Picture Talk

Pages & Pints Outline

Pages & Pints Outline

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one might be worth 750, or so.

It’s my talk given at Friday’s Pages & Pints at Lewiston Public Library, in a photo. Well, technically not my talk, since flip charts suck as an audio platform, but an outline of my 30-minute blast on Moxie, beer, and a few thoughts on the craft of writing (and Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft).

Back of the room with Moxie.

Back of the room with Moxie.

As far as I know, no cans or bottles of Moxie were harmed during the event, but we did some beer afterwards at Baxter Brewing Company.

After that, some of us went up the hill to Middle Street, descending on She Doesn’t Like Guthries. A few more beers, great Guthries’ fare, and music by the excellent Jon Assam, with Danny on the drums. Listening to Jon made me think I was sitting in my living room listening to the late, great Jason Molina.

On Tuesday I wrote about writers writing about “outliers” in Maine, whatever the hell an outlier is in that particular context. Extending the thread slightly, Lewiston could be an outlier (if prone to see Maine that way). If it is, there’s a lot more going on than people from outside give the place credit for.

3 thoughts on “Picture Talk

  1. Hi Jim – I had a discussion recently with someone who claimed to know what the business climate is in Maine and he had no idea that the Lewiston Auburn area is one of the hotbeds of manufacturing in the state. I see a lot of what you are talking about from the business development side and it’s frustrating that so few people know what’s really happening in towns all over Maine. One of the problems is that many of these businesses are making high tech high ticket items that are mostly shipped out of state or overseas so they aren’t household names. But the other thing is that these companies are not getting the press they deserve.

  2. Hi Jim,

    Great talk last night. Yes, I’ve heard your “Moxie Talks” many times, but each time I learn something new and different. I hadn’t really thought much about Dr. Thompson, Moxie’s creator, and how he was a “pitch man” at heart, hating his blacksmith work.

    The Lewiston Public Library’s venue is spectacular.

    There is a gritty and beautiful quality to Lewiston that calls to me, little pieces of the past still echoing with melodic tones of the French Canadians who claimed it as their city for a time. Speaking only for myself, I find gentrification too often paints over the grit with a chalky paint a few coats too thick.

    I’m looking forward to a trip to Guthries in 2015!

  3. Judy, I find that the “story of Maine” is often lacking in the way it gets told, or it’s fragmented. A few years ago, and NPR journalist wrote an atrocious story about Skowhegan. I was so pissed, and I didn’t even live in Skowhegan, although I was involved in work in the area. The locals, they just shrugged their shoulders like it didn’t matter. Interestingly, my post apparently got under the journalist’s skin, as he emailed me and took umbrage about what I wrote. I basically responded by saying that you can’t write about a place by just flying in, spending two days on the ground, and jetting back to NYC or DC, or wherever else he was headquartered. He’s continued writing doing similar type features and he’s a big deal in the journalism world.

    Much of what passes for journalism lacks a connection to people and the place that defines them. I’m not sure why that is.

    JAB, I loved your characterization of Lewiston, and nailed the problem of gentrification, too.

    Dr. Thompson was a fascinating study and I’m glad I spent time learning his story, and digging a little deeper into the Moxie canon to draw out some of those details. I’m grateful for the work of Frank Potter and Q. David Bowers before me, leaving a trail for me to follow and books to draw upon and point me in the right direction.

    Lewiston Public Library is a beautiful library and the renovation preserved it’s heritage, while updating what is an important community space in the city.

    During the coming winter months, strategic outings will be required. We’ll have to put on our event-planning hats and get the natives up off their couches and off their keyboards.

    Liking on Facebook is fine, but telling a writer or musician (like I did Jon Assam last night) in-person that you appreciate their art means so much more. Guthrie’s (and other venues) are doing their part to promote community in the twin cities and within a 20 minute drive of the Falls.

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