By impatient Emmet
It’s a damn good thing we didn’t plan D-Day. We would all be speaking German today.
Jefferson Phil and I, I think, are good people. We are just bad for each other. It’s probably something in our Zodiac signs.
We had plans, mighty plans for the summer. Yes, we would canoe the St. Croix out of Vanceboro. We would bike the new Sunrise Trail, all 85 miles of it. We would camp at Cobscook Bay. Well, at least we would talk about those trips, endlessly. After all, we had performed several successful ventures from McAdam, Canada to Ocala, Florida. But we also planned numerous trips on a 100-mile bike trail in Florida that apparently never existed. We had dumped canoes all along the Allagash, St. John and Sebois Rivers, even lost the only bottle of Black Velvet into the icy Allagash Stream. We almost went over the Allagash Falls in the rain and fog but we were still willing…occasionally.
With the summer fading fast (and the free oysters about to cease), we decided on an emergency meeting at Damariscotta’s Schooner Landings Restaurant. I hadn’t been there all year and had to make this ritual visit. The landing is hard by the Damariscotta River with a surprisingly strong current. It is an ideal place to enjoy a very tall cocktail, watch the river and the boats and make even more plans that will never happen.
The “plan” was to meet at 4:30 p.m. I was so excited that I got there a few minutes early. I called Phil…for the first time. No answer. That was no surprise since Phil has organized 165 meetings at Conte’s Restaurant in Rockland, our very favorite haunt. He has arrived for approximately 22 of them.
I alerted the Maître‘d’hôtel that I was looking for Phil and grabbed a rare open table by the river. I ordered a very tall cocktail. 5:00 p.m. When the drink arrived, I called Phil. No answer.
5:15 p.m. After finishing the drink I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and called Phil. No answer. I make it a practice to always meet my merry band of friends at a bar which makes their eventual appearance optional…
The sandwich came (I ordered the fries because you can die any day) and I devoured it, watching the river go by. A second drink? I was 40 miles from home, but it was the end of summer and there was curiously little alcohol in my very tall drink. Sure, why not?
5:30 p.m. This time I texted Phil that I was leaving and that if he had crashed and burned, I was very sorry. The bill came and I paid it and walked to my waiting vehicle.
You guessed it. It was Jefferson Phil who had been sitting 40 feet away in the crowd for the past hour with Linny and Mitzie, so close to the free oysters and the band that he could not hear his phone or see the text messages. I suspected that his phone was not on. He doesn’t like his phone. Apparently, I had inquired with the only waitress in a 46 mile radius that did not know, personally, the famous Jefferson Phil.
JP apologized, of course, and suggested further stops in the Damariscotta area. I politely demurred being very old and 40 miles from Cobb Manor. The good thing about us is that we never learn and we will make even more grandiose plans that will never occur. The next time, I will have him call me, if he remembers to turn on his phone.
As I said, it’s a good think we were not in Eisenhower’s D-Day staff.
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