Med Students and Magic Hats

State: Maine

Date: 06/7/16

Our story begins late yesterday evening. While walking through Ogunquit, I passed an antique store. In the window, a hat caught my eye and I had this thought:

Being late in the day the store was closed. However, I checked the hours and then camped in the nearest woods I found. The next day I waited outside the store, while staring at the hat that taunted me through the window.

“I would look good on you. People will compliment you if you wear me,” it said to me.

As I stared, the shop keep startled me “Beautiful Day, eh?”

“Gorgeous,” I said.

“So where you hiking too?” he asked.

I did my usual spiel about how I am backpacking all 50 states and how I’ve really enjoyed hearing people’s stories along the way.

“Well if you like stories, you’ll like this one,” he said and explained that his great-great grandfather had owned the building the antique store was now in. It was originally a blacksmith shop and he showed me some of the tools his great-great grandfather used. He told me the building then went to his grandfather who turned it into a garage as a mechanic shop and then to his father and then to him which he changed into a antique shop.

After thanking him for sharing his story and told him about how I love learning about family history. I told him about the time me and my dad went out to Ellis Island in New York and saw my great grandfather’s name in the record books when he came over from Sicily.

I then bought the hat that had been taunting me and I found out what it had been saying to me was true.

“Looks good on you,” the shopkeeper said.

“Thanks!” I said happy with my new hat.

I then headed down the road and continued my trek toward Portsmouth New Hampshire. As I walked on this beautiful day, with my new hat shading my eyes, I didn’t think it could get much better…and then I met Frank.

Seth Stivala and Frank Jackson
Me and Frank Jackson

Frank pulled over and asked if I needed a lift. I accepted, introduced myself, and told Frank what I was doing. I then asked:

“So what do you do for a living?”

“Right now I’m in med school. I want to be a doctor.”

“Any specialization?”

“Maybe pediatrics,” he said.

Frank went on to tell me how he had grew up in Paris and moved over to America when he was in high school, which is where he met his future wife.

“Yeah, I was the slacker in the back of math class and she was in the front row. The teacher called me up to talk to him and afterwards I ended up talking to her.”

“Nice, got the whole American high school sweetheart love story,”

“Yeah,” he said with a big grin.

Frank was on his way to see his wife in Massachusetts where she teaches third grade, but saw me and figured he could help me out and save me a few miles since he was headed south anyway and didn’t need to be there till 6pm.

He asked me if I had been to Mount Agamenticus yet. When I said I hadn’t, he said he would take me up there since he had some time to kill. The view as I have come to expect from Maine was incredible.

Frank then showed me Nubble Light (one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world and also where he got his engagement photos done).

Nubble Lighthouse
Nubble Lighthouse

While we were there he also hooked me up with some freaking awesome ice cream. One of those places where a small is not a small, but a mammoth portion.

Afterwards we stopped at Franks and he grabbed some stuff for his trip down to Mass and he let me take a shower.

We then got back on the road and he dropped me off at the Portsmouth library, which is wonderful by the way! 😀

So today was pretty great. Got a new hat and a new friend. Can’t beat a day like that 😉

Forever your Friend,

~The Outsider

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