Past events:

“Climate impacts and community-driven solutions on Maine’s islands and coast”
Wednesday, November 20, 2pm to 4pm

Coastal Senior College Events Committee presents a talk: “Climate impacts and community-driven solutions on Maine’s islands and coast” on Wednesday, November 20, from 2pm to 4pm at the Midcoast Friends Meeting House, 77 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta.  The program is a presentation by Emma Wendt, Community Development Officer and Climate Specialist for the Island Institute,  Emma has an AB in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and an MBA/MS in Environment & Resources from Stanford University. The event is free and open to the public, and will explore examples of local approaches to resilience and sustainability on the coast of Maine. People are invited to share their stories of steps they have taken to adapt to the challenge of climate change, and there will be time for Q&A and discussion after. For further information contact Bruce Rockwood, co-Chair, CSC Events Committee, at

Maine Bicentennial Events, October 28 & 29

Join your friends and neighbors to learn more about Maine’s history and culture as CSC continues its Maine Bicentennial offerings this month with two must-see illustrated presentations, both free and open to the public.

Bernard Fishman

On October 28 Maine State Museum Director and A Story of Maine in 112 Objects author Bernard Fishman presents Historic Maine in 3-D from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (with time for questions afterward), at the Skidompha Library in Damariscotta.

Liam Riordan

On October 29 at the Camden Library, University of Maine Professor of History Liam Riordan discusses Brainstorming the State Bicentennial: Past and Present Perspectives from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Bernard Fishman’s new program is supported by the Maine Bicentennial Commission. For years Mr. Fishman has been one of the foremost national collectors of stereoviews, 19th century photographs mounted as two images on cards which were meant to be seen in 3-D when viewed through a special viewer. He has enjoyed studying the largest collection of Maine stereoviews known, 19,000 cards kept at the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, and has worked through them, with a few additions of his own, to offer a Victorian experience of Maine stereoviews, presented as a projection show that only requires special paper glasses (remember those 1950s horror movies?) to see the views in actual 3-D, as they were meant to be seen 150 years ago. The glasses are free to all attending. You will feel as if you are right in the middle of Maine just after the Civil War, with its towns and farms, shipbuilding and bridge-building, factories and mines, parades and entertainment, parlors and porches, kitchens and gardens, hunters and loggers, Indians and soldiers, and the first tourists making their way up to our woods and streams – a spectacular and singular way to see and almost feel the past.  Mr. Fishman will also discuss the museum’s work to preserve and digitize these priceless images so they will be here for future generations to enjoy.

Professor Riordan’s discussion explores in words, maps, and other illustrations,  the long statehood process in Maine that culminated in 1820 with separation from Massachusetts. That struggle engaged a range of challenging public issues that are still recognizable today, and four themes that bridge 200 years in telling ways comprise the focus of the talk:  the “two Maines” and sharp partisan conflict, the explosive place of slavery vis-a-vis the Maine-Missouri Crisis, Wabanaki sovereignty, and the uncertain location and meaning of the international border. Professor Riordan has been a faculty member in the Department of History at the University of Maine in Orono since 1997. He is a specialist on the American Revolution, especially the religious, racial and ethnic diversity in the Philadelphia region from 1770 to 1830.  As a result of having his Canadian consciousness raised by moving to Maine, Professor Riordan has an ongoing research project about Loyalists, those who opposed the American Revolution.

Coastal Senior College invites you to join us during the coming months as we celebrate Maine’s bicentennial with a variety of programs, events, and classes. A panel discussion on November 13 at the Thomaston Library will focus onWhat People Worried About in 1820.

Noted Corporate Law Scholar Kent Greenfield to Speak in October

Professor Kent Greenfield of Boston College Law School will speak on the topic “Are Corporations People? Surprising Reasons to Say “Yes”,” based on his book “Corporations Are People Too (And They Should Act Like It,” Yale University Press (2018), on Thursday October 17, 2019 from 6pm to 8pm at the Midcoast Friends Meeting House 77 Belvedere Road,  Damariscotta, Maine.  The event is free and open to the public.

