My friend Maureen and I recently had our annual birthday lunch out together. It is an event I look forward to each fall since sometimes it’s the only time we see each other for the year. Also, seeing her reminds me of the fun times we had working together in Better Sportswear in the early years of Jordan Marsh.

I was asked a while ago what were the best years of my life. I answered that they probably weren’t years, but times and moments, mostly in Maine.

It’s not that I don’t have some memorable years, but that’s to be expected. It’s special times I recall at random moments.

It’s recent times and long-ago times. It’s having dinner on my friend Diane’s screened-in porch in Durham in the summer, a ritual we’ve had for over 30 years. It’s sitting in Longfellow’s garden on a bench and imagining what it would be like to have a garden like that in the 1800s.

It’s going to Northeast Harbor every summer for a long weekend and being a tourist. It was summer weekends in Rangeley with my friend Nancy and her family. Going to Rumford in the fall to visit my relatives.

Being at the little beach at Fort Williams (Ship Cove) in my younger years with family and summer friends. Now going to Willard.

I remember going out with various suitors and friends to favorite restaurants in Portland such as Carbur’s, The Hollow Reed, Horsefeathers, The Bag and The Baker’s Table.

Fondly I look back at the four years I lived in my first apartment in Lewiston. My friend Nancy and I spent many evenings out at the local restaurants, especially The Warehouse and Graziano’s.

My student teaching experience at Deering High was a favorite time for me. And so was the semester I went back to the University of Southern Maine to take education courses to prepare to teach.

How could I ever forget my first Beatles concert in 1964 at Forest Hills Stadium? Or the second one a year later at Shea Stadium?

Skating at Mill Creek Pond as a kid.

The first time I crossed over to Mount Desert Island and thought I was in paradise. Actually, I think that every time I arrive there.

Driving up to Cadillac Mountain with my friends John and Sue on a beautiful night with a full moon. Sitting in a pizza parlor decorated with Grateful Dead pictures in Bar Harbor.

Seated at the Asticou in Northeast Harbor having dinner, thinking how lucky I am.

Announcing the five-overtime South Portland-Bangor basketball tournament game at the Civic Center, realizing it was 11:30 or so by the time I was finished working.

And one perfect fall day sitting in front of Louisa May Alcott’s house in Concord, Massachusetts, with my mother and sister.

Maybe this card I found says it all: “These are magic years … and therefore magic days … and therefore magic moments.”

— Special to the Telegram

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