The Star-Herald

200 years of festive breadth

It was an interesting moment. Lots of fire trucks and swarthy types in the city police uniforms, a governor, some city councilors, and various interested people showed up for the beginning of the 200th Birthday of Maine. Beauty queens in tiaras and sashes added a moment of glamour and blueberry parfaits brought color to the cheeks. The Governor recounted the noble history of the state. 

We do have a fine passel of rogues, scoundrels, and solons with wisdom who have developed this state into the proud place we now call home. 

Two hundred years ago, fed up with typical Boston indifference, the citizens of Maine argued and debated the merits of cleaving the rockbound coast away from the Boston Brahmins who claimed an attachment. In Washington, Senators and Representatives debated our entrance as a bulwark against slavery. Ultimately the presentation of the new debutantes, Maine and Missouri, would keep the peace for a few more years. 

Sons of Maine would defend the union at a pivotal moment and keep the union together. Presque Isle would host air wings and missile lines for the defense of the country, and one of our own will dance with the stars later this year. Not too bad for 200 years of bear wrestling, moose kissing, wood splitting and spud plucking. 

 Meetings will be held and nibbles consumed as plans are made for the party of parties for the 200th Birthday Bash. It’s time to clean out the attic; chase grandma out of the cellar; and drag out the box of old junk in search of that piece of Maine history that we did not know we have. 

As the mildew and mold are dusted from relics young and old, it is also time to look to the future. Will we share electrons with Massachusetts and other states? Will lobsters be found in Moosehead Lake? Will Augusta capitalize on its legislative connections and vote for a real moose to lead the state? 

Will wild turkeys gobble up acres of fresh hops in hopes of brewing some turkey in a jar? Who knows. Celebrate the unique and praise the moment. Party time has begun.

Orpheus Allison is a photojournalist living in The County who graduated from UMPI and earned a master of liberal arts degree from the University of North Carolina. He began his journalism career at WAGM television later working in many different areas of the US. After 20 years of television he changed careers and taught in China and Korea.

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