I went to a really nice memorial service at the Eastport High School. Normally, the service is held at the cemetery, but the ground was too wet since it had just stopped raining. It was moving to see all the vets from every war, and remember the sacrifice of those that didn't make it. A little girl sang a beautiful song about a couple separated by war, and there was the presentation of a flag that had flown in combat during WWII in the Pacific on the USS Cony, a destroyer named after an Eastport naval hero of the Civil War. The ceremony had all the quirks (good and bad) of a small town event. This is going to be my last day in Eastport for awhile, and I'm surprised at how attached I got to this little corner of Maine wedged between the Atlantic and Canada.
I'm moving to Bangor tomorrow, and while I'm not too thrilled about the town or the job prospects, it will be a fun adventure no matter what. When I was in Bangor on Sunday dropping most of my stuff off, I realized why Stephen King lives there and has set so many books there. Lots of people wander around the town like zombies! You see dirty, disheveled people in tattered clothes shuffling all around downtown like Dawn of the Dead. There is a high rate of homelessness (in fact, the Bangor Daily News runs the homeless tally every day in a little info graphic box on the front page like a sports score), and the town has somewhat of a ghost town feel to it. A once thriving industrial epicenter in the early part of the 20th Century, Bangor has fallen into semi-ruin after most of the industries that fueled it slowly died.
But perhaps I'm overselling it.
No matter where you go in life, there are great people to meet, and opportunities around every corner. I plan on participating in the renaissance of Bangor, and having fun doing it!
On another note, my friend Henri (who's previous visit I wrote about here) just won a charity poker event run by Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson). First place award? He and a guest get to sit in on a Simpsons table read! I can't think of a cooler prize! Henri is the most knowledgable, die-hard Simpsons fanatic I know. In fact, I gave him an authentic Simpsons sailboat painting (*painting not authentic) as a gift once, and he called it the "most Henri appropriate gift ever."
He gets to bring one guest, but alas, he is bringing his friend from home. I'm second on the list, but it doesn't matter if you're second or 132nd on that list, because nobody in their right mind would turn it down. Any true fan of the show (like all good hearted people are) would quit their job and pawn their wedding ring to get to L.A. for that if they needed to! Well, here's hoping Henri's friend gets violently ill the week before the table read (nothing fatal of course, just incapacitating- I'm not a monster!).
Congrats again to Henri. When he won the poker tourney he was wearing a Ralph Wiggum t-shirt that appropriately said "I beat the smart kids!" On that note, here are the third and fourth Ralphies in my portrait series. I won't be painting for awhile, so the Ralph Project will be on hold indefinitely......
Ralph Seurat Seurat