Number of Delegates: 34 Pledged: 24 Unpledged: 10
How to Recognize a Maine Delegate: Most Americans' perception of Maine starts at the Discount Outlet Stores in Kittery and ends at the parking lot of the Discount Outlet Stores in Freeport. This sixty-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 1 is lined with hotels, fried-clam shacks, renovated fishing villages and yacht clubs. It's wicked with "flatlanders." The area is seldom visited by the real "Mainah," who lives in a trailer that’s built under a "roof-over" and surrounded by a dozen outbuildings in varying stages of construction and decay. Outside of Portland, most Mainers spend their day hauling things in trucks or trailers. Sometimes boats are used as trailers to haul things. Sometimes boats are used to haulboats. Typically, the only stops that Mainers make during the day are at the gas station, the grocery store and the auto body repair shop. Or they'll ditch their entire rig if they think they see some good fiddleheads. The one thing that brings all Mainers together, however, is L.L. Bean. It's not just a store here; it's a way of life. The homegrown retailer specializes in making clothing that offers the perfect protection from the state's unique climate, whether it's the snow swarms of a Nor'eastah, or the black-fly-and-mosquito blizzards of July. Maine delegates will hit the streets of Denver wearing their distinct LaCrosse AlphaBurly Sport 800 Insulated boots, washable year-round wool pants and microfiber blazers.
Famous Mainers: Scary author Stephen King; scary actors Linda Lavin, Patrick Dempsey and Judd Nelson; scary musician Juliana Hatfield; prickly comedienne Andrea Martin; singer-songwriters Howie Day and Patty Griffin; alleged hophead and lesbian pioneer Sarah Orne Jewett.
Famous Maine Democrats: U.S. senator and 58th U.S. Secretary of State Edmund Muskie; U.S. senator, 17th U.S. Senate Majority Leader and MLB steroid investigator George J. Mitchell; 73rd Maine governor John Baldacci.
Famous Mainers With Denver Connections: Co-executive director of the Colorado Progressive Coalition Bill Vandenberg; KOA talk-show wingnut "Gunny" Bob Newman; Maybellines guitarist Mike Levasseur.
State Nickname: the Pine Tree State, the Lumberjack State (official); the End of America State, the Roof-over State, the Nothing in Nowhere State (unofficial) Population: 1,321,574 Racial Distribution: 96% white, 1% black, 1% Asian, 1% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $28,831 Unemployment: 5.1%
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MAINE DELEGATES
Most Mainer Denver Neighborhood: Cherry Creek
Most Mainer Bar: hi-dive 7 South Broadway The Denver bar that books local and national bands in the same spirit as Portland's Asylum.
Most Mainer Restaurant: The Ship Tavern Brown Palace Hotel 321 17th Street Come for the nautical shlock, stay for the lobster rolls. Ayuh.
Best Day Trip: Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
For the last century, Maine has been known as "Vacationland." It’s only fitting, then, that automobile tourism was introduced to Colorado by a native of Kingfield, Maine. In 1903, inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley arrived at the Lyons, Colorado, train depot. Stanley suffered fromtuberculosis and had come out west at the suggestion of his doctor. He brought along his latest invention, the Stanley Steamer automobile. The 53-year-old, 118-pound invalid was hoping to hire a young man to assist him in fetching stream water during the drive up the dusty little stage road to Estes Park, but he met only resistance. He made the trip alone, and did it in one hour and fifty minutes. He stayed for the next 37 years. He fell in love with the area, and it's easy to see why. Estes Park is an expansive upland meadow ringed by a remarkable group of mountains that are split and gouged by gulches and canyons and dotted with glacial lakes. Overlooking the spectacular variety of scenery is the historic Stanley Hotel. Starting in 1909, the first guests arrived by a fleet of Stanley Steamer automobiles dispatched from the train station in Loveland, some 31 miles east of Estes Park. The vehicles are still on display, but today's guests are often more interested in the ghosts of room 217, which were immortalized in (Portland, Maine, native) Stephen King's novel The Shining. Employees have also seen apparitions and heard children's voices in room 418. The sounds of piano-playing coming from the empty music room are said to be songs played by the ghost of Stanley himself, welcoming guests to his Vacationland in Colorado.
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