Ms. Pigette on elections and schools
It is the day after the election, and the world did not end, although you might get an argument in some quarters.
Are you happy? Are you sad? Did your candidate win? Lose? What did he/she do right? Or wrong?
Like sports fans, there is always the next election cycle, which, in some circles, starts today.
And, like sports fans, there is always a “Hot Stove League,” where you can, and will, argue the pros and cons of each candidate, technique, consultant and, of course, praise the Almighty for the win and blame the press for the loss.
To get a handle on what our friends and neighbors are thinking about the election of 2018, I stopped to chat with Ms. Pigette, the all-seeing, all-knowing Boothbay icon who holds up the mailbox on Route 27 across the street from Joan Rittall’s house. From her post, she sees all, hears all, and better yet, tells all.
I had no more stopped my little blue car and opened the door when she started in on me. It was expected.
“Well, if it isn’t the enemy of the people himself. Are you here to gloat? Or are you here to gather a few pearls of wisdom from a swine?”
I could see she was in a good mood, so I fired right back.
“Well, a jolly good morning to you, Ms. Pigette. You are looking well, for an elderly porker with no job, no health care benefits, and a pre-existing condition called termites.”
Elle Pig-a-Mundo stopped for a second then snorted: “That is a low blow, even from a card-carrying member of the Fourth Estate. Elderly, my curly tail.”
“OK, OK, now that the pleasantries are over, give me your take on this election cycle,” I asked her.
She was quick to respond. “The best campaign in the great state of Maine was the race for the legislature by our local legislative candidates, Republican Stephanie Hawke, and Democrat Holly Stover. It was hard fought, but it was lodged on principles and positions. Both fine women gave you a chance to understand where they stood on the issues, and stayed away from the gutter insults that seemed to personify this election cycle. In my mind, both are winners. ”
She said Independent Sen. Angus King ran a pretty positive campaign too, although she thought his opponents were not in his class.
“By the way,” she asked changing the subject, “did you note that Maine Preservation named Boothbay Harbor as one of the most endangered historic places? The Bangor Daily News chimed in too, and all blamed it on Paul Coulombe’s attempt to redevelop the east side of the Harbor.”
I told her I saw the stories and was about to comment when she cut me off.
“You know,” she said. “I may have missed it, but I didn’t see any statewide stories on the real threat facing our community — how we are trying hard to figure out what to do with our schools. Finally, we have decided to put that conversation on the front burner and discuss it.
“Day after day, rain or shine, those big yellow buses pass by, and the children always wave at me. It makes me smile.
“You know the school is the heart of the community, and if it closed, our downtown would turn into a collection of third-string shops selling R-rated T-shirts and fuzzy lobsters. Think about that for a minute.”
She was distracted for a moment when a gaggle of motorcycles roared by. They were ridden by grey-haired old geezers pretending to look cool by wearing hankies on their noggins like would be pirates. Then she continued her rant.
“Not long ago, we were surprised when the suits who run our hospital decided there was not enough business here to justify its existence. All the protests in the world couldn’t get them to change their minds. Well, this time, we have time to figure out what to do about the schools.
“Should we build, repair, reconfigure, adapt, or shut the buildings? Should we change the way we educate our kids? Or, should we keep on keeping on the way we have done it for years? We have lots of really bright people in our community, and I am confident we will figure it out,” she said.
La Belle Porcine then let out a series of shivers, snorts, and whines after I mentioned it wouldn’t be long before the winter arrives in force.
“I hate it when the snow plows rumble past throwing ice, snow, mud, and yuck all over my beautiful bod,” she said.
“I know, Ms. Pigette, but somehow, you manage to survive, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you,” I said.
“And we will too.”