Monday, July 13, 2015

The “Music Man” comes to town…twice!

Sometime this avocation of ours is as tough as pulling truth from an elected official; other times, it’s as easy as falling off a bandwagon.  Sometimes you’re the drum, sometimes you’re the drummer.  Sometimes you’re the Harp, sometimes you’re Harpo.

Imagine our delight then, as we pondered a brief new post, when we realized it would meld nicely with an item of current local interest.  If you’re a fan of the Maine State Music Theater, you know the classic, beloved show “The Music Man” begins it’s run this week.  Mrs. Side and your correspondent have probably seen it live a half dozen times over the years, and watched the movie and listened to the CD innumerable times.  It’s one of the best, and one of our true favorites.  We’re sure we’ll be thrilled by the local production as we view it from our front row seats, with the performers we’ve come to recognize and enjoy.

                                 Image result for duh

Turns out we had been pondering a post about the selling of the Downeaster when we felt serendipity slapping us on the forehead like a big hand with “D’OH” tattooed on it.  We thought of our oft-used drum majorette image, which would fit perfectly with leadership of the River City Band.

                               Image result for majorette

Why?  Because the community leader we think of as the head cheerleader for The Downeaster does her very best to create a marching band of public support for the passenger rail service that now comes to Brunswick, if only occasionally, and almost never on time.  Including responding to our challenges to conduct an economic benefit survey locally to prove the claims made for the service.

One claim in particular really dazzles us.  It’s embedded in this table…


contained in this ‘study:’

                 EDRG 2005 MDOT Study snip 3

which you can find here:

Here’s the nugget we take away from this “Final Report.”  $95 million a year in business sales in Brunswick equates to $260,000 per day.

That’s right,

$260,000 per day in business sales

in Brunswick attributable to the arrival of the Downeaster.  

It’s a glorious thing, isn’t it Marian?

Let’s look a bit further.  Downeaster ridership for Brunswick, when it’s operating, runs in the range of 100 per day.  For purposes of discussion, we’ll assume that half those riders originate in our region and are heading south for fun, recreation, personal business, and any other reason for spending their dollars elsewhere.

And that the other half originated to the south and are coming to our area to do the same.  Now consider the reality that the average rider is on a round trip, and you end up with 25 riders from the south coming to Brunswick daily.

$260,000 in daily business sales means that each of those 25 riders must be spending $10,400 a day at our local establishments.  That, my friends is worth tooting your community horn about.

We haven’t even dreamed about the nearly 1,000 new jobs yet!  We’re convinced this is why the ladies of Brunswick are swooning in response to the great Professor’s message.

                           Image result for All aboard brunswick

You probably don’t recognize our local starlets in the MSMT publicity photo; that’s how good their costume and make-up artists are.


Insiders told us that the producer wanted Wayne Davis, head of TRNE, to play the role of Professor Harold Hill; his MO seemed a perfect match for it.  But when he auditioned, they discovered he’s lost a step or five on his soft-shoe routine.

Similarly, Surely, we thought we had a good suggestion for the Eulalie McKecknie Shinn role too. But it turns out our choice didn’t have the right voice for the part.  Such a shame; we were looking forward to her handling of the “One Grecian Urn” number.

That’s show business, we guess.  Even in America’s perfect, richest little town.

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