I don’t actually remember when I first learned about Market Square Day (MSD) but I do have many (some of which are very foggy) memories of it!
I went to the U of NH and officially graduated in 1992. That 4 year period at UNH was not my first attempt at college but it was my last. I guess I was on a “10 year plan” of sorts as I went my freshman year at New England College, failed out, took 5 years off for no particular reason, then tried again and became successful. 1 + 5 + 4 more = 10. I chose Recreation Management as my major because there was clearly "limited" math required. I would focus my attention on Ice Arena management during my coursework. I grew up a hockey player and worked in the rinks of Hanover as a "volunteer rink-rat" when I was young and paid employee as I grew older. It definitely helped to have a specific career focus to concentrate on in college and I was a straight A student the second time around! Before I graduated I landed a full time job as Manager of The Rochester Arena nearby.
It really made a difference that I’d “found” an interest in learning during the 5 year hiatus I took to try and make it out in the real world without a college degree. I got the job in Rochester near the end of my senior year and chose to finish my last 3 classes over the next 3 semesters. So, I guess that adds 1.5 years to my 10 year plan timeline bringing my total time earning a college degree to 10 + 1.5 = 11.5 but who’s counting!
I can absolutely attribute my success as a student at UNH to the fact that I stopped drinking before returning to school and would stay away from alcohol until roughly the halfway point through my “senior” year. My focus was on school work and work to earn money I was not distracted by parties or hangovers. I loved feeling well, sharp, healthy, and getting good grades. If alcohol is getting in the way in your life, I can suggest from experience that taking a break from it may work for you because it worked for me!
I must have found MSD shortly after finishing at UNH because memories I have of it back then are "party based" for sure. I remember that MSD was a stomping ground for recently graduated UNH young adults and that I spent many years anticipating MSD thinking it was the most important and biggest event of the year!
One of my favorite places to pass the time at MSD was at The Old Ferry Landing overlooking those iconic tugboats. Year after year came and went and it was the same over and over . We'll skip the tipsy details but it was a lot of fun and no harm came from it. It's just a chapter of my life that probably could have been lived in more productive ways but hindsight is perfect as usual. It was fun but I'm glad it's over. I did in fact meet my wife Susan at one edition of MSD on the deck at The Portsmouth Gaslight so something positive did come from it!
These days, I’m The Buoy Guy, an entrepreneur and small business owner whose purpose at MSD is supporting my family so my time there has come to be much more productive! Yesterday was my 7th or 8th year there as a vendor. It's one of my favorite events of the year. Like before but for positive reasons, I look forward to it, enjoy it, and have a lot of fun being a part of it.
I meet a lot of amazing people as a vendor and yesterday was no exception. It was unfortunately so busy in my booth that I did not think to take any pictures but I have one story I'd like to share with you.
I personalize lobster buoys right in my booth and yesterday I sold one to a very nice young couple named Jocelyn and Wiley from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They wanted their last name on their buoy and when I asked them what it was they warned me it was serious before they told me what it was. I looked at them with a blank stare and in disbelief when they said it. Afterwards we talked about how that had happened and why which was interesting.
I stamped their name on the buoy and they were delighted to receive it when they returned to get it. I joked with them that in Maine, there is a clan of people with a similar situation going on with their name too. I have a hard time keeping a straight face when I say these things like this but I was able to pull it off in this case and they believed me when I told them that "LOBSTERCLAW" was a surname in a particular part of Maine! I came clean quickly and we all laughed about it. They were good sports!
Last night, I was dying to share with my own family what their name was but I could not for the life of me remember it! I was remembering it as "TURNIPFARMER" but I somehow knew that wasn't quite right. We were at Ogunquit Beach having some fun and while the kids played in the sand I sat on the lifeguard chair reading a story in Foster's about MSD and there it was! The couple who bought a buoy from The Buoy Guy, had been interviewed by the reporter for the article and included their last name right there in print! What are the chances?
They were in fact, The....TURNIPSEEDS! Read the article here!
Anyway...have a great day and remember...
Buoy Bill - The Buoy Guy
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