Professor Greenfield’s work examines the place of corporations in both private (business) law and public (constitutional) law, from the Dartmouth College case (1819) through Dodge v Ford Motor (1919) and up to Citizens United (2010) and beyond. He explores the reasons why corporations exist, the nature of their legal personality under both private and public law, and how that relates to the ability of states to impose reasonable regulations on them notwithstanding their legal status as “persons.”

A graduate of Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School, Professor Greenfield clerked for Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, and was the Founder and President of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), the named plaintiff in a 2006 Supreme Court case challenging the Pentagon’s anti-gay policies. He has previously written on the need for reform of the law of corporations in his book The Failure of Corporate Law (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

There will be an opportunity to ask questions and copies of his book will be available at the venue. For further information, contact Bruce L. Rockwood, Co-Chair, CSC Events Committee, at

An Optimist’s Approach to the Climate Crisis

CSC instructor Paul Kando will give a talk entitled “An Optimist’s Approach to the Climate Crisis.” The talk, sponsored by the Midcoast Green Collaborative and the MIdcoast Outreach and Peace Center, will take place on Tuesday, January 29 from 2-4 pm at the Friends Meeting House, Belvedere Road, Damariscotta. The talk is free and open to the public.

Film Discussion of Schindler’s List

The Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta is showing the award winning 1993 film Schindler’s List on Thursday January 3, 2019 at 7pm and on Friday January 4, 2019 at 2pm. The film earned seven academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and this special presentation is part of their Classic Film Club series.

Following on our previous Coastal Senior College film discussion meet-ups, the Coastal Senior College Events Committee is holding a brown-bag luncheon discussion of the film at the Midcoast Friends Meeting House, 77 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta on Monday, January 7, 2019 from 11 to 1pm. We invite you to see the film at the Lincoln Theater and then come to discuss it with us.  Coffee, Tea and Juice will be provided.

Directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian, the film follows Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman, who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.

Lending a local perspective on the time and events of the film will be Hungarian born Paul Kando of Damariscotta, who will talk about his late father, then a government official, who worked with Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saving Jews in Budapest.

When Schindler was smuggled into Budapest in with a railway car full of Nazi newspapers as shown in the film, his revelations of Nazi atrocities and mass murder in the camps were of immense help in turning Budapest’s “salon-anti-Semites” against Hitler. Kando believes the film portrays lessons that need to be learned and relearned by each successive generation.

On January 27, 2019 at 12:30 the Lincoln Theater is also showing “Who Will Write Our History,” as part of International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, co-sponsored by the Holocaust and Human Rights center of Maine,   and we will provide information about this during our brown-bag discussion.

For further information and suggestions of future films to see and discuss, please contact Bruce Rockwood who is coordinating this event for the Coastal Senior College, at  For further information on the film, see:;-1993-maine-theater-ev1399.aspx ,   ,  and

TURKEY ON THE TABLE:  The True Story of Thanksgiving Dinner

November 9, 10 am, Skidompha Library

Every November, American families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  We remember the Plymouth Pilgrims of 1621, and feast on turkey with all the fixin’s: mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, as well as mince and pumpkin pie.  Curiously, there’s virtually no evidence that any of these dishes were actually eaten by the Pilgrims.  More surprising, the Pilgrims did not actually consider their event to be a “thanksgiving day.”  Finally, Thanksgiving wasn’t observed as a national holiday until 1863.

On Friday morning, November 9th, Coastal Senior College instructor Nate Randall will give an illustrated talk reviewing these and many other details about how and why our modern celebration came into being.

“The true history of American Thanksgiving Day – especially the iconic dinner – is actually much more interesting than the highly romanticized version most of us were taught as children,” notes Mr. Randall.  “Together, we’ll take a look at fact and fiction, and discover the surprising way each element of the modern observance fell into place to create a holiday particularly reflective of the American spirit.”

Sponsored by Coastal Senior College, the talk will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the Porter Room at Damariscotta’s Skidompha Library.  It is open to the general public without admission charge.

