Thursday, November 30, 2006

Strange Maine Music Show

WHEN: Friday, December 8th at 8:00pm
WHERE: Strange Maine, the store, 578 Congress Street
WHO: Godbois, with A.M. Frank and Jake from the Union
WHAT: All sorts of electronic and acoustic brouhaha music, live, for FREE!
HUH?: Call (207)771-9997 for more information

Come explore a niche of Maine music that few get to hear, in the intimate setting of Strange Maine, the store.

For a sample of a past show by different artists in this unique venue, please check out this YouTube video!

...and pick up a copy of the December issue of the Strange Maine Gazette while you're there.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Krakow We're Not, But...

Someone over at Frommer's travel guide really had a good time in Portland, because they just named Portland among the top world travel destinations. Yes, I said WORLD! And I'm not talking a piddly ranking like 200-and-something... we hit #12, right behind Zurich, Switzerland. Weird...
The votes are in! Portland, Maine was voted one of the twelve surprising, thriving and emerging travel destinations by the editors at Frommer's Travel Guides and The editors scoured the globe and polled a stable of authors and experts to identify the top spots. Portland is listed at number twelve among the top travel destinations not to be missed in 2007.

To view the complete article visit

Frommer's top destinations are:

1) Krakow, Poland
2) Tokyo, Japan
3) Minneapolis, Minnesota
4) Panama
5) Asheville, North Carolina
6) Ethiopia
7) Portland, Oregon
8) Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Island
9) Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
10) Glen Canyon, Utah
11) Zurich, Switzerland
12) Portland, Maine
Photo (c)2006 by Michelle Souliere.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hunters Run Amuck!

Watch out! Get out your kevlar vest and old trench helmet, because if you're living near the woods, apparently you're fair game even in your own home. The Lewiston Sun Journal reported Tuesday that a woman in Wilton, Maine, found her apartment being shot through by local hunters.
Bullet rips through apartment wall
By Maggie Gill-Austern , Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

WILTON - After a stray bullet landed in a local woman's kitchen Monday, police warned hunters to be more careful where they're shooting.

Just before 10:30 Monday morning, a Village View apartments resident heard four gunshots and noticed that one of the shots had gone through her apartment wall, according to a news release issued by police.

When officer Ed Leahy arrived on the scene, he found that the bullet had ripped through her kitchen wall, gone through the room and an interior wall, and then struck a baseboard heater in a hallway.

"Had the lady been in her kitchen, in the path of the bullet, she would have been killed," Leahy wrote in the release.

All indications are that the bullet was fired from woods behind the Village View complex, not far behind the buildings.

Another witness heard shots and when she looked out her window, saw three deer run by, followed by two young-looking men, the release stated.

Police ask that anyone who might know who was hunting in the woods Monday in the Village View or Burgess Hill area call investigating game Warden Reggie Hammond or the Wilton Police Department.
Illustration from Thomas Thorpe's The Hive of the Bee Hunter as found online here at Documenting the American South.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Cautionary Tale of Stranger Danger

All across this great land, from California to the Maine, school children of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, were treated to film strips which were meant to keep them on the moral path to good citizenship. The stories were designed not only to scare the hell out of them, but to keep them safe from strangers, drugs, alochol, juvenile delinquents, cars, and those kids that didn't have proper posture. Some of you will also remember the horrific drivers ed films that were shown during high school drivers education class. [Good god, he's backing up on the freeway! screeeech.... crash!] These cautionary films continued to be shown until they either became too tattered to play, or were made obsolete by vhs tape.

On October 16th, one of this genre's best known filmmakers, Sid Davis, died at the age of ninety years in Los Angeles. Sid produced films which warned of the danger that waited around every corner, waiting to strike the child who was careless or didn't follow the rules of polite society. Sid was also John Wayne's stand in from 1941 to 1952.

