To the Editor:
When we received news of the death of Leeman “Smitty” Smith last week, it brought to mind a recollection of how we first met this generous and giving man.
It was 1992. We were new to Maine, new to Bar Harbor and new owners of the Graycote Inn. We thought the front garden needed a “do over,” and we asked local nursery owner Andy Kropff where we could rent a tiller. The closest place at that time was Brewer, which would entail driving to pick it up, transporting it in the trunk of our car, doing the tilling and transporting it back – not to mention the rental fee. Andy suggested we hire Leeman Smith, recently retired from the maintenance job at the Post Office. Smitty had a tiller and was happy to have the work.
And so we followed Andy’s advice and made a new friend for life. But that is not the end of this story. As he was tilling the area we wanted to make over, Smitty came in and said, “You need to come out and see this.” He led me to the curb at our Graycote sign and pointed to the electrical cable leading from the house to the sign, which his tiller had unearthed and cut.
And so I called Goodie – the electrician who had done all of the upgraded electrical work in the Graycote. Goodie took one look at the cable, which had been spliced and joined with duct tape and then “buried” about 3-inches underground (not even close to code, unless you consider some unwritten Mainer code) and said, “If you want this fixed right, I need a trench 18-inches wide and 24-inches deep,” (and about 20 feet long from the sign to the house).
So, it was back to Smitty, who showed up the next day with his shovel and pick axe. Now at that time, Smitty was about 65 and I was 49; so, I thought I could give “the old guy” a hand. After about half an hour, I was gassed. But like the Energizer Bunny, Smitty just kept on going and going and going, digging and digging and digging until that trench was finished.
That is the Leeman Smith I remember. A hard and willing worker, a good neighbor and, for the past 24 years, a good friend. We will miss him.
Joe and Judy Losquadro