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WHAT’S

PUSHING SNOW THE

EYE

GOT TO DO WITH IT?

OF

PHOTOGRAPHER

STEVE GRAY

by Emily Burnham

FINDING LOVE by Joy Hollowell

$5.95

February 2017

by Aislinn Sarnacki


Mercedes-Benz

at Quirk Auto Park of Bangor 327 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine quirk.mercedesdealer.com 941-1017 or 1-800-564-8100


CONTENTS

FEBRUARY 2017

FEATURES 26 COUPLE WHO CLICK “Swiping right” to find love in the digital age 36 MAKING YOUR WAY The costs of coupling in the Bangor region 44 THE MAGIC CITY Discover Millinocket’s winter magic

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 WHAT’S HAPPENING Local news & sightings

26

COUPLES WHO CLICK

44

THE MAGIC CITY

24 Q&A Dana Wardwell, Bangor Public Works Director

78 TRANSITIONS Meet a County craftsman 80 LAST WORD Indifference to his earthly possessions is making life easier for columnist Chris Quimby

2 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

PHOTOS: (TOP) COURTESY OF THE DOWNINGS; (BOTTOM) PAGE EASTMAN

72 HOME Common renovation mistakes


BUSINESS

HEALTH

FOOD & DRINK

14 BIZ BUZZ People & places on the move

18 HEART HEALTHY Keep your ticker happy with these food tips and suggestions

52 IN SEASON NOW For the love of garlic

PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) COURTESY OF BRIAN RAHILL; COURTESY OF GREEN GEM; SARAH WALKER CARON; MAROZNC/THINKSTOCK; BDN FILE; JOSHUA ARCHER

16 THE PERFECT STORM Improving online access to education

22 A HEALING HOME A visit to Green Gem wellness center’s historic Bangor property

54 THE BRUNCH FATHER Brunch behind the scenes at the Lucerne Inn

ARTS & MUSIC

OUTDOORS

FAMILY

58 PAINTING A CAREER Turning a love of art into a career

62 THE BURDEN OF SACRIFICE Volunteers carry memories of the fallen

74 HIT THE SLOPES Give the gift of skiing

60 PERSPECTIVES The photography of Steve Gray

64 WINTER IN BAR HARBOR When tourists are away, the locals play

76 7 WAYS TO MAKE MORNINGS LESS HECTIC Add these easy tips to your routine

70 SEAL OF APPROVAL Gray seals are making a comeback

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 3


EDITOR’S NOTE

“THE POWER OF LOVE IS A CURIOUS THING MAKE A-ONE MAN WEEP, MAKE ANOTHER MAN SING.”

—HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS, “THE POWER OF LOVE” (1985)

I sat down this frosty winter morning to write a paean to the power of love, but I realized that Huey Lewis beat me to it decades ago. OK, Huey Lewis is no Rumi, but when Lewis sings about love being “strong and...sudden and...cruel sometimes,” I think you can relate, even if you’re more a Rumi fan than a Huey Lewis and the News fan anyway. Love causes us to do stupid things, dangerous things, profound things. It causes us to come together, fall apart, make grand plans, and destroy them. Scientists, philosophers and people like you and I (if you’re neither scientist nor philosopher) have pondered for eons on the deeper meanings of what’s fundamentally an abstract concept. For lots of people, love naturally leads to coupling into a greater unit. We move in together, plan and make babies together, develop obscure in-jokes, and look toward the future. What does that future look like? I don’t know: I have my vision, you have yours, and I’m guessing that never the twain shall meet. It’s all subjective. We can, however, make some reasonable assumptions, which is why one of our features this month looks at the general costs of gettin’ hitched and building a life together here in our fair region. And, because love’s not going anywhere soon, we’re taking a look at romance in the digital age—how people are using the internet and mobile apps to find it right here in our backyard. This, in addition to a bunch more features scientifically formulated to make your dopamine levels go through the roof. On a personal note, I celebrated my third wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago, and I’d be remiss not to give my wife a shout-out. She’s a hardworking professional, a selfless leader, a timeless beauty, and my unequivocal best friend. She’s also the most gracious person I’ve ever met. For the thousandth-and-thirteenth time (but certainly not the last), I love you—you rock my world harder than Huey Lewis.

MATT CHABE, SENIOR EDITOR

WHAT DO YOU LOVE

ABOUT BANGOR METRO? We want to know what you like, what you dislike, and what we can do better to serve you, our readers. Fill out our survey on pages 34-35 or take it online at bangormetro.com. 4 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

Complete the survey at bangormetro.com


www.bangormetro.com P.O. Box 1329 Bangor, Maine 04402-1329 Phone: 207.990.8000

PUBLISHER

Richard J. Warren

SENIOR EDITOR

Matt Chabe mchabe@bangordailynews.com

ART DIRECTOR

Amy Allen aallen@bangordailynews.com

SUBSCRIPTION & PROMOTIONS MANAGER

Fred Stewart fstewart@bangordailynews.com

Connect With Us Online bangormetro.com facebook.com/BangorMetro @BangorMetro bangormetro editor@bangormetro.com

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 5


6 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS

Joshua Archer

Emily Burnham

Jodi Hersey

Bob Duchesne

Joy Hollowell

Sarah Walker Caron

Jeff Kirlin

Richard Shaw

Chris Quimby

Emilie Brand Throckmorton

Bangor Metro Magazine. February 2017, Vol. 13, No. 2. Copyright Š Bangor Publishing Company. Bangor Metro is published 12 times annually by Bangor Publishing Company. All rights reserved. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or part in any form without the written permission of the Publisher. Bangor Metro is mailed at standard rates from Portland, Maine. Opinions expressed in either the editorial or advertisements do not represent the opinions of the staff or publisher of Bangor Metro magazine. Advertisers and event sponsors or their agents are responsible for copyrights and accuracy of all material they submit. Bangor Metro magazine to the best of its ability ensures the acuracy of information printed in the publication. Inquiries and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. Letters to the editor, story suggestions, and other reader input will be subject to Bangor Metro’s unrestricted right to edit and publish in the magazine both in print and online. Editorial: Queries should be sent to Matt Chabe at mchabe@bangordailynews.com. Advertising: For advertising questions, please call the Print Sales Manager Todd Johnston at 207-990-8134. Subscriptions/Address Change: A one year subscription cost is $24.95. Address changes: to ensure delivery, subscribers must notify the magazine of address changes one month in advance of the cover date. Please contact Fred Stewart at 207-990-8075. Accounts Payable/Receivable: For information about your account please contact Todd Johnston at 207-990-8134.

COVER IMAGE: Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 7


EVENTS

WHAT’S HAPPENING

FEBRUARY

JAN. 17, 26 & 31 Free guided snowshoe hikes

NOON, BELFAST CITY PARK AND PBMC COMMUNITY WELLNESS TRAIL

Join the Community Health & Wellness team for free guided snowshoe hikes. Family friendly; children must be accompanied by an adult. No registration required. Snowshoes are available on a first come, first served basis. Call 921-3950 for specific information.

JANUARY 26-MAY 18 HEALTHY LIFESTYLES PROGRAM 4:30, BISCONE MEDICAL BUILDING COMMUNITY ROOM, BELFAST

Discover ways to build healthier eating habits and add physical activity into your daily life while working with registered dietitians and other group participants to make modest lifestyle changes. Call 930-2684 for more information.

THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY MPA BASKETBALL TOURNEYS The biggest sporting event of the year is undoubtedly the basketball tournaments, held throughout February in Bangor, Augusta and Portland. New this year is a five-class system, up from four, meaning that there 8 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

are now 132 games in total played across three locations: the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, the Augusta Civic Center, and the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Who will you cheer on? Check your local venue for updated schedules.

our crazy political world. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.

FEBRUARY 2-19 PENOBSCOT THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS “LUMBERJACKS IN LOVE”

8 P.M., JEFF’S CATERING, BREWER

TIMES VARY; BANGOR OPERA HOUSE

Four burly lumberjacks live in a state of manly bliss at the Haywire Lumber Camp in Northern Wisconsin – until an encounter with a plucky mail order bride interrupts life as they know it. Can romance bloom where bath time is once a month and the blast of a dinner bell brings the boys running? From the creators of “Guys on Ice” comes a show full of song and surprises. Tickets available via the PTC box office.

FEBRUARY 4 A NIGHT OF HOPE UNDER THE STARS A celebration and fundraiser for Penobscot Relay For Life, sponsored by F.W. Webb. Get dressed to the nines and have a fun night out for a good cause, with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. The Blast Addicts provide entertainment. Always Wonderful Memories Take II will be taking photographs, Photobooths of Maine will be there, and there will be a silent auction.

FEBRUARY 4 THE O’CONNOR BAND FEATURING MARK O’CONNOR 8 P.M., COLLINS CENTER, ORONO

FEBRUARY 2 COMEDIAN LEWIS BLACK 8 P.M., COLLINS CENTER, ORONO

Join comedian Lewis Black—seen on “The Daily Show” and other Comedy Central shows and as a voice in the Pixar movie “Inside Out”—for a night of angry rants about

A product of America’s rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O’Connor’s creative journey began with both French jazz and traditional American fiddling. His band is among the foremost practitioners of these styles working in the U.S. today. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.

PHOTO: MARC BRUXELLE/THINKSTOCK

JANUARY 17, 26, AND 31 FREE GUIDED SNOWSHOE HIKES


FEBRUARY 7 “ONCE: THE MUSICAL” 7 P.M., COLLINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS

The national touring company of this Tony Award-winning musical comes to Orono for one night only. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, “Once” tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dreams — until he meets the girl of his dreams. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.

FEBRUARY 9 “THE LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS” 7 P.M., COLLINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PHOTO: BDN FILE

Neil Simon’s dynamite romantic comedy, set in the early 1960s, will be staged by a touring theater company. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.

FEBRUARY 10-12 AND 17-19 GILBERT AND SULLIVAN SOCIETY PRESENTS “THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE” 7 P.M. (2 P.M. SUNDAYS) GRAND THEATRE, ELLSWORTH

FEB. 2-19 “Lumberjacks in Love” at Bangor Opera House

Eastern Maine’s Gilbert and Sullivan-only company presents perhaps the most famous www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 9


EVENTS

WHAT’S HAPPENING of all G&S shows; performances are familyfriendly and fun for all.

FEBRUARY 10 “KAYTEK THE WIZARD: A PUPPET SHOW FOR THE AGES” 11 A.M. AND 3 P.M., GRACIE THEATRE, HUSSON UNIVERSITY, BANGOR

Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. He begins to lead a double life: a powerful wizard in the dress of an ordinary boy. Revolving around the notion that power is not without responsibility or repercussions, this story speaks to every child's dream of freeing themselves from the endless control of adults, and shaping the world to their own designs. Tickets available via the Gracie Theatre box office on the Husson campus. FEB. 11 Bangor on Tap 2017

FEBRUARY 11 BANGOR ON TAP 2017 1 TO 9 P.M., CROSS INSURANCE CENTER, BANGOR

Bangor’s largest craft beer festival comes back to the Cross Insurance Center. Bangor on Tap will feature two sessions from 1 to 4 p.m. and then from 6 to 9 p.m. Sample over 100 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries, and hang out in an atmosphere filled with live music, delicious food available for purchase, and great vendors. Tickets available via Ticketmaster or the Cross Insurance Center box office.

FEBRUARY 12 BANGOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: SCHEHERAZADE 3 P.M., COLLINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS

FEBRUARY 24 COMEDIAN BILL ENGVALL 7 P.M., COLLINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS

FEB. 12 Bangor Symphony Orchestra

10 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

Bill Engvall is a Grammy nominated, multiplatinum selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country. Most recently, Bill was a contestant on season 17 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and as a fan favorite, he made it to the finals. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.

PHOTOS: BDN FILE; CYANO66/THINKSTOCK

A master pianist plays Chopin, and Maestro Richman takes audiences on the magnificent journey that is Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade, inspired by The Arabian Nights. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.