After a local case in which a young girl was abducted and murdered by a stranger, Sid became concerned about his own daughter who was the same age as the murdered girl. He didn't think she was paying attention to his warnings about strangers. He approached John Wayne for a loan of $1000 and funded his first film, The Dangerous Stranger.

Sid sold this cautionary tale, of what can happen when a child talks to a stranger, to the schools as well as the police. He made enough money from this film to continue a career which spanned decades and reportedly produced over 180 of these classroom social guidance and safety films. Sid addressed serious topics such as drug use, teenage delinquents, drivers education, social behavior, and morality. Unfortunately many of these films no longer exist.The filmstrips were run over and over until they fell apart or could no longer be spliced together. Others were thrown away when there was no longer a use for them.

One which remains intact and can be viewed online -see the link at the bottom of this post- is Live and Learn. In this film, children are warned to think before they act. Otherwise they'll be like the kids in this film who "ended up in an ambulence."

Here we have pictures of an accident waiting to happen and the aftermath of another. The little girl is Sid's daughter Jill, who in the film runs with scissors and impales herself. The little mummy child is the boy who was playing with matches, and used a can of gasoline to get the fire really going.

In Sid's films, you could pay dearly for your carelessness. Along with the impalement and horrible burns, children in this film manage to: fall out of a canoe; break a leg jumping off a roof; lose an eye in a bb gun accident; get hit by a car; fall off a cliff; and end up face down in a pool after being jumped on after a dive. The kid who falls from the cliff only breaks his wrist, which is not terrible considering how far he fell. But there is no sympathy for this careless rule breaker as the narrator intones threateningly, "The boy learned what fences were for the hard way."

Some of Sid's other productions were the fantastically titled:
1. The Bottle and the Throttle
2. Boys Beware
3. The Terrible Truth
4. Why Take Chances
5. What Made Sammy Speed?
6. VD
7. Say No to Strangers
8. ABC's of Walking Wisely
9. Gossip

The heavy handed scripts are often amusing due to ridiculous statements by the narrator, which hopefully made more sense when they films were first released. One of my favorites comes from the film titled Gossip, in which the narrator tells us that "Gossips toss words around as carelessly as parrots." No matter how you look at it, that sentence is a doozy. Plus I had no idea that gossips tossed parrots around at all, let alone carelessly tossed them.

Here's a link to the Sid Davis Production, Live and Learn.

Or if you'd like to peruse nearly 2000 films of this genre to download or view via streaming video.
Prelinger Archives - "It's goal remains to collect, preserve, and facilitate access to films of historic significance that haven't been collected elsewhere. Included are films produced by and for many hundreds of important US corporations, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, community and interest groups, and educational institutions."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks be to Maine

Maine Impact asked a number of folks including myself to contribute short monologues to their Thanksgiving podcast about what we are thankful for. The podcast should be online on Thursday, November 23rd, for Thanksgiving Day. Here's a transcript of mine. Thanks, everyone.


I am thankful for the State of Maine.

I am thankful I live in a state where I can see the bare bones of the earth, and the bare souls of the people who live here.

I am thankful to live in a state that is met by the sea, veined by rivers and streams, and strung with the precious blue of lakes. I am grateful for the wind-whispering traffic that moves through the pines, the squirrel highways among the oaks, and the quiet treading of feet both big and small on soft pine needle trails.

I am thankful for the wash and thunder of the waves, the smell of trees and water together with earth and stone, the creel of gulls glowing white in the night overhead, maple syrup on early morning pancakes, chowder eaten on the docks, corn eaten from the cob, potatoes by the bushel, and fields of pumpkins glowing in the late autumn sun.

I am thankful to live in a state that embraces the pockets of humanity, history, and nature that attract me so. I am grateful that I will explore Maine for my entire lifetime and never find myself wanting for new discoveries around each turn I take.

I am thankful that Maine is a place that encourages writers to write, artists to create, craftspeople to make, teachers to tell, and storytellers to spin tales to anyone who will listen.

