I’m incredibly lucky. Have you ever had someone tell you to “Go to your happy place”? Well, it’s a little easier for me to do since I can actually physically go to mine. Ever since I can remember, my family has gone up to Frye Island Maine, it’s a tradition I hope to pass down someday. I’ve been going up for almost 20 years, and it’s part of the reason I am who I am today. This place means the world to me, I’ve even got the town crest tattooed on my chest.
Frye Island is nestled in the middle of Sebago Lake, not quite an hour away from Portland. This leafy-green paradise is where I’ve spent every summer since I was six years old, and I don’t regret a second of it. The people there are, for the most part, warm, friendly people who will help out their neighbors at a drop of a hat. Islanders are a different sort of folk. The majority of them are retired folks over 60 who come up here when Florida gets too hot for them, but there are people from all walks of life here. I met all my best friends here: the people I care about the most just happen to live within walking distance of my house. The Island is a place befitting a Steven King novel, it seems permanently stuck in the past, and that’s not a bad thing.
Frye Island is unique. You can see that before you even get there. Before you even get on the Island, you have to take a ferry that’s older than most of the people riding it, over to the landing. Once you get off the ferry, you might be surprised at what you see: golf carts as far as the eye can see. People use golf carts because 1) it’s a small island, 2) because it’s easier on the wallet than driving a car, and 3) because it’s damn near impossible to fuck up driving. Another fun little secret: people here drink like Prohibition starts at the end of the day.
The alcohol consumption of Frye Island is unmatched by any community, except maybe Wolf of Wall Street-style stock brokers. Just last night I saw a 50 year old man drink himself into such a stupor, that he decided to cut through the neighboring golf course to get home, which is the exact opposite way he came. These people party like a sorority girl on her 21st birthday, another time I was at the bar waiting for my drink, only to have a Jager Bomb dropped into my hands by a 45 year-old woman who was buying them for the whole bar. I’ve gotta hand it to them, I can’t drink like these people do, and I’m no slouch myself.
Frye Island is full of things to do, from waterskiing to golfing, to tennis and basketball, to arts and crafts and trivia. My love of golf was started at the Frye Island Golf Course, most of the hats I own I bought at the pro shop, the course is gorgeous, and just challenging enough that you can play it repeatedly, but not too tough that you cuss out the course and quit. The Island is also home to Mike Anson, a local musician who breaks out his guitar and sings for the crowd and cracks jokes at the bar. If you just want to sit back and relax in peace, don’t worry, Frye Island has 14 public beaches for you to choose from.
I love everything about Frye Island; I love being woken up by the sound if waves crashing against the rocks, I love the subtle hum of boat engines in the distance, I love driving to the beach and drinking a case of beer and enjoying the sun, and most of all, I love the people that make the community great. If you ever get the chance to come out to Frye Island, do it. You won’t regret it, and you might even want to come back.