FEBRUARY 25 LIVE BROADCAST OF “SELECTED SHORTS” Selected Shorts is a weekly public radio show broadcast featuring actors reading short stories, heard on over 130 stations for about 300,000 listeners. It is produced by Symphony Space and WNYC Radio and distributed by Public Radio International. The radio show is recorded live at the popular New York City stage show which began in 1985 and still enjoys sell-out audiences. Tickets available via the Collins Center box office.

FEBRUARY 26 REEL PIZZA’S ANNUAL OSCAR NIGHT CELEBRATION

PHOTO: PICTURESD/THINKSTOCK

6 P.M. REEL PIZZA CINERAMA, BAR HARBOR

This fundraiser for the Jesup Memorial Library is always a hoot; come dressed to the nines (or not). The event begins with a pre-show from 6-7:30 p.m. that includes entertainment and games, hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurants, and complimentary champagne. The Oscar broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. with the red carpet pre-show. The evening will be emceed by Jennifer Shepard, Larrance Fingerhut and Amy Roeder of ImprovAcadia.

FEB. 26 Reel Pizza’s Annual Oscar Night Celebration

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 11


EVENTS

SIGHTINGS

BANGOR KICKS OFF THE NEW YEAR IN STYLE! HERE’S A LOOK AT JUST A FEW SPECIAL EVENTS FROM THE PAST MONTH.

1

PHOTOS BY JEFF KIRLIN, THE THING OF THE MOMENT

1 & 2: The traditional giant beach ball covered in lights is prepped and dropped from a downtown rooftop in front of a huge crowd to ring in the New Year. Bangor’s Downtown Countdown to 2017 included events for all ages. 3: West Market Square in downtown Bangor played host

2 3

12 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

4

to the New Year’s Eve crowd with special events at local restaurants and businesses. 4: Blaze restaurant was a popular destination with an ice bar provided by Jason Bluck (also featured in our December 2016 issue.)


Get Fit!

Time to work off all those holiday pounds! Take our Pop Quiz online for your chance to win 5 one-hour workout sessions and a full customized diet plan from personal trainer Josh Dyer.

1 2

1: DJs Matt Clark and Zeth Lundy spin vinyl at Central Gallery’s Punk vs. Disco night, the seventh installment of the Wax On DJ battle series in Bangor. 2: Laura Brown Wittmann, Lori Sargent and Carin Sychterz at the Bangor Breakfast

Rotary Holiday Dinner and Auction Gala recently. 3: Photographer Jeff Kirlin snaps a selfie with Jennifer Khavari at Spectacular Event Center during the Bangor Breakfast Rotary Holiday Dinner and Auction Gala.

3

Visit our Bangor Metro Facebook page to play online! www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 13


BUSINESS

BIZ BUZZ

ON THE MOVE The United Way of Eastern Maine’s board of directors recently named SHIRAR PATTERSON as the organization’s chief executive officer and president. Patterson will takes the helm following the retirement of longtime president and CEO John Kuropchak who retires after a 35-year career. Before becoming COO, Patterson was the vice president of community impact at United Way and has been either a staff member or volunteer for 11 of the past 13 years. She is the first female to hold the top job at United Way of Eastern Maine. Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) recently announced a number of new additions to its staff. JENELLE HAZZARD, FNP-C, has joined the medical staff of PCHC’s Brewer Medical Center. Hazzard’s practice centers on all aspects of high-quality acute medical care and treatment in an urgent care setting. AMY MYSHRALL, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C), has joined the medical staff of PCHC’s Helen Hunt Health Center. Myshrall received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Northeastern University, and has more than seven years of nursing experience. Birch Bay Retirement Village in Bar Harbor recently welcomed a new executive chef, DAVID VIERTEL. Viertel will be responsible for overseeing the dining services operations at the retirement community, which includes 55 apartments and suites as well as 17 cottages. College of the Atlantic President DARRON COLLINS has joined the leaders of over 400 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an open letter urging the preservation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented immigrants who arrived 14 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

in the country as children. The letter, which was also signed by the presidents of Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin colleges in Maine, states that continuation and even expansion of the DACA program is “a moral imperative and a national necessity.” The DACA program currently offers protections to over 700,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. without authorization as children.

SpinDoc, Inc. (Augusta); SteriZign Precision Technologies, LLC (Brunswick); Sensory Eyesight for Education, Inc. (Old Orchard Beach); and MechArtisan LLC (Portland). Those receiving Phase 0 awards are Kennebec River Biosciences, Inc. (Richmond) and SpinDoc, Inc. (Augusta).

CROSS INSURANCE recently purchased Pittsfield-based independent insurance agency Colt Insurance. Colt provides a wide range of insurance services, including business and personal lines, as well as employee benefits including health and life insurance products. Colt Insurance becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cross Insurance, and will continue to operate under the same name. Michelle Orlando will oversee the combined insurance agencies as president. Kelly Collins, former owner and president of Colt, will continue working for Colt as executive vice president.

The CARIBOU UTILITIES DISTRICT was recognized as having “Maine’s Best Tasting Water” in the disinfected category at the MRWA 30th Annual Drinking Water Taste Test recently. POINT SEBAGO was judged to have the best in the non-disinfected category. In all, there were 16 samples in the disinfected category and six samples in the non-disinfected category.

Patrick Maguire and Paul Tracy, owners of several Hancock and Washington County insurance agencies, recently acquired ownership of BROGUE INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES in Bangor. Under the new ownership, BroGue will retain their business name and will now be able to offer their customers more insurance options through a larger network of carriers.

GRANTS TIP WHIP (featured in Bangor Metro’s Jan. 2017 issue) was recently awarded a $5,000 Libra Future Foundation grant. The grant was used to develop new mobile app features to improve riders’ experience. In other news, Tip Whip has expanded to Husson University under the leadership of David Valls, the Husson campus CEO. The MAINE TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE (MTI) recently approved five TechStart Grant applications and two Phase 0 Award applications, totaling $33,100 in awards to Maine entrepreneurs to advance new product and process development in biotechnology, composite materials, precision manufacturing and information technology. The five companies receiving TechStart grants are BlackTieGroup, LLC dba Jellux (Saco);

AWARDS

PEN BAY MEDICAL CENTER was recently awarded the 2016 Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital Award. This is the third time Pen Bay has been named a Top Hospital by the organization. They were one of 115 hospitals recognized across the country based on the results of the 2016 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, maternity care, and a hospital’s ability to prevent medication errors. The AMERICAN COUNCIL OF ENGINEERING COMPANIES (ACEC) OF MAINE recently announced that the Schoodic Woods campground and development has received one of the ACEC of Maine’s 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards. CES, Inc., a Mainebased firm of engineers, environmental scientists, and land surveyors, provided a number of services for this project that has been donated to the National Park Service and included in Acadia National Park territory. The prestigious award recognizes engineering projects which epitomize quality, innovation, value, and client satisfaction. BROOKE HARRIS, 26, of Portland was crowned Miss Maine USA and VICTORIA TIMM, 17, from Scarborough was crowned Miss Maine Teen USA in their respective pageants held at the Marriott Sable Oaks in Portland recently.


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 15


THE PERFECT

S T O R M Simplifying access to education everywhere. BY MATT CHABE

s, Brian Rahill (from left) and Matt Jame o. Oron in rm seSto Cour of rs unde co-fo

16 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

WHEN BRIAN RAHILL started RainStorm, Inc., about 16 years ago in Orono, he probably had no idea that today, a spinoff company would count the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as a key client. But that’s exactly what’s happened with CourseStorm, a solution for providing online course registrations for places with informal education opportunities. Unlike similar products that service large, formal organizations like universities, CourseStorm works with summer programs, libraries, museums and the like. “There’s a plethora of small- to medium-sized organizations that really need help to get the word out about the classes they’re offering,” said Rahill, CourseStorm’s CEO. “It’s a way for these organizations to promote their classes and for students to easily find them and register online.” Rahill said that he and co-founder Matt James realized the market opportunity after a successful RainStorm project with the Maine Adult Education Association a couple of years ago. RainStorm had developed an online course registration system for them, he said, “and it was incredibly successful for them, they...grew their programs, enrolled more students, increased their revenue. We realized there was a market for this, and not just here in Maine.” So Rahill and James, a University of Maine alum who worked at RainStorm as head programmer, retooled the software into a more simple turnkey solution. The goal, said Rahill, was to make a system so simple that if an organization in Kansas decided they needed online registrations immediately, they could get up and running with their catalog and start taking enrollments in just a few clicks. Today, in addition to MoMA in New York, CourseStorm counts clients in 37 other states and has processed over 100,000 student registrations from every state. The business model is simple: CourseStorm operates on a percentage of the transaction, with no upfront adoption or subscription fees for the course offerer. “It’s nice because it puts us on the same side of the table,” said Rahill. “They want to grow their enrollment, and we want to help them grow their enrollment because that’s the way we make revenue.” The meat of CourseStorm’s success could be in its robust features. Not only does the system get an organization’s course registrations online, it promotes them through email marketing and automated tools that reach out to potential students when registrations don’t meet a certain threshold. “Overall, our clients fill more classes and cancel less classes,” said Rahill. “What we’ve found is when [clients] go from an existing or no registration system over to CourseStorm, they grow about 18% in their first year on average and have about 12% to 15% growth year over year after that. It’s the sum total of having these marketing tools that helps them get more students into their classes.” CourseStorm closed an investor round last December and raised $750,000 in an equity offering. Rahill said they are looking forward to using the funds to grow the business through concerted sales and marketing. “We’ve worked slowly over time to build the product and get to where we are today,” said Rahill, “and now with this infusion of cash we can ramp up our efforts to reach a lot more organizations, get CourseStorm into all 50 states and really grow it. That’s the goal.”

PHOTOS: (TOP) COURTESY OF BRIAN RAHILL; (BOTTOM) INGRAM PUBLISHING/THNKSTOCK

BUSINESS


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 17


HEALTH

Heart

HEALTHY

Keep your ticker happy with these food tips. BY METRO NEWS SERVICE

NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR from their doctors that they’ve joined the millions of people across the globe to be diagnosed with heart disease. The Heart Foundation reports that heart disease, which includes diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system and stroke, is the number one cause of death in the United States, affecting both men and women and most racial/ethnic groups. Heart disease also is one of the leading causes of death in Canada, claiming more than 33,000 lives per year. Many factors contribute to the development of heart disease, including smoking, lack of exercise and stress. Diet and whether a person is overweight or obese can also have a direct link to heart health. Diet, particularly for those with diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugar levels, is a major concern.

MODERATION ENABLES A PERSON TO SAMPLE A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING, BUT NOT

A variety of foods are considered helpful for maintaining a strong and healthy heart and cardiovascular system, while others can contribute to conditions that may eventually lead to cardiovascular disease or cardiac arrest. Moderation enables a person to sample a little of everything, but not to make any one food a habit. The following are some foods to promote heart health and some foods you might want to avoid. 18 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

PHOTO: NASTCO/THINKSTOCK

TO MAKE ANY ONE FOOD A HABIT.


SIMPLE WAYS

TO CUT BACK ON

SODIUM BY METRO NEWS SERVICE

Good

TREE NUTS: Tree nuts contain unsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) and improve HDL (the good stuff). Nuts also are a filling source of protein and other healthy nutrients. WHOLE GRAINS: Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates for energy, as well as protein and fiber. Fiber can help scrub cholesterol from the blood, lowering bad cholesterol levels. FATTY FISH: Many cold-water, fatty fish, such as halibut, herring and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy. Omega-3s also can be found in walnuts, flaxseed and some soy products. BEANS: Beans and other legumes are an excellent source of protein and can be a stand-in for meats that are high in saturated fat. Beans also contain cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and folate, which can reduce blood homocystein levels. The Bean Institute reports that consuming beans may reduce cholesterol levels by roughly six to 10 percent.

