“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth (and the southern part of Maine).

Now the Earth was formless and empty (this was before Colby President David A. Greene),

darkness was over the surface of the deep (except the Kennebec River, Great Pond and selected parts of South Portland).

And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was LIGHT!”

COLBYVILLE (formerly Waterville), Maine — two-thousand-and-something.

Here we are today in Colbyville, Maine, and thank you all for coming. We’re here, of course, to celebrate the grand opening of the Great Southbound Subway line, the first subway in the state of Maine that runs through Colbyville (formerly Waterville).

No, no, not the sandwich shop. A real, for goodness sake, underground subway through Augusta to Portland with stops at Gardiner, Brunswick and Yarmouth.

Welcome aboard.

Let’s take a glance at Colbyville’s (formerly Waterville) history.

If New York was “the city that never sleeps,” Waterville, as it was known then, was the sleepy little college town that wouldn’t wake up. This was the era known as “pre-Prius,” when non-electric cars (can you imagine?) and logging trucks dominated the roadways.

On Sundays in those early days, our grandparents stood on the Interstate 95 on-ramp in old Waterville (now Colbyville) to wave at the passing limos full of gorgeous skiing couples on their way to Sugarloaf, as they sipped their grande no-whip, decaf peppermint latte, skinny peppermint mocha and gingerbread lattes.

Speaking of that prestigious Starbucks, where only one existed in Waterville, today we have eight major Starbucks shops strategically placed about the city, including a large one in the new Colby downtown dormitory and in-house Starbucks that houses 1,200 students.

Today, as Maine nears the holiday season, we lift our paper holiday cups of toasted white chocolate mocha, caramel brûlée latte and peppermint frappuccino in a toast to Colby College, its Olympic-size pool, grand sport fields, art museum and many gift shops.

It’s been grand to witness President David A. Greene’s vision for Colbyville (formerly Waterville) that, despite major criticism from envious hamlets to the south, took root and activated the Great Awakening of central Maine.

Our grandparents watched in awe back in those days, as the college transformed the face of this sleepy town. The ancient, tattered, moldy facades of once-revered buildings began to peel off like sunburned skin, and were replaced with bright and shiny new faces.

Old-timers from Hallowell to Sidney and as far north as Skowhegan were astonished to watch the transformation, as the old Waterville (now Colbyville) slowly disappeared and, under Republican leadership, placed a new, shining city on the hill above the Kennebec.

Under Mayor-for-Life and restaurateur Nicholas Isgro’s watchful eye, the city’s economy began to explode, as visitors from across the nation flocked here to witness what came to be known as the “Miracle on Main Street.” Even President Baron Trump, now in his fourth term, offered to open a Russian embassy and gift shop here. Mayor-for-Life Isgro replied, “Too soon?”

There were one or two scattered hotels then, very modest but neat, because few people came to our sleepy village, and when they did, only for college homecomings, craft shows and beer tastings.

Of course, the demand for first-class accommodations grew as our colleges did, both of which have given us three presidents, six secretaries of state, 14 senators, 16 Olympic swimmers, a great golfing team and 63 newspaper managers.

This year, for the 23rd time, the Olympic swim teams of Italy, France, Transylvania and Alabama will train in Colby’s great pool.

We’ve just heard a speech from the son of former Democratic President of the United States and once Governor of Maine Adam Cote. Wasn’t he awesome?

We’re semi-honored to have 110-year-old former Gov. Paul LePage cut the ribbon at the subway entrance. LePage, Maine’s oldest living former governor, is the current owner of Hallowell’s Dairy Queen Museum.

Thank you all for coming, and we invite you over to the Colbyville (formerly Waterville) Opera House for the grand opening of their gift shop, where, I understand, former eccentric but popular columnist J.P. Devine’s first Apple computer will be auctioned off.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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