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Eva Murray. Monday, Aug-16-10

Eva Murray, also known as Eve (Monroe Meltzer) Murray

Born February 25, 1964. Spent preschool years listening to my dad practice Scarlatti sonatas.

1975-76: Was absent for 62 days of the sixth grade just because I hated it. Most of those hooky-playing days were spent reading "The Best Loved Poems of the American People," the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, and medical textbooks.

1981 Graduated Hunter College High School as an 11th grader. Left New York City at 4:00am the next morning for good. Only things I ever missed were the Brooklyn Bridge and pizza by the slice.

1981-82 Lived during the snowy months in my grandmother's attic in South Thomaston, Maine, and during the summer in a tent. Hitchhiked to work every morning at the Port Clyde Foods sardine cannery and other exciting employment opportunities in Rockland, Maine, which at that time faced some considerable economic hardship. Motorcycle gangs more or less ruled. Old ladies warned me against getting off the Greyhound Bus in Rockland. Learned how to build wooden lobster traps, just as most fishermen were going over to the use of wire traps instead.

1983 Member of the Woodsman Team, University of Maine, Orono, Maine. This is as close as I ever got to sports. Took six for-credit courses in education and audited three in forestry in one semester.

1985 Graduated Bates College, BA Religion, departmental honors, Phi Beta Kappa, completed the degree in three years. Also completed the requirements for State of Maine elementary teacher certification.

1986-87 Employed at Passmore Lumber, later E.C. Hart Lumber, Rockport, Maine, working in the hardware store, stock receiving area, and lumberyard. Also in the mid-eighties worked as a substitute teacher, kept books, caught lobsters, set tile, sold typewriters, washed dishes, fried clams, served beer, delivered firewood, collected trash, and cooked a great many breakfasts.

1987 Deferred acceptance to Northeastern University Law School to accept a position teaching one-room school on Matinicus Island for the 1987-88 academic year. Moved to Matinicus in August.

1988 Contacted Northeastern University and let them know I wouldn't be showing up for law school after all. Was engaged to Paul Murray at Matinicus Island; married in September, 1989 at a regular Sunday Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Rockport, Maine. I made my own traditional white wedding dress but was barefoot most of the wedding day. Cake was chocolate. Color scheme was all of them. Music provided by our friends Marytha, Sue, David, Richard and Michael (commonly known around here as "The Musicians") who played "Hole in the Wall" on the hammered dulcimer, Percy and the Kitchen Stompers, Scott the diesel mechanic from Spruce Head Marine who played "The Mary L. McKay," and the rock band guys from Eastern Sheet Metal.

1990 Eric Murray born. Wrote a lot of poetry. Tried to get Page Burr to teach me calculus.

1992 Emily Murray born. Fed both babies for about two years on homemade minestrone hash.

1994 Became a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician

199-** served as elected Municipal Clerk

1999-2006 Home-schooled Eric and Emily, while helping with the local school at the same time. Life was quickly filled with math books,
do-it-yourself wiring projects and the ever-present query, "Does this count as school?" In 2005 had the Maine license plate "QDRATIC."

200*-200* served as elected Municipal Treasurer 1999-2007 served as School District Bookkeeper, MSAD 65

2004 Started Recycling program for Matinicus Island

2003 Began writing a regular column for The Journal of Maine EMS, which continued for over four years.  The magazine for Maine emergency medical providers has ceased publication.

2004 Began contributing a regular column called "From the Edge" to the Village Soup, later called the Knox County Times (a Rockland, Maine area newspaper). This op-ed page column ran bi-weekly for 4 1/2 years until 2008 when the newspaper merged with another.

2006 Began a regular column called "A Letter from Matinicus" in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine. My essay took the place of John Gould's usual contribution, "A Letter from Home," after he died, a particular honor by which I feel especially distinguished. Began to contribute op-ed pieces from time to time to the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Began to contribute frequently to The Working Waterfront.

2007 Began regular column (which they like to call a blog) called "Sea Glass and Scrap Iron" for Down East magazine's website. This ran for 3 1/2 years and is winding up summer 2010.

2009 Began a monthly column called "From Offshore" in the Rockland Free Press.

2010 Elected to RSU #65 School Board, Matinicus Island.

2010 Publication of Well Out to Sea by Tilbury House Publishers, Gardiner, Maine.

I am a Notary Public, have a Class B (any single-unit truck) license with hazardous materials and tank endorsements, am a certified teacher for grades K-8, am a Wilderness EMT, serve as my community's Emergency Management Director, and will soon be building a blacksmith shop on Matinicus Island for the production of hand-forged iron fireplace tools, reproduction hinges and similar items.

I am currently working on a book about the modern-day one-room schools of Maine.


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Eva Murray first came to Matinicus as the teacher in the island's one-room school. She is a freelance writer, an EMT, runs a small seasonal bakery from her home during the summer, is married to the island's electrician and has raised two children on Matinicus.