So, I’m standing at the check out of one of them new, “old fashioned” general stores, clutching a bag of penny candy, when I suddenly spy the fudge counter. What a dilemma!
As a veteran reporter and columnist with more than thirty years experience, I’ve often found myself in harm’s way. By which I do not mean I was trespassing on the private road of that name in Belgrade. I mean I’ve been in situations where the threat of violence against my journalistic person was a possibility to be taken seriously:
“Vacationland.” That’s what it says on our Maine license plate, and it’s true. There are plenty of fun things to do here, year-round. We encourage folks from away to come and spend time in the great outdoors, enjoy the sights, eat the local delicacies, drink Moxie, buy stuff. We are willing to share our beautiful state with you, but please remember: be nice to us locals! The signs say “Maine: the way life should be”, not “Just like New Jersey, only prettier.”
Why should we get a pass? Between the economic recession and the vacationing-in-a-moldy-pup-tent weather, the business climate in Maine this summer has been pretty dismal. In times like these, of course, I’m even more grateful than usual to be self-employed. The old line “I may not get a paycheck this week. But at least I still have a job.” has a particularly strong resonance lately. Fortunately, forty years without a “day job” has kept my survival instincts well honed.
I’m feeling a little blue this morning. If you’re an Elvis fan, you know why. Thirty-two years ago yesterday, the King passed on to that Great Show Room in the Sky. I sure do miss him. What a sexy man! Fat or thin, I don’t care. There was something about Elvis.
As part of this feature’s ongoing series profiling Mainers who have distinguished themselves in the great big world beyond the Piscataqua River Bridge, this week I am distressed to inform you that nobody qualified.
We told anyone who asked that we were going to Bangor for lunch, and the two-for-one sale at Payless. It wasn’t true. My sister Irene and me were going on a secret mission!
We do this once a summer. I had put my supplies in the car the night before, when it was dark, so no one would see, and the next morning I pulled into Irene’s garage to pick her up, so she could do the same. Our excitement was high we was headed out of town.
Naked Shakespeare has been cast out into the world, like King Lear into the wilderness. It’s almost as if the Bard had known the fate of the group of now-homeless Portland actors when he wrote in that famous play, “Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,/That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,/How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,/Your loop’d and window’d raggedness, defend you/From seasons such as these.”
Summer has finally arrived in Maine, and once we recovered from the shock, the whole gang (Celeste and Bud, Rita and Smitty, Betty and Pat, Shirley and Junior, and me and Charlie) bee-lined it up to Dot and Tommy’s camp on Moose Megantic Lake to celebrate. The boys had a canoe race, played some horseshoes and practiced archery. (They’re toying with the idea of getting into bow hunting.) Us girls hung out in the lounge chairs, gabbing, reading magazines, and pestering the boys about drinking enough water and putting sunscreen on.