The Moxie All Nighter

It’s been a busy, busy week here in the epicenter of the Moxie universe.


Yesterday afternoon, I went to pick up some things at a party shop in South Portland.  OK, that’s not exactly what happened.  Sure, I “went” to South Portland, but I asked Handy if he wanted to go and he said “yes” and since he drove a taxi at one time in his life, he drove the Jeep.  It’s such a treat to be a passenger after all these years of clutching the wheel.

Thank God for Handy.

We picked up the items I’d reserved and then I suggested we go to the OTHER party shop in South Portland, on the other side of the city.  Orange Solo cups are always on sale; buy one get one free.

Handy is an excellent driver, so I never pay attention to the road from the passenger’s seat.  Never once have I said “Handy, WATCH OUT!” or “Why don’t you take this road?”  Because he always finds the way and the passenger seat is so comfortable.

Handy took a right hand turn onto Broadway and I looked out my window at Calvary Cemetery.  Out of some Moxie-addled part of my brain I remembered a woman I had worked with when I lived in Portland.  I knew her pretty well; we had some mutual friends outside of work.  She died in July, 1994 and is buried in this cemetery.

She was 38.

I told Handy about her and before I had said very much, I started crying.  I remembered going to her funeral and then to the cemetery.  It was a hot Maine July day.

Handy just listened to my patchwork of information and he kept driving.  I pulled myself together as we got to the second of South Portland’s party shops.  So Po must be the epicenter of the party shop universe.  I got the orange Solo cups.  Then the Jeep taxi wheeled out of So Po and into Portland in a big arc around the airport, down Congress Street, and sweeping into the Deering neighborhood.  A quick left onto Stevens Avenue and then a slow crawl until Handy found a parking spot in front of Pat’s Meat Market.

I hadn’t been to Pat’s since 1998 when I lived in Portland and it was nice to see that things hadn’t changed much.  It’s still a great selection of all things carnivore.  As we were walking in, a family with a young daughter was walking out.  The father noticed my Moxie Festival t-shirt and he said to his daughter “Look, she has a Moxie Festival t-shirt on!”

The word “Moxie” made her smile and chatter the way young children do.  Sentimentalist that I am, I had to wipe a last little tear from the corner of my eye.

Volunteering for the Moxie Festival can be tiring.  Going to sleep late, getting up early, juggling, and running around.

All Night MoxieAnd I’ve driven by Calvary Cemetery hundreds of times since 1994 and never started crying.  Helen would say “you’re tired.  You need a nap.”

You know how it goes.  No sleep until Moxie.

I’ve walked the Moxie parade route a few times and I’ve seen the smiles and the laughter from the people who set up their chairs at 4:00 a.m. to have a good view.  In the bigger scheme of things, if even half of the 50,000 people who come to Moxie Town smile like that little girl at Pat’s yesterday, I think it’s worth missing a few hours of sleep.  And besides, we’re all just living on borrowed time, right?  Each day is a gift!

Be The Moxie!

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3 Responses to The Moxie All Nighter

  1. gwynsmum says:

    I know all your hard work will pay off and the festival and your contest will be a resounding success!

  2. Jim says:

    I donned one of my many Moxie t-shirts this morning as I was out the door @ 5:30 for my swim in Bath. Three people asked me, “when’s the festival?” Of course, I told them, it starts tonight, and lasts for three days.

    Can’t wait to dart across the river tomorrow, and be in Moxie’s epicenter. That would be Lisbon Falls. Then there’s the Moxie Cook-Off tomorrow afternoon, and of course, Bon Jersey, too!

    Be The Moxie, indeed!

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