Travel diary, pt. 2

I’m writing from a place called Matamoros, PA, because my car just broke down in nearby Port Jervis, NY.  If I were to walk a mile away from my hotel room (and trust me, I am not) I would come to the exact place where Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York share a border.  I can’t vouch for the details, but one intuits very quickly in the Matamoros region that one of these three states does allow fireworks while the other two do not, because there are some serious firework emporia up in this neck of the woods.  There are also approximately five hundred ‘cigaret shoppers’ here, so if anybody needs like 20 cases of Camel Lights, just send me a text.

I’m coming from Hancock, ME and heading to Cincinnati, OH.  I just spent another fruitful 6-week stint at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductorz & Orchestra Musicianz playing the viola, conducting the orchestra, running seminars, swimming in lakes, eating lobster, etc.  I got to premiere a new piece, a narrated viola concerto about Cinderella with my super cool friends Maija and Matt (violist and narrator, respectively).  We played to a sold-out house bethrong’d with little kids who were like SO into it.  Then I wrote the score for my friend Will‘s new movie.  It was a crazy time.

[I should mention that the above cover page was drawn by my super cool and incredibly talented friend Anna who, by no coincidence, happens to be with me in Matamoros, PA and is being a total trooper about this whole car issue.]

One of the perks of my position at the PMS is that I get a charming little house in the cutest village in Maine all to myself.  The house was built over a hundred years ago by a ship’s captain, but the family that still owns it descends from one Frank Olmstead, who apparently ran the advertising department for Kellogg’s cereals in the 1930’s and ’40’s or something like that.  I don’t know exactly what he did, but there’s a copy of David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising floating around the house, which I’ve now read no less than four times, and which I must recommend to everybody.

And then there’s the vintage 1930’s and 40’s adds hanging on the walls around the house.  Let’s just say, I think the buying public had a very different response to visual stimuli 70 some years ago.  For example, this ad, which hangs just above my summer sink, is in fact TERRIFYING:

These little girls are at least 3,000 times more frightening than the Children of the Corn and the twin girls from The Shining combined.  I would never attempt to sell a breakfast cereal – or, in fact, any consumer product – with their images.  Here is the headline on the top of the ad:

which I can only presume replaced the original headline, “All in Favor, Summon Your Inner Daemonry!”  I mean, look at this little girl – LOOK AT THIS GIRL:

I have now spent a sum total of four and one half months of my life waking up every morning and having this little girl stare me in the face as I prepare my morning repast.  No wonder I switched to toast for breakfast.

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(Route) 1 is Down (with its bad self)

I have been in Hancock, Maine nigh on a month plus change, Conducting-Associating my little heart out for l’École Perry Montux.  Yesterday, the unthinkable occurred — we experienced our third straight day without rain.  Around these parts, that’s considered a dangerous drought, but I found it so inspiring that I decided to embark on a little photojournalism project to get to the heart of Hancock.

pms chainsaw

Where better to start any trip to Hancock than at The Raye Chainsaw Sawyer Artist? Nightly shows at 7:00 PM feature The Raye Chainsaw himself sculpting masterpieces from logs.  Speaking of logs, next we move to…

pms pine tree

Alden Bunker, Pine Tree specialist to the stars.  What Enterprising young Pine Tree specialist wouldn’t want to establish Hancock as his home base?  The one confusing thing about Alden’s is that the parking lot is always full of school buses, not pine trees.  Rather, I should say full of Handcrafted Pine School Buses, painstakingly designed by Raye Sawyer, nightly.

pms raggedy

It’s true that Raggedy Ann Dolls are not hard to come by — most small towns with populations of 500 or more have entire stores devoted to them.  Thank goodness I came to Hancock though, where Raggedy Andy is given his due.  I just hope that the owner of that 1984 gray Cadillac Sedan isn’t planning to dress his Raggedy Andy doll in any of those American Girl Size clothes.  They’d probably be too big for him anyway, what with some of these obese children I see walking around here.

pms debbies

Never having patronized Debbie’s myself, I can only imagine what sort of Blueberry Ware she has in store for us, but I do know one thing — if you’re sick of those high-end, marked-up Blueberry Ware prices, you can always walk right next door:

pms debbies outlet

Yes, all this plus a Conducting School and a Gazebo await you in beautiful Hancock, Maine.  I defy even Ludwig von Mises to explain this local economy.

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