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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HOM: Maine

Jerry found an ad in the Shotgun News for a gun show up in Portland, so we went north to check it out. We were touching bases by phone once a week or so, tracking packages and keeping each other updated on the trip and the store. The show turned out to be a washout -- six tables, total! It was advertised as being a lot bigger, but I guess it was the first annual show by that sponsor and was more hope & hype than hardware. The trip wasn't wasted, though, it was great. We shopped in Portland, then went to Freeport so I could visit L. L. Bean's wonderful store. Dad & I had been wearing Bean's Maine boots for years, the original leather top/ rubber bottom all-weather footwear, & I wanted to see where they were made. Even then, it was turning into Yuppieville, but it was still a fun & somewhat rustic place to visit. In an old store in Portland, I stumbled onto the four books Martha McKeown wrote about her uncle Mont Hawthorne, an old trapper/prospector/sourdough. Excellent reading, and I still have them. I found a few other books for stock, too. I found a few books by Edmund Ware Smith, a Maine writer who wrote novels of backwoods life. The books he wrote starring "The One-Eyed Poacher Of Privilege" are still some of my favorites. I see that they are hard to find and expensive now. Had I been more of a Stephen King fan I'd have tried finding his house, but the horror genre wasn't -- and isn't -- my bag. Maine was gorgeous. The rivers were high and everything was green, the traffic was light and the roads were good. Too good, maybe. Lyn's sister warned us that the "bear in the air" was cruising the Maine roads, as she had found out the hard way. The plane would spot the speeders, a patrol car would ease out and patiently wait for the car and when it passed, would nail it. Being forewarned, I was a good boy and took my time. It was easy to do, as the Maine woods were lovely and made me homesick. I could see why Maine was Dick's favorite vacation spot, though I didn't get as far as Bar Harbor, or "Bah Hahbah" as he & Ruth called it. "Bah Hahbah" was one of their favorite spots. One day, I'd like to go back there. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)