B&W October: This Just In



+‘Take It Easy’ with John Duncan

If there ever was a decade for beer and weed, it was the 1970s. While the 1960s gets a lot of attention for flower children and the Summer of Love, that’s just the last few years of the decade, which started about as straight-and-narrow as “Leave It to Beaver.”

If you want to know what that groovy time was like in Portland, Maine, you’ve simply got to grab the new book from Islandport Press, “Take It Easy: Portland in the 1970s.” The book of photographs by John Duncan is a black-and-white window into a city few who live there now will recognize. Not just the wide collars and throwback cars, but the working-class nature of a place that has become trendy and fashionable and expensive as hell. 

Duncan got back to Portland in 1972 after serving in the Air Force — he would have been drafted otherwise — having hit Woodstock on his way to service. Picking up where his Falmouth High School hobby left off, he proceeded to take thousands of photographs while working odd jobs as a dishwasher, cab driver, and just about anything else that would pay the rent. Even selling cotton candy when the Ringling Brothers came to town. 

In the book’s 130 photos, readers will find department stores past their glory and now gone from most memories, dive bars that still spilled people out into the streets to settle things, kids smoking cigarettes on streets where you could still find apartments that didn’t require 60 hours of labor to afford the rent. 

By 1979, Duncan was off to London to ply his trade there, before returning to Maine and continuing to shoot for any variety of people and publications — and drive trucks and do whatever necessary to pay the bills. Grab his new book, in a cool 9” x 10” format, and you’ll find you feel like you know any number of the people and places he captured in those seven years, even if they also seem far removed from where we find ourselves today.

+Bridgton Sees Cannabis Expansion

With Shawnee Peak hovering over your head and a downtown that’s as classic as they come in Maine, it’s easy to see the allure of Bridgton, even if the little town is a bit off the beaten path. Of course, it’s also just a little ways from the New Hampshire outlet-town of North Conway and all the White Mountains have to offer, so maybe it’s not surprising it’s quickly becoming a cannabis hub. 

Among the most long-standing of Maine cannabis brands is Canuvo, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this summer by announcing plans to the Bridgton planning board for a new adult-use operation, splitting their grow space in half and walling its medical grow off from its adult-use grow with interior fencing to meet legal conditions. 

Further, what was a medical-only and largely wholesale operation now has an adult-use storefront with signage and all the bells and whistles. CEO Sage Peterson told the Bridgton News they’ll be monitoring sales and adjusting grow capacity to serve whichever market shows the most demand. 

Not far away, medical establishment Maine Only is certainly seeing plenty of demand — enough to justify moving a door down in their building and doubling their floor space, expanding into a well-appointed showroom that features wide-beam paneling, any number of antiques and Maine accoutrements, and an open floor in the front big enough to accommodate events and gatherings. 

Nor is the cannabis in short supply. Few storefronts have a larger selection of flower than the phalanx of weed jars that populate the glass cases at point of sale — Gelato, Cherry Pie, Melonade, Mimosa, Silent Kush, as just a start. 

And just a few hundred yards down the road, the Gas Station opened in the first weeks of August yet another location, in addition to medical dispensaries in Portland, Gorham, Lewiston, and Limerick, featuring a big drop of edibles from Kind Farms Reserve and Smokiez and a bunch of in-house flower, including some White Widow, one of the legitimate old-school strains and always a crowd pleaser. 

It’s clear skiers will now have any number of options going back and forth to the mountain and Bridgton is quickly becoming a true cannabis destination spot.

+Got browntail problems? Try Magic Cream

Thankfully, Browntail Moth Season (now an official fact of life for much of Maine) is over. For those of you who had to be outside in Midcoast Maine and beyond this early summer, you know it can’t end fast enough. 

When just a bit of exposed skin can turn into a painful rash that itches and bothers you for days, you’ll do just about anything for relief. 

Luckily, there’s a Magic Cream for that. Based out of Woodstock, Maine, Back To Roots is a small-scale topical cream manufacturer combining full-spectrum cannabis extract with organic coconut oil, beeswax, and lavender extract to create a potent salve (600 mg of THC in a 3-ounce jar) that soothes just about anything that’s ailing you — especially browntail rash. 

The budtenders at High Rollers, in Mechanic Falls, say people can’t get enough of it after so many other pharmaceutical options have failed. Grab some now (it lasts for months, normally, with a vaseline-like consistency) and you’ll have it ready when next year’s infestation strikes.


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