Maine off season- part two

This is part two of this article; part one is right here
Old Orchard beach was just south of Portland. Not even a hundred feet away from the sand of the beach we had an entire appartement to ourselves. When we got the TV going we saw the first bear-nuisance reports from where we just left. Conveniently on the way back to the Boston airport this last base location was chosen because it was near Portland.
Supposedly a place steeped in artists, galleries and artistic life. I did see some places of exposition but nothing in- nor about the galleries caught my interest in particular.

Old Orchard beach was something else. It was like being in an unsupervised candy store for photographers.
About two moody miles packed with empty Motels and Hotels, closed Boarding houses,
shops not yet open and empty parking lots as far as you could see.
Hardly any traffic or pedestrians on the streets too, except for the supermarket and its neighboring laundromat.
Local restaurants were open for business and we enjoyed evening dining a few times in places where all other seats were taken by locals.
It was great; just like Becky’s diner up in Portland and Denny’s in Elsworth, a visit to these places felt like being live in home movies on American family life.
Sometimes a lot of laughter, an equal chance of either genuine or professional hospitality and always this strong sense of private personal space occupied and defended by individuals and parties alike.

{Only once in our three week adventure did I see a proverbial yankee stare of suspicion siding with polite Mainer distance.}
Portland was our main area of interest; while the advertised professional-artistic-side of Portland completely escaped me the town itself was a great place to hang out and explore,
especially with some good sunshine.
Again we met a lot of friendly people and as the majority of tourists had not yet arrived many people seemed quite relaxed and easy going.
One of those days I met quite a few photographers on the streets and exchanging names, handshakes, swapping ideas and insights seemed the most common and natural thing to do
as soon as either one of us had said hello.
It made shooting and being a shooter feel like we had all joined together for the fun it brings, which felt good. These chance exchanges deleted some of the sense that
It is a feeling that I enjoy for the quietude and that I detest for the one way traffic it tends to be and needs to overcome.

On one of our trips we went the most photographed lighthouse of Maine. A careful climb down to sea level helped me to get some no cigar shots and one definite keeper.
Facing ninety degrees away from the tourist textured lighthouse I got a great long-exposure of sky, sea, wet rocks and what must be the least photographed lighthouse of Maine.
Other places- near Portland or further away gave us memorable miles of fascinating landscape and enough reasons to get out and go whenever we wanted.
We visited places that we passed on our way from Elsworth to Portland and we made trips to Wiscasset, Camden, Ocean point view (recommended).
On the spot decisions, detours and jumping congested traffic jams brought us to places that were terrific, so so- and a rare letsgetbackinthecarasap.

Not being too iunvolved with what lies ahead is half the fun when you have permission to take all the time in the world.
We met Larry in Wiscasset. A visit to his (contemporary) art and antiques shop may be the beginning of an interesting business adventure.
Having created a flourishing company (I forgot what it was) his only business passion is now buying and selling for his clients.

Among Ming sculpture, Persian rugs, oil paintings, water colors, photography, ceramics and welded rusty colored animals from a local metal worker he talks happily and extensively
about any object or art form we see. I think he understands very well that illustrative background stories help you sell and he is good at it.
His clients are from all over the world and he does not run his shop for the money, he has done well enough already.
A well known American Potter appears to be a mutual aquaintance of him and my wife; he likes Anamika’s ceramics too. The web site of her former pottery still has some of her work on it.
He asks me if I am a photographer; I warn him before showing some in camera pictures of the last few days
‘yes I am but I do not make pretty pictures’. He likes the remark and what he sees; he would like to help me promote and sell my work in the US for me.
It sounds good; when I am back I will draw up a plan and lay it out to see where it can take us.

Wiscasset is a really nice place to visit. There is a little booth on main street the sells famous lobster rolls, made by Red’s Eats. A continuous line of clients
waiting to be served underlined that Red makes the best of its kind in Maine.
We did not care for lobster, we went for cappucinos. Our coffee waitress told us we were welcome to use the outhouse that was reserved for Red’s eats’ clients.
Dave was sitting with a fresh roll of toilet paper under his arm on one of the picknic benches. He had just cleaned the toilet before Anamika went in.
He told us in a friendly tone that he would never ask any of his staff to do something he would not do himself, he meant what he said- you could feel it.
Dave was the son of Red (Red himself had passed away some time ago). It was nice to meet him, his open demeanour kept our topics light; we talked a bit more,
I think about Maine the Mainers, and the importance of hospitality when you depend economically on visitors.
Our conversation ended with Dave guiding us with his car towards a spot where I could get a better shot of a welded-out-of-service bridge. –This article turned out to be longer then I expected. I decided to split it in half. Read part two here:
I was shooting it over the fence behind the little plastic outhouse but the structure was just too far away to get it right.
Instead of an overnight stopover in Boston and adding a casual 325 dollar (make that times two) to our vacation bill, we rented the car for one extra day and extended our stay in Old Orchard beach.
Our last afternoon in Maine was spent on cleaning the car, packing our luggage and tidying the apartment.
The car had been good to us, it seemed only fair to treat it to the most deluxe program of the local car wash. We completed our ‘thanks-giving’ by d.i.y.-vacuuming the last
muds sands and soils that we had faithfully transported around.

We rose early and we made it back in Boston in a scratch-less spotless car. On time for our flight too; a miracle had us land on the doorstep of the car rental agent
despite morning commuter traffic jams, zero gps and one way signs. The latter seemed to belong to an enchanted forest, planted to usher any non local genius with a life size Tonka
into a state of surprised madness.
We took a cab to the airport. We stopped at Washington DC first, followed by a DC-airport beer in a mug with the size of a coal pitcher (I misread 33Oz for 33CC) we boarded the plane that
took us back up north over Nova Scotia and curved neatly into Amsterdam. As we broke through the clouds and saw waves and boats indicating a Dutch coast line we noticed
a new plan briefly blinking in our direction.We did not take notes but it was probably something equally memorable and worth every minute too.