God bless Skip
Skip never knew my name, but I started buying Coffee Pot sandwiches in the early 1950s while a student at UMO. In the ensuing years whenever I got to Bangor, I would buy some to bring home and my daughter, a UMO alum, once took some home to Virginia.
Skip told me he was born upstairs over the shop. Two years ago I had back surgery in Portland, and I had my wife, who was driving us home, stop at the Coffee Pot.
Last November I told Skip, “Every time I see you we are both getting younger. He laughed and said, ‘Maybe next time I will give you a free one.’”
God bless you, Skip, and may you enjoy many years of a happy retirement.
The empty Coffee Pot
Here’s another angle on the Coffee Pot story — its distinctive sign.
Before its appearance at the State Street location, as I recall, it graced a start-up snack shop in the Katahdin Building in Orono next to the bank. As teenagers, we were urged to patronize it rather than Pat’s which served beer.
The Coffee Pot in Orono lasted a little while serving the younger crowd but finally closed up shop. I presume that’s when the sign went to its current location.
I recall one frigid winter night in the mid- or late-1940s when I was attempting to hitchhike from the top of State Street hill to Orono. Having no luck, I remembered the Coffee Pot further up on State Street and hiked up there to get a steaming cup of coffee. On arriving, I was dismayed to be told that despite its name, they didn’t serve coffee.
Democrat bobble head
In response to the Dec. 30 letter about a Republican bobble head: I received a Democrat bobble head for Christmas and it works just fine. It says “yes” to anything you ask for.
The U.S. Senate has finally passed needed health care reform, but Mainers should not let the issue drop from their awareness. The Senate measure must now be merged with the version of reform passed by the House of Representatives several weeks earlier.
And even though Sen. Snowe reluctantly decided not to support the final Senate bill (observers noted her frown when she voted “no”), she has said she intends to closely monitor the conference committee where the two bills will be reconciled during January.
Obtaining the support of Sen. Snowe for comprehensive health care reform is still both desirable and possible. It’s desirable because she has studied the issue at length, has proposed ideas (such as her version of a public health insurance option) which would improve the current Senate bill and would provide more flexibility for negotiators trying to resolve knotty issues like abortion funding.
That her support is possible is proven by her pronouncing the current system broken, the months she spent working with Democrats on the Finance Committee to craft a bipartisan proposal, and the many times she crossed the political aisle during floor consideration to vote against her party on amendments to the bill.
Now is the time for Mainers to let Sen. Snowe (and Sen. Collins) know that they want real health care reform, urging them both to vote for the final bill when it emerges from the conference committee.
Restore public option
I agree with Sen. Collins, as quoted in a recent news article, that the health care reform bill now being worked on by Congress could have contained more cost control and choices for patients. That’s why it’s too bad that the public option — which would have kept costs down through competition and given consumers more choice in their coverage — was dropped from the Senate version of reform.
I hope Sen. Collins will work to restore the public option during the upcoming negotiations with the House of Representatives over the final version of the bill. But even if the public option doesn’t make the final bill, I urge both her and Sen. Snowe to vote for the bill when it comes before them. It will provide more health insurance for more people at a better price than is available now.
It will be especially helpful to the people of eastern Maine, who, because of our employment patterns, suffer more than most areas of the country under the current broken system. I’m a good example: My COBRA ran out with the end of the year, and now I’m back to having no insurance. The health insurance reform bill would definitely help someone like me.