August 3, 2007
Small-town New England, the anti-LA
In a world where celebrities' vacations, shopping trips, and visits to Starbucks are the sole content of hundreds of media outlets, it's refreshing to see parts of our country where famous people go about their lives among people who couldn't care less. A couple of small vacation destinations in northern New England have made the news this week, bringing national attention to parts of our country that are used to being out of the spotlight, and want to keep it that way, thank you very much.
On Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts suffered an unexpected seizure while at his vacation home on the coast of Maine. A NY Times article on the reaction of the townspeople to the brief onslaught of media attention is a beautiful example of Maine culture, where people are so committed to being under the radar that they take offense when outsiders create a fuss over local VIPs. It must be a shock for media people, used to working in parts of America where people will gladly suffer any humiliation necessary to get on national TV, to try to operate in towns like Port Clyde where locals are totally unfazed by their celebrities and seem to have no interest in drawing attention to themselves.
"It’s back to normal, business as usual — that was just a quick thing," said Ann Coffin, sitting outside the Port Clyde Baptist Church, whose sewing circle had made the fisherman dolls.
The coast of Maine seems to be the world's best place for famous people to go if they don't want anybody to take their picture or mess with their business or even notice them. My favorite Maine understatements about Chief Justice Roberts came from a couple of local guys. Dennis Cushman: "Around here he puts his pants on the same way we all do," and his lobsterman brother Mike: "He’s a wicked nice guy."
And today, French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would spend two weeks vacationing in Wolfeboro, NH on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. The town manager's response in the press is somewhere on the border of a shrug and a whatever hand gesture: "We're going to have to get our French flags out, I guess."
TrackBack URL for this entry: