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What can you say about June? OK, I know that, but what can you say about June that can be printed in this family newspaper? June gives us the best of weather and the worst. Beautiful bright, warm sunny days and some of the rawest cold weather imaginable. The problem is we never know.
A while back I was hired to entertain a group at a lobster bake at a popular coastal resort. The day of the event arrived, and it was warm and sunny. As I drove up the coast to the resort I figured that these people from away had lucked out; they'd have perfect June weather for their lobster feed.
After arriving and parking my car, I walked toward the garden patio where the lobster bake was being held. That's when I saw a huge slow-moving bank of fog rolling in from Penobscot Bay. This was not good. Mainers know that thick banks of cold, damp fog can be good for weekends when you want to just stay home, build a fire in the fireplace and read a good book. On the other hand, fog is not good when people from away gather for lobster bakes on garden patios at expensive coastal resorts.
Now, experienced travelers to Maine in June know they should bring lots of clothing to fit any kind of weather - you might not need snow boots but if never hurts to have them. The men and women gathered on the patio of this popular resort in the middle of June for a traditional Maine lobster feed obviously hadn't received the what-to-wear memo. They were dressed in light, summery clothes, the kind of outfits you'd wear to the Jersey shore on a hot day. And before long, as the fog settled in and made it clear that it intended to stay a while, everyone was talking about how cold they were.
People congregated around two tall steaming pots of coffee on one of the food table. Some filled thick white mugs with the steaming coffee in order to warm their hands, but within minutes the coffee turned lukewarm. Before long it was stone cold.
When the meal was over it was time for my entertainment. The host tried to make light of the cold and dampness, but the audience was not amused.
When I got up to tell my Down East stories the audience that huddled before me draped in blankets and sweaters looked like survivors of a shipwreck. It was not a fun time.
When the event was over the assembled began assigning blame for the whole unfortunate incident. They blamed the planning committee, they blamed each other, they even blamed me.
Of course, you couldn't blame the weather. It was June and this is Maine.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is mainestoryteller@yahoo.com.
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