RESISTING THE URGE to sprinkle salt on meals when dining can help diners reduce their sodium intake. Salt is widely relied on to give foods some added flavor. Many people may feel that unsalted foods are not as tasty as their salty counterparts, but it's important that people of all ages understand the threat that excessive sodium consumption poses. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, kidney problems may result from excessive sodium consumption. In addition, the American Heart Association notes that excess sodium and salt in the body puts a person at risk for a host of ailments, including stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, and osteoporosis. Cutting back on sodium should be a goal for anyone who hasn't already done so. But the HSPH notes that people over age 50, people who have high or slightly elevated blood pressure, diabetics, and African Americans are at high risk of developing the health problems related to excessive sodium consumption. Because sodium is so prevalent, some people may think that cutting back on its consumption must be nearly impossible. However, there are some simple ways to cut back on sodium. ¡ ASK FOR LOW-SODIUM RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN DINING OUT. The AHA notes that the average person consumes 25 percent of his or her overall sodium at restaurants. Some places now require restaurants to list total sodium content alongside offerings on their menus, and www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 19


20 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


HEALTH YOGURT: Researchers in Japan found yogurt may protect against gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease may elevate a person's risk for heart disease. Yogurt contains good bacteria that can counteract bad bacteria and boost immunity. RAISINS: Raisins contain antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is often linked to heart disease and other debilitating conditions. Fresh produce also is a good source of antioxidants.

Poor

FRIED FOODS: Many fried foods have little nutritional value, as they tend to be high in saturated and trans fats. French fries are particularly bad because they are carbohydrates fried and then doused in salt. SAUSAGE: Processed meats have frequently earned a bad reputation among cardiologists, but sausage can be a big offender, due in large part to its high saturated fat content. RED MEATS: Enjoying a steak is probably not as bad as eating a deepfried brownie, but it's best to limit red meat consumption to about 10 percent or less of your diet. Red meats can have a considerable amount of cholesterol, saturated fat and calories.

diners living in such areas should choose only those meals that are low in sodium. Diners who live in areas where sodium levels are not listed on the menu can ask for low-sodium recommendations or if existing menu items can be prepared without sodium or with lower amounts of sodium. · READ LABELS. According to the AHA, 75 percent of the sodium in the average American diet comes from salt added to processed foods. Diners who have resolved to push away the salt shaker at the dinner table might still be exceeding their daily recommended sodium limits if they are eating prepackaged foods with high sodium levels. Food manufacturers use salt to give prepackaged foods longer shelf lives, so concerned diners should read labels before taking items home from the grocery store. The AHA recommends that adults consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, and shoppers should keep that in mind when reading labels and planning meals. · OPT FOR LOW-SODIUM CONDIMENTS. Salt is not the only condiment on restaurant or kitchen tables that can add flavor to a meal, but it's one of the few that can have a devastating effect on long-term health. Forgo table salt when sitting down at the dinner table and opt for low-sodium condiments instead. Balsamic vinegar, horseradish and the juice of a lemon each pack a flavorful, low-sodium punch. · READ VEGETABLE PACKAGES AS WELL. Shoppers who do not buy fresh vegetables from the produce aisle or farmer's market should read the packaging on canned or frozen vegetables to ensure their veggies are not being doused in salt. Some manufacturers may use salt to preserve canned and frozen veggies. Diners who do not have access to fresh vegetables or the time to buy fresh veggies each week should compare packaging on canned and frozen vegetables and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium.

ADDED SUGARS: Sugar can increase blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Sugar often hides out in foods that you would not associate with the sweetener. Plus, many people unwittingly consume too much sugar simply through sugarsweetened beverages and ready-to-eat cereals. SALTY FOODS: Leave the salt shaker in the spice cabinet and opt for herbs for flavoring, advises the American Heart Association. High-sodium diets often are to blame for hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease. DAIRY: Artery-clogging saturated fat also can be found in dairy products, particularly the full-fat versions. Butter, sour cream and milk can be problematic when people overindulge. Opt for low-fat dairy when possible.

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 21


HEALTH

Green Gem founder finds purpose in historic Bangor property. BY ROBIN CLIFFORD WOOD

22 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

THE GREEN GEM wellness center in Bangor sprang from an unplanned encounter, almost as if it had a mind of its own. It’s been only two years since the seed of an idea implanted itself in the mind of Green Gem founder Sandy Fortin, but that seed has already become a young tree with spreading branches. The century-old house and grounds that inspired Fortin’s interest overlooks the Penobscot River from a wooded hillside. Surrounding the building are cultivated garden beds, terraces, historic markers, and a 30-foot long outdoor warming oven. A trail wanders around old forest, with the potential to connect to a hundred acres of green space right in the heart of the city. Formerly a private residence, the property has become something far more complex. In its short life, Green Gem has hosted retreats, wellness days, yoga and meditation classes, two weddings, and more. Several practitioners of healing professions now rent space upstairs to see clients. More recently, historic research on the property has revealed connections to the Penobscot tribe, Hannibal Hamlin, the famous Olmstead Brothers, and Bangor’s first sawmill and outdoor hockey rink. If you ask Fortin how she chose this new endeavor, she’ll say, “I think it chose me.”

Fortin was an empty-nester and a student at Husson University in late 2014 when a friend invited her to an open house event at 900 State Street. The owner, a developer named Julie Sites, planned to build condominiums on the property. Fortin drove up the meandering driveway through the bare trees and felt the stirrings of something powerful, undefinable. “I walked into the house and it came over me like a wave,” she said. There was something deeply moving about this old house, the space, the feel of the atmosphere. She explored the three-story building with no diminishing of the profound sensation. Though she’d never met Sites, she approached her boldly. “Julie, I think you’re making a mistake,” she said. “This is a healing home.” A few days later, Sites called Fortin and asked her to write up a proposal. Fortin was given two months to try out the building as a health and healing center. The first retreat took place in the midst of a whirling December blizzard. “It was a winter wonderland,” said Fortin. Fourteen alternative healthcare practitioners and eight participants shared the warm vibe of the building and brainstormed ideas for a year-round healing retreat center. Green Gem was born.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GREEN GEM

A HEALING HOME


Fortin likes to speak about Green Gem in metaphors: It’s like a big hug from your grandmother. It’s a 5,000-piece puzzle, and you fit a few pieces in each day. It’s a growing thing that needs sound and healthy soil. One might imagine that integrating history, health, land conservation, gardening, and organizational retreats would overwhelm a startup venture, but Fortin is committed to the project in its entirety. Green Gem’s deep links to history surprised her, but she has embraced historic preservation as an essential element to honoring the space. “To make something flourish,” she said, “you need balanced attention to the whole being.” You also need time. “You can’t just jump to the end point. When you plant a seed, you ask yourself, ‘What is just the right soil?’ Then you have to be patient.” The right soil means green space, peaceful gardens, and a metaphorical hug when you walk through the door. Fortin’s vision of Green Gem is a therapeutic, community-wide resource that says ‘welcome—this is a healing home.’ www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 23


Q+A Q+A

Q + A With Dana Wardwell, Bangor Public Works Director. BY JODI HERSEY

IN 1924, an enterprising Bangor resident by the name of Don Sargent filed patent #US1550574A for an invention called the “truck snowplow” to be mounted to the front of motorized vehicles. While the true inventor of the modern snowplow is a source of debate, Sargent’s a contender and now, less than 100 years later, it’s a ubiquitous sight in our region. Hanging off the front of lumbering, brightly colored trucks, they keep our streets clear during the winter months, sending waves of slush flying through the air and pangs of terror into the hearts of motorists. Now that snow season’s here, we sat down with Bangor Public Works Director Dana Wardwell to talk snow removal and just how, exactly, they do it. HOW MANY TRUCKS DOES PUBLIC WORKS OPERATE? We have 42 vehicles in winter operations—10 salt trucks with plow runs, 15 other plow trucks, four that plow parking lots, five units that plow sidewalks, and four that plow small dead-end streets and what-not. HOW MUCH AREA DO YOU COVER? We maintain 193 centerline miles of road within Bangor city limits, except one little piece of Broadway from the Pushaw Road to the city line that the state does. We don’t do the Interstate system, that’s all MDOT. SOME OF THOSE TRUCKS ARE REALLY BIG. HOW MUCH GAS DO THEY USE? I don’t have specific figures for snow removal vehicles handy, but Public Works uses about 100,000 gallons year round. A lot of that is used by snow vehicles— it’s not uncommon for the trucks to be running around the clock in the height of winter. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHEN TO PLOW? We have a dispatcher staffed around the clock that can always check the roads. When they decide the roads need attention, they contact the foreman on call and he sets everything in motion. If we know there’s a storm coming, we’ll schedule people to come in—we get at it early. DO PLOW DRIVERS HAVE A “SECRET METHOD?” They have specific routes that are set up so they don’t have to stop and back up. They make all right-hand turns. Generally, they go around a block, go down two blocks, make a right hand turn, come back around, and keep working through the city making right hand turns. HOW OFTEN DO THEY HIT THINGS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD? Not as often as you might think, considering the amount of hours and miles they plow. We might plow those 193 miles four or five times in a decent storm. We have very few incidents. WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A SNOWPLOW DRIVER? It’s not uncommon for us to break into two 12-hour shifts and run the trucks around the clock. They work long hours plowing, then turn around on short rest and work several graveyard shifts hauling snow. That seems to wear on the drivers, the odd schedules working around storms.

Know someone awesome that deserves their own Q+A? Send us a note at editor@bangormetro.com with their name, email, and what makes them or their job so interesting. They may appear in an upcoming issue! 24 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? My grandchildren keep me busy. I’m an outdoors guy—I hunt, fish, snowmobile. I used to have a motorcycle. I spend a lot of time at camp in the summertime, and ice fishing there in winter. I always have something to do.

PHOTOS: BDN FILE

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO IN THE MORNING? I have a cup of coffee like everyone else. I take it black. Then I turn on the weather.


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 25


FEATURE

COUPLES

W HO C L I CK

26 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


How more Mainers are “swiping right” on love in the digital age. BY JOY HOLLOWELL

ON A WHIM, RoseMarie Carver, a sophomore in college at the time, and her best friend decided to sign up for several online dating sites—eHarmony, Match, OKCupid. RoseMarie grew up on Beals Island and said the dating pool there was more like a wading pool. “Most of the people are either related to you, or there’s just not enough people your age to seek an interest in somebody, even for friendship,” she said. “I tried online dating because I wanted to meet people outside of Downeast Maine.”

USERS ARE ASKED A SERIES OF QUESTIONS RANGING FROM THEIR FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW TO THEIR PERSONAL BELIEFS AND COMMUNICATION STYLES. THE COMPANY THEN MATCHES THEM WITH CLIENTS SHOWING SIMILAR INTERESTS.

eHarmony uses what it coins the 29 Dimensions of Compatibility to make matches. Users are asked a series of questions ranging from their favorite television show to their personal beliefs and communication styles. The company then matches them with clients showing similar interests. Just two days after RoseMarie signed up, she received a message. “It said, ‘Your profile makes me smile,’” she said. “And then he added a smiley face on the end of it.” The message came from a man named Alex Downing, who also happened to be in college at the time. “Her profile caught my eye right away,” said Downing. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 27


Interestingly enough, when RoseMarie looked at her match list, she saw Alex’s name at the top. “I’m not very good at computers so I couldn’t figure out how to respond to him,” RoseMarie said with a laugh. “Instead I stalked him on Facebook and sent him a message that way.” The two started messaging each other and said the connection was instant. Soon, they moved to texting. Not long after that, the couple began talking on Skype. About a month after RoseMarie received that first message from Alex, he asked her to come to his home for the weekend so they could meet in person and she could meet his family. “It was very overwhelming, but fun,” said RoseMarie. Three years later, the couple became engaged. Both being huge Disney fans, “I asked her to marry me at the Disney store in New York City,” said Downing. Last August, they became Mr. and Mrs. Alex Downing, five years to the day after their first date. And remember RoseMarie’s best friend that also tried online dating at the same time? “She actually found her husband online as well that same year,” RoseMarie said with a smile. According to a recent national study, online dating has jumped among adults under the age of 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s. A big part of the younger generation’s increase is the use of mobile dating apps. Thirty-one-year-old Sarah Eremita has tried online dating since 2007. When she moved back home to Bangor from New York City, she signed up for eHarmony, Match and Plenty Of Fish. “I was 25 years old at the time, I was looking for people 28 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE DOWNINGS

