The Characters that Share my Day

We probably all know at least one person who shares our birthday, but living in a small Maine town for nearly three decades (can that really be?) means that I know quite a few.

Vicki Doudera here. I’m not talking about the celebs, who, like me, were born yesterday on June 1st —  Marilyn Monroe, Pat Boone, Morgan Freeman, Andy Griffith, Heidi Klum, Ron Wood, Alanis Morissette  – I’m talking about the REAL stars in my world, all of whom make life on the coast in Camden the better for their birth on June the first.

Before I go any further, my apologies if this post seems a little familiar to those of you who have been reading our blog for a few years.  I admit that I’ve taken this one off from a few years ago and dusted it off for your reading pleasure.  I’m very much engrossed in getting a book done — in addition to celebrating my birthday…– so please forgive me.

Back to my favorite June firsters.

There’s Allen Fernald, for one. I’ve been fortunate toAllen Fernald know this great guy for most of my 28 years in Maine. We chat at church and the yacht club, have served together on committees and capital campaigns, and work out in the exercise room he and his wife Sally endowed at the Penobscot Area YMCA.  Like the rest of the folks born on this day, he has an interesting story. Allen came to Maine for college, then worked in New York City at the publishing company of Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. In 1977 he bought Down East magazine and returned with his family to Maine.  The company he went on to found — Down East Enterprise – published my first book, Moving to Maine.

Sue Hopkins is another June first baby. She and her husband Bob Carter live around the corner from us in a lovely old home filled with antiques. Like me, she is a lover of Nancy Drew Mysteries and has a collection of vintage volumes by Carolyn Keene. Vintage Nancy(The one she gave me occupies a place of honor in my writing space at the camp.)  Sue has the sharp mind of a lawyer, having practiced law before she moved to Maine from California, but uses it now to help organizations run more efficiently. I know firsthand what a good friend and tireless worker she is as well. Happy Birthday, Sue!

Another neighbor who blew out candles over the weekend is Jory Squibb. Known in our town as the guy who built and drives Moonbeam, a tiny car no bigger than a go-cart, Jory is an environmentalist and fellow cyclist who’s pedaled with Ed and I in the Trek Across Maine.

I can’t recall when I first met Jory and his wife Brenda, but it was probably through kids.  Our son Nate and their daughter Chloe started kindergarten together, and both ended up in Burlington, Vermont, for college. (In fact Chloe made the waffle batter for the graduation brunch we had for Nate a few years back.) It was my pleasure to help Jory and Brenda sell their home on Pleasant Ridge and then purchase another around the corner. In getting to know them better, I realized what caring and involved community members they are.

Pat Jones also celebrated her birthday yesterday. She is one of those enviable women who seem to have found the fountain of youth.  Not only have her lovely looks remained unchanged, but she is just as sweet as back when I met her in the 1980’s.  Like me, Pat sells real estate, and I’m dying to sit down with her and gather stories for plot ideas for my Darby Farr Mysteries. I just know Pat has some juicy tales to tell!

Allen, Jory, Sue, and Pat are people who share my special day, folks we used to call “birthday buddies.” Apparently that term has gone the way of “hook up,” as the online Urban Dictionary gives a second definition of the term, one that I’d never heard:  birthday buddy: a friend, most likely a lover, that lives far away and on your birthday comes to your house and bangs you. Not to worry — my birthday pals all live nearby – but where do these phrases come from?

At any rate, the first of June is a very good day to be born. For kids, it means cake and presents, as well as the start of the month when school ends and summer vacation begins. I remember — and still feel — some of that excitement.  Hooray! It’s finally June. The lilacs still linger, the lupines are blooming, and Maine’s black fly season is nearly behind us.

Happy Birthday to my fellow “June Firsters” in Camden and elsewhere. Wishing you a wonderful day and many years of celebrations.

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5 Responses to The Characters that Share my Day

  1. Gram says:

    Happy Birthday to all. Belatedly…

  2. Barb Ross says:

    Happy Birthday, Vicki!

  3. MCWriTers says:

    Love this post, Vicki. One of the things that makes Maine special is the people…decent and real. Never mind the ones we use to populate our books.


  4. Pingback: Trekking Across Maine – Again! | Maine Crime Writers

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