I am thankful that I live in a state that people yearn to call their home, that adopted Mainers pine for while away, and which has taught me that this is a land which has a heart that beats strong and deep within it that draws us onward even when we’ve settled here.

I am thankful to live in a state where there are paths rarely tread upon by humans, and where there are also well traveled roads lined with family and friends, and folks I have yet to meet.

I am thankful for all the people of Maine, for the land and creatures of Maine, and for the spectral grace of “what is Maine” that haunts me night and day.

Disturbing Use of Dog

The Lewiston Sun Journal reported this morning on a disturbing incident in which a young dog was abandoned and then killed on the roadside in Poland, Maine.
Police seek owner of dog killed in Poland
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

POLAND - Police are searching for the owner of a young yellow Labrador retriever that was thrown out of a van on Empire Road on Tuesday night and later struck by a car and killed.

Androscoggin County Deputy Tom Slivinski said witnesses reported seeing a man get out of a white van that had pulled into a driveway near the accident scene, throw the dog out and then take off west on Empire Road.

A short time afterward, about 6 p.m., a motorist driving on Hackett Mills Road near Empire Road reported hitting a light-colored dog, which matched the description of the one thrown from the van, he said.

"We have some info to follow up on," the deputy said. "We'd like to find the owner."

He described the animal as being 2 to 3 years old, well cared for, with a faded salmon-colored collar and no tags.

One question Slivinski is looking at, he said, "Is it a domestic violence issue" where the man takes the woman's dog as retaliation?

Anyone with information is asked to call Slivinski at the Sheriff's Department, 784-7361, ext. 264.

I hope they get the person they're looking for.

The Gentle Wind dropped

Late last week Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey were finally able to draw a breath of relief. The married couple from Blue Hill, Maine, were informed that the Gentle Wind Project had finally dropped its defamation lawsuit against them (the first of which was begun back in 2003) for their attempts to inform the public of the activities of the organization, which many feel to be cultish and fraudulent.

The tale has been a strange one since the start. After finding out about the group's "miraculous" healing hockey pucks in February of 2006, we posted about the Gentle Wind Project and their high-priced products, glorified hockey pucks from heaven. Click here to read that first post. We again mentioned the group in July 2006 when it came to our attention that the Maine Attorney General had filed suit against the Gentle Wind Project. Click here to read the second article.

Since February, and indeed since this debacle began, the Gentle Wind Project's website has changed its tone substantially. In fact, the current page has none of the original product content it displayed earlier this year, now being pared down to what amounts to a mission statement and some contact information for an address in Nevada (far, far away from their original base in Kittery, Maine, from which they have been ferretted out), paired with photos of peaceful landscapes. It's a far cry from the days when the exorbitantly priced "Advanced Instruments" were plainly advertised on their pages.

Now, finally, we have good news, for which I am sure that Jim and Judy are also thankful. The group has settled with the Maine Attorney General, and dropped their case against Bergin and Garvey. Let us hope that fewer folks fall victim to their "healing" cult now, and that it fades away into dust. If you are interested in reading more in depth information about the Garvey/Bergin case, please visit their website,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Haunting in the Northern Maine Woods

A Haunting in the Northern Maine Woods has video of purported paranormal events. [heavy sarcasm on] I don't see how this could possibly be faked. [heavy sarcasm off]
Have you seen any of the new so-called true story horror movies that have come to the theaters in the last few years? Or perhaps you may have watched ghost hunting shows on t.v. that go to different places to investigate hauntings and then tell the results of their findings? Well we are not saying that they are not true, just the fact that the evidence is not there to support their claims.
Well this is where our haunting is different from all the rest, WE ACTUALLY HAVE REAL VIDEO OF OBJECTS BEING MOVED BY AN UN-SEEN FORCE!

We believe this is evidence that before now has never been captured by anyone, anywhere! If it has, then I say to all these producers and story writers, prove it!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Miskatonic Acid Test is ALIVE!