FEATURE


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SARAH EREMITA & JILL HINCKLEY

to go out with,” she said. “It’s harder to meet people as you get older. Online dating seemed like a good way to find some common interests with people. Plus, I was tired of going out with my parents every Friday night.” Eremita was hoping to meet someone in the area, but her closest match online was all the way down in Providence, Rhode Island. That’s when she decided to try Tinder, a popular mobile app for dating and romantic connections. “Tinder is linked to your Facebook profile,” explains Eremita. “The app will pull photos from your profile or you can choose your own, as long as they are on your Facebook page.” Tinder screens users’ Facebook likes and interests and uses those to make connections. When a potential match comes up, the user has the option of swiping right to like them, or left to pass. If the other person also swipes “like,” a message pops up announcing “It’s a match.” Both users are then encouraged to start chatting. According to reports, there are about 50 million active users on Tinder. They check their accounts 11 times per day and spend an average of 90 minutes each day on the app. “Some guys are on there just for hookups,” said Eremita. “You can weed them out pretty quickly.” She ended up dating a man she met on Tinder for a little more than six months. “He was from Skowhegan, so distance was an issue. Also, he was looking for a wife and I was just looking for a boyfriend.” The two broke up. Eremita said her ex did end up finding a wife, on Tinder. Eremita’s next try turned out to be an accidental match. “I swiped right [or yes] on a guy that I didn’t mean to,” she said. “He and I ended up being together for two years. He moved in and we were planning on getting engaged.” But Eremita said issues started building up and they too, broke up. Eremita tried Tinder again, and ended up meeting someone she with whom she shared a lot of interests “but there wasn’t much chemistry.” They’ve decided to become friends instead. Eremita is now taking a break from online dating to see “if anything comes naturally.” As for dating without digital matchmaking, Eremita doesn’t really see that as an option. “Bangor is a very small community, so it’s hard to meet new

people,” she said. “It’s such a small pool to choose from.” Eremita also believes she might still have had the same “roller coaster ride of relationships” without the online services, but “maybe I wouldn’t have gotten into them so fast.” Jill Hinckley is the owner of Hinckley Introductions, based in Portland. She started her matchmaking business at the end of 2013. “I had a lot of single friends that were having trouble navigating the dating world,” she explains. “I thought to myself, ‘Someone needs to help network these amazing people—why not me?’” Hinckley’s family owned and operated Hinckley Yachts, a company her grandfather started in 1928. Hinckley herself worked as a recruiter in the boat business and thought it would be an easy transition into the matchmaking world. She caters to clients 40 years and older from all over New England and as far away as Florida. “We do not share member’s information online,” Hinckley explains. “We meet and get to know every member of our network and make personal introductions when possible.” Hinckley said most of her members are actually turned off by online dating sites. “They feel that online dating is not authentic,” she said, “that it’s too easy for someone to misrepresent himself or herself and that it’s time consuming to screen potential dates.” She often recommends to her clients that, in some cases, online dating sites can lead to great matches. “If they are interested in trying online options, we can help them navigate through the different dating apps and online sites,” she said. Fia Marquis admits she was skeptical about paying for any type of dating service. However, she said, “I wasn’t having any luck making romantic connections organically, and I tend to spend a lot of time on the computer anyway, writing or reading, so it made sense to try online dating.” The 34-year-old said she was ultimately looking for a husband. “I was single and living at

(Top) Sarah Eremita has tried online dating since 2007. (Above) Jill Hinckley has owned a Portland-based matchmaking business since 2013. (Opposite) RoseMarie and Alex Downing share a kiss on their wedding day. The Downings met unexpectedly online.

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 29


FEATURE home in Windsor and my social life mostly consisted of singing karaoke with friends a couple of nights a week.” She started with OKCupid and Plenty Of Fish “because they were offering services for free.” Marquis went out on a few dates, but never with Mr. Right. She was ready to call it quits and had actually shut down one of her accounts when she received a message from a match. “I actually ended up canceling a date with another match so I could stay at home in front of my computer, talking to him,” said Marquis. “I think that’s probably when I knew we had something.” The two lived about an hour apart. “On a work night, I remember thinking that he must really like me to spend that much time in the car just to take me out,” Marquis said.

FIA MARQUIS WENT OUT ON A FEW DATES, BUT NEVER WITH MR. RIGHT. SHE WAS READY TO CALL IT QUITS AND HAD ACTUALLY SHUT DOWN ONE OF HER ACCOUNTS WHEN SHE RECEIVED A MESSAGE FROM A MATCH. The couple dated for about three years before making it official in 2015. They now have a daughter. This is where the story takes an interesting turn. When Marquis and her now-husband moved in together, Marquis set her mother up with a laptop so they could talk via Facebook. Barbara Belanger also asked her daughter for help in joining an online dating service. “She’d been widowed for almost two years at that point after being married to my dad for almost 40 years,” explains Marquis. “She was lonely.” Belanger admits she was “leery of what might happen,” since many of her friends had tried online dating and it didn’t work out. But cupid’s arrow did strike—despite a nearly five hour distance between the two, and Belanger married a man she met online in August of 2015. 30 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


PHOTO: COURTESY OF FIA MARQUIS

Fia Marquis and her husband, Ian, welcome the arrival of their daughter Lyric in 2014. The Marquises met via an online dating service. Fia’s mother went on to meet her own match online.

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 31


FEATURE “They actually beat us down the aisle,” said Marquis. Keeping an open mind, keeping your expectations open, and keeping one eye open at all times are what these online dating users dole out for advice. “I think Skyping was a really big part of getting to know each other,” said Alex Downing. “We could really tell just from Skype sessions if we were being genuine towards each other.” “We did take the precautions of texting, calling and Skyping before we met,” adds his wife, RoseMarie. “My advice would be to take those precautions and not just

KEEPING AN OPEN MIND, KEEPING YOUR EXPECTATIONS OPEN, AND KEEPING ONE EYE OPEN AT ALL TIMES ARE WHAT THESE ONLINE DATING USERS

jump into something. It worked out for us but there are a lot of people that lie on their profiles.” Marquis advises always telling someone else where you’re going on a date, just in case. “And don’t expect to have everything in common. If you did, it would be boring. But at the same time, know what you can’t compromise on. For example, I’m a food blogger, so I really should have known before the first date that it wouldn’t work out with a guy who ordered chicken fingers every time we went to a restaurant, even though we had strikingly similar tastes in pop culture indulgences. By contrast, my husband is an adventurous eater who looks forward to my kitchen experiments, although we have a very hard time finding a movie that we’ll both enjoy, unless it has the words Star Wars or Star Trek in the title.” Hinckley agrees that chemistry is a big component of the coupling process. “I think where matchmakers help, is they create opportunities for you to meet more people outside of your immediate network,” she said. “We help you find the needle in the haystack.”

32 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

PHOTO: BRIANAJACKSON/THINKSTOCK

DOLE OUT FOR ADVICE.


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 33


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FEATURE

MAKING YOUR WAY The costs of coupling in the Bangor region. BY EMILY BURNHAM

“FALLING IN LOVE’S easy,” goes the old adage, “but it’s hard on the wallet.” Or something like that, anyway. There’s truth to the saying. It might not seem like the most glamorous or exciting task, but financial planning—from budgeting your monthly expenses to planning for retirement—is one of the most important things a couple can do. “It’s important to talk regularly about finances,” said Ben Sprague, a vice president and business development manager at First National Bank as well as a Bangor city councilor. As someone who’s worked as a financial advisor in the region, he’s seen first hand the importance of financial communication. “Two people in a relationship might not be on the same page, and that can cause major conflict over time." Keeping track of where your money goes doesn’t have to be difficult, however. Simply writing down what you’ve spent on what expenses can go a long way towards establishing a clearer financial picture — as well as determining where money can be saved and tucked away for the future. “Keeping a monthly written budget is important,” said Sprague. “Monitoring income and expenses month to month is a good way to keep track of things, and once you see it all on paper it can shine a light on areas for improvement.” But how much do things like houses, utilities, cars, children and even getting married actually cost in Maine? Here’s a rundown of average costs for various regular expenses in Maine. Some of them might surprise you!

36 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET MARRIED IN MAINE? According to the popular wedding site TheKnot.com, Maine ranks at number 30 in terms of most expensive states in which to get married, coming in at just under $30,000. That’s close to the national average. Compare that to New York, coming in at number one with a whopping $86,000 average wedding expense. It’s worth noting that marriage costs can vary wildly, depending on the couple—not every couple cares to spend $13,000 on a venue rental when a local grange hall, farm or family member or friend’s property can cost far less. And Mainers, often the frugal, do-it-yourself sort, might be less likely to be swayed by the opulence and extravagance seen on popular TV shows. So be forewarned: the below statistics are just averages, and are by no means suggestions on what you actually should spend.

$40

MARRIAGE LICENSE IN BANGOR ....

$80 FOR BASIC, $130-$140 FOR DELUXE

TUX RENTALS ................................

$65 PER PERSON

CATERING .................................

$500

WEDDING CAKE ..................

DRESS .................................

FLOWERS ........................

PHOTOGRAPHER ........

FIVE-DAY HONEYMOON IN THE CARIBBEAN .... WEDDING VENUE ....................

$1,200

$2,000

$2,000

$3,000-4,000

$13,000 www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 37


FEATURE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OWN OR RENT A HOME IN BANGOR? As of 2016, the real estate landscape in Bangor is what they call a “buyer’s market”—there are more houses available than there are people to buy them. “My friends from out of state are always amazed at how much less expensive a house is in this part of Maine,” said Sprague. “$150,000 can get you a great family home in Bangor, but in Massachusetts, Connecticut or New York they would laugh you out of the real estate office if you said you wanted a home for that amount.” Markets fluctuate, however, and there tend to be more houses for sale in the warmer months than in the colder ones. Rental prices in Bangor have remained relatively flat over the past decade; it’s averaged around $700 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, compared to the Maine average of $776 and the U.S. average of $934.

AVERAGE ANNUAL COST OF HOME MAINTENANCE (ASSESSED AT 2 PERCENT OF A HOME’S VALUE PER YEAR): $2,599

AVERAGE ANNUAL ELECTRIC BILL FOR MAINE: $936 ($78 PER MONTH, THE LOWEST IN THE NATION)

AVERAGE ANNUAL COST FOR INTERNET IN BANGOR: $540 ($45 PER MONTH)

AVERAGE ANNUAL COST FOR BASIC CABLE TV: $420 ($34.99 PER MONTH)

AVERAGE ANNUAL PROPERTY TAXES IN BANGOR: $1,676 (BASED ON AVERAGE HOME PRICE ABOVE) Sources: Zillow.com, U.S. Census Bureau, LendingTree.com, ElectricityLocal.com 38 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

$706 TWO-BEDROOM APARTMENT RENT AVERAGE IN BANGOR

$129,950 HOME PRICE

AVERAGE IN BANGOR (AVERAGE MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT OF ABOUT $1,000)


$2,395

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HEAT YOUR HOME FOR THE WINTER? With the increasing popularity of heating sources other than oil or wood, there are now more options than ever to stay warm during the cold months. What’s the most efficient way to heat your home? Though natural gas is the least expensive, not everyone has access to natural gas lines, nor has the money to retrofit their home to use it. Fuel oil and pellets are both efficient methods for heat, though pellets are a bit more environmentally friendly. Wood stoves remain popular, and if you have access to a wood lot or are willing to chop some or all of your own, it can be very inexpensive— though buying all your own firewood does cost a little more than other methods. In the end, the heating method you choose comes down to a number of factors, including availability and personal preference.

AVERAGE ANNUAL COST OF WINTER HEATING AVERAGE COSTS TO HEAT A 1,500 SQ. FOOT HOME FOR ONE WINTER FUEL OIL

$1,829 (OIL AT $2.04 A GALLON) $2,245 (SEASONED WOOD AT $250 A CORD)

WOOD STOVE NATURAL GAS PELLETS

Source: Governor’s Energy Office, State of Maine

$1,753 ($1.41 PER THERMAL UNIT) $1,884 ($250 FOR A TON OF PELLETS)

BASEBOARD ELECTRIC HEAT

0

$1,000

$2,000

$4,264 ($0.15 PER KILOWATT HOUR)

$3,000

$4,000 $5,000

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 39


FEATURE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MAINTAIN A CAR FOR ONE YEAR? Everyone who has ever owned a car knows it can sometimes be more of a pain than a pleasure—especially when unexpected repairs arise. In Maine, we have the added stress of additional wear and tear due to winter salt and potholes. Luckily, Mainers have among the lowest car insurance rates in the country. The highest? West Virginia ($2,518/year) and Michigan ($2,551/year).

