Maine …How it happened
Sometime around 1986, I got an order from a Mr. Ed Walbrecht in New Harbor, Maine. That time was the very beginning of Eastern Plant Specialties, when I was in NJ. He bought alot of Rhodos. I shipped them up to him. I had never been to Maine. Mr. Walbrecht then ordered a bunch more rhodos. Who was this guy! I recall the scribbled order form, all filled up, with writing on the edges and sideways and little notes all over. Little did I know then, if that order had never come, I might not be in Maine now.
I vaguely recall calling him to ask about Maine and how he can grow all these things. After a few more calls I was invited to see his place in Maine. Visit I did. It was a life changing event and the slow move to Maine for me, really began that day. I was taken by the magnificent rhodos in Eds garden, the incredible scenery of Maine and the hospitality of his wife Marge. All that inspired my move to Maine.
I recall looking at real estate ads that very first day in Maine visiting the Walbrechts. After heading back to NJ on that first trip, I knew Maine was in my blood. A year or two of looking began, for the perfect spot for a nursery. I got to know Ed and his wonderful wife Marge, who was like my mom away from home. Their welcoming me into there home was amazing and it made the long drive from NJ to Maine worth looking forward to. Ed was a great resource in the early days. Helping me get to know the Maine area and growing conditions. He went with me to properties I looked at …and rescued me in Ellsworth, Maine after a car accident looking at land! I spent countless days and visits with Ed and Marge before moving