Saturday, July 20, 2019

Bam!

Wells Beach, Wells, Maine
Google Street View - Doug Moore Photo
Memory is a funny thing, you can be sitting there, minding your own business and, out of nowhere, memory walks up and slugs you in the gut. Leaves you gasping for air (metaphorically of course) and wondering what the Hell just happened.

As you might gather, that happened to me Friday.

I was watching an episode of HBO's True Detective (3rd season) and one scene took place in a trailer, you know, the type folks live in (I guess the correct term now is "manufactured home"). Something about the layout of that trailer caused me to flashback to a place my parents' had back in the late '90s and the early part of this century.

Seems that one day Dad came home from work and told my Mom that he'd bought a trailer in Maine, within walking distance of Wells Harbor, in the town of Wells, Maine. Mom was a bit shocked that he'd do such a thing without consulting her first, but Dad had always been in love with the southern Maine seacoast (something I inherited from him I suppose) and the deal had been too good to pass up. The fact that there was another guy right there, just slavering to snap the place up, made my Dad jump at the deal.

At any rate, I got to spend some quality time there, the first time was before retiring from the Air Force when The Naviguesser and I flew back to the States from Germany so he could attend NROTC INDOC (a week's full time training before school starts). My Mom and I dropped him off at Worcester Polytech, then we headed up to Maine to see the place Dad had bought.

It was a standard trailer, combination kitchen/living room with two bedrooms and one bath. The previous owner had built a small deck on the front which Mom had decorated the front of with lobster pots, fishing buoys, nets, driftwood and the like - very nautical it was.

Note the use of the tense, "was." For at some time in the early 2000s, the owner of the land upon which my parents' trailer sat, along with four others (as I recall) decided to sell the land to a developer. So they could put up condos. The other trailers on the land were owned by older folks who lived there year-round. So not only did my folks lose a very sweet vacation place, four other families essentially lost their homes.

They weren't happy, my brothers and I weren't happy. But what could we do? It's not like we had the coin to buy the land and chase the developers away. So it was lost to this and future generations of the tribe.

Needless to say, I have no great love for real estate developers.

Spent some wonderful times there, seeing something that reminded me of it just made me realize how much I miss that place. Dad spent a lot of time up there after he retired, he even went in the winter. Something to which Mom said, "No thanks." It was kind of my Dad's fortress of solitude. Man, did he love Maine. I won't say losing the place killed him, but I won't say that it didn't.

Memory is a funny thing. It hurt to remember at first, then remembering the good times made me thankful for having those memories.

Sigh...

The area where the place was located. Yes, that's the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon.
Actually, it is the horizon.
Google Street View
That walled off area to the left, a place for cookouts, is where my parents place was.
Farther back against the trees was the trailer of a full-time older couple, Dick and Peg.

Google Street View
Wells Harbor, just about a half mile down the hill from my parents' place.
Google Street View
Parking lot for Wells Beach, just down the coast.
I spent a lot of time there as a kid.

Google Street View
I miss those days, a lot...



20 comments:

  1. Odd how certain things can trigger a flood of memories, there's always two sides to a coin, something good and something bitter. That shot of the condo..... that's an oddly wide paved(?) area running the length of it......too wide for a sidewalk yet wide enough for ......golf carts?.....heh heh. Good choice of photos Sarge, in return here's a website....www.duluthharborcam.com.........seven camera shots of the harbor and a further three sites further up the North Shore. Under the boat schedules on the site you can see where each camera is located. Enjoy!

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    1. That used to be the road in to where my parents' trailer and Dick and Peg's trailer were. Not sure why they left it like that, parking for the condos is on the other side of the building.

      Cool harbor cams!

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  2. I think a key to good mental health is the ability to filter out bad memories and hang on to the good ones.

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    1. Good point, Joe. I believe the same, those who dwell on the bad memories have problems.

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  3. I'm glad you got a chance to remember that. And give us a glimpse of it, too. Memory is a funny thing...

    There is a particular dusty smell that I catch randomly. Reminds me of my grandparent's house. Grandma was an artist, and kind of a day dreamer. Housework was not a priority. They lived in a drafty old farm house, and it was amazing.

    I woke up one morning, and before I opened my eyes, I smelled that dusty smell..... and I was 8 years old... Opening my eyes revealed I wasn't there, actually. But that feeling of being hit in the gut was unmistakable. Smells, music, sounds... Seems almost anything can trigger that with me.

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    1. Smells are particularly powerful for invoking memories.

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    2. Maybe that's why my memory is so bad. I have a lousy sense of smell.

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    3. All those years of breathing oxygen through a plastic/rubber mask?

      Just a thought... 😁

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  4. Funny you should post these pictures; we just returned from somewhere much like that on the Pacific coast. Something about oceans seems to call out to people.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. There is something about the sea isn't there?

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  5. Memories are a funny thing, aren't they? My memories tend to cascade due to links to unpleasant memories. Something reminds me of X unpleasantness, like wearing a pajama top to school accidentally, and "BAM," cascade of linked memories or partially linked memories or just any memory of bad things of one sort or another come crashing down all at once.

    I seem to have an over-developed sense of guilt and unpleasantness.

    Though place memories sometimes work like yours. Creaky wooden floors remind me of my grandmother's house in Porterville, CA that I last saw in 1973.

    Strange, now I am getting random old memories running through my head. Hmmmm.

    Yummmmmm (that was the memories of the hamburgers at the diner in the middle of nowhere on the road between Santa Maria and Porterville, out in the high desert/plains after the last of the hilly ridges. Wow. That was weird. Old school station wagon with sleeping bags laid out in the back and luggage between the kids and the parents. Watching rows and rows of agriculture flash by, like the legs of giants.

    Much better than remembering wearing a pj top to school before it was cool to do so.

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    1. I rather like that memory with the station wagon and the sleeping bags. Brought back some vivid memories of my own.

      And yeah, when did wearing PJs to school (top or bottom or both) become "cool"? No, that doesn't bug me, not at all. 😒

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    2. Yeah, when I had my office at the elementary school, they would have "wear your pajamas to school day" about once a grading cycle. Teachers and students would come in their PJ's. I would not. When queried about that, I responded "The best thing that can happen to a middle aged, overweight, balding, white male in PJ's at an elementary school with kids present is nothing. It goes downhill very very rapidly from there." Some didn't realize I was serious.

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    3. Just another step in the decline of civilization.

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    4. They'd hate me on PJ day. Since my PJs are boxer-briefs and a t-shirt.

      And, yeah, what you said, juvat. The Mike Pence theory of decorum (Do not ever be alone with some woman not your wife) and applied to children (Never be alone with children not your own) is the new normal. Even if you are a saint, someone will still spread rumors or charges.

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  6. Civilization can be pretty uncivil, and development sometime devolves. Sorry your dad lost his place. You can't stop progress I guess, even when it doesn't seem like progress.

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    1. In this case progress meant different buildings and wealthier tenants. Not really progress, just different.

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  7. It sounds like a nice place, I wish you could have kept it.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)