and this whole beautiful, beautiful scene here meant to me and still means to me and has meant to everybody in my family,” he added with emotion in his voice.

He recalled fishing in the early morning from a float in front of the family home. Using smashed snails as bait, he said he sometimes caught flounder and brought them home to cook for breakfast. Daily family swims ended with a piece of semi-sweet chocolate.

He recalled learning to sail on Eggemoggin Reach and learning to drive on Naskeag Road, lessons that were later imparted to his children and grandchildren.

When he turned 15, he sent $5 and a letter to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles that said simply: I’m 15, please send my license. The license arrived and Angell was later given a 1929 Plymouth roadster — yellow and black with a rag top — that he drove to pick up girls to go to the movies in Blue Hill and Ellsworth.

His stepfather, whom he called Andy, was accomplished at everything he did, whether it was writing, farming or boatbuilding.

Asked about his favorite place in Maine by Down East magazine, Angell said it was the porch at his own home in Brooklin. “At the right time, the way the light hits the row of windows is as beautiful as the light itself,” he said. “We’re constantly standing and admiring the wonder of this old structure.”

In 2020, Brooklin named Aug. 8 Roger Angell Day and honored him with a parade and ceremony at the Friend Memorial Public Library, where he once had a summer job. During the ceremony, Gov. Janet Mills remarked that a writer like Angell was a natural resource in Maine, just as woods and waters are.

“In Maine, while we brag about our ponds and peninsulas, our gardens, our granite, our grandkids and green fields, and goats old and young, our woods, our words and our language are the dearest things to us,” Mills said. “Roger Angell [is] someone who has used words to elevate us, to inspire us, to get at the truth. He tells it straight. He writes about winning and he writes about the pain of loss and regaining life again.”

Just as he reminded us to appreciate the simplicity of baseball, Angell reminds us to appreciate the simple pleasures of life in Maine, especially in the summer.

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Opinion Editor Susan Young, Deputy Opinion Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked for the BDN...