Bug Guts – Bicentennial should give The County a nod

We are celebrating 200 years of Maine. The “other Maine,” that is. It’s the place often written off but not easily forgotten once there. It is a place of tenacity, pluck and even a bit of wit.

While local electromagnetic media does little to validate or inspire the efforts of people originating in this oft-forgotten corner of the state, The County still produces leaders and wits who work hard on making the world a better place.

Have you ever squished a worm on a hook? Did you ever flick a fly over still waters? Can you gut a deer and cuddle a bear? Enjoy riding a Harley on a hot summer’s day? Or hiking into the Allagash in search of old trains and fish with a group of wounded veterans?

If one picks up the latest copy of Boot Life magazine, in her own words, Catherine Gordon talks about teaching a group of women fly fishing on East Grand Lake. Think of the movie, “A River Runs Through It” from a woman’s perspective. Pink kayak and pink flyrod complete the the image and it is one that reflects highly on values learned right here in the County. It would be amusing and interesting to see the talented types hooking worms and flicking flies. Doubtful if they would follow veterans on such a trip. Nice to know that a County woman can guide wounded veterans to the marvels of the state.

If the thought of fish guts, deer chasing, and hiking are not of interest, how about a few tunes? The County has a rich tradition of music performance. Our sons and daughters perform all over the world. Rare is it that one can tune in to the local radio stations to hear the latest release.

Presque Isle native Buck T. Edwards has managed to write and produce six albums with a definite country rock twist, with songs like, “If You Don’t Get It By Midnight,” “Zero to Sixty,” “The Presque Isle Polka” and “She Makes her Blue Jeans Talk.” It must not be safe for radio — local radio. Yet, in “…Blue Jeans Talk”, there is a bit of the snarky wit of The County on display.

There are many others. Our sons and daughters roam far and wide. There are poets, pilots, players and defenders. The County grows hundreds a year. Yet little is said or announced about their success.

Two hundred years of pride and persistence should stand for more.

Know someone who is making a difference? Drop a line. Make a call. Squawk like a chicken. There is plenty to celebrate in Maine’s 200th year.

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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