May 31 – June 13, 2019Vol. 21, No. 1

Welcome Back

by Rod Johnson

Well, I guess it's time to open r State of Maine back up. Gutta go down thayah to Kittrey and move them barricades away from the rest of the gates on the Maine Pike entrance. Supposidly, one lane's good 'nuff from Novembah thru April. That's gets the skiahs up heah and back — and what few snowbirds didn't leave in time or came back early. It's been kinda nice to have it pretty much quiet up heah, but the problem is this: the money's run out. Yep, no matter how hard you work in the summah, no matter how much you stuff away in various accounts (like beeah, sled gas, Grill food), you just can't make it for moren 6 months before the bank calls and says your truk payment is 2 weeks late.

Now, just to fess up, I was writing downeast Mainer lingo above just to give all you "from-away folks" a reminder that things are different up here. So welcome back, but don't try talking up here like you just came out of New York City or South Mississippi. We know you won't sound like a real Mainer, but please do your best to give it a try, we'd sure appreciate it. It also gives the Maine folk something to make fun of from time to time.

Now that you've had a lingo refresher, let's talk about some of the Mainer habits that you should try and copy while you are here, whether it's one week or the entire season. Following is a list of dos and don'ts that you might as well get started on right from the get-go.

On your way into camp on Memorial weekend, don't bother to try and pick around the potholes on the camp road, just pound through 'em — your SUV can take it, and if it can't it ain't worth keepin. A little mud is not going to hurt your baby. Just remember, your road dues help put that dirt back in the holes, so use common sense.

When you go shopping tomorrow to fill the larder (fridge), don't buy fake butter. Get the logs of normal real butter. You're going to need it to roll corn in, and you can melt it down to dip lobsta parts in. Real good on toast too!

When you are going in and out of the camp road, or even West Road or Route 27, don't wonder why some guy gave you a short fingered wave without letting go of the Jeep steering wheel. He was just saying howdy and won't bite. He probably recognized your buggy from last year, or his brother in law is your camp caretaker. Go ahead and practice it, it's just a minor effortless finger lift. After 2 or 3 trys you'll have it down pat. Don't just stare ahead making it real clear that you aren't about to make eye contact while taking your half out of the middle. Look 'um right in the eye as you brush past and do be careful not to knock off your side mirror by hitting a hemlock tree.

When you hear someone say they are going shopping tomorrow, it doesn't necessarily mean they are headed to Portland or Freeport. It may well mean they are heading to Reny's in Farmington or Damriscotta, maybe just out to Waterville or Lewiston to see what Mardens has today. Remember, "You Should Have Bought It, When You Saw It, At Marden's." Nice little jingle.

Dress: When you are riding around with your arm out the window on the local roads (it's o.k.) with your brand new red and black plaid shirt on, rub it in dirt and run over it with your truck before putting it on. Anew red and plaid flannel shirt just doesn't get it — somehow make it appear half or two-thirds worn out.

Last but not least, don't ever say "Lobster," say "Lobsta."

Enjoy your time here, thanks for coming. We hope you are or will become an annual visitor, and that you progress this summer and learn a lot of new words.

Yours truly,
The Luckiest Boy

Rod Johnson was born and raised in the Belgrade Lakes in the 1950s and '60s.