We’ve heard “Main Street” bandied about by politicians this election season. It’s shorthand for small town U.S.A. My town has a Maine Street. No, that’s not a typo. Brunswick is in Maine.
A pillared bank graces the brick sidewalks. The wide street was designed for horse drawn carriages. There were once cobblestones and Elm trees. It’s still tree lined.
I began my first novel, Moose Crossing, with a scene on Maine Street. My second novel, S.A.D, is also set in Brunswick and on the islands of Harpswell. Grand City Variety captures the old time feel of my town. Our daily paper, The Times Record, reported that this retro five-and-ten will shut at the end of this year.
There are other small businesses that are still thriving. I’m pleased to say we have an independent bookstore, the Gulf of Maine. It's a good place to find books by local authors and lots of novels.
Need steel-toed boots and Carhartt work clothes? Try Pennell’s, established 1889. That bright orange clothing is all the rage this time of year. Maine Street fashion keeps you safe. November marks the start of deer hunting season.
Brunswick pulls out all stops for Halloween. School children paint the windows.
My daughter’s team didn’t win a prize for “Horrorscope,” but I award them a blog star for originality.
That’s an underwater Halloween in a crystal ball. Global warming is scary! They painted the Little Dog Café, a great place to settle into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee.
On Halloween Brunswick children gather at the village green and then march down Maine Street accompanied by the junior high school band.
When you cross the bridge to Topsham, the street apparently loses its sense of humor and becomes Main Street. Keep driving and town gives way to farms on Rural Rt. 201.
Stop at Rocky Ridge Orchard in Bowdoin to pick apples or to buy your pumpkin. My teenaged son chose the biggest pumpkin: 56 pounds! He carried and carved it himself. My daughter is a fan of the barn swing.
We got cider and Cote’s ice cream at the farm shop. Their cider press dates from 1935.
The flag in the opening photo hangs from the rafters. Rocky Ridge is stocked full of Americana, country antiques and the best baked goods.
We brought home a mixed dozen of pumpkin, cider and chocolate doughnuts and an apple pie that was still warm.
Another good place for “donuts” is Frosty’s back in Brunswick, but you’d better go quickly. Rumor has it that Frosty’s may also be going out of business after more than 3 decades. Like Grand City Variety, they may not be able to renew their five year lease on Maine Street.
I met fellow blogger Tina Ramsey from In the Garden for pumpkin donuts at Frosty’s. I realized I had a problem once I walked in the door. I was looking for a big yellow dog (Tina’s profile image) and had no idea what Tina looked like. Luckily Tina and her mother, Jean, (another regular commenter on my blog) recognized me immediately. Not too many folks in Maine have long, black, curly hair.
Tina and I met through our blogs when I was living in England last year. Tina grew up in Brunswick and attended the same elementary school as my children did. Now she lives in Tennessee after retiring from the army and is doing a degree in horticulture paid for by Uncle Sam. She and her husband are veterans of the Iraq War.
Reading In The Garden’s chatty comments is just like stopping by a front porch in Maine. Tina posted last week about our meeting. I’m suffering from blog lag – too many good things going on in life to keep up. Tina gave me a marker stone for my home, a gift she hand-makes for the bloggers that she meets. Thanks, Tina!
I’ve also connected with Brunswick School Board district 7 candidate Michele Joyce. Her friend from the Peace Corps in Africa is Shauna of Thinks Monthly in California, another commenter on my blog. Michele’s claim was that good people will find each other. I’m happy that a good person like Michele is running for School Board in my town. Isn’t it amazing that two blogging connections could lead back to Maine Street?
While on the topic of Brunswick politics, I'm endorsing Nick Livesay for Town Council At-Large. Nick grew up in Brunswick, graduated from Bowdoin College and has returned to raise his family. His work experience as an environmental consultant will be especially helpful for land use planning after the Naval Air Station closure.
Can you believe that Election Day is less than a week away?