Are You the Guy From Maine?
This is the first of what I hope will be many installments of my first ever blog so please bear with me folks. If you’re wondering about the name, I can explain that. From 1993 to 2004 I had the distinct honor of appearing as a regular correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning . During that 11 year run CBS broadcast about 100 5-7 minute “Postcards from Maine” essays about Maine life and Maine people. As a result millions of loyal Sunday Morning viewers came to regard me as an unofficial ambassador and guide to Maine. Heady stuff indeed.
But, as anyone in public life will tell you, these moments in the national spotlight often bring with them consequences we could never have anticipated. For instance, at the outset of the adventure I was sure that national TV exposure would make me a household name from coast to coast. That never happened. What happened instead was that I became and remain a vague but persistent national rumor! So, now when I’m sitting around an airport in New York or Chicago, I think this even happened at Heathrow once, perfect strangers will glance my way, do a double take, nudge their traveling companion, stare some more and after several minutes walk over and say “Are you the guy from Maine?” Being asked the same question dozens of times provides both the time and the opportunity to cultivate a snappy comeback. “Well,” says I, “there are a couple other guys up there and they sent me out for a quart of milk.”
I’m no longer with the network. But, I’m still performing, recording, writing and doing all the stuff you expect me to be doing. The more things change the more they stay the same, which can be a comfort in these uncertain times. People ask me where I get my material and say “you must not be paying attention.” It’s everywhere folks. A year or so after I left CBS I did an interview with local public access cable here in Maine. I figured that nobody would see it because of the dinky coverage area. For several weeks people stopped me to say how much they enjoyed my “TV Show” and it finally dawned on me that network television meant talking to 5 million people for 6 or 7 minutes and local public access was more like talking to 6 or 7 people for 5 million minutes. Anyway, it’s all fun and I’m happy to be up and running.
I’m going to wind this first installment up and send it off to the powers that be at Down East along with my heartfelt appreciation for their steadfast encouragement over the years. In upcoming blogs I plan to explore a variety of topics including, but not limited too; Who started the rumor that I am not a Maine native? I am of course, born and raised. Is the Maine dialect dying off or possibly getting stronger? And, of course, why didn’t Obama quote Artemis Ward in his inaugural?
In response to many e-mail requests I’m also planning an occasional V-log! So stop in often and let me know what you’re thinking. In between blogs you can find out about products and performances and check out the latest audio and video downloads at timsample.com and you can also see some of the videos here on Down East.com.
That’s it for now. I’ll see you ‘round the great state of Maine!