$33,560 AVERAGE COST FOR A NEW CAR

$964 $776 AVERAGE COST FOR CAR MAINTENANCE PER YEAR

AVERAGE COST FOR CAR INSURANCE IN MAINE (PER YEAR)

20 AVERAGE DAILY COMMUTE TO WORK IN MILES FOR PENOBSCOT COUNTY Sources: American Automobile Association, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds.com, U.S. Census Bureau

40 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

$1,385.28 AVERAGE COST TO FILL UP A 12-GALLON GAS TANK ONCE A WEEK FOR A YEAR

$15,900 AVERAGE COST FOR A USED CAR


$843 (NEW), $197 (USED) AVERAGE COST FOR CAR REGISTRATION

$2.22 PER GALLON AVERAGE GAS PRICE FOR BANGOR IN DECEMBER 2016

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 41


FEATURE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RAISE KIDS IN MAINE? Children are expensive—between day care, food and clothing, healthcare and beyond, you’d better be prepared to fork over some serious cash. “The cost of healthcare continues to be a burden for a lot of young people,” said Sprague. “I have friends who won’t have another child because they can’t afford the deductibles on their health insurance for all the costs involved, or they can not afford childcare.” For a family with two children and a combined household income of $60,000, here’s what the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s Cost of Raising a Child Calculator says it costs to raise them in Maine for a year, not taking into account entertainment.

42 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


3-YEAR-OLD $7,070 TOTAL

• FOOD: $1,620 • CLOTHING: $710 • HEALTH CARE: $770 • CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION: $3,970

13-YEAR-OLD $8,500 TOTAL

• FOOD: $2,800 • CLOTHING: $990 • HEALTH CARE: $1,350 • CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION: $3,360

Source: USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 43


THEN & NOW

MILLINOCKET

(Above) A scenic photo of Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin. (Left) An early view of the Magic City and Mount Katahdin.

44 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


THE

MAGIC

CITY

Discover Millinocket’s magic this winter.

ARTICLE BY RICHARD SHAW, PHOTOS BY RICHARD SHAW AND PAGE EASTMAN HISTORIC PHOTOS COURTESY OF MILLINOCKET HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND UNIVERSITY OF MAINE FOGLER LIBRARY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

MILLINOCKET’S PAPER MILL may be closed, but there’s still magic in the town known as The Magic City. Local planners have a few tricks up their sleeves this winter to make a visit worth the extra drive time to this uniquely historic northern Penobscot County community. Seeing Mount Katahdin blanketed in white alone may take your breath away. “There is much to do in Millinocket in February,” said Wende Sairio, director of the Katahdin Area Chamber of

Commerce. “Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, dog-sledding, airplane rides, winter hiking and camping are always fun. Plus, cozying up to a fire at the end of the day is wonderful, as is enjoying great food and shopping, along with a visit to the historical museum.” Winter Festival takes place during school vacation week, Feb. 19-26. A parade, bonfire and other activities are listed on the town’s website, millinocket. org. For shopping, dining and overnight www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 45


THEN & NOW

MILLINOCKET

options, visit the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce website, katahdinmaine.com. Discover Katahdin, a popular app, offers much of the web page’s information in a more portable fashion. Civic leaders put on their thinking caps before the Great Northern Paper Co. mill, the region’s mainstay since 1899, shut down in 2008. The silence of a dormant industry that had fed so many families and employed French Canadian and Italian immigrants was deafening. Demand for paper had ebbed, and foreign markets were manufacturing at a lower cost. Many realized that the Katahdin region’s natural beauty and outdoor opportunities will outlast any mill closures and that a national audience knew the region from “American Loggers,” a

RACE ORGANIZER GARY ALLEN WAIVED ENTRANCE FEES, BUT ENCOURAGED RUNNERS TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY TWO REGIONAL MILL SHUTDOWNS. Discovery Channel series that chronicled the Pelletier family’s adventures. So, even in last Dec. 10’s bone-chilling temperatures, hundreds of runners traversed the Golden Road for the Millinocket Marathon & Half. Race organizer Gary Allen waived entrance fees, but encouraged runners to support businesses affected by two regional mill shutdowns. Eateries like the Scootic Inn, located near the race’s downtown starting line, benefited from the activity, as did River Driver’s Restaurant and Pub. Racers might have been surprised to see an assortment of art outlets in town, including Moose Prints Gallery and North Light Gallery. “There’s a lot going on in town this winter,” said North Light owner Marsha Donahue. “I’m optimistic about the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which I enthusiastically support. I think it’s going to bring a lot of business into the Millinocket region.” 46 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

The Millinocket Marathon & Half brought hundreds of runners and even more fans to Millinocket in December.


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THEN & NOW

MILLINOCKET

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Scenic shots from around Baxter State Park, and (below) an 1899 photo showing the future site of the paper mill in winter.

Trudy Wyman, curator of the Millinocket Historical Society, is thinking positive by looking back. Museum exhibits showcase the birth of The Magic City, so named because, created by the paper industry, it was carved out of the woods and incorporated in 1901, as if by magic. The future town was settled in 1829 by Thomas Fowler and his family and was known by sportsmen traveling to the Katahdin region. In 1894, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad extended service to Houlton, opening the area to development. Museum treasures explain the town’s wartime military response, the logging industry, and powerhouse Stearns High School basketball teams. In addition, the Great Northern mill whistle stands vigil in the front lobby. To explore more local history, visit the Antique Snowmobile Museum. At the Memorial Library at 5 Maine Ave., ask for these books: “Millinocket: Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness,” by Dorothy Bowler Laverty; “Millinocket: Images of America,” by David R. Duplisea; and “Millinocket, Maine, 50th Anniversary: 1901-1951.” www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 49


THEN & NOW

MILLINOCKET

Lloyd W. Morey Sr.’s “Magic City Doctor” tells a physician’s story, and “Coach and His Boys: George Wentworth,” by William R. Sawtell, describes the career of a Stearns High School basketball genius. “Truly, the best way to check out Millinocket [history and more] is to experience it in any season,” Sairio said. So, after you hang up your snowshoes this spring, start planning for a July 4th wilderness experience, or a visit to Trail’s End Festival in Crandall Park the third weekend in September. Past attractions have included performances by the Mallett Brothers Band and a talk by the late Donn Fendler, who, as a 12-year-old in 1939, survived nine days lost in the Katahdin region. There is no end to Millinocket’s magic.

TOWN STATS Incorporated: March 16, 1901

Lloyd W. Morey Sr., “Magic City Doctor”;

Named for: Abenaki, “Dotted with many

Joe Whalen, tennis player; Clyde Suke-

islands” Motto: The Magic City

pastor from 1937-1955; Harry Carroll, active community member from 1914-1980

County: Penobscot

Landmarks: Stearns Assisted Living, town

Median resident age (2010): 51.5

park gazebo, veterans memorial, Milli-

Elevation: 351 feet

nocket Regional Hospital, Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, St. Martin of

Area: Total, 18.22 square miles

Tours Catholic Church, St. Andrews Epis-

Notable people: George W. Stearns, civic

copal Church, Memorial Library, Great

Pray, state senator; Michael Michaud, U.S. Representative; George Wentworth, basketball coach; Merrill and Polly Segee,

50 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

Joseph Quinn, St. Martin of Tours Church

Population: 4,401 (2014 estimate)

leader, high school namesake; Charles

(Above) The Stearns High School 1954 basketball state champions. (Right) An early photo of Millinocket’s Main Street and (below) Main Street in the 1940s.

forth, Cincinnati Reds ball player; Fr.

Northern Paper Co. administration building, Appalachian Trail Café, Municipal Airport, Antique Snowmobile Museum, Baxter State Park, Millinocket Lake, Katahdin Woods and

Millinocket Historical Society founders;

Waters National Monument

Mary Kathryn Gonya, Miss Maine 1966;

Municipal website: millinocket.org


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 51


FOOD & DRINK

IN SEASON NOW

In Season Now:

GARLIC STORY & PHOTOS BY SARAH WALKER CARON

In early spring, look for garlic scapes— the long top of the plant that’s edible and an alternative to garlic.

VAMPIRES LOATH IT. But ancient Greeks and Romans ate it en masse, according to the book “Ancient Herbs in the J. Paul Getty Museum Gardens,” by Jeanne D’Andrea. While some hated it, many others believed it to have medicinal qualities and also to be a powerful aphrodisiac. These days, garlic is used in a variety of cuisines and dishes to create a robust flavor. From garlic bread to roasted garlic mashed potatoes to even garlic ice cream—yes, it exists—there’s no doubt that people today enjoy garlic.

IN WINTER, FARMERS BRING TO MARKET THE STORES OF GARLIC GROWN IN WARMER MONTHS. Aglio e Olio Serves 4 /3 cup olive oil 6 cloves garlic, minced ½ pound angel hair pasta, cooked 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or parsley Salt and pepper, to taste Freshly grated parmesan cheese 1

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant and just beginning to hint at golden brown—one to two minutes at most. Pour the oil over the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and toss again. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve topped with cheese, if desired.

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Garlic, a member of the Allium genus which also includes onions, shallots, leeks and chives, is an edible bulb that can add flavor and aroma to many dishes. In late spring or early summer its green shoots, known as garlic scapes, are lopped off to encourage the growth of the bulbs. The scapes, long with curly tops, are then sold in farmers markets throughout the region. They’re edible and offer an alternative to garlic in recipes. The earthy, distinctive flavor shares many notes with garlic but has its own fresh flair. In winter, farmers bring to market the stores of garlic grown in warmer months. Check your local farmers market for delightful, locally grown garlic all winter. When buying garlic, you want to look for tight bulbs, where the cloves are held firmly in. Garlic is best stored at room temperature. I have a garlic jar with air holes on the side for it, but you could also store it in an open container or basket. It just needs air circulation. A final note: only peel the garlic when you’re ready to use it.

SARAH WALKER CARON is a Bangor-based food writer and a senior editor for the Bangor Daily News. Her weekly food column, Maine Course, appears in the BDN every Wednesday and she is also author of Sarah’s Cucina Bella food blog (www.sarahscucinabella.com) and a cookbook: “Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains.”


www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 53


FOOD & DRINK

THE BRUNCH

Prep work, teamwork, timing create perfect brunch at Lucerne Inn. BY LAUREN ABBATE

Sponsored by

qualeygranite.com

54 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

ON A GRAY SUNDAY morning recently, the smell of bacon and coffee wafted through the entryway of the Lucerne Inn, signaling one thing—brunch was in the works. At 8:30 a.m., aside from the faintest sound of music playing overhead, all was still quiet at the inn, which sits in a stately fashion over Phillips Lake on Route 1A heading east from Bangor. But with only a half hour until guests would begin arriving, kitchen and wait staff were busy putting the final touches on the immense spread of brunch classics being held in chafing dishes in the dining room. “This is nothing,” head chef Arturo Montes chuckles, who for the last two years has been leading the Lucerne team in hosting a range of guests for the weekly brunch. Arturo, who has been a chef for the last 15 years in locations including Bar Harbor and Bangor, said the brunch service is practically second nature. The key to keeping everything stocked and fresh is all in the preparation and timing of the four-

hour long brunch, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year round. Summer is typically the busier brunch season, with about 150 guests coming from weddings hosted at the inn or nearby camp owners making the drive to save themselves from having to cook. Winter sees fewer guests making the trip, according to David Silverman, the inn’s owner, but with about 75 guests still frequenting the window-lined dining room every Sunday, there needs to be plenty of brunch to go around. The amount and variety of scrumptious food served up for brunch at the Lucerne is nothing to bat an eye at. The feast includes eggs in various forms: scrambled, benedict, made-to-order omelets; traditional breakfast sides like sausage links, bacon and hashbrowns; pastries, muffins, bagels and toast; pasta salads, vegetable salads, fruit spreads; chicken and beef dishes, and a rotating list of other side items. Oh, and let’s not forget the waffle

