New England, SJC 30, and the Book Tour Rolls On...
Well, here we are again...Ellis Paul's "Welcome Home to Maine" is in my head...the Aroostook County native owned a home right near where I used to. I think he lived in Edgecomb for a while, which is across the Kennebec from Wiscasset, where I had a place.
It's been a very long time since I've had a proper vacation, but I promise to try and not act like a "fucking tourist" (points if you know where that comes from) while I'm up here.
What happened? The Great Northeastern Book Tour opened in Pennsylvania, and my first New England appearance was back in Somerville, MA to promote "Live from the Cafe"
Just a reminder there. Heh.
Anyway, I was at the Diesel Cafe, the very place where "Live..." got its embryonic start. This w/o doubt is the coolest cafe I've ever been in.
I always said if I opened a cafe, it had to be uncorporate and as different as possible.
Great coffee, veggie/vegan foods, loud music, and ambiance...
A round of 9-Ball, anyone?
The industrial nature, the airy spaces, the sound, all formed the template of that tiny little spot, Le Cafe.
The booths, the tables, the glass and silverware, and the art...I'm sorry I did not get the name of the person who did these wonderful pics, if you know, please tell me! Great stuff.
And right up front...
Well, the three hours I spent there Friday did not translate to sales. People don't go for coffee and food, and expect to drop $20 on a new book. But I did at least get some folks to talk to, and I ran into my old Rocky Horror compadre Linda B...also got to meet her little one, Raine. Very nice.
So I blasted my way out of Mos Eisley, heh, and did hurry up and wait traffic to Maine. Never doing that again in sunlight.
I traveled from PA to MA in the dead of night, always the right idea. Ei.
But back "home" in a way. I spent most of my summers in the Mid-Coast before it became fashionable. My sister fell in love so much, that she proclaimed she'd retire to here.
Susan and Rob are still living and working on a beautiful old home in Freeport, spitting distance from LL Bean. More on this in a sec.
Saturday...back up Routes 1 and 115 to North Windham, and Saint Joseph's College of Maine. 30th reunion, and a book signing. I didn't take a lot of pics, sorry, but I have to share this:
Across the road from the school is the Stone Barn, a refurbished barn with a working farm...the school has moved into a sustainable activity, dealing with farm to market to consumer processes.
St. Joe's is known as one of the top nursing schools around, and that tradition is being proudly upheld. If you can survive four years of this program, you can nurse anywhere in the world.
It's nearly doubled, about a thousand students since my day. My old townhouse is now an office, and much better facilities.
Sadly, I didn't see too many of the old gang, but I'm thankful to have seen those I did. We haven't changed that much; I joke about it, but we do change, but certain parts of us don't.
Some things never do change...there are pictures of me somewhere signing books and stuff in the barn. My thanks to my friends who took a chance on my literary endeavors, I do hope they like them.
One person was unimpressed...a certain nun who yelled me out my freshman year for walking on the grass didn't like the cover of Parasite Girls, but she at least listened to my explanation of the book. I don't know if she got the point or not, but oh well.
Thanks to everyone I saw and who helped me set it up. That was really something...I dont feel terribly nostalgic, but it is good to see where you were and how far you've grown. We all have, very impressed with my friends who I think have outstripped me in some ways, but good on 'em.
Now...here I am back in my Freeport office, haha...strange to have dodgy wi-fi and not enough bars to do stuff but it's kinda cool. In that way you slow down, and you have to think again. I rather like that.
So here are the tourists, the money people, the once in a lifetime crowd, hitting Bean's, the consignment and outlet shops, and doing whatever else it is people do here. I'm again people watching, viewing the characters on the stage.
I am officially off for a few days. I will be back on the radio Tuesday night, 90.9 WMPG...Christopher White will have me on talk up the book on his program, 7:30 Eastern...I'll see some old friends I hope, and I've been catching up with Susan and Rob.
Now...check out my bro-in-law!