Where is the Light/Memory for Seal Island

                                    © 1986 Elmer Beal/ © 1980 Gordon Bok


            Seal is a long, narrow island on the outskirts of Penobscot Bay.  We anchored there one day in the sardine carrier Ida Mae, waiting for dark when the herring would rise again.  Cleon took a nap and Frank and I went ashore and wandered around the island, ducking seabirds, cooking up a mess of periwinkles over a driftwood fire on the beach and dozing in the sun.  It was a grand, high, blue day, and the sea was very quiet.

            A couple of years later (1978) the whole island was burned, destroying hundreds of seabirds and their habitat.  A while later Elmer and I were on tour together, and he taught me his tune "Where is the Light" and I always associated it with that feeling of loss about the island.  But it was the memory of that day that gave me my tune.


Gordon – Spanish guitar