I’ve seen a lot of weird things in my time.

I grew up in a haunted house (literally, not the Halloween-costume kind), in a town that has an albino squirrel as a mascot.

I’ve had my video camera inexplicably stop dead in a Key West cemetery and start up again as soon as I was off the grounds.

I’ve seen voodoo spells cast on the streets of New Orleans and alligators jump 4 feet out of Louisiana swamp water to eat marshmallows off a stick. (Hint: Don’t ever tick off an alligator. They can run faster than you.)

I like weird things. My family seeks them out wherever we go.

So naturally, I was excited when I learned that Maine has its own share of oddities, both natural and man-made (and, if you believe some people, spirit-made). Before I became a resident, the only thing I associated with Maine were lobsters and — well, lobsters.

As it turns out, Maine is also host to a veritable cornucopia of bizarre stuff. Forty acres of once-lush farmland that’s now a desert. Giant statues of Paul Bunyan and a crank telephone. Museums dedicated to umbrella covers, Moxie soda and, appropriately enough, just plain whacked-out stuff like Sasquatch hairs and “sex boxes.”

Who knew?

Well, thanks to this issue of GO, you do. Click here to start your journey into another side of Maine that would make Rod Serling proud.

And if that isn’t enough, here’s one more Maine oddity that wasn’t brought to my attention until after the cover story was written: a 40-mile replica of the solar system consisting mostly of outdoor sculptures and beginning with a building on the University of Maine Presque Isle campus that serves as the sun. For information, go to www.umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms/solar.

Why create a 40-mile-long replica of the solar system, you ask? Or pay homage to umbrella covers? Or build a 14-foot-tall telephone?

Who cares?

Just enjoy them for what they are — fun distractions from everyday life, and something to do before school kicks into gear over the next couple of weeks.

And embrace your inner weirdness. 

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]