AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage and his wife, Ann, welcomed relatives and friends Wednesday to their new home on State Street, a 178-year-old mansion with seven bedrooms.
“It’s a wonderful day for us,” said Paul LePage’s younger brother Maurice “Moe” LePage before he walked into the Blaine House and greeted Maine’s new governor.
As he toured the mansion, he said he was thinking of the tiny house in Lewiston where he and Paul grew up with 15 brothers and sisters – a four-room house with no hot water and no indoor toilet.
“It’s a little different,” Paul LePage told his brother with a laugh.
The Blaine House is the home of Maine’s chief executive, but Wednesday afternoon it was filled with ordinary working people.
There was Bruce Myrick, a former Pepsi delivery truck driver from Sabattus who gave Paul LePage a job – then a place to live – after Paul ran away from home and his abusive father at the age of 11.
Myrick, a soft-spoken elderly man, sat on a couch in one of the house’s elegant reception rooms, dressed in suit and tie.
“(I) am very proud of him,” Myrick said.
His son, Jerry Myrick, 57, who was shooting pool with several other Myricks in the game room, recalled how he, his two brothers and other boys in the neighborhood once made fun of LePage because he was Franco-American.
“He has exceeded expectations,” Jerry Myrick said.
There was also Eddy Collins, who owned a restaurant in Lewiston called Theriault’s.
After living with the Myricks, LePage moved in with Collins and worked in his restaurant in the mornings before school. Collins persuaded Husson College to let LePage take his entrance exam in French.
More than 20 LePage relatives – mostly cousins – attended Wednesday’s inauguration at the Augusta Civic Center. Moe LePage was Paul LePage’s only sibling at the ceremony. Some of his brothers and sisters were too ill to come, Moe LePage said, and he has lost track of the rest.
The LePages’ mother, Teresa, died two years ago and is buried in Florida. Moe said he will put photos on her grave showing her eldest son at his inaugural.
“Mom would have been proud,” Paul LePage told his brother.
Paul and Ann LePage, who have lived in the Blaine House since Sunday, haven’t had time to make many changes. They brought along Baxter, the family’s small mixed-breed dog, who was at home Wednesday running through people’s legs.
Ann LePage, who described herself as a thrifty “coupon clipper,” said she wants the home’s decor to be simple and comfortable.
In the State Reception Room, Paul LePage has a print of his hero, Ronald Reagan. LePage, the former general manager of Marden’s Surplus and Salvage, said he bought the print at the Marden’s in Waterville for $64.
In a top corner of the print, there’s a little square mark – the spot where LePage pulled off the Marden’s price sticker.
MaineToday Media State House Writer Tom Bell can be reached at 699-6261 or: