Lobstermen, loggers need beer summit with Obama

Posted Aug. 07, 2009, at 7:19 p.m.

I think perhaps it’s time for another beer summit.

If Boston’s race relations can be tempered by a cold bottle of Samuel Adams with President Obama, one has to wonder what the president and a frosty mug of the Shipyard Brewing Co.’s Owls Head Light Ale could do for Maine lobstermen whose tempers seem to be the only things that are hot along the Maine coastline this summer.

Think of the publicity. Media from around the world would focus on the beautiful and seemingly tranquil waters off communities with such names as Friendship and nearby Hope.

Reporters and photographers rushing to get the inside track on Obama’s newest mediation session would stay at area inns and eat lobsters.

For days or even weeks, anchors on cable news shows would ponder whether President Obama would choose the crisp Owls Head Light Ale with a light golden color and a good clean taste, or perhaps the Allagash Brewery’s “Dubbel” a dark mahogany beer with ruby hues and a complex malty taste.

Across the country, people would discuss the faltering lobster industry. Lobster lovers everywhere would drool over word that lobsters can be purchased off the boat for $2.50 a pound.

Perhaps Obama himself could bring his summit to a local fishing pier where he could sit with battling fishermen and slice through generations of turf feuding by sipping a cold one on the dock.

Since he was in the area anyway, he could fly up to the border where tensions are high over alleged labor law violations among logging contractors.

The media could focus on the vast splendor of the northern Maine woods where people struggle to earn a living off the rugged, undeveloped land.

They could talk of the wilderness camping opportunities, potatoes and moose, and the president and the loggers could sip a nice, rich Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter and put this pesky U.S.-Canadian labor law business to rest once and for all.

Speaking of Canada, I must take the opportunity to toss some points to New Brunswick’s tourism bureau for putting together the best ads of the season.

The TV ads started running in April when most of us had had just about all we could take of another Maine winter, economic calamity and news stories about how to deal with the ever-growing problem of depression.

Out of the darkness came the tourism ads for New Brunswick. Not a lot of chatter, just video of empty beaches and sand, solitude, a peaceful hiker on a cliff, all set to the mesmerizing music of New Brunswick native Roland Gauvin singing an old French song called “A La Claire Fountaine.”

It has been five months since it first started to air here, and I still stop what I’m doing each time it comes on and dream of heading to New Brunswick.

I happened to catch the Maine tourism ad while traveling out-of-state recently. It’s not bad, but is not comparable to the New Brunswick ad.

Speaking of traveling, it’s always important to keep track of your tire pressure while you are on long road trips. On our recent trip to Florida, my 18-year-old niece seemed a bit obsessive about the pressure in her tires, which she dutifully checked at each gas station.

When I told my husband of her tire pressure fetish, he inquired as to the type of pressure gauge she was using.

“A nice one,” I said. “It’s digital.”

“Mmmm,” he said disapprovingly. “That’s where that went. That’s yours. Don’t you remember? I got it for you for Mother’s Day.”

I’m not quite sure what is sadder. That my husband bought me a tire gauge for Mother’s Day or that my niece stole it from me.

reneeordway@gmail.com

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