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The Lincolnville Blog

What on earth do these people do for a living?

Diane O'Brien - Friday, January 16, 2015
You’re driving through our small, rural Maine town, maybe looking for an out of the way place to stop for lunch. You pass rolling green hills, dark pine forests, a bright pond glimpsed through the trees, while here and there a – homestead. It’s the only word that fits: not the house and neat yard of suburbia, but a dwelling – a trailer, 19th century farmhouse maybe or new-looking modular – sitting amidst the clutter of country life. There are sheds, a barn, two-,three-, and four-wheeled vehicles, clotheslines, unruly piles of lobster traps. Look closer. Chickens scratch under a lilac, a dog is tethered to a tree, the outline of a boat wrapped in plastic appears behind the barn. Up by the road a baby’s high chair with a handscrawled “Free” sign competes with “Eggs for Sale” propped against the mailbox.

You turn to your spouse and say, “What on earth do these people do for a living?"

Now you could be in almost any small town anywhere in the country and ask the same question, but at the moment you’re in my town – Lincolnville. Halfway up Maine’s incredibly jagged coast, about in the middle between Camden and Belfast, our shoreline is actually a pretty smooth crescent of rocky beaches and one notable stretch of sand. I say notable, because Maine isn’t really known for its sand beaches. Oh, and we do have one charming cove, that goes by the equally charming name of Ducktrap. Formed at the outlet of a modest river of the same name, the Trap is a nearly perfect oval of brackish water at high tide, and a mud flat with a river running through it at low. Whether the water’s high or low, Ducktrap is townspeople’s favorite stretch of shore.

For starters, in answer to that perennial question, here’s what some of us (and there’re about 2,150 of us, according to the 2010 census – men, women, children, the employed, the unemployed, the retired, and the will-never-retire) do for our living.

Novelist, Artist, Farmer, Carpenter, Minister, Architect, Politician, Fisherman, Lawyer, Doctor, Rural mailman, Software engineer, Plumber, Landscaper, Journalist, House painter, Potter, Game Warden.

And Deputy sheriff, Mechanics, Rock Musician, Video blogger, Website designer, Detective, Orchardist, Winemaker, Truck driver, Shopkeeper, Nurse, Poet, Social worker, Teacher, Brewer, Soldier, Camp director, Dentist.

And Weaver, Land developer, Writer, Gunsmith, Electrician, Editor, Innkeeper, Logger, Snow plower, Photographer, Seamstress, Realtor, Conservator, Flagman, Call center worker, Store manager, Midwife, Telephone lineman, Office worker, Furniture maker, Sternman, Bus driver, Car detailer, Custodian, Caterer, Airplane pilot.

People work in or run daycares, galleries, restaurants, car repair shops, hardware stores, lumber yards, antique shops, specialty woodworking, convenience stores. They work at home in front of a computer screen, they dig foundations, cut and deliver firewood, weave rag rugs, tend farm animals.

Here in Lincolnville we have a business that manufactures the wooden stretchers for artists’ canvases, a world-famous rock star, a guy who will fix your car, perform your wedding, and cut off your woodlot (same guy), and another guy who’s hiked all three of America’s most important trails –Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide. There’s a woman who writes popular, dark and scary novels, all the while caring deeply for the well-being of her town. Our fire chief leads a well-trained volunteer fire department, in between running his family’s micro-brewery and serving in the National Guard.

If Lincolnville intrigues you, check back, and I’ll tell you more about us.

And meanwhile, keep up on happenings in Lincolnville by reading PenBayPilot.com; every Monday my column, This Week in Lincolnville goes up.


- posted by Diane O’Brien