My Journey, the Early Years
YES, I confess: I am a Maineiac and proud of it! Down Mainers are sometimes affectionately known as Maineiacs. Portland, the city of my birth, is at the most southern part of this Atlantic Ocean state and winters are not always as harsh as they are further north and in parts of the other northern New England States. My first thirteen months, I’ve been told, my feet hardly touched the ground, as my dad was crazy about me. At that tender age, he was taken from me from complications during a hernia operation. The years following his death were unkind to my mother’s state of health and finally at age nine, I was brought to Massachusetts to be adopted. What a wonder it was to ride on the Boston & Maine Railroad snuggled in my paternal grandmother’s arms. A whole big world beyond Portland, Maine presented itself.
The travel seeds were planted during that magical train journey south to Massachusetts. My fondest eleven-year old memories were of reading to all the ladies at The Home for Aged Women close to our home. My first fulltime job in Boston was with Filene’s, the World’s Largest Specialty Store, and this local chain was so totally community minded. I had the best job, ever! In 1960, I became secretary to Publicity Director, Stacy Holmes, so every “event” the store supported I was involved; from “Miss Holly” at Christmas, to liaison for the United Way campaigns, to the Jungle Guide for its summer (my stint in1961) “Rooftop Zoo”.
My high school sweetheart became my husband in the early sixties. We got him through college (full scholarship) and he went on to become a beloved teacher, drama, track and cross country coach. We lived off venison bagged in the Maine winters and codfish caught in the summers off Monhegan Island with our dear friends the Lesters. For a short time I volunteered with Big Sisters and worked at Wentworth Institute for the four years while husband, Michael, attended Northeastern University. Those were exciting and busy times.