For almost 20 years our trip to the local Hannaford market was made more delightful by the sound of Ruthie McLellan’s laughter. We always chose her checkout line. In those days when it seemed that grocery carts were less weaponized by strangers, we always knew that there was a bit of local joy awaiting us at the cash register staffed by the one and only!
Cleo Greenleaf was in charge of the aisles then and Skip Bonham ran the shop. There was more space in the passing lanes and it was easier to reach the upper products. Things were a little looser back then.
For those of us who knew Ruthie, it’s no surprise that her daughter Angie carries the laughter gene. We got to know Angie at No Anchovies, a former favorite eatery. She was the hostess with the “mostest!” Great smile and that same wonderful laugh. Then she moved to Andrews’ Harborside with all the same attributes. I, for one, never got my hair prepared by Angie at the Beauty Box, but I don’t have a whole lot to work with and haven’t for some time. My loss.
Now I find Ms. Angie smiling from behind the glass at Bath Savings Institution in Boothbay Harbor or with a pleasant greeting at the front counter after I make some wisecrack about how many miles she has recently logged. Which brings me to the real subject of today’s adventure. And it was an adventure.
Five a.m. doesn’t work for me. I looked under the bed this morning, and there I was!
Angie is out the door and patrolling the streets at that hour. “How about 6 o’clock at the Footbridge House aye?” I suggested. “OK,” she said, “I will try to get there as close to 6 as I can.” Well, jeez, it’s a direct shot from her house, thought I. But come to find out it is about an hour away from the start of her morning jaunt! There’s gotta be a better way to make a living.
Angie said it was never meant to be a decathlon. She just thought she’d start walking and see how many days she could string together – 2,000 days without a miss on Dec. 1! Over 8,000 miles in five years and five months! I struggled to get back to my car at the public lot.
Angie continued to Signal Point then on to home.
She laughed that wonderful McLellan laugh when I saw the glowing headlamp and flashing green tail lights coming across the footbridge. “We’ve got to stop meeting like this Angie,” I said. “People are going to talk!”
No worries. We won’t be meeting again any time soon at that hour. But what an amazing accomplishment. More power to you Lady. See you in summer at around 4 in the afternoon for an update! And, oh, by the way, in her spare time, Angie also helps at Boothbay Region Community Resource Council stocking the new “Community Fridge,” but I don’t think she walks there!