Mac and Jon Make a Memory in Milo
As road trips go, this was a great one. A little over a week ago, Mac Dickson rolled into my yard just after 8am and we jumped into my Jeep and headed for breakfast at the China Dine-ah!
Oh, we had grand plans to hit Pepino's Mexican Restaurant in Bangor on the way back home but, little did we know, the breakfast would sustain us for the day. Well, that means another trip soon to fill THAT need.
As we drove away from our breakfast destination, we headed through Albion, Unity and Troy on our way to....anyone? Milo! That's where Mackie spent his formative years and where, in February of 2006, we requested that the town throw a parade in our honor. And they did! THAT was a day we'll never forget. One of my best memories in broadcasting with one of my best friends in broadcasting (and in life).
The events leading up to that day were just as much fun. We placed several calls to townsfolk, including the local dog catcher/postal worker/restaurateur, Valerie Robertson. She set us up with a man who was made for this kind of thing, Murrel Harris, the town's recreation director. This man was fun from the get-go. He was also eager to make this parade happen and had a great time organizing local residents to join us on an upcoming Saturday morning in early February to march through town with 92 Moose playing through the speakers. It was a fun, tongue-in-cheek sort of thing that attracted many onlookers who had no idea what was being celebrated until they joined us at The Restaurant (that was the name of the restaurant on Main Street), where Mac and I received gifts and honorary citizenship.
On a sad note, 2 months after our visit, we received news that our good friend Murrel had suddenly passed away. We returned to Milo in April to pay our last respects and see the ball field that had just been named for him. Coincidentally, on our way home, we stopped at Nokomis High School in Newport to watch my daughter, Michelle, play in a softball game with Erskine Academy. A perfect ending to the day.
Our return trip last week found us at Valerie's restaurant, Hobnobber's Pub on Main Street. Unfortunately, Val couldn't be there but she paid for our beverages. Thank you, Val!
Oh, there was a reason for the trip. Seems we had some unfinished business. We had searched the large cemetery, across from The Restaurant, in vain, the first time we came up, looking for Mac's grandmother's (Nanny's) grave site. Back then, it was cold and the place was full of puddles. This time, however, the day was beautiful and we could think of no better place to pass the time, walking around looking at the different stones, hoping to find where Nanny was buried.
After a half hour or so, near the back of the cemetery, I found a large stone that had "Dickson" engraved in it but no other names. I though I might be in the correct area so kept searching as Mac looked around on the other side of the graveyard. I was surprised when I came across Murrel's stone. I'd forgotten he was a Yankees fan. I'd also forgotten that his wife, Laurel, had passed just a few years after him.
When Mac rejoined me, I showed him the Dickson stone I'd found and he started scouring the area and eventually found what he was looking for. Ginny Dickson, Nanny. Mission accomplished.
Hard to believe it has been almost 8 years since that parade in Milo. A lot has changed in the small town. A tragic downtown fire, a new owner and new name for The Restaurant, a few more names on stones in the cemetery. That is life. That is one more story of two radio curmudgeons who feel uncomfortable in large groups but are quite at ease with each other. Yes, Mac and I are, pardon the lingo, BFF's.
Now, here are some photos from our 2006 parade.