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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ye Olde Walmarte

I've previously mentioned the Super Walmart that's going to be built on Route 1 in Thomaston, and won't dwell again on the fact that there already is a Walmart, though just a regular one, in Rockland just 5 miles away. (I have this image of a huge map in Bentonville, divided into tracts and populated by battalions of flags in various colors - the map is titled Total Domination.) This week was to witness final approval of the project by the Thomaston City Council. It almost happened.

Besides kvetching about various tiddly bits like parking and run-off, the councilors in their aesthetic wisdom voted 3-2 for one more delay, this one to address a burning concern on lovely Route 1. They asked Walmart for a new exterior design that would be "more New England."

Hoo boy, is there some guilt finally surfacing? Isn't it a little late to have a conscience? What's wrong with brown?

I'm shocked this suggestion hasn't come up for all the businesses already operating on this execrable stretch of Route 1. But never fear, I have some suggestions.

1. for Lowes - re-shape the building to look like a friendship schooner.
2. for the McDonald's presently going up on the Lowe's parking lot - build a pleasant white clapboard house ala Freeport.
3. for the several car dealers - stock horses and buggies.
4. for the Hampton Inn - install some lace curtains, a widow's walk or two, maybe a turret; populate the lobby and every surface of every room with Victorian bric-a-brac.
5. for the multiplex cinema - convert to a drive-in, or at least hang a sheet on an outside wall.
6. for Appleby's - raise cows and chickens out back for the locavores.
7. for Touch of Glass Redemption Center - don't do anything at all, you're perfect.
8. Now for Walmart - make all shopping carts look like dories; devote part of the parking lot to a continuous yard sale; dress greeters in Pilgrim costumes; cut the big box up into a hundred boutiques; sell nightcrawlers.

OK? Now at least we won't look like Route 1 in Homestead, Florida.

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