Administrative staff, Bath Iron Works (BIW), Driving, Fisheries, Maine, Maine Democratic Party, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), Presidential campaign (1968), Press relations, Travel
Tom Bertocci was born in Lewiston, Maine, on February 17, 1945. His father was Salvatore Theodore “Ted” Bertocci, the son of Italian immigrants who came to the United States in 1912. Two of Tom’s uncles became professors at Bates College, where they met Ed Muskie. Tom’s father worked at Bath Iron Works, and met Tom’s mother, Margaret True Allen of Auburn, Maine, through his brothers. Tom was graduated from Morse High School and Wesleyan University. He became involved with the Chewonki Foundation during his college years, when he worked there as a camp counselor. He taught history at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, then earned a masters degree in education at the University of Wisconsin while becoming increasing interested in activism and politics. He became the first director of the Chewonki Foundation’s Maine Reach School, where he led a citizen action project with students to help on George Mitchell’s 1974 campaign for governor. He returned to Wisconsin as a full-time graduate assistant and co-authored Skills in Citizen Action with Fred Newman. In 1979, he returned to Maine to work for the Maine Audubon Society’s campaign opposing repeal of Maine’s bottle bill. In the spring of 1980, he was hired as a field representative and driver in Mitchell’s Rockland, Maine, field office, where he remained until Mitchell retired in 1995. He married his wife, Portland native Cindy Stanhope, in 1981. He died on April 4, 2010, at his home after a prolonged illness.
Interview includes discussions of: family background and education; growing up in Bath, Maine; the basketball team at Morse High School and the New England Championships; association with the Chewonki Foundation as a counselor and academic director; summer jobs; attending Wesleyan College and teaching at the Hotchkiss School; his political philosophy (transitioning from the Republican to the Democratic Party), and views on politics and education; graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; working on McCarthy’s campaign in 1968; co-authored Skills in Citizen Action; involvement in Wisconsin politics; working for the Maine Audubon Society; getting the job as Mitchell’s field representative in Rockland; the offices in Rockland and Waterville; helping with the Midcoast counties’ issues such as Bath Iron Works, fishing, the Windjammers, and Martin Marietta’s Thomaston kiln and solvent incineration controversy; involvement in Mitchell’s Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974); Mitchell’s Maine visits as senator; travel, especially driving Mitchell around the state; Mitchell’s geographic knowledge; Mitchell’s personality and leadership qualities; Mitchell’s interactions with his administrative staff and his relationship with Bertocci; Mitchell’s retirement from the U.S. Senate; and an anecdote about Senator John Glenn’s visit to Maine relating to Cindy Bertocci’s father, Joe Stanhope.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.