Call upon the Elder Gods and give thanks, for the trailer of Maine's own Dark Lord Rob's upcoming trip-heavy masterpiece, The Miskatonic Acid Test, is now online.
It's HP Lovecraft a-go-go in "The Miskatonic Acid Test", the first feature from American Entropy Productions. It's 1969, and cosmic horror infects a psychedelic rock "happening" in witch-haunted Arkham, Mass. It's a zonked out brew of poetry, philosophy, cosmic horror, and 60's-style acid rock; probably the first horror movie that's more heavily influenced by the Monkees' "Head" than by George Romero... This is the official trailer.
View the trailer here!

If you dig the tunes, please pop over to Dark Lord Rob's YouTube page to see footage of various initiates of the Arkham Sound roster, including such bands as The Barrow Wights, The Conqueror Wyrms, The Plasma Miasma, and the Gyre Falcons.
In 1969 a group of students at Miskatonic University in witch-haunted Arkham, Massachusetts decided to emulate the West Coast and put on their own sort of "happening", where "music and atmosphere could combine to create an alteration of consciousness," with the clandestine help of a little LSD. Or maybe a lot. However, it is said that one should be very careful when experimenting with the nether regions of consciousness, particularly when one's psychedelic event is occuring under the watchful eye of a philosophy professor who specializes in the study of Evil, and most particularly when that selfsame professor has access to the darker realms of the Miskatonic University library, where reside ancient tomes that should never be read under any circumstances, especially not aloud, and especially not in front of a crowd, and most especially not in front of a crowd that is under the effects of mind-altering drugs...

Filmed in the summer of 2005 in Middleboro, Massachusetts, The Miskatonic Acid Test is one of the most ambitious motion pictures ever attempted on a shoestring budget. Inspired by the work of early twentieth-century pulp horror author H.P. Lovecraft and told in the style of a 1960's documentary, the movie's concept is described by its writer/director, Dark Lord Rob as "sort of like Monterey Pop, only at the end monsters attack everybody."

The movie, currently being edited for anticipated 2007 festival dates, features a talented young cast headed by Boston actors Erika Dyer and Sam Cohan. With a witty, literate script featuring over two dozen speaking parts, a small herd of extras, a faux coterie of psychedelic rock bands (performing vintage-styled original compositions created especially for the movie), light shows, and special effects, the movie strives to achieve much more than the average indie horror feature.

One of the most interesting and ambitious features of the movie is its creation of "The Arkham Sound", positing a unique musical identity for the various rock groups playing in the fictional town of Arkham in the late 60's. Over a dozen "bands" were created for the movie, four of which appear in the movie as stage acts and the rest of which lend atmosphere as their various regional "hits" are played over a portable radio during early scenes. The songs, created by Dark Lord Rob (a critically acclaimed songwriter from the first garage/psychedelic revival, ex-The Not Quite) and Jim Terry, a Portland-based musician/engineer, are top-flight recreations of the era and are now available as a triple-CD set.

Writer/Director/Actor Dark Lord Rob, formerly lead singer and bass player with The Not Quite is the founder of American Entropy Productions, overseeing a wildly ambitious slate of zany projects. The Miskatonic Acid Test, starring Erika Dyer, Sam Cohan, Jonathan Silver, Shawn French, Emily Griffin, and Chris Lobdell, was produced by Jasmine Koushki. Director of Photography: Eric Angra. Written and Directed by Dark Lord Rob.
Dark Lord Rob can be contacted in various ways, but the easiest and least diabolical method is to e-mail him at darklordrob[at]

Police Scanner Tidbits

In the August 3, 2006, issue of the Windham Independent, the Police Scanner mentions a few interesting items.
July 28, 12:07pm -- Steven D. Sanborn, 36, or Portland and Gloria J. Santamore, 65, of Biddeford were arrested at Wal-Mart for attempting to steal a cart full of lobsters. Officer Ray Williams made the arrest.
Apparently they were hungry. How did they think they were going to sneak out with a CART FULL of lobsters?!
July 27, 7:52pm -- Someone on Falmouth Road reported hearing gunshots. Officers Paul Cox and Wayne Cote investigated but heard nothing.
Yes, but did they SEE anything?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Strange Lights in Skowhegan

