James Hadley said he has noticed a lot of negativity this year. And Sept. 11, he found no area events observing the anniversary of 9/11. He got thinking about both. Then he got a big American flag.
He was near the Edgecomb side of Donald E. Davey Bridge with it early Thursday afternoon, Oct. 15 when Wiscasset Newspaper noticed. “I normally carry (the flag) on both sides. But today was kind of windy so I carried it on one side, and then (later) I carried it across the whole bridge, from one end to the other,” Hadley said later. He and, when she can, fiancée Heather Stone of Wiscasset, have been doing it since Sept. 11, when the weather is decent, he said.
“It’s good. I like doing it. We like doing it,” Stone said.
One recent Saturday, Hadley walked the bridge with the flag eight times, he said. “Oh, it was great.” The activity is his new happy place, he said: It’s good exercise, clears his mind and makes people happy. “That’s why I’m doing it, just to make people happy.
“I’m just doing it to cheer people up, because there’s so much baloney going on out there in this world, so much negative, negative, negative. And I don’t care what nationality you are. It’s just, all lives matter when I’m out there doing it ... And people peeping the horn and hollering U.S.A., U.S.A, so I’m having a great time.”
Thursday, he met a Massachusetts couple who were on a lunchtime walk. Steven Hopengarten and Rachel Carter told Wiscasset Newspaper on the bridge, they were staying at Sheepscot Harbour Village Resort and saw him out with the flag. “I think it’s great. It is just pure positive,” Hopengarten said.
Hadley’s and Stone’s flag-bridge walks are not connected to those Stott Carleton of Edgecomb and his dog Skip have been doing around 4 to 5 p.m. weekdays since May. “I’ve seen him before,” Hadley said.
Like Carleton, Hadley is not sure when he might stop. “Hopefully I’ll pick it up again next year,” Hadley said.