As we reach the weekend that follows 4th-of-July weekend, it’s time to celebrate Maine’s own and much-loved Moxie! Moxie Fest is this weekend, as always, in Lisbon Falls, Maine. In fact, the root beer-like soda, invented in 1884 by Dr. Augustin Thompson (of Union, Maine), was declared the Maine State Beverage in 2005. Maine is surely the heart of Moxie country, and we all know that Maine libraries have moxie!
Moxie and Monument Square, with the Library at center.
To help celebrate the annual Moxie Festival, here are some images to encourage the enjoyment and study (yes, research is enjoyable, too!) of the fabled 19th century remedy / modern soft drink.
Moxie can surely be researched in the Portland Room, which produces the Maine News Index, navigating through microfilmed newspapers and hardcopy local periodical imprints.
As well, here are 2 popular Moxie references we have here in the Library:
Snapshots from the Moxie Parade, in 2011
The Moxie Mobile, which is actually steered from a “horseback” seat!
Moxie Man stopped long enough for me to take his picture- and to offer his prescription to cure all that ails!
All of Lisbon Falls gets into the spirit !
During Moxie Fest, the Kennebec Fruit Company (the Moxie birthplace store) serves Moxie ice cream and splendid Moxie floats.
From the Portland Public Library Archives
Checking out the Moxie supply, in 1947.
Moxie Fest, in 1984. Reading up on the goods!
Moxie Fest, 1984. At the wheel of the Moxie Mobile.
Moxie Fest, 1984. Moxie expert, Mr. Frank Anicetti, packing up a purchase at Kennebec Fruit Company store.
Willie Nelson, playing a concert at Portland’s Cumberland County Civic Center, June 21, 1985. Willie’s Moxie hat tells us he knows what’s what!
Have a Wicked Good Weekend !
Whether you’re writing, reading, or enjoying parades and the outdoors, enjoy-
and know you’re always welcome at the Portland Public Library !
I spent last Friday in Augusta at the Maine Humanities Summit sponsored by the University of Maine Humanities Initiative. I also participated on a panel of academic and public librarians to explain the role of libraries in the “public” humanities. The attending group was made up of the converted, those of us who see in others and experience in ourselves every day the “Power & Pleasure of Ideas” – to borrow a phrase from the Maine Humanities Council. We spoke of public libraries being a provider, presenter, collector, promoter and organizer of the humanities. So it was on fertile ground (and with gratitude) that our individual presentations were received. There was little if any surprise just appreciation.
I am always fascinated by the surprise that folks have upon rediscovery of the public library or coming up against the popular notion that the public library is not long for the world. Paul Krugman’s recent New York Times blog post “In Praise of Public Libraries (Personal and Trivial)
” speaks to the simple delight in finding a space in the community that has some infrastructure, a culture of sharing and no expectation of you except civil behavior. Meanwhile, beyond offering a sweet spot in the daily grind, public libraries everywhere are gearing up their summer reading programs and reaching out to kids and families to do what we can to bring the beauty of the arts and the humanities (literature, history, art, music and much more) to the neighborhoods and towns across the country. Quiet magic – day in and day out. No chest pounding, no vapid self-promotion, just quiet and sustained effort to experience the “Power and Pleasure of Ideas”.
Derivative tends not be a compliment as it implies lack of creativity or more recently a bad financial instrument. But let’s be honest, many great ideas in all areas aren’t new (like bookmobiles) and libraries mostly work with the basics of those ideas and spin them to serve some niche. PPL like other libraries lends a variety of unexpected materials including telescopes (brought to us through our partnership with Cornerstones of Science), Kill a Watt energy detectors (given to us by a private donor),and most recently ukuleles modeled on the idea first demonstrated by the Newport (Maine) Cultural Center and neighboring Falmouth (Maine) Memorial Library.
Even Isaac Newton acknowledged the contributions to his work of those before him. It is a pleasure (and an ethical obligation) for us to acknowledge this tradition of public libraries.