Remembering Al Arthur & Mike Little

We recently lost two humble and kind people who made an impact on Belfast Flying Shoes ~ Mike Little and Al Arthur. They each brought  goodness to the world, and will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to their loved ones.

Mike Little died on October 1 at home on his farm in Bucksport. His obituary paints a picture of the generous soul that he was, whether in his gardening clothes or his formal kilt. “Mike was the epitome of the Renaissance Man – he was a scholar and a farmer; a dancer and a carpenter; a musician and a beekeeper; a book collector and an environmentalist; a fierce cribbage player and a top-notch birder, and so much more. He was a man of many interests and passions who lived and loved life to the fullest.”

Way back in early 2005, the BFS co-founders were searching for just the right dance hall. A friend suggested we contact Mike Little to ask his advice. Mike was one of an ardent group of enthusiasts who did Scottish Country Dancing every Monday evening at the American Legion. After a cheerful phone conversation discussing all things dance and tradition and Waldo County, Mike gave us a favorable introduction to the Legion leadership. With his help, our First Friday series found its beloved venue. We can picture Mike grinning broadly as he dances down the set in his tartan kilt, bringing joy to the room.

Al Arthur died on October 16 at home in Belfast, six days after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Al gave the Belfast Flying Shoes organization its public face by building our website, redesigning and refining it over the years, and maintaining the content with lightning fast responsiveness. In addition to his alacrity, we appreciated Al’s candor, directness, and honesty; his artistic sensibilities and tech skills; his quirky wit and social commentary; and his unwavering support of our work. We treasure the memory of the rare occasions when he stuck his head in the Legion entryway on a First Friday, just to take in the happy scene before quietly heading back out the door.

Al’s obituary documents many of his wide ranging life experiences, from gigging musician to talented visual artist, the world traveler and the man who walked to town for errands. It also perfectly describes the webmaster we knew: “His devotion to his clients was extraordinary and he was regarded as a first-rate webmaster. He earned a reputation for being exceedingly generous with his time for his clients and friends on the array of computers in his home office and was particularly helpful to those who were less confident with the latest digital technology.” Al’s devotion to family, friends, and clients–particularly artists and arts organizations–made the world a better place. We’re grateful that we knew him.