Last week I was sent on assignment to Jonesport, a small fishing community Downeast in Maine. Four radio stations come in crystal clear; two out of those four are Canadian.
Jonesport has been under scrutiny lately-an incredibly successful basketball coach was removed from the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame following allegations of sexual abuse against girls who were (at the time) between the ages of 12 and 13 in the 1970's. Eric Hall, the reporter on this story, illustrates the situation better than I could:
—The allegations are not new, at least not to locals. Stories about Alley have persisted in Jonesport and Beals for years like badly kept secrets.
—Alley, now 72, has achieved almost mythical status in eastern Maine because of his coaching resume, but he’s not universally adored in his hometown.
— Many think that if any abuse happened, it needed to be addressed decades ago. Absent any proof, what can be done about it now?
— Yet there is also the sense that if any abuse happened, the communities are at fault for not taking allegations seriously all those years ago, for sweeping them under the rug.
In the beginning there was a feeling of unanimous glaring side-eye: people knew why I was there and what I was trying to do. People eventually warmed though, as they typically do, and forgot about my presence. This was a tough story. These are the images I made.