On any given day the Southport to Boothbay Harbor drive occurs. Almost always, at least one trip per day, sometimes many, seldom never.
It’s not a long journey, but it’s where all the supply stations reside — major postal service, Fed Ex and UPS drop offs, technology, specialty shops and dining facilities. It’s where we go for stuff, plain and simple.
So, it’s not a long trip. Rarely takes more that 10 minutes, unless the Southport bridge is open. This time of year that is less frequent, unless it gets stuck or there is a contact misfire at the locking mechanism. Generally these problems are relatively easy to overcome. From the bridge it’s clear sailing to the Harbor.
But a couple weeks ago, as I made my way over the river and though the woods, passing Four Corners at Lakeside Drive, and cruising on down slope toward West Harbor, I encountered an unusual traffic snarl. Traffic stopped in both directions with an excavator in the middle of the road and someone wearing a reflective vest with arms going, waving a stick. Looked sort of like a greeter at Walmart with a bone to pick. It seemed like every vehicle stopped at the greeter — no flagger, no lights, no warning.
As I crept on, the scene came into focus. I wasn’t irritated. And nobody else seemed to be upset. No blaring horns or shouted obscenities. The greeter was busy with arms moving continuously. It was cold. Perhaps, I thought, this was a good way to keep warm. My turn in line came up and clarity struck.
It was Pat Farrin. I think he was trying to explain what was going on, hence the arm activity. Pat talks a lot with his hands, and sometimes his explanations become a bit, shall we say, involved. He was trying to explain how he and his crew were preparing for the installation of the long awaited syphon installation at West Harbor Pond and direct traffic at the same time. More arms needed please!
Only certain people could get away with an exercise like this. Pat is pretty well known for his ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. He is often many places at what seems like the same time. It’s difficult to think of a spot in the region where he hasn’t been seen.
So traffic moved along as Pat calmed everyone down with his explanations and smile. Probably, I added to the congestion with my visit. We’d hadn’t bumped into each other in a while.