I’d like to comment on the article about Gov. Janet Mills “looking ahead” from the “turbulence” of the previous administration (Feb. 18).

But first.

As a crew member at The Center for Maine Crafts in West Gardiner, I attended Creative Portland’s “Hear Here” program at the Merrill Auditorium yesterday.  It’s only a few blocks from Trader Joe’s, so I was doubly excited to saddle up and ride down.  Every performance was simply terrific, but I particularly liked the Batimbo United Burundi drummers’ visual as well as thundering audio performance.  Electrifying, that!

I was surprised (but then again, I wasn’t) when Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling introduced U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and Gov. Mills.  Casually dressed, she mentioned that she’d just come off the ice from a day of fishing to make the trip down to Portland to support the creative arts.  Frankly, I’d bag ice fishing to light a votive candle.  But you get the idea — she genuinely cares.  I’ll bet she loves Trader Joe’s, too.

All three leaders, in their own words, stressed diversity and acceptance as a fundamental, celebratory virtue that has historically defined our country and certainly the city of Portland — as evidenced by this ebullient program.

The spirit of the event notwithstanding, it was not lost on me that in America today, tumultuous “turbulence” and the weeping and wailing over that dopey “wall” seeks to, and has succeeded in dividing us.  But our state survived — so will our country.

Conversely (and euphorically)  Maine’s thriving creative community and promising leadership were both on full display — and vividly united — in music, song, dance and word in Portland that day.  Our new administration has been described as “a breath of fresh air.”  So open a window. Take a deep breath.  Refreshing, ain’t it?


Buddy Doyle


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