PHOTOS: ASHLEY L. CONTI

FATHER


station or the dessert table. So how does a small kitchen staff of three pull this all off? Plenty of prep-work, teamwork and timing. That all starts the week before, when Montes places the food supply order. The inn recommends that people place reservations if they are attending the brunch, so Montes has a general idea of how many people he must prepare to cook for, assuming that about 20 or 30 walk-ins will also attend the brunch. For the basics, as a rule of thumb, Montes orders 30 pounds of bacon, 30 dozen eggs and 50 pounds of potatoes. The inn also holds a dinner service nightly from 5 to 9 p.m., and prep work for the Sunday brunch doesn’t have a chance to begin until after Saturday’s dinner service is winding down. Montes said the staff can be in the kitchen until as late as 11 p.m. or midnight on Saturday, prepping the food and putting it in pans to be cooked the next morning. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 55


FOOD & DRINK As the kitchen and dining room staff walks around inspecting the brunch spread just before brunch is set to start, there’s no doubt that attentiveness to detail is top on their list. Montes said it’s this dedication to pride that bonds the staff together. “We know what we’re doing,” Montes said. Montes relies on the staff in the dining room to stay on top of which food items need to be replenished. In between refilling cups of coffee and clearing plates, the staff will keep an eye on how much of each item remains in the individual chafing dishes. Once Montes is alerted that the stock of the item is running low, he’ll uses the pre-prepped ingredients to replenish the dish in about 15 minutes. Silverman, who purchased the Lucerne Inn in June, attributes much of the brunch’s success to Montes’ leadership and organization. “As kitchens and kitchen managers go, [Montes] is wonderful… He is as levelheaded and runs as seamless a kitchen you will see anywhere,” Silverman said. “In regards to organization and temperament, he is a real professional.” After the brunch service has come to a close, the staff, which had spent the last four hours attentively waiting on others, gathers their own plates from what’s left of the lavish spread. There is a dinner service Sunday night, but Arturo will have his second-in-command run that meal. After brunch, Arturo says he “disappears.” He’ll return Monday for another week of meal services, and it won’t be long until he’s planning the following Sunday’s brunch.

BREWER

56 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

BANGOR

BUCKSPORT

GUILFORD


Your listing could be on this page Attract more customers. Advertise in Bangor Metro’s Restaurant Guide. Call 941-1300.

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 57


ARTS & MUSIC

PAINTING A Turning a love of art into a full-time career in The County. STORY & PHOTOS BY JOSHUA ARCHER

58 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

CAREER ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, Washburn native Tim Gagnon quit his day job with about $1,000 in his pocket to become a full-time artist. While shacked up in an apartment with his girlfriend, he produced a painting almost every day for three years. He started out selling his pieces on Ebay and worked his way up to galleries and art shows. Eventually, he landed an art representative out of New York. Today, Gagnon’s a professional artist and instructor based in Castle Hill, near Presque Isle. While he still sells pieces in New York galleries, he says his mission is to create a community of Maine creatives to inspire others and demonstrate that art can be a career. Way off the beaten path and deep in the woods, Gagnon’s studio overlooks a breathtaking view of northern Maine. On clear days you can see Mt. Katahdin. His days begin by feeding his chickens,

saying “Hi” to his rabbits, shaking a few flakes into the fish tank, and giving his dogs Tucker and Mason their breakfast. Slipping downstairs to his home studio after his fiancé leaves for work, he turns up some tunes and enters a trance as he hyper-focuses on the day’s piece, typically an impromptu landscape that captures his mood. “I create art because it’s a way for me to express myself visually,” he said. “I put it on canvas and try to make you feel the same way [I feel], because it’s a way for me to communicate. I’m a shy introverted type of person, which I’m trying to break out of.” Reaching over his shoulder, he flips on his trusty camera and records the week’s lesson for his online classes. He’s gone from doing a painting a day to recording a lesson a week. He spends his evenings in his sketchbook. His work ethic has helped him reach a point where he can take time off. Over the past


year he’s focused on figure drawing, which he’ll develop into a lesson series in the coming months. “I’ve spent a year in my sketchbook drawing faces and figures and all that,” he said. “This year I plan on expanding my lessons into figurative and portrait…I’m just trying to expand into teaching everything.” Looking back over the past 10 years, he credits his success to the struggle of trying to make it as a professional painter while tucked away in The County. “I wasn’t successful right away,” he said. “There were points in this career I’ve created that I couldn’t pay bills. I was going nowhere, things weren’t selling really well. It would be really up and down, but I guess I always wanted to make sure I succeeded somehow so I stuck with it. “I liked that there was a lot of struggle, it’s inspiring to me,” he continued. “It’s good to look back at all the times it looked

like it was not going to work and say, ‘Yeah, I got through that.’” His paintings transcend your typical landscape and manage to bend reality so you���re made to feel what’s on the canvas. “I really like surreal feeling. I like it to look real, but beyond it a little bit,” he said. He’ll be hitting the road soon, traveling the country and providing workshops for creatives. “It’s a cooler connection,” he said about his face time with artists. “You create friendships and put a face to the name.” He has big plans for his online lessons. Soon he’ll have a network of artists from around the state—possibly the globe— showing budding artists how to pick up a brush and take the plunge into the art world like he did. “I’m going out there and I’m teaching, but I’m also trying to inspire people,” he said. “Art can be a career.” www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 59


ARTS & MUSIC

PERSPECTIVES

60 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


STEVE GRAY “MY PHILOSOPHY ON PHOTOGRAPHY is constantly evolving. When I first picked up a camera, I was fascinated with nature. I frequently left my home early in the morning, camera in hand, and wouldn’t return until after dark with SD cards loaded with photos of things I had seen. Years later, I took some classes locally. I never thought this was anything I’d ever have any interest in, but after getting a few decent shots, I was hooked. I find that raw files direct from the camera almost always fall flat compared to what I see with my eyes, and more importantly with my mind. So I became fluent in programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. Some people are adamant that manipulating photos is doing a disservice to the art. I couldn't disagree more. For me, it's always been about using the camera to get the basic idea captured digitally. I then have the pleasure of making it into what I saw in my mind when I shot it. My photography business has existed for several years and has operated under my own name, Steven J Gray Photography. This is changing to Gray Photography as my wife Amanda and I will be partnering fully in this endeavor. She’s a very talented photographer in her own right and we’ve been shooting everything together for the past year or so.” —STEVE GRAY

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 61


OUTDOORS Chad Januskiewicz hands off Army Spc. Justin L. Buxbaum's stone to be carried up Borestone Mountain as part of The Summit Project.

THE BURDEN OF

Maine volunteers carry memories of the fallen. BY MATT CHABE

Sacrifice

IT BEGAN ONE FATEFUL DAY in 2012. Labor Day, to be exact. It was happenstance, really. Dave Cote, then a U.S. Marine officer in Monterey, Calif., was invited last minute to hike Mt. Whitney by friends, a group of U.S. Navy SEALs. They had an open spot, and Cote embraced the chance to summit the 14,505 foot peak, the tallest in the contiguous United States. Hitting the trailhead at midnight, they summited at dawn. It was there that Cote realized the SEALs had been carrying stones in their packs, a new rock for each fallen SEAL in the past year. They placed the stones in a secret crevice on the summit. The image stuck with Cote. The memory kept resurfacing. About a year later, he had formed the basis of an idea to keep the memories of the fallen alive. He called it The Summit Project.

“At the end of the day I come back to this notion of remembrance,” said Cote, a 16-year veteran and current military reservist. “How are we going to remember the sacrifices that people made? I want to be able to say, ‘We’re not going to forget your son or daughter.’” The Project’s mission, he said, is to honor Maine’s newest war casualties and the faithful spirit of all Mainers. In the Project, surviving families unearth and donate 62 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

PHOTO:S BDN FILE

MY MOTIVATION IS TO KEEP THEIR MEMORIES ALIVE BY REMEMBERING THEM AS PEOPLE SO THEIR STORIES CAN CONTINUE TO INSPIRE AND LEAD.”


memorial stones that uniquely represent their loved ones. Project volunteers— hundreds, according to Cote—carry the engraved stones and the stories they represent on physical challenges across Maine and beyond. Following the journey, volunteers write post-event reflection letters to the surviving families. Recent journeys have included a frigid March dip into Branch Lake, a 118-mile trek through the 100 Mile Wilderness, and countless other hikes, memorials, runs and events to carry the stones. At times, the Project partners with likeminded organizations as well as Gold Star families themselves. For Cote, the mission runs deep. A Bangor native and a 1997 graduate of Bangor High School, he said early exposure to veterans left an impact. “As a kid, I had the opportunity to greet troops with the troop greeters at Bangor International Airport,” he said. “It was a big influence. I realized at an early age that there’s a large population of veterans here in Maine. I wanted to support them—I think that’s part of being a Mainer.” For volunteers, the experience is as palpable as the impact it has on families. “During the challenge there were many times I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this? Why am I carrying a 35 pound medic bag with an 11 pound stone?,’ said one volunteer. “But I kept going because I realized that I would not — and could not — want it any other way. That’s what I’d want if I didn’t make it back.” “The most humbling moment of the day for me was receiving hugs and thanks from [the service member’s] mother and father,” said another. “You could see in their eyes how much [it] meant to them and their family.” Cote said there are three pillars to the Project’s vision. The community needs to take care of living veterans, he said; the wounded and ill need to be taken care of; and the fallen need to be remembered. “These deaths are tragic and unplanned,” he said. “A lot of these people wanted to come back to this great state, buy a house, start a family. My motivation is to keep their memories alive by remembering them as people so their stories can continue to inspire and lead.” “We’ve found that The Summit Project inspires people to serve, to act,” he said. “It changes lives.”

With memorial stones in their packs, participants make their way down Borestone Mountain in Piscataquis County as part of The Summit Project.

Lorna Harris, right, and her father, James Troutt, carry stones from The Summit Project. Harris carries her son's stone on the first Aaron Henderson Memorial 5K Run/Walk, while Trout carries a stone carved with the word “endurance.“

Volunteers carry Summit Project memorial stones through downtown on their way to the Bangor Public Library, where they were on display to the public.

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OUTDOORS

64 / BANGOR METRO February 2017


WINTER IN

B A R HAR BOR When tourists are away, the locals play. STORY & PHOTOS BY AISLINN SARNACKI

A bench on the waterfront in Bar Harbor is dusted with snow on a cold day.

A BITTER WIND WHIPPED over the ocean and up Main Street in Bar Harbor. Ice glistened on the sidewalks. And in the Village Green, empty benches were dusted with snow. In December, the island town of Bar Harbor is a quiet place, and it remains that way until tourist season starts up again in the spring. Souvenir shops and seafood stands close, and the only ships in the harbor are a few fishing boats run by local lobstermen. But the community doesn’t simply hibernate and wait for the cruise ships to return. Bar Harbor may be quiet, but it’s not dead. In fact, it’s during the wintertime that visitors to Bar Harbor can experience the town’s true local flavor. During this slow season, the island’s year round residents emerge to enjoy their favorite restaurants, visit the theater, and play in nearby Acadia National Park. “It’s kind of cool for visitors,” said Alf Anderson, Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce director of membership and sales. “It’s one of those things where people who haven’t been here in the winter think it’ll just be desolate. And yes, it’s quieter. There isn’t going to be as much hustle and bustle. But there’s plenty to do.” In the winter, Anderson—whose family lives right downtown—enjoys walking along Bar Harbor’s Shore Path www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 65


OUTDOORS

Chris Candage of Bar Harbor (far right) carries his fat-tire bike into the shop area of Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop to have shop employee Adam Gaviepy outfit it with studded tires that will give him better traction on icy trails.

Mount Desert Island residents relax in the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor.