Readers who followed the story out of Industry, Maine, last week about strange lights witnessed by a former naval intelligence tech will be further interested in some October happenings I just dug up elsewhere. A person who spends a lot of time at their camp in Skowhegan reported on about weird events they experienced this October. Click here to read the full account.
I would like to report something that's really strange, but am not sure it's a UFO.

I have a hunting camp located on an old abandoned county road. It's rather isolated being 2.5 miles in the woods from a small village, and there is no power supply.

On Wednesday evening (October 11th), while looking out the front window of my camp towards the end of a field, I saw what I thought were headlights coming up over a small hill, on the main road . Suddenly they made a 90 degree right turn, (where there is no road), and shined in the direction of the woods for a very brief time, and then they went out. Then, in the same direction, a very bright area appeared approx. 100 ft. from the main road. It was a huge glow which lit up the the whole tree-line (which was emanating from the ground upwards) just behind the big tall firs. It also lit up all the other surrounding woods. At first, I thought it might be a helicopter, but I didn't hear a helicopter sound. And, the light wasn't a single beam coming down from the sky, it was emanating from the ground upwards, and lighting up the whole surrounding area.

Then, the brilliant glow that lit up the whole area started moving around my camp. First it would be beside the camp at a distance of approx. 50 yds., then it would move around to the back, where it appeared to be a little closer. Then it would move back to it's original position at the distant end of the field, down into a small valley.

At this point I became concerned. While it was moving , I could see beams of light shining from it onto the face of the trees, and in through my camp windows. As it moved closer to the camp, I became very frightened and wanted to leave, but it was dark, and I didn't dare to go outside long enough to get into my Jeep. I then found a "safe bunkbed" where the lights were partially blocked by the inside structure of the camp, and curled up in my sleeping bag like " a scared rabbit" for quite a while, until the lights made their way back down towards the end of the field , where they were the farthest from the camp.

I then got up enough courage to look out one of the front windows with binoculars to see what/where the lights were coming from. But, every time I did this, my view was always obscured by the trees/woods, or a small hill above the valley at the end of the field. When it was in that valley I could see the entire outline of the big tall fir trees, the adjacent woods, and the entire field, but I still could not see the source of the brilliant light. (In retrospect, I think that "whatever it was", always kept itself surrounded by the firs/hardwoods, --a buffer zone-- so that it couldn't be seen).

Then it would leave the valley and make it's way back up to my camp, always skirting the backside of the firs and hardwoods, until it got around to the back of it . Then it would start heading back towards the field via the same route. I don't know how close "whatever it was" got to the camp because every time it started getting closer, I slid down further into my sleeping bag, closed my eyes, and prayed. This continued throughout the night, until morning.
Man, if I was out alone in the woods and subjected to this kind of thing, I think I'd be a "scared rabbit" too. Be sure to read the rest of the post, as daytime run-ins with bizarre noises occurs to our witness. The site also has a number of other reports from Maine over a range of dates, including both recent and historic ones.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ever Feel Like A Comic Book Character?

Loren Coleman has found his way into the inky pages of the comic book industry a few times. Great coverage with color artwork examples on his page here.

The Maine Mutant in 1906?

Guest post by Loren Coleman:

from the
Lewiston Sun Journal
Looking Back

Monday, November 13, 2006

[November 13, 1906 - 100 Years Ago]

The hunters over Kenduskeag way are on the trail of a strange animal which has been haunting the woods and pastures in that vicinity for some months past. This animal, according to stories of those who have seen it, seems to be a hybrid of some sort, perhaps a cross between a bear and a bobcat. Only a week ago the animal was seen in a pasture near the road at Worcester's siding. The animal was apparently hunting for field mice and paid little attention to the people in the carriage driving along the road.

