I just got back from a fast trip, up and back in one week, to the ever-lovely state of Maine. “Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” They ain’t kiddin’. Maine is a terrific place to visit and a great place to live–even if the new Gov. has made a fool of himself by demanding that a recently commissioned work of art (2007-2008) be removed from the lobby of the State Department of Labor Building because it was too favorable to LABOR. Jeez. Governor LePage is one of those hyper-active Tea-Party conservative Republicans who was swept into office by well-meaning voters–some of whom now regret their electoral actions. So far, LePage does not stand up well next to the likes of the previous two Govs.: Angus King and John Baldacci. Time will tell, but it feels like a long way until November, 2014.
The artwork—an eleven-panel mural to be specific–dared to show the history of labor in the state of Maine. The panels depict both adult and children workers from various periods of Maine’s history. It includes traditional Maine workers: woodsmen, factory and cannery workers, as well as farmers, “including shoe-making apprentices during colonial times, Maine lumberjacks, a “Rosie the Riveter” at the Bath Iron Works shipyard during World War II and a 1986 paper mill strike,” according to a statement by the artist, Judy Taylor.
One other interesting tidbit about this controversy (thanks to the Huffington Post): the Governor who was outraged by the existence of this mural NEVER saw it himself. What the hell? The man could not even walk around the block in Augusta to see this odious piece of labor-friendly/business inhospitable art for himself? Mon dieu! Incroyable!
“According to a document filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor by the Maine attorney general’s office on Thursday, LePage never saw the mural, which depicted various scenes from the state’s labor history.
Instead, John Butera, who was appointed by LePage as his senior economic adviser to deal with economic development and job creation matters, had visited the state’s Department of Labor “numerous times” before January 2011 and had, according to the document, “considered the mural to be overwhelming and pro-labor and anti-business.”
The mural came down from the walls of the Department of Labor on March 27, an incident that sparked protests and protest art. LePage had argued that the mural was biased against the business community.
Just a week after the mural was removed, LePage admitted to his GOP caucus that he was surprised by the uproar and regretted stirring up the issue in the middle of the legislative session.”
Apparently Paul did it because he wanted to and he could. This is the same guy who supposedly told folks that the Maine NAACP could “Kiss my butt” when the group objected to the governor’s refusal to attend a certain MLK Birthday event. One blog poster commented that “Paul (LePage) has replaced the Black Fly as Maine’s greatest nuisance.” LOL
Anyway,… back to Maine. The coast of Maine, where I hang out, does not look one bit like Delaware. Inland Maine may look familiar in places, but the coastal regions are unique. When I travel, I want to go some place DIFFERENT. I want it to look and feel different; to smell different; to sound different.
Ayah, I am “from away.” However, we have been going to the same island in Penobscot Bay every year since summer of 1981. It is the only summer vacation that my kids ever knew. The island is only accessible by ferry boat. That takes some getting used to—the ferry truly rules your life every day. The last ferry back to the island leaves at 5:00, so there is not much opportunity for a night life. Could be boring, but it is also very relaxing.
We always rented a cute little cottage from a retired teacher from the Newark and Christina School Districts. Then, in 2006, we went so far as to buy an old and rather decrepit house on said island. The house is still under rehab—we have yet to get to the renovation stage—but, we’re getting there slowly but surely. We are living in the basement for now. We make out just fine with a pair of twin beds and a jerry-rigged kitchen. Vacations now are working vacations, but that’s O.K. too. I figure that the house will be all fixed up by the time that I am eighty! LOL
Maine is great because:
- It is a safe and friendly place. Nice quality of life.
- It is coastal—I have this thing about being near water; I am especially fond of islands.
- Maine has mountains. Delaware has a few small hills.
- Maine has “yard art.” So, no matter how bad your yard may look, there is always someone nearby with more junk in their yard: a boat, an old car or two, kids’ toys, a stack of lobster traps and buoys, lumber, a giant woodpile, etc.
You know what they say about traveling in Maine? It isn’t true. Ya can get theah from heah.