66 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

Sherman's Book and Department Store is one business out of several that remain open year round in Bar Harbor.


with his dog, observing how the ice and snow transforms the landscape throughout the season. In the harbor, loons and sea ducks navigate the frigid waves. “This time of year, you really find out the local haunts,” Anderson said. These popular hangout spots include, but are not limited to, the Dog & Pony Tavern, Little Anthony’s Sports Bar and Pizzeria, Side Street Cafe and the Thirsty Whale pub. “In the summer, we have a line out the door and an hour wait to get a table,” said Mike Jack, Thirsty Whale barkeep for the past six years. That isn’t the case in the winter. During a recent lunch hour, people filtered slowly into the popular pub, known for its delicious burgers and fish sandwiches. Before long, the restaurant’s long wooden bar was full of Bar Harbor residents—a fisherman, a B&B owner, a restaurant worker and a retiree—and everyone seemed to know each other. “It’s pretty low key for the most part,” said Kim Phillips, a server at the Thirsty Whale for the past 14 years. “There’s just good comradery among locals, people who come here every week or every other week.” Many of the restaurants that remain open in Bar Harbor during the winter will take a month off to renovate and give their employees a break. And for many years now, these restaurants coordinate so that they don’t all close at once. So typically, as one restaurant closes, another opens. There are also a handful of shops that remain open in the winter, including Cadillac Mountain Sports, Sherman’s Books & Stationery, Willis’ Rock Shop and The Acadia Shop. And the town’s Abbe Museum—a museum of the history and cultures of Maine’s Native people, the Wabanaki—is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from November through May, closing for just one month: January. Winter is also a time for communitybuilding events, Anderson said. The town’s Jesup Memorial Library hosts a full schedule of family-friendly activities, talks and workshops, including a popular knitting circle. And the Criterion Theatre and Reel Pizza Cinerama brings together the community with a full lineup of films, concerts and shows. Free community dinners are held each Thursday during the winter at First Baptist Church. “It’s really nice when the crowds are gone. It’s an entirely different experience,” said Joe www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 67


OUTDOORS A cross-country skier crosses the frozen Witch Hole Pond in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island.

Minutolo, owner of Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop, which remains open year round. In the winter, the large shop simply switches gears from renting and selling mountain bikes and road bikes to providing a wide variety of fat-tire bikes, which are designed with wide, low-pressure tires that are ideal for biking over snow. “It’s something to do in the winter,” said Adam Gariepy, a Bar Harbor resident who has worked at the bicycle shop for the past five years. “It’s fun and a way to get off the couch and away from Netflix. It really hit mainstream in the last few years.” Recently, Gariepy was busy putting studded tires on a customer’s fat-tire bike as snow started to fall outside. “In the winter, you really have to make yourself get out in the park,” Gariepy said. “It doesn’t even matter what you’re doing. Grab your bike, grab your skis, grab your snowshoes. Just make sure you get out there in the park. It’s the best resource we have on Mount Desert Island.” 68 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

While the majority of Acadia National Snowshoeing is also popular, Park’s loop road closes to traffic in the especially on Cadillac, Penobscot and winter, the park is open to the public year Sargent mountains, where people often round, and most trails and carriage roads spot snowy owls that migrate to the are still easily accessible, though certain island from the Arctic during the winter. activities are limited to certain trails. OF THE 47 MILES OF HISTORIC One popular winter activity in the park is CARRIAGE ROADS IN THE PARK, cross-country skiing. Of the 47 miles of ABOUT 27 MILES ARE GROOMED historic carriage roads in the park, about 27 FOR CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING. miles are groomed for cross-country skiing, with separate tracks for classic and skate And on a nice day, the parking lots for skiing. Fat-tire bikes are not permitted on Eagle and Echo lakes are often filled with these groomed trails, but they are permitted visitors there to go ice fishing, ice skating on the park’s snowmobiling routes, which and ice boating. include the Park Loop Road and the road “Locals embrace the off-season, they leading to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. really do,” Minutolo said. “And it can “There’s nothing quite like being on be the nicest time to be in Acadia. It’s Sand Beach in the winter with the snow all not crowded, and you still have the great around you,” Minutolo said. views, they’re just different.”


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OUTDOORS

WOODS & WATERS

SEAL

OF APPROVAL Gray seals have made a major comeback along the coast of Maine. STORY & PHOTOS BY BOB DUCHESNE

70 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

RIGHT ABOUT NOW, a gray seal is giving birth to this year’s 1,000th pup on Seal Island, a 65 acre rock in the Gulf of Maine. That takes some explaining. For instance, what is a gray seal? Most Mainers are familiar with harbor seals. They’re ubiquitous along the coast, and love to haul out on rocks and ledges, sometimes within view of shore. One particular harbor seal named Andre even inspired a generation of children’s books and a movie, due to his human-friendly antics in Rockport. Gray seals are bigger. Much bigger. Where harbor seals are often identified by their puppy-dog faces, the long straight snout of the gray seal gives it a horse-like appearance. That difference only began to matter in the last couple of decades. Gray seals are a recent invader, or perhaps a re-invader. Until recently, they weren’t known to breed in Maine waters. That changed in 1996, when a pupping colony was discovered on Green Island, a tiny, uninhabited island that lies just south of Bass Harbor and east of Swan’s Island. Soon thereafter, a larger pupping colony developed on Seal Island, 20 miles south of Stonington. Twenty years ago, no gray seals gave birth there. Last year, aerial surveys revealed at least a thousand newborn pups, making it the second largest gray seal pupping colony in the United States. That’s only the half of it. Gray seal numbers have exploded in Massachusetts. Over 2,000 pups are now born annually on Muskeget Island near Nantucket. The formerly shy seals now loaf comfortably on Cape Cod beaches, sometimes crowding out humans who had intended to spread blankets on the same patch of sand. Gray seals were familiar to Maine’s Indian tribes before Europeans arrived. Seal bones are found regularly in ancient coastal campsites. It’s likely that gray seals abandoned New England when European cod fishermen used musket balls to discourage competition. While they remained numerous in Canadian waters, they all but disappeared from the Gulf of Maine. Gray seals are widespread across the colder waters of the North Atlantic. They can easily decide not to stay where they are being persecuted. Things began to change in 1987 when the Canadians automated the last lighthouse on Cape Sable Island at the southern tip of Nova Scotia. Now that the feared


humans were gone, gray seals recolonized the island and began to produce lots and lots of babies. That population rapidly expanded southward, augmented by even more gray seals coming down from farther north. Today, it’s become common to see them in Maine. Harbor seals give birth in May. Gray seals begin pupping in December. They are done by the end of February. Both species spend little time raising the pups. It’s a few weeks of nursing, and then the pups are on their own. There is one difference, however. Harbor seals give birth close to the waterline, even on mid-tide ledges. That gives the little tyke about four hours to learn how to swim before the next high tide comes in. Gray seals give birth high above the waterline, often in the grassy areas atop their islands. The babies stay with their moms on dry land until they are weaned. As a result, babies and moms linger in big numbers where they are easy to see. So we went to see. On December 11, 2016, the Isle au Haut Ferry arranged a special trip to Seal Island to witness this natural spectacle. Thirty passengers left the

pier in Stonington to take a look, braving December temperatures and an unsettled sea. It was early. We knew that. We arrived to find a hundred seal cows sprawled on the ledges, waiting to give birth—the vanguard of many more seals to come. Overhead, three bald eagles circled, also waiting. Gray seals are too large to be annoyed by eagles. The eagles are not after the babies. They’re interested in the afterbirth. It’s a placenta feast only an eagle could love. A few of the gray seals flopped toward the water as the boat approached the island. Most stayed put. One cluster of 50 seals on a ledge watched us with vague indifference. We kept our distance; they went back to dozing. In the water, a handful of big horse heads popped up behind the boat, examining us with mild curiosity. Once driven from Maine waters, gray seals are back.

BOB DUCHESNE is a local radio personality, Maine guide, and columnist. He lives on Pushaw Lake with his wife, Sandi.

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 71


HOME

CHANGE FOR THE

BETTER Common mistakes made on home renovation projects. BY METRO NEWS SERVICE

72 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS can turn a house into a home. Homeowners plan scores of renovations to transform living spaces into rooms that reflect their personal tastes and comforts. Homeowners going it alone may find things do not always go as planned. In fact, a Harris Interactive study found that 85 percent of homeowners say remodeling is a more stressful undertaking than buying a home. But homeowners about to embark on home improvement projects can make the process go more smoothly by avoiding these common pitfalls.

NOT ESTABLISHING A BUDGET Homeowners must develop a project budget to ensure their projects do not drain their finances. If your budget is so inflexible that you can’t afford the materials you prefer, you may want to postpone the project and save more money so you can eventually afford to do it right. Without a budget in place, it is easy to overspend, and that can put you in financial peril down the line. Worrying about coming up with money to pay for materials and labor also can induce stress. Avoid the anxiety by setting a firm budget.

FAILING TO UNDERSTAND THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT Some homeowners don’t realize just how big a commitment they have made until they get their hands dirty. But understanding the scope of the project, including how much demolition and reconstruction is involved and how much time a project will take can help homeowners avoid some of the stress that comes with renovation projects. For example, a bathroom renovation may require the removal of drywall, reinforcement of flooring to accommodate a new bathtub or shower enclosure and the installation of new plumbing and wiring behind walls. So such a renovation is far more detailed than simply replacing faucets.

MAKING TRENDY OR OVERPERSONAL IMPROVEMENTS Homeowners who plan to stay in their homes for the long run have more free reign when it comes to renovating their homes. Such homeowners can create a billiards room or paint a room hot pink if they so prefer. However, if the goal is to make improvements in order to sell a property, overly personal touches may make a property less appealing to prospective buyers. Trends come and go, and improvements can be expensive. If your ultimate goal is to sell your home, opt for renovations that will look beautiful through the ages and avoid bold choices that may only appeal to a select few buyers.


FORGETTING TO PROPERLY VET ALL WORKERS It is important to vet your contractor, but don’t forget to vet potential subcontractors as well. Failing to do so can prove a costly mistake. Contractors often look to subcontractors to perform certain parts of a job, and it is the responsibility of homeowners to vet these workers.

HANCOCK COUNTY

INSURANCE

EXPECTING EVERYTHING TO GO AS PLANNED Optimism is great, but you also should be a realist. Knowing what potentially could go wrong puts you in a better position to handle any problems should they arise. The project might go off without a hitch, but plan for a few hiccups along the way. OVERESTIMATING DIY ABILITIES Overzealous homeowners may see a renovation project in a magazine or on television and immediately think they can do the work themselves. Unless you have the tools and the skills necessary to do the work, tackling too much can be problematic. In the long run, leaving the work to a professional may save you money. Home improvements can be stressful, but homeowners can lessen that stress by avoiding common renovation mistakes.

