You ever smell something and it brings back childhood memories? That happens to me quite a bit. It’s weird actually when you think about it. Why would a smell, gathered through the nose, activate a memory in your brain? How do those things link? You smell something IN PRESENT TIME and that goes to your brain to bring back a memory from DECADES AGO…Amazing! Just goes to show the human body is an incredible thing. (Side note, the idea that this piece of artistic mastery has evolved from the Primordial Soup just makes me laugh.)
Anyway, from about 1996 or so to about 2011 I don’t think I went back to Maine one, single time. Maine had become rather irrelevant for me during those 15 years or. Even when I was in college, I’d go visit my mom once in a while but it never did much for me. I just assumed to forget my past, truth be told.
Around 2010 or so, my partner Rich from USAA and I were doing seminars all over the place. Up and down the East Coast, over to Pittsburgh, Syracuse etc. Basically any place that would have us, we’d show up with our Powerpoint slides and talk financial planning.
On one occasion we did a week tour through New England. Must have did over a dozen seminars or something like that, just an insane amount. We even went up to Portland, Maine and it brought back just a ton of memories and made me realize how much I missed having Maine as part of my life, even from afar.
So, in 2011, I was able to convince my wife and kids to rent a house for a week on the island I grew up, Peaks Island. Unfortunately, the house was pretty crappy so we didn’t enjoy our time there as much as I would have hoped, in fact we even left a day early. But it was still worth it for the kids to see where I grew up.
The highlight of the trip though was taking my wife to Amato’s Sub Shop in South Portland. I remember walking in and being engulfed with smells of my childhood. It was like a young, blond, skinny Josh was brought back to life. It hit me, man, hard. Just the smell of that place and suddenly I was back playing basketball for the Peaks Island school, rushing to the wharf after a game in Portland, hoping we wouldn’t miss the boat to the island. Again, weird how a smell can transform your brain chemistry.
Two years ago, my oldest daughter Maddy convinced me to take her to the Winter Classic to see the Bruins battle their arch-nemesis, The Montreal Canadiens, in Foxboro. I hesitated because I was REAL worried about dealing with the cold. However, she convinced me and we had a great time, even going back to Peaks on a cold, winters night.
Funny, if you have the proper attire, you can handle the cold for the most part. It’s the wind that really gets you.
Of course, Maddy and I also hit Amato’s. And I hit it again, and again, every time I’m back in Northern New England.
Now, be advised, if it were just the smell that made me reminisce about my past I certainly wouldn’t be writing this and posting the video either. But facts are facts. Amato’s has the best subs in Maine. No two ways around it.
I don’t know what they do but they are just fantastic. I’ve even spent $100 a couple times to have them FedExed to the family in Georgia. The cost to ship is 3 times as much as the ingredients and yet it’s still worth every penny.
So, next time your up, Northern New England way, do yourself a favor and visit Amato’s. Get the Italian Original or a Meatball sub, and a Moxie Soda. You will then be able to say you’re living like a Mainah!