Maine is, mostly, a welcoming place. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the state is full of all sorts of different people. Traveling from The County to Portland, you’ll come across all sorts. So many, in fact, that you’ll wonder how we could all possibly call the same place “home.” Here are 15 of the different types of people you might meet in Maine.
1. The Ones from Away, Version #1
These guys come in two varieties. We'll talk about Version #1 first. They've transplanted themselves from a neighboring state and tried to blend in. They're wearing their Bean Boots, but haven't bothered to turn in their Mass plates. They've set up a home for themselves somewhere between Portland and the Mid-Coast and feel they're living the real Maine life. But ask them if they've heard of Mars Hill and you'll be met with a quizzical stare.
2. The Ones from Away, Version #2
These guys are also transplanted, but for different reasons. They feel Brooklyn and NYC are "over" and heard that Portland was cool. They packed up their brand new Subaru and went North. Now, they live in the city and don't care much if they blend in. They think Portland is their city to create.
3. The Proud Native
Natives find pride in all things Maine. From the state's potato heritage to the fact that Benedict Arnold once tromped through our woods to the fact that they live in a town where a questionable tasting beverage has its very own day. You'll never convince a native that there's anything wrong with Maine. And, you shouldn't try.
4. The Tourist
The tourist comes to Maine in June and July, deciding that the rest of the months must be full of snow. They spend money, which we love and we send them home with a memory card full of selfies in front of lighthouses. It's the perfect relationship.
5. The Artist
Maine's landscape is full of beauty, which is why it is no surprise that so many folks here have been inspired to create. From sculptors to photographers and everything in between, Maine is home to artists of all varieties. You'll even find entire islands and towns that are dedicated to the support of the artist community.
6. The Farmer
They love the land and will tell you just about anything you want to know about raising animals, blueberries, herbs, potatoes, carrots and so on and so on. They're genuine and believe fully that Maine will feed us far longer than any huge grocery chain. Thank a farmer the next time you meet one!
7. The Ones at Camp
You'll recognize them as the ones sitting by the lake in the morning. And at lunch time. And before dinner. Then, they're the ones sitting by the lake before bed. Going upta camp is a time to relax and the ones who make a habit of hitting their camp every weekend will have a much more laid back vibe than you.
8. The Lobsterman
He's a member of the MLA and he wakes up earlier than you ever has. He's responsible for catching 90% of the country's lobstah, but he's humble. You won't understand a single word, but you'll nod in agreement because this guy is the real deal.
9. The Sternman
You could meet him anywhere, but he'll probably be wearing a warmer jacket than you. Like the captain, he wakes up earlier than you ever have and his work ethic inspires you. He might be drinking an Allen's at a bar in Vinalhaven. Not that we've ever had all-night pool games with a sternman at the Sand Bar in Vinalhave or anything.
10. The Environmentalist
You'll find them at every farm rally, peace rally and environmental rally. They'll tell you why biofules are best and why composting is cool. They'll probably be nice, so don't be afraid to have a conversation. Also, composting is pretty cool.
11. The Maine 1%
They live in Maine and drive a beat-up Subaru so if you run in to them at Hannaford you might not know they actually live on the shore of Cape Elizabeth. But, hey guys, we're not mad at you. We're just jealous of your view.
12. The Student
With so many colleges and universities in Maine, it's not uncommon to sit at a coffee shop surrounded by a study group. Or, you may be at the beach wearing a Bowdoin Baseball shirt because it was on sale and have an actual student ask you your major. We appreciate the age compliment, but we're more a #5. Another tell-tale sign you've met a student? Look for the USM students in the Old Port. The girls are dressed for a night out, but equipped with very sensible snow boots.
13. The Ones from The County
You'll probably only meet a person from Aroostook County if you go TO The County. They're not big believers in the existence of Southern Maine. Instead some think Portland-dwellers really just live in Northern Mass. Despite this confusion, those from The County are about the most Maine you'll ever meet. Many have family roots that go back for decades and they're more proud of their state than anyone else. They are also very likely to be heard using words like "dickering," "stove up" and "dooryahd."
14. The Thru-Hiker
Unless you are ALSO a thru-hiker, it's unlikely that you'll be running into them at the summit of Katahdin. But, you just might meet some if you're enjoying a hearty breakfast in Millinocket. Wherever you see them, know that they're strong and determined. And probably a little smelly. Give them a snack. They're probably hungry.
15. The Old-Timers
They know more than you, have seen more than you and can speak in a Maine language you've never even heard. Don't question them, except to ask about life in the real Maine. Old Timers are our true connection to Maine's past.