A Cake, the Klan, a Senator’s Stand

I have two writerly “woohoos!” today! First, my piece about Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, her conscientious stand against 1950s hatred, and her yummy blueberry cake, appears in the lead position at The Redbud Post this month.



Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine appeared in Gallup’s Top 10 Most Admired Women for 19 years.


Then, I received a contract today from Anita Montague Johnson for a piece about my mother’s lessons in priority setting. It will appear in Alnita’s forthcoming anthology, Cherish Her!

Alnita Johnson.jpg

Alnita Montague Johnson teaches a “Phenomenal Woman” workshop and is publishing an anthology about the lessons we learn from our mothers.

These two portraits of admirable women land just as Maine is celebrating one of its own female phenomena, Sen. Susan Collins.

Last week, applause erupted in Bangor International Airport when Sen. Collins stepped out of the jetway. Collins, together with Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, had steadfastly resisted pressure from members of their own Republican party to repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacement. Both had heard loud and strong from their constituencies — rural, lower income, with challenges accessing needed care — and both chose to represent their people instead of bowing to their party. Sen. John McCain took a break in his medical treatment for cancer to provide the last vote needed to protect the ACA.

Susan Collins

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), together with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) held the line to protect health care for their rural, low-income constituents.


Collins and Murkowski acted in the same tradition that caused Sen. Smith to stand up to her Republican colleague, Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the 1950s. Smith lost a key committee seat in the process, but gained the admiration of a nation. Read about it at The Redbud Post. And get Smith’s blueberry cake recipe there, too. The first Maine wild blueberries are just ripe.




About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at christianpurposeblog.wordpress.com, churchandmentalillness.wordpress.com and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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