Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moxie in ME-Day 1/Moody's Diner

Moxie has its own history, books about its beginnings, and even a law, recognizing it as Maine’s official soft drink. With all that, Moxie certainly has to have a band of zealots and fans—the drink’s official fan club. Enter the New England Moxie Congress (NEMC).

The NEMC, or The Congress, for short, officially held their first meeting in July, 1991. They began as a small group of Moxie drinkers (and some that weren’t) that were interested in the phenomenon that was Moxie.

According to Congress historian, John Lehaney, “We’re a fairly diverse group.” Lehaney, a retired community college counselor, who lives in Missouri, travels back to New England every summer, in July, to attend the variety of Moxie events that happen each year.

Like many of the Congress, Lehaney’s passionate about Moxie and has taken it upon himself to compile a four volume history of the Congress, housed at the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage, in Union, Maine, which is where visitors will find a sizable collection of Moxie memorabilia and other assorted Moxie-related items, including the Moxie Bottle House.

[Excerpt about the New England Moxie Congress, from Moxietown, by Jim Baumer, ©2008 (RiverVision Press)]

I was invited by the New England Moxie Congress to participate at their 3rd annual Moxie Day, at one of Maine's iconic roadside diners, Moody's Diner, in Waldoboro.

This day signifies the arrival of The Congress in Maine, as they begin four days of events, which will included Saturday's Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls.

Congress President, Merrill Lewis, has been an advocate of Moxietown, promoting it via the group's website, and offering RiverVision Press table space today to sell books at Moody's. I interviewed Lewis for the new book, and have found him to be gracious, accomodating, as well as a tireless promoter of the work of The Congress, and of Moxie.

We had a great day at Moody's, and were treated like royalty by both the NEMC, as well as Mary Olson, of Moody's.

It was a banner day, and a great preparation for tomorrow's book signing at Frank Anicetti's Moxie Store.

[Nothing beats a stop at Moody's Diner]

[Right turn for Moxie]

[Wil Markey's Moxie Horsemobile, parked by the Moody's Gift Shop]

[Wil Markey's organ, originally built for the 1939 World's Fair]

[Don Worthen (former NEMC Prez), and Merrill Lewis, NEMC's current commander-in-chief]

While today was an all around great day, one of my favorite parts, was meeting the amazing Wil Markey, who has built several Horsemobile replicas.

Built on a LaSalle chassis, these classic automobiles allow them to be driven, while seated upon the horse mold, mounted in the center of the vehicle.

A member of America's greatest generation, Markey is a dynamo of activity, and is always eager to share a story about a horsemobile, vintage organ, of some aspect of an amazing life.

Back at you Friday, from Lisbon Falls, Moxie capital of Maine.

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