We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lewiston had a bad reputation 30 years ago. I don't have any evidence myself, then or now.
Assistant Village Idiot
I lived in Lewiston, ME 40 years ago, from 1973-1974; I liked the place well enough, except for the snow. I never had any particular problems, but when my then-wife graduated from nursing school there, we moved over to Bath, which was closer to Brunswick Naval Air Station where I worked. I have no particular memories of the place, actually.
"Or, did it ever exist outside my personal experience?"
What you experienced growing up was localized, limited and situational. In the 40's, 50's and sixties, this medium was not uncommon among smallish communities, tight families and tradesmen contracting credibly with diverse persons and nationalities far away (where honesty in dealings was essential to one's livelihood).
This society represents only a sliver of American urban life these days, where welfare payments substitute for working wages and electronic media simulate the nurturing of society for the rank and file. These patrons of artifice and celebrity have long since shucked off the yoke of honor and grace for far lighter burdens.
Your childhood's life is still out there, though, in America. And if you want you kids to experience it, you'd better pull anchor and ship out to more rural ports the first chance you get.
Went to college a couple of blocks north of there. Back then the south end of College Street was a working class neighborhood in a city where most the work had left. All the old paper mills were closing down. I have heard things are much better now and other businesses have moved in.
I hate to be judgmental, but from the kids' stories it sounds like a modern normal broken family. The Mom is divorced or had the kids out of wedlock. She eventually settled down with this loser because choices are limited when you have a bunch of kids from other men.
Hopefully he does time and is gone from their lives.
To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.