Bizarre Sports Team Unearthed

Recent delvings into the strongholds of a local book and record collector unearthed one of the strangest Portland Press Herald news clippings I've ever seen. Just take a look and see for yourself -- be sure to read the caption.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Not That Kind of Hoe

The Portland Press Herald reported in their Maine/New England dispatches for the 11/4/06 issue of the paper published the following item, detailing creative use of a tool for a break in.
Man charged with using backhoe in house break-in

A man broke into a home Thursday evening by using the owner's backhoe to break open a bulkhead to gain entrance, said Lt. Susan Nourse of the Freeport Police Department. The homeowner arrived home about 5:30pm to find the man in the house, Nourse said. The homeowner called police and the man waited quietly and did not resist when Sgt. Nathaniel Goodman and Officer Gino Biachini arrived and arrested him, she said.

Nourse said James P. Ruane, 52, was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking -- for using the backhoe without permission.

Ruane's last known address was in Saco, but "he's better described as transient," she said.

She declined to identify the victim, but said the incident took place on a street off Route 1, near the Brunswick line. The damage done to the bulkhead and home was estimated at $1,300, Nourse said.
Now THAT'S breaking and entering.

Mystery Aircraft in Western Maine

As noted by Loren Coleman on the Strange Maine group page, the Lewiston Sun Journal has posted a remarkable story from a man in the western Maine town of Industry. Please keep in mind that a UFO is precisely what the acronym stands for: an unidentified flying object.

In the Sun Journal article comments, Mark LaFlamme replies to a commenters post about an incident in Green, Maine, 2 years ago, in which residents were startled by what later turned out to be a fly boy who was buzzing his father's house while piloting a craft into Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Lewiston Sun Journal - Lewiston, ME, USA
Flying object spooks man
By Maggie Gill-Austern , Staff Writer
Saturday, November 11, 2006

INDUSTRY - Former naval intelligence crypto-tech Brad Luker is a down-to-earth kind of guy. At 40, he's a father and a husband, works as a power plant operator, and walks the straight and narrow. He doesn't believe in Bigfoot, aliens or the Loch Ness monster.

So when he saw strange bright lights in the sky above him Tuesday night, he assumed it was a helicopter, or maybe a small plane. Only when he opened the door to his truck, expecting to hear the whir of chopper blades above him, did he start to wonder what the craft could be.

"It was really bizarre," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. I do a lot of camping, and I've seen all the basic stuff (in the sky)," he said. Most strange things in the sky are high up in the air, he said. "This was way, way down here."

It was so low to the ground, and so brightly lit, at first he thought there must be something going on at the Industry town hall. "I thought 'wow, that's kinda neat,'" Luker said. As he got closer, though, Luker realized the lights were coming from something about 300 feet above him. That was when he pulled over, and opened his door. It sounded like a quiet jet engine. Luker was mystified, and a little nervous.

A woman driving in an SUV behind him saw it, too, Luker said. He never got her name, and wishes now that he had. She said she thought it looked like an aircraft trying to land on the road, Luker said.

"I know the Navy has some real funky special top-secret aircraft out there," he said. "That's the only thing I could think that it could be."

Then it stopped - right above his head, for a few seconds. "That's when it really freaked me out," he said. He'd have thought it was a spaceship, he said, except he doesn't believe in spaceships.

It could be a UFO, Leland Bechtel, former director of Maine's chapter of the Mutual UFO Network (or MUFON), said Thursday. "There has been a lot of activity there in the past," Bechtel said. He did an investigation in Farmington a few years ago, he said. Three college students - all very respectable - saw something somewhat similar to what Luker saw. "This thing came directly over them, and stopped, with a powerful floodlight right down on them."

