In my last post, I mentioned some of the women in my life that influence me. Places also influence artists, and the people in those places. I've lived in plenty of places, and I hope to live in plenty more. Here's an overview of some of the places that have meant a great deal to me.

     I grew up in Southeastern Pennsylvania. When I was a kid, there were still a great deal of farms. Not anymore. Most of the farms have been plowed under to make way for shopping malls, housing developments, and large corporate offices. I spent many hours wandering through the woods, fishing in the local creek, and riding my bike wherever I could. There are more people there now, and I always feel a little claustrophobic when I visit. The food is great, though. I'm a pizza snob, as many of you know, and I don't think there are many places that can beat the pizza and cheesesteaks of the area. My college years just north of there were also great for experiencing culinary delights, like a $5 dollar pizza, Mark's Cheesesteaks, and Yuengling Lager. The PA Dutch are excellent bakers and they have set the bar against which I judge all baked goods. 

     I went to sea for a time, working on the East Coast and then in the Pacific Northwest. I've formed strong opinions about places like Hampton Roads, Virginia, Long Island, Connecticut, metro Seattle, and all the people in those places. The food was never memorable for me in those places, but the people were. I met a band called Tongue and Groove in a dive bar in Port Angeles, WA. It was a great band and I followed them the whole time I was in the area, catching their shows in Seattle. They disbanded years ago but I think their lead singer and guitarist are still touring the Northwest. 

     I worked for a company that had me spend time in the UP of Michigan, Detroit, Burns Harbor, Indiana, and a dozen other places. I've always loved the idea of the Great Lakes, and working around them solidified their legend in my mind. 

     I've spend a great deal of time on the St. Lawrence River, a place that is close to my heart and always will be. The river is a part of me and it influences me in many ways.

     Many of you know how I feel about Maine. I've lived all over the state and it is my home. While it has its quirks, all it takes is a short trip south to realize why Maine is special. I don't know whether I'll be here forever, but I'll always love sailing its waters, hiking its woods, and fishing its lakes and streams. The people here are special and they compliment the beautiful landscape. I'll never be a millionaire here but that's okay with me. Money couldn't buy the views you get here, or the people you meet.

     How has place influenced you?