Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Lobster Man in Love with Life

Jeff Miller, professor of theatre, writes:

When you meet someone who is enthusiastic about life, you understand the Greek origins of that word - “to be possessed as by the gods.” And Gordon alum and “lobsta” man, Steve Philbrook, '89, is nothing if not a man possessed.
In August, my wife Mary and I took an intense and all-too-short visit to Mount Desert Island, Maine, with mutual friends (Steve’s former RD and wife, Dave and Cec Horn) who made it possible for us to meet. Steve took us out to his lovely home on Little Cranberry Island via his lobster boat (that's us in the photo with Steve on his boat). We learned a little about his trade and lunched on the most delicious lobster stew and crab spread EVER with Steve, his wife Amy, and another Gordon alum, Marya Spurling, who is also a Little Cranberry resident, Philbrook-kid-wrangler and doctor-to-be. From them, we heard about the fascinating life on this remote and idyllic spot. The garden overflows with fresh produce, the boys freely roam the island at play, and Steve’s oldest, at 12, is already an experienced lobsterman with over 2,000 hours of experience and a profitable part-time job on his own. Steve and Amy frequently end their day “taking sauna” in the Finnish sauna he has built in their yard.

It’s a life very different from most of us but one they love and would not trade for anything. And Steve’s enthusiasm is almost contagious enough to make you want to drop everything and move there yourself—almost. On the mail boat back, an elderly couple, longtime Little Cranberry summer residents, spoke highly of the Philbrook family and the impact they have had, noting they are a big part of the success of that island.

It’s bracingly refreshing to meet people who have such a clear sense of God’s calling and love for the life He gives. Makes a director anxious to get back to production work, a teacher excited to get back to the classroom.

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