Sunday, August 24, 2008
Upscale Maine Living
I first ran across this fine example of Upscale Maine Living back in the mid 1980s. Back then my trucking career was winding down. I spent the last couple of years delivering corrugated products around Maine and northern New England. I would pass this palatial compound several times a month when heading to Fryeburg and Conway with boxes for local craftsmen to ship out their handworked wooden gadgets and gizmos in.
The property did not have that finished and elegant look you see before you today. The family still lived in the building in the foreground. That high falutin single wide had not made an appearance yet. It's appearance indicated a family that was upwardly mobile. The dish was most likely in your face notice to their neighbors that these Jones-es would, could not be kept up with. The satelite dish told everyone in town this home had a TV inside and most likely it turned on in living color. It's appearance caused quite the stir. There was grumblings down to the villiage store laced with words like persnickity, uppity, and snooty. But I think they was just jealous cuz all they had was Channel 6 and 8 that came in clean all the time with Channel 13 only making a snow free delivery when the weather came out of the Northeast.
I most likely passed this no nonsense complex dozens of times before I noticed it. Must have been about the time the big honking satelite dish appeared that it caught my eye. It may have been one of the first satelite dishes in Maine. It certainly was the first one the folks in Cornish had ever seen. Like some evil genius James Bond deathray popping out of the ground to wreak havoc worldwide, it just appeared one day.
The addition of the newer and improved single wide may have spoiled the over all effect somewhat at the time of it's erection on site. But the folks living here have proven their their visionary abilities. In the 12 years since the wheels came off that trailer, that single wide has settled into the property like it was stick built right on site.
The contradiction of new vs old and traditional always made me smile. Here we have a family who knows where their priorities are. They have proven they are indeed part of the new world of gee whiz tech. The addition of the smaller dish shows their commitment to staying tuned in and turned on to the latest and greatest in multi-channel delivery systems. As long as they pay their power bill, they will have 500 channels of the finest entertainment America has to offer. I heard from someone who knows, their only complaint is no Tractor Pull channel. Their minimalist approach to landscape layout and their nod to the state custom of never tearing down anything still standing shows their sensitivity and concern for local cultural norms.
All in all, A damn fine effort. But like any arm chair landscaper worth his salt, I would have done some things differently. Their over use of the lawn mower in front of the single wide detracts from the the postcard look I think they were aiming for. Less mowing and more weeds would move the rating from good plus to outstanding. Besides, some folks feel the trimmed up dooryard does take away some from the overall "Maine Look" many of us try to maintain.Some locals even consider it borderline snobbish. I would suggest maybe an older John Deere tractor peeking out from under a slightly tattered blue tarp from Mardens next to the dish. And maybe some animated sculpture attained by chaining their big black mutt to the base of the dish with 3/4" link logging chain. Give a good dog a chance and they can cut dirt circles to rival any made by man. The contrast of dirt against the taller plantings might just take the viewer's eye and mind off the flaw of a too narrow of a lot.
Regardless, it is an excellent start on a work in progress. A few more years might just be the touch it needs to mature into something worth entering over to the Fryeburg Fair some October in the homes and woodlot contest sponsored by the local Ladies Auxillary.
Side note, post note, or maybe request note - take your pick
I pushed my imaging skills into new territory with this post. I figured out how to beat the auto sizing function of blogger. It was not done with genius. It was not done with knowledge. It was done because I finally stumbled onto the right combination of procedures to beat a system I am convinced was created to confuse the confused. If this works for every computer out there and I can remember how I did it, then I guess I am still confused. Only less so than before.
What I would like to know is this - Does this bigger image play well on your screen? Does it sit in all it's glory without the need to use a scroll bar? Or have I overreached myself again?
Keep it 'tween the ditches.