Friday, June 29, 2007


Blue-Collar Roots

Dennis Mangan asks, What class do you belong to? No matter how hard you try, it's difficult to escape your roots. Here is a description of the town where I grew up (from an October 2006 article in the Bangor Daily News, no longer available on the Web):
Smaller Brewer, across the Penobscot River from Bangor, evolved in a much different manner.

Like Bangor, Brewer's early years revolved around the lumber industry, namely shipbuilding. Brewer was famous for making bricks and then paper, all of which lent Brewer a reputation as a rowdy mill town.

"Brewer was where the poor people lived," Brewer Economic Development Director D'Arcy Main-Boyington said this week. "The [company] owners lived in Bangor, and the workers lived in Brewer."

Brewer still is working to shake off its blue-collar roots.
I contributed my small part to Brewer's reputation for rowdiness. My 2nd grade teacher at Washington Street School, Mrs. Libhart, wrote a note to my mother which said in part:
Recently I have had to speak to him about rough play and loud shouting both in classroom and outdoors. I'm sure he is being influenced by two or three of the other boys who are very rough and get him started.
I'm the tall one in this photograph of local rowdies:

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