Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 11, 2019
Bookcase memorializes beloved Castine resident
Harry Kaiserian’s widow Berna, left, and other family members unveil the book case at Witherle Memorial Library dedicated to Kaiserian during a ceremony on July 6.
by Monique Labbe
Harry Kaiserian was known for many things in Castine. Among them were his love of food and his work on the library board, particularly with the monthly book sales.
Bringing those two together, Bob Friedlander, president of the Friends of Witherle Library, and other library board members decided to dedicate a particular bookcase to Kaiserian, who died in February. The bookcase is themed specifically to recipe books and food-related books in the room at Witherle Memorial Library where the book sales take place. The case was unveiled during a short dedication ceremony on July 6, with a few members of Kaiserian’s family in attendance, including his widow Berna.
“Harry was everything. This room was his baby,” said Friedlander during the dedication. “He cooked. He wrote books. He gave cooking lessons, and did people’s taxes. And he always, always had a story.”
In addition to housing food books written by various authors and chefs, the bookshelf will also have The Best of K’s Kwisine, a compilation book of Kaiserian’s food columns from the Castine Patriot, which he contributed to for more than 30 years.
After the book shelf was unveiled, people in attendance shared their stories about interacting with Kaiserian and about their time spent with him, both around a dinner table or during book sales at the library.
“What amazed me about Harry was his ability to talk to people,” said Keith Hagel. “It didn’t matter if it was a 6-year-old or a 96-year-old; Harry could connect to anybody, and he did it with 100 percent of his attention.”