Strange Maine

Founded 2005! Freaks. Weirdos. Unmapped roads. Whispering rocks. Deadening fog. Ghost pirates. Lonely islands. THINGS in the WOODS. Home of Stephen King & Glenn Chadbourne. A place where the 4 seasons really know how to live. Maine: the way life should be! This site is a nexus for conversation about Maine's unique strangeness, people who love it, people who have experienced it, & people who are intrigued by it. History, mysteries, legends, current events, cryptozoology, & more.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Carboat? Boatcar? Rigged to rev!

Thanks to Ceci for pointing this gem out -- holy moley!!!

To quote Omobono10, who posted the video, and "met this jolly crew July 15, 2009 while returning from Freeport to Portland. One never knows around here what might come floating along. Notice he's set up to pull lobster traps with the driver side front wheel. This rig is a marvel of engineering and could be the answer to Detroit's current problems. As the old saying says : As goes Maine so goes the Nation." Sweet!!!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Not your average tourist

Batman from Maine makes headlines with Superman from the Bronx in brawl downtown at Times Square. Thanks to Aaron for catching this. Read all about it at the New York Post, with photos (really, they're pretty amazing. I recommend you check them out)!
BIFF! WHAM! POW! TIMES SQ. COPS VS. SUPER HEROES
By BETH STEBNER and JENNIFER FERMINO
July 10, 2009

Superman and Batman took on New York's Finest last night in an epic Crossroads of the World battle that left the Caped Crusader in cuffs.

Stunned Times Square tourists and office workers watched agog as cops struggled to subdue Clark Kent's alter ego without kryptonite.
[...]
If that wasn't weird enough, McCormick turned and saw the Dark Knight handcuffed to a chair like a common villain.

"As this was happening, someone is like, 'It's Batman!' I turn around and there's Batman in handcuffs," he said.

Superman, aka Maksim Katsnelson, 23, of The Bronx, was arrested and charged with assault and resisting arrested, police said, accusing him of punching a female officer in the face while she was trying to subdue him.

The incident occurred when cops approached Katsnelson, who was panhandling, and asked him for ID.
[...]
"He freaked out and punched the girl cop in the face," Batman said later.

Cops cuffed Batman, actually Frank Frisoli, but let him go because he didn't cause any problems, he told The Post.

The Maine resident, who has been visiting the city for two weeks, said the two had dressed up as the super heroes for laughs.

"We were just having a good time," Frisoli said.

Their comic-book adventure went awry when cops approached the dynamic duo on 43rd Street to see whether they had the required license to perform in costume in public, Frisoli said.

When they said no, cops asked for IDs. Again, they answered no, which prompted cops to handcuff Batman.

That's when Superman took off, screaming, "I'm not getting arrested."
[...]

Additional reporting by Philip Messing

read full article here: [Source]

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Rogue rose thievery

Well, you've read about weird crime here on the blog before, but this one is new to me. Portland's Deering Oaks park, just down the block from me, is a great place in the summer months, and many come simply to smell the roses in the gorgeous circle garden between High Street and State Street. Apparently, someone has been loving them too much, though. The city is looking for help in nabbing the crooks. The Portland Daily Sun reports:
Rose poachers steal color from city garden
By David Carkhuff, Staff writer

Rose poachers have become a thorn in the side of the city, stealing fresh blooms from a nationally recognized rose garden at Deering Oaks.

Gardeners at the Deering Oaks Rose Circle, located on the east end of the park next to State Street, noticed Monday that somebody had illegally cut roughly 100 roses from the display garden, according to John Shannon, horticultural supervisor with Portland Public Services.

"Somebody is starting to harvest," he said Tuesday. "We came in Sunday, and as of yesterday, it looked like somebody had cut 100 roses."

This was a repeat of a problem first noticed last year, he said.

The Rose Circle features 600 rose bushes and is one of only 134 rose gardens in the United States where the American Rose Society previews its "All American Rose Selections," offering a sneak peak of award-winning roses a year before they go on the market.

"It's a jewel to the city of Portland," Shannon said.

Last year was the first that city crews noticed large-scale thefts of roses, Shannon said, marking a new, disturbing trend.

"We've come in and found scissors on the ground. A lot of times it seems to be happening on a later Sunday," Shannon said.

On weekends and evenings, if someone in the public sees pruning happening in the rose circle, they should call the police, because it's not a city gardener but a vandal, he said.
[...]
But the bulk of the theft appears to be organized. Shannon said he's saddened to see the poaching, something that had not happened on this scale in the rose circle's 71-year history.
[...]
Anyone with information about the rose circle vandalism is asked to call Portland Police at 874-8479.

Read the full article here: [Source]

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

In Memoriam: Pat Murphy

The following article appeared in the most recent issues of the Strange Maine Gazette, which recently hit the streets, hot off the press.
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On returning from my trip to Amsterdam in April, I was met with sad news. Preston “Pat” Murphy, founder of Yes Books, and longtime Portland poet, had died. I hadn’t heard from Pat in some time, though I had kept writing to him at various locations until he removed himself from care. Every time I wrote, I also sent him the latest issue of the Gazette, which I can only imagine he got a good chuckle over.

Little did Pat know, but he was one of the first pieces of Strange Maine I was ever introduced to, when I stumbled upon Yes Books in its first location. It lurked on the dimly lit first floor of the big brick building at 20 Danforth Street which now houses the Portland Phoenix and other office-laden business pursuits.

I have very fond memories of bumbling about through the aisles of the shop, smelling the aroma of his godawful clove cigarettes and the soon familiar grumblings and declarations that emanated from the area of his front counter, which seemed perpetually under threat of collapse from all the books he piled upon it.

Back in the days of the early 1990s, Yes Books formed a bohemian alliance with jazzman Paul Lichter’s own restaurant, Cafe No (founded with poet David Snow), and Portland was much the better for it. Through the back stacks of Pat’s bookshop, you could see the little bistro tables of Cafe No, each covered neatly with paper just waiting to be doodled on. Everything in that domain was rife with possibility. It was a golden, shadowy moment in time that passed too quickly.

Cafe No closed, and Pat eventually had to move his bookstore in the spring of 2002. Now at 589 Congress Street, Yes Books remains a staple of Portland’s character, run these days by yet another local poet, Russ Sargent.

My last and only note from Pat came on a napkin, true to form, mailed from his lodgings at the VA Hospital before one of a few relocations. On the napkin, mixed in with his brief note, was a poem, and talk of rebelling and moving back to Portland.

I miss Pat. I miss his grumpy and matter-of-fact diatribes, delivered in his rough but clear voice. I miss how he would stash beat poetry, Charles Addams books, Edward Gorey books, and all his favorite treasures safe on the high shelves behind his front counter. I miss him pulling down something obscure and amazing to share with Tristan and I on our visits to his shop, no matter what the location.

I miss going to yard sales in search of books only to find Pat there ahead of me, hauling off stacks of delicious art books and who-knows-what. I miss the Pat that was, and I hope that young Portlanders in years to come have another Pat to make friends with, in spite of whatever gruff exterior they encounter. Because with your books, you need a bookman, someone who makes a place in the world that you can wander through to make friends with the books before you take them home.

Pat was many, many things in his life, but these are the things I remember him best for. Thank you, Darlene and Jon, for doing the best that you knew how.

Illustration: A favorite memory from the Danforth Street era of Yes Books: the bathroom toiletpaper dispenser with appropriately bookish and pop culture laden grafitti, recreated from memory. Beam me up, Scotty! Beam me up F. Scott Fitzgerald!!!

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