fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Mainely Maine

Celebrity Death Watch: Eileen Ford co-founded a modeling agency. Tommy Ramone was the drummer of the Ramones. Nadine Gordimer was a South African novelist and activist. Johnny Winter was a blues guitarist. Szymon Szurmej ran the Jewish theatre of Warsaw. Elaine Stritch was a notable actress and a lady who lunched. James Garner also acted and I associate him with The Rockford Files though he was already well-known by the time that series premiered. Albert Stunkard did much of the research proving that obesity is almost entirely genetic.

I want to particularly highlight Tom Tierney, who was the preeminent paper doll artist of our times. I have several of his paper doll books, but just a small fraction of the over 400 he created. His earlier career was largely as a fashion illustrator, so it’s no surprise that he was particularly well known for his dolls with historic costumes. It’s hard to imagine another artist achieving his dominance in what is, to be fair, a specialized field.

Travel to Maine: I had been scheduled to fly from DCA to PWM via EWR. The problem with regional jets late in the day is that they are flying several segments earlier in the day, any of which can get delayed for any number of reasons. I had a two-hour layover, but that was starting to look shorter and shorter, so I figured it made sense to switch to a non-stop out of IAD. That worked out surprisingly well as, not only did I get in several hours earlier, that change dropped the price of my rental car nearly in half. And I got to the hotel (the Embassy Suites by the Portland Airport) in time for their evening reception, providing me with a perfectly adequate supper.

Augusta: Continuing my obsession with state capitals, I drove to Augusta to do the capital volksmarch there. The walk started with a long, bland section from the Villes Arboretum to the Capitol complex. The Capitol building itself might have been attractive had the dome not been completely covered in scaffolding. There was a reasonably attractive park area across the street from it, however. There were several historical signs (in both English and French), mostly having to do with the Civil War. It turns out that this "museum in the streets" concept is common throughout Maine, with similar set-ups in Bar Harbor and Portland, for example. The route then continued through an area with some fine 19th century houses before a marginally less bland section with views of the Kennebec River returning to the arboretum. Overall, it was just an okay walk, but it served its purpose.

I had intended to go to the state museum after the walk, but it was, alas, closed on Sunday. So I just went to my hotel instead.

The Coast: Monday had me driving to the coast, with a couple of stops on my way north. I checked out the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory, which has nice views but is kind of pricey ($7 for non-residents of Maine). Admission also includes Fort Knox, which is pretty much your standard 19th century fort and not really all that exciting.

My more important stop was just across the bridge in Bucksport. I tell a ghost story based on a legend from that town. The gist of the story is that the town founder, Colonel Buck, had a woman named Ida Black hanged for witchcraft because she spurned his advances. On the way to the gallows, she swore she would come back and dance on his grave. When he died, the image of a boot appeared on his gravestone and kept coming back every time it was sanded off. They even replaced the gravestone and it reappeared. And, yes, indeed, Ida Black is still dancing on his grave. I have photographic proof!

Acadia: My most important destination was Acadia National Park. I had time on Monday afternoon to see a little bit of the park. I should probably have stayed longer then, as it rained on Tuesday, heavily at times. Inevitably, it would start pouring whenever I walked one of the trails and was at the point furthest from my car. The rain did let up, but I still had to deal with puddles and such, especially around Jordan Pond. I earned my popovers at the Jordan Pond House. Also, there are supposed to be lovely views from the top of Cadillac Mountain and around Somes Sound (the only fjord in the eastern United States), but I can only testify to views of fog banks.

I could have used another two or three days up that way, but needed to get back to Portland for the National Puzzlers’ League convention, which was the point of the whole trip. That deserves its own entry. As does the Capital Fringe Festival. Those will have to wait a few days.
Tags: celebrity death watch, travel, volksmarch

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