When I attempted to swing by the library prior to Thursday's race from Brewer to Bangor to drop off a tote bag full of books, we were thwarted by road barricades. "I guess they have decided to close off the roads really early for the parade,"I thought. But as the 10:45 race start loomed closer, I found out that there was a different reason for the road closure. A man in Bangor decided to shoot off 70 rounds in his apartment and after a 4 hour standoff with police, only emerged after they used tear gas to smoke him out.
Due to this "incident," the race and parade route were changed and shortened, which we found out 2 minutes before the race began. I didn't know exactly where the race was to go or how long it would be, but ran a 5:45 first mile and only started to be passed on the bridge. I guess I could have run a bit faster, but a 9:10 time was good enough to give me 5th place overall and 1st in my age bracket. Mary, Maggie, Charlie, and I walked back along the parade route, watching the floats and slapping hands with Governor LePage.
It wasn't until the next morning, when I went on the Bangor Daily News website to find the details about the shooter that I read with horror about the accident that occurred after we left the ending point of the race. An antique fire engine lost brake power on the sharp turn and decline where the parade was rerouted and ran into the 1940's John Deere tractor, driven by Wallace Fenlason . He was thrown off the tractor and crushed under the fire engine. I found out yesterday that our babysitter and her whole family saw the accident. 5 days later, I still get teary-eyed when I think about how this poor man, who just wanted to share his love of America, Maine, and antique tractors with the crowd, lost his life. Our prayers go out to his family and friends as well as the fireman driving the truck.