This was a pleasant surprise. On our recent trip along the Massachusetts coast, we stopped by in Salem and caught sight of Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne, hat in hand, sitting near Essex Street. Born in Salem on July 4, 1804, he attended Bowdoin College here in Maine with classmates Franklin Pierce and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Although he was most famous for his novel, The Scarlet Letter, his short stories always intrigued me more. His "The Minister's Black Veil" was my favorite. The mystery that surrounded the minister, who one day out of the blue started preaching to his congregation with a veil covering his face, was one that still makes me wonder, long after I finished the reading. I got to believe the seemingly endless hours spent in the pews of St. Joseph's Church, listening to long, windy sermons, had something to do with it. Let us pray.