Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oh, to be the Grand High Poohbah of Brunswick

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We were going to say “Oh, to be the King of Brunswick,” but that would be too ambiguous, for too many reasons.  And fraught with any number of other potholes.

If we were, we’d be issuing orders to the Town Council and relevant town staff, including John Eldridge, immediately.

The orders would read as follows:


Date: 28 April 2015

Subject: Orders Re: Visit to Amtrak Facility at PTC

From: Grand High Poohbah Poppycock

Priority: Highest


At last night’s Town Council Meeting, Ms. Patricia Quinn, ED of NNEPRA, invited the Town Council and Staff for a tour of the Amtrak/Downeaster layover facility in Portland.  Several members of the council responded enthusiastically to the offer.

You are hereby directed that before making the trip to Portland, you are to first arrange for a tour of the proposed MLF area, while a Downeaster is there idling, and a related tour of the Bouchard Drive neighborhood, including backyards and properties of effected residents.  This tour is to be arranged and conducted by those who live and work in that area as pre-requisite for any guided tour in Portland.

Someone will be contacting you shortly to arrange a date and time for said tour here on town resident and constituents’ home grounds.

Full compliance with this directive is mandatory, and failure to do so will be grounds for downgrade in rank and removal from office.

By direction,



How’s that for living in a dream world?  But trust us, the message is meant with all due seriousness.

Why?  Because some time ago, after we first experienced the olfactory pleasures of an idling Downeaster on the tracks near Church Road, we contacted Susan Wilson, our own Town Councilor, to describe what we had experienced, and how startling it was to us.  After a conversation of a few minutes, we invited her to join us trackside at her earliest convenience so she could personally experience the same thing.

That quickly ended our conversation.  She wanted no part of it, and didn’t want to discuss the subject any further.  This made an indelible impression on us, and not a good one.  We took it as indicative of council posture on the subject at that time.


You know: talk to the hand, because the face ain’t listening.

We’re more convinced than ever that since the council has now engaged with NNEPRA on the subject of Downeaster operations, they need to correct that prior stance, and immerse themselves in the realities that town residents have to live with.

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Which is why our role of Grand High Poohbah of Brunswick has never risen higher than cartoon status.  But at least we can laugh, rather than walk around in sour-puss garb all the time.

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