Nathan A. Randall is a cultural historian with broad interests in musical, culinary, and marine history.  He holds degrees from Tufts and Smith Colleges, as well as Princeton University where he served as Artistic Director of the university’s concert series for more than 25 years.  Nate is well known to Coastal Senior College students, having offered annual courses ranging from the music of Igor Stravinsky, to the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, and a course on Italian Cooking!  He has spoken on early New England food history to The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, and to the Boothbay Region Historical Society.  He is also a volunteer at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he serves as a motorman / conductor, docent, and host of the summer Children’s Story Time.  Additionally, Nate Randall is a docent for and a member of the Education Committee of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ in Portland.

Beginning Oct 1, Mysterious Mondays!

Instructor Maryanne Ward will lead a new mystery readers’ discussion group starting October 1. Scheduled to meet on the first Monday morning of each month, location to be decided. Limited to 20. This group is free and open to members of CSC. If you haven’t joined or renewed your membership, click here to find complete details and registration information. For more details and to sign up for Mysterious Mondays, contact Maryanne at

Oct 4, Seed Banking

Seeds are living beings, just like you and me.  And like us, they require the right conditions in which to thrive.  This past summer brought environmental stressors for all of us — including our seeds.

Neil Lash of Waldoboro will give a talk on “Seed Banking, Sustainability and Food Systems” on Thursday, October 4th, 2018, at 3:30 pm at the Morris Farm in Wiscasset. The event is sponsored by the Coastal Senior College Events Committee. Seed banking is the collection, identification, and storage of seeds for the purpose of preventing the loss of genetic material.  The talk is free and open to the public.  We are very grateful to the Morris Farm for agreeing to host this program.  The address is 156 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset, ME.

Lash co-founded the Heirloom Seed Project at Medomak Valley High School in 1992. He was awarded the Source Maine Sustainability Award in 2018.  We are honored to have such a distinguished and dedicated speaker to present the history of and necessity for seed banking.

For further information, contact Susan van Alsenoy at:

Oct 16, 10 am

Leigh I. Saufley

Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Coastal Senior College is proud to announce that the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, will deliver an address to CSC members and members of the general public on October 16, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. in the Friends Meeting House on Belvedere Road, Damariscotta. The program is expected to last for two hours, and light refreshments will be served.

The presentation will focus on the importance of an accessible, neutral and robust court system to assure fidelity to the principles of equal protection which benefit every American. Chief Justice Saufley will provide an overview of the State of Maine Judicial Branch’s role in this process, and she will field non-case related questions. Participation from attendees is encouraged.

Chief Justice Saufley is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. On December 6, 2001, after a distinguished career in public law and the judiciary, she was sworn in as Maine’s first female Chief Justice by then Governor Angus S. King. Having been reappointed, she is currently serving her third term as Chief Justice.

This program is part of Coastal Senior College’s outreach efforts and provides our communities with opportunities to learn about the delivery of justice to the citizens of Maine. It supplements our regular course offerings on legal issues and opens new avenues of informed discussion. Free and open to the public.

Sept 17, Finding Benedict Arnold: the hard way

September 17, 2018 from 2:30 – 4:30 in Porter Hall at the Skidompha Library, Damariscotta. Maine writer and adventurer W. Hodding Carter shares the story of his attempt to retrace Benedict Arnold’s route in a replica bateau. His uproarious and harrowing journey helps shine a light on this major historical achievement by America’s most notorious traitor. Free and open to the public.

Is God an Underachiever?

Cancelled because of illness

Another Talk on Jewish Humor with Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw, a familiar figure and popular Coastal Senior College instructor will offer a follow-up talk on Jewish Humor in the Picker Room of the Camden Library on Wednesday, April 25th from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. The talk is sponsored by Coastal Senior College and is open to the public free of charge. No registration is required.

According to Steve, “Humor has played a central role in contemporary Jewish life. From Groucho Marx to Woody Allen, probably 80% of the comedians prominent in 20th century America were Jewish. In addition, Jewish humor also provides us with some unique insights into Jewish history, sociology and theology and how some of its roots can actually be traced back to traditional Jewish sources such as the Bible and the Talmud.”

With Jewish humor as the theme, Steve will explore these topics:

  •  Is God an Underachiever?
  • Are Jews Smarter Than Other People?
  • Why Are Jews Ambivalent About the Coming of the Messiah?

Steve Shaw served for many years as the Director of the Department of Continuing Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America