I.Am.Maine: Stories of Small Town Maine

I moved to Maine when I was five.

I lived in Brownville Junction with my mother and grandmother while my father traveled the globe with the Marine Corps. When I was ten, my father retired, and we moved to my mother’s ancestral home. I resented my parents for tearing me away from the south. There was nothing good about living in a small town. School friends lived in a different area code, making talking on the phone or playing outside impossible.

I spent my summers reading about adventures elsewhere; anyplace but the junction. I hid away in the forest, playing make believe, imagining the world beyond our borders. A petulant child, I found this tiny community to be suffocating. I went through the motions, longing to shed these shackles. After graduation, I fled. Free from Maine, I never imagined I’d look back. Decades later, my mind wanders North to a world I loathed in my youth.

Homesick, I’m returning to my roots. I need to understand the impact of a small town on the man I am today. What is it about this tight-knit community that draws us back? What about the land molds its people? How does our geography and ancestry forge us into the adults we will become? What is in the heart of a Mainer?

I Am Maine, is a journey to find my way home.

I.Am.Maine: Snapshots of Small Town Maine

Maine is a collection of rustic beauties.

In the heart of Maine sits a valley surrounded by mountains. At one time the trains brought passengers and the towns thrived. The economy boomed and the residents lived a prosperous life. There was happiness.

Then the trains stopped.

What is left is an idea of what could be. Buildings stand empty and the tracks grow rusty. But as the land reclaims these man-made structures, a sense of peace and beauty returns. The people of these towns live with one foot in the past and another praying for hope.

These are the views of small town Maine.