Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


My photo
Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Maine Coast Vernacular: federalist houses and the Granite Farm dairy barn

It's called Federalist architecture here in the US, Georgian in the UK and Ireland. In the US version, often restraint went out the (fanlight) window. Here's a boisterous example from 1805, in Wiscasset Maine. Why only one fanlight, when three can fit?  And here's Van Morrison singing about cleaning fanlights. I wonder if Van's remembering Dublin or London in this song--not much Georgian building in his native Belfast.
The Granite Farm dairy barn is on a backroad road between Brunswick and Freeport. Much bigger and more serious than a typical Maine saltwater farm hay barn. Only in New England do people proudly name their farms after rocks.


  1. I'm wondering if this is a picture of the farm that my father, William Paxman, owned & operated back in the 1950's or 60's maybe. I've often heard of dairy granite farm in Brunswick that my father owned & operated. If anybody knows could you please get a hold of me somehow. My email is

  2. Yes, the Paxmans ran that farm through at least the 1970's I believe. I lived there 1972-1973