Your listing could be on this page Sell it faster. Advertise in Bangor Metro’s Home section. Call 941-1300.

www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 73


FAMILY

HIT THE

SLOPES Give your family, and yourself, the gift of skiing. BY EMILIE BRAND THROCKMORTON

74 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

(it was hilarious!). Skiing was not only fun, it taught us independence, appropriate risk taking, and appreciation for the great outdoors. It also encouraged having a sense of humor about wipe outs and ski lift incidents. In short, skiing makes kids tough. So, no, I’m not sure if I said thank you to my parents after every day on the mountain.

and sense of adventure I experienced as a kid would translate into a gift that I would pass to my own family. I could tell you that I love to take my kids skiing because it gets us outside in the winter months, because it leads to increased fitness, balance, coordination, confidence and perseverance. Those things are all true. But the single best reason why

I LOVE WATCHING THE KIDS GET MORE AND MORE SKILLED AND CONFIDENT ON THE MOUNTAINS EACH YEAR, AND I LOVE HEARING THEM LAUGH AND SING AND HOOT AND HOLLER AS WE CRUISE DOWN THE WINDING SLOPES. I’m sure they could tell how happy we all were on the slopes, so maybe that was thanks enough. Even 30 years later, I can vividly remember the flutter I would get in my belly when, on our drive up to the mountain, we’d get our first glimpse of the slopes. I also remember my pride when I skied down from the tippy top of the mountain for the first time, the taste of the awesomely huge sugar cookies we would get in the lodge, and the satisfied hum I would have in my body after a full day on the slopes. As a mom who lives in Maine, where it is winter for basically half the year, I am now even more grateful to my parents for raising me as a skier. I didn’t know then that the fun

I love to take my kids skiing is this: they don’t fight! They don’t argue! Skiing is the only activity that we do as a family where everyone’s needs are met; everyone is happy. My kids are very different, and there are hardly any outings we go on where one child is not just impatiently waiting for the other to finish doing their thing so we can move on. On a normal day, I probably say 1,000 times: “Leave each other alone” or “be nice.” When skiing, we all exist together in perfect harmony. I swear we actually sang “Kumbaya” on the chairlift once. I love watching the kids get more and more skilled and confident on the mountains each year, and I love hearing them laugh and

PHOTO: MAROZNC/THINKSTOCK

I HOPE THAT WHEN I was a kid, I was sufficiently grateful to my parents for introducing me to skiing. But there is no way I could’ve realized then what a huge gift they were giving me for my life. They put in the tremendous effort to get me and my siblings geared up for skiing, sign us up for lessons, and to regularly schlep us to the local ski hill on the weekends. My parents were total troopers about skiing. Not only did they outfit all three of us in skis and ski gear and take us on annual trips to Vermont where we got to ski some of New England’s premier ski mountains, they actually learned to ski alongside of us (when they were in their forties!) so they could join in the fun. Our family sometimes skied all together, sometimes separately, but we always met up in the lodge at the end of the day to drink wine (my parents) and hot chocolate (the kids) and tell each other the crazy, fun stories about our day, like this one: One time when I was about 13 years old I was skiing with a friend, and my ski pants got stuck on the chair lift, so when it was time to get off, one of my legs stayed on the chair while the rest of me tried to get off; I ended up upside down hanging onto the chair as it turned the corner to head back down the mountain. The lift attendant stopped the lift and helped me down without injury, but my mom still tells the story of how at the end of the day, when we were all gathered together having our apres-ski beverages and I recounted the incident, I alternated between crying (it was scary!) and laughing


sing and hoot and holler as we cruise down the winding slopes. I love that they get as giddy as I did as a kid (and still do) when we drive up to the mountains, and I totally relish that apres-ski time in the lodge when we all sit around and recap the favorite moments from our day. After a full day of exerting our muscles, coming together with sun-kissed faces with the relief that no one got hurt or lost adds up to a satisfying whole-body buzz and a sense of calm. I’m not overstating it if I tell you that skiing is magical for me and my family. I know many families rule out skiing because of the expense, plus the hassles of getting kids dressed warmly from head to toe, carrying equipment from the car to the lodge, and often driving a few hours to our state’s best ski mountains, but don’t dismiss skiing too quickly. It is definitely worth the expense and the effort. There are several reasonably priced small local mountains in Maine, and often good deals on lift tickets through your town’s Recreation Department or Liftopia.com (if you purchase them in advance). Ski and snowboarding equipment can be leased through ski shops like The Ski Rack in Bangor for about $125 for the whole season, which makes good sense, especially when your kids are growing so fast from year to year. Don’t let the long winter, cabin fever, and sibling rivalries get you down. The beautiful mountains of Maine, the smell of balsam trees and snow, and the chairlift singalongs are yours for the taking.

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FAMILY

TO MAKE

MORNINGS LESS HECTIC 76 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

BY METRO NEWS SERVICE

MANY FAMILIES FIND the rush is on to make it to school and work on time each morning. Feeling rushed in the morning is a recipe for added stress. Rushing through things is a poor way to begin a day, and those feelings of uneasiness can put a damper on the rest of the day ahead. Making mornings less hectic involves a few different strategies that parents and kids can easily incorporate into their daily routines.

PHOTOS: NOEL HENDRICKSON, MYBONA, MEGAFLOPP, MONKEYBUSINESSIMAGES, CREATAS, AHIRAO_PHOTO/THINKSTOCK

7 WAYS

Make school and work mornings less harried with some easy tips to add to routines.


1. WAKE UP SLIGHTLY EARLIER. Getting up earlier than normal, even if it’s just 15 to 20 minutes before you’re accustomed to getting out of bed, can help reduce morning stress. Resist the temptation to hit the snooze button over and over again. A few extra minutes each morning can make you feel more relaxed and make for a smooth, stress-free start to the day. 2. GET SOME WORK DONE THE NIGHT BEFORE. Prepare lunches the night before and have them ready in the refrigerator. In addition, lay your clothes for the following day out each night. This saves time and takes a couple more things off your morning to-do list. 3. EASE BACK INTO A ROUTINE. As a new school year dawns or a long vacation comes to an end, begin going to bed earlier and start waking up earlier as well. This can make the transition from carefree mornings to busy mornings go more smoothly. 4. PREP BACKPACKS IN THE EVENING. Look through folders, sign paperwork, check assignments, and do whatever is you need to do the night before to save your family from having to scramble in the morning. This ensures those permission slips get signed and items make it back into school bags. 5. OPT FOR SCHOOL LUNCH A FEW TIMES. Look ahead on the school lunch menu and speak with children about which meals they enjoy. Let kids purchase school lunch on those days to give yourself a day off from lunch detail. 6. HAVE QUICK BREAKFAST FOODS AVAILABLE. Smoothies, cereal bars, oatmeal, and whole-grain cereals are fast and nutritious ways to start the day. 7. CARPOOL WHENEVER POSSIBLE. Busy families can save themselves extra work by proposing a neighborhood carpool. Sharing school dropoff detail frees time up for parents once or twice a week, and kids may enjoy traveling to school with their friends. Mornings can be tricky when family members are getting ready for school and work at the same time. By practicing a few daily rituals, it’s possible to curb the rush and start the day happier and more relaxed. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 77


TRANSITIONS

C R A F TS M A N IN THE COUNTY For New Sweden resident, a life less ordinary is the life indeed. BY JOSHUA ARCHER

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78 / BANGOR METRO February 2017

RECOVERING FROM A HIP replacement recently, Stephen Boody’s friends called to tell him the good news. They had written his name in for town selectman of New Sweden, and he won. For Boody, it’s one more page in a life’s tale full of stories. He turns 64 this year, and has put in a good 40 years working for C.B. Fisk crafting pipes for pipe organs by hand. Now, with retirement on the horizon, the organ pipe gods have looked down upon him with good favor—he says he has enough work to keep him busy for the next four years. When he’s not rolling lead, he’s behind the wheel of a school bus, keeping a close eye on the youth of New Sweden. He teaches violin to students young and old alike and plays gigs all over The County, including with the Northern Maine Chamber Orchestra. Peeking into Boody’s window at night, you might catch him blasting Carole King as he works. The glow of his workshop and the strains of “I Feel the Earth Move” pour out into the woods that hide the house he built on a mostly dirt road. “There’s something magical about... slaving away at this bench and creating stuff and then seeing it in the building playing,” said Boody. “There’s a year of my work and you can hear the result.” The quality of his craftsmanship can

be heard as air exhales through his pipes in churches all over the world, including such locations as Switzerland, Korea, Japan and China. What extra cash he has at the end of the month goes to an underprivileged child on the other side of the globe he got hooked up with through The Compassion Network. “I’m not rich. I’m just a working guy,” he said, “but our type of life is just beyond [some people’s] imagination, and that’s what we have to fight against…we need to spread the wealth.” He doesn’t own a cellphone, but that doesn’t stop some of the 700 residents of New Sweden from tracking down their selectman in the middle of the night to help with a fallen tree in the road. Sundays are saved for church. He’s been singing in the choir since he was a kid, and if you’re lucky you can swing by the Covenant Church to hear him belt hymns (he said he could do it “all day.”) His Swedish aunt planted roots in northern Maine after traveling the country and hearing about Swedes migrating here. It was visits with his aunt that helped him fall in love with Maine, and after growing up in Massachusetts he moved north. Francine, his wife, who has her own place across town (they have separate lives), checks in on him and makes sure he’s keeping track of

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JOSH ARCHER

Stephen Boody works on an organ pipe in his New Sweden workshop recently.


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Stephen Boody with violin student Sophia Archer.

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his doctors’ appointments (he has high blood pressure). They share two sons, Charles and Philip, both grown with lives of their own. She said Boody’s a free spirit. “At times I felt like I was bringing up three kids,” she said. His bohemian lifestyle isn’t typical for County folk, but he’s not your typical guy. He’s a proud liberal, and among his endless interests, high up on the list, is the well-being of others. “He really doesn’t say no to anybody,” said Francine. “He’s always willing to help, especially with playing music.” Katy and Winnie, his canine companions, accompany him on afternoon walks through the woods out back of his house past the chicken coop and garden plots. When it’s time to come in and put together pipes, he saddles up to his bench, slips on the reading glasses he picked up at the Dollar Tree (thanks to the glaucoma creeping in), warms up his soldering iron, and puts his talented hands to work. Inside his workshop there’s just enough room to sit and work, as every other inch of space is taken up by hundreds of vinyl records and photographs. He’s surrounded by his collections, and at first sight you feel like you might be swallowed up by a living thing. There’s life and love and motion in Boody’s home workshop. www.bangormetro.com BANGOR METRO / 79


LAST WORD

NO SLACKS

L E F T BEHIND Indifference to my earthly possessions is making life easier and safe from attackers. BY CHRIS QUIMBY

LIFE IS EASIER when you are surrounded by possessions you care nothing about. It’s the great paradox, for many of us dream of having the “very best in life.” Maybe you want the best vehicle out there—one that runs completely on dryer lint and gets 60 miles per gallon. Its radio never plays contemporary country music, the exterior is covered with solid gold and there’s always a warm dough boy in the glove compartment. Maybe you want the best home—one that doesn’t just offer passive solar for keeping warm in the winter, but offers passive-aggressive solar in the summer, whereby the windows act like everything’s fine but quietly make life very difficult for ultraviolet rays. Its dishwasher not only stacks itself, but does so in the elusive and controversial Correct Way that has been argued about more frequently and passionately than any of the most divisive of social issues, including Maine’s everlasting Ford vs. Chevy debate. Or maybe you want the best spouse—one that commits to staying with you for years even though you have housed her so far in two unsightly mobile homes, contentedly wears hand-me-down clothing and drives 10-year-old vehicles. That’s my wife. My current ride is a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am I bought for $700. Its purpose is to get me places. Any comfort that happens to occur simultaneously is just gravy on the sundae (I like gravy, specifically Hannaford brand). My heater rarely works, the windshield wipers don’t squirt their Magical Cleaning Juice very well, only the right speakers work and the rear defrost will not activate. And while all of this is true, you know what the car offers me that is truly valuable? Indifference. You see, if terrorists secured a bomb underneath this vehicle in what would be one of the least-thought-through violent acts in history and blew my ride into a million shards of rusted metal, I would not care. Because I paid $700 for this vehicle. I’ve already gotten my money out of it. In fact, if ISIS stays far, far away from the vehicle, it’s safe to say the terrorists have won. I normally park in a lot full of cars of greater visual quality than mine and walk away from it with the security that nobody would choose to steal or break into it. My clothing is from the Oshetski Collection, named after James Oshetski, my successful dentist brother-in-law who studied much harder than me in college and has his own practice in Brunswick. When he has clothes that look bad or are too big for him, that’s where I come in. No Slacks Left Behind. I state all of this at the risk of sounding ungrateful, but I’m actually quite pleased. Never do I want to be the old woman with a couch covered in plastic that everyone must steer clear of. No way. I actually have three couches in my affordable double-wide home, and that’s after just giving one away. These couches have all been given to us. They do not match and you don’t have to look deep within them to find stains. I think one them might even have a Fruit Loop from the Carter Administration. But this is all good. If anything bad happened to my stuff, I would just smile. “Nice try, terrorists! You know what, you can have these corduroys! I’ve already gotten my use out of them. Take my Ocean State Job Lot box cutters and tear them up if you want.” I’ve got some backup Dickies in my bottom drawer from a dentist down south. CHRIS QUIMBY is a Christian comedian, speaker and writer, morning news anchor and host of Soup du Jour on VStv, and owner of Chris Quimby iPhone Repair. He resides in Brooks with his wife and two children.

80 / BANGOR METRO January 2017



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