Podcast’s point is to connect with people 



Mac McElwain hosts a podcast with the goal of making a connection with his guests through conversation.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MAC MCELWAIN

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Mac McElwain’s “Spit & Whittle” podcast features local people in conversation about topics of local importance. To date, there are 28 episodes and the podcast has a five-star rating on iTunes.  

Podcast episodes cover a variety of topics that range in magnitude. “It’s mostly an entertainment podcast, but there are a couple of episodes that are informative, ” McElwain said. Recent episodes feature topics that vary from opinions about vaccines to smart meters. 

The idea for the podcast was born from the Spit & Whittle Club – a club that the Southwest Harbor craftsman reestablished three years ago. The focus is to create a collaborative experience for local artisans to share ideas and work on group art projects. 

Normally once a month, members of the club would go to McElwain’s house to create projects, but the coronavirus put the group activities on hold for more than a year.  

“It [the club] is starting to kick back up again, on the second Saturday of every month in my garage,” McElwain said.  

McElwain provides kits of material for whatever project is going on at the time. “Whether we are building a cribbage board or a box, we’ve got four or five sets of materials so anyone who comes empty handed can leave with something they built that day,” he said.  

“With both the Spit & Whittle Club and the ‘Spit & Whittle’ podcast, the whole point is to connect with people, to get to know people better, spend time and talk,” said McElwain.  

“If you go to a gas station at like 5 in the morning, sometimes there’s a bunch of old guys sitting around drinking coffee and just talking, sitting around to pass the time, which is where this concept came from,” he said. 

Episode guests include members of the community, friends and family. “Most of the episodes are just me and a friend or a family member sitting down with a rough idea of what we want to talk about,” said McElwain.  

He said that the podcasts are an excuse to have a conversation with somebody. The idea of committing two or three hours to just talk, without looking at the time or wondering if someone is bored, is what McElwain enjoys. “There’s no sponsors, there’s no money being made. It’s an excuse for me to talk to somebody about something and to share the conversation by posting it,” he said. 

Since posting episodes, McElwain said that he has learned a lot about himself. He said people around town in his interviews are interesting and have their own stories. “I would love it if every single person was able to come on the podcast,” he added.  

This week, McElwain will be releasing episode 28. 

To stay informed about podcast episodes and events, sign up for the email newsletter online at www.snwclub.com or check out the Spit & Whittle Club Facebook page and podcast on iTunes.  

Ninah Gile

Ninah Gile

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Gile, an MDI native, covers the town of Bar Harbor. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

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