Police said it might be a helicopter, Bechtel said. But most people can tell when they're seeing a helicopter, and when they're not. Could what Luker saw be a UFO? "It certainly has earmarks of being an unidentified flying object," Bechtel said. "And we don't know what they are. We don't know where they come from."
Bechtel, like Luker, is a well-respected man. He taught psychology at Bates College in Lewiston for years and only became involved in the world of UFOs by accident, after he began hearing stories of sighting by people he considered sane, and credible.

"I've investigated scores of reported sightings in Maine," he said, "by some of the finest, most respectable people that I've met, and they're not kidding, and they're not deluded." He's not sure what they are, nor convinced they're from outer space. "I'm open to all possibilities," he said. "I think it just stands to reason that some of the sightings have been experimental aircraft of our own government. But there are plenty of others that do not appear, to me, to be anything that we have developed."

"I started very skeptical. I'm not skeptical anymore," Bechtel said. "I just have questions, rather than answers. But I do feel certain there is reality there that needs to be investigated."

Luker, too, has no answers. "I talked to the police and (the dispatcher) said even if the military was flying some special mission, they wouldn't tell us anyway. I felt kinda foolish." Calls to Brunswick Naval Air Station were not returned Friday. Dispatchers in Franklin, Androscoggin, Oxford, Somerset and Kennebec counties said they received no calls about strange objects in the sky Tuesday night.

"I assumed if I saw it, a couple other people might see it," Luker said. "As I drove away I was thinking hey, maybe they gave me some sort of special intelligence," he joked. "I told my wife I wished they gave me the Powerball numbers." He laughed.

In the end, Luker said, he thinks it was probably a military plane. "But I don't know why they would fly it that low, and I don't know why they would be out in Industry, Maine," he said. "It really doesn't make sense. But that's the only thing I can think of, because I really don't believe in spaceships, or anything like that."


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Clowning Around At Election Time

Among the articles I clipped earlier this year was this great shot from the Windham Independent back in their August 3rd issue, page 15. At the time I could hardly believe it. AJ the clown (Bill Wilson of Windham, Maine), who in 2002 ran as a write-in candidate for governor of Maine, is running again this year. So do not delay! Cast your vote today -- IT'S VOTING DAY!!! And in Portland, at least, the polls opened at 7:00am.

According to the Windham Independent, AJ is running his campaign as before, "to raise awareness for Shriners and have some fun with the political process." They add, "No need to worry about dirty campaigning from AJ, but perhaps gubernatorial candidates should keep an eye out for flying pies." If only!

I saw some full-color photo signs put up for AJ and his running mate, Pretty the clown, near the Brighton/Deering Ave. intersection here in Portland, and wish I had gotten a photo of them before the vehement weather of the last couple of weeks had its way with them (they had disappeared as of last week). Anyone who has one that wants to send it my way after the election is done today, please send it to Michelle Souliere, P.O. Box 8203, Portland, ME 04104. Seriously.

Photo by Tony Bessey.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lifesized Plywood Sheriff Brigade Running Rampant

Ted Blais has found an interesting way to attract attention to his candidacy for Sheriff. He’s fashioned 80 plywood sheriff silhouettes which are moved each morning to a new high traffic location.

photos from Blais for Sheriff website

Press Herald article on the eye catching signage

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

President of Story Land, dead at 50

Stoney Morrell, president of New Hampshire's Story Land, has died of cancer. Stoney's parents, Ruth and Bob Morrell, opened Story Land in 1954 in Glen, NH, two years before Stoney was born. Stoney spent much of his youth at Story Land, an idyllic place for a child. As an adult, he tried his hand at ranching before returning to the family theme park in the early 1980s. Stoney believed in providing a family friendly, traditional theme park, instead of succumbing to the usual fancy neon lights or rides with a big scare factor.

Story Land was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. I particularly enjoyed the antique cars. Not being anywhere near an age to drive, I remember trying to get around the entire track without touching the rail that kept the cars from veering off into the grass and maiming someone. I don't think I ever made it.

Stoney's obituary

A tribute to Stoney

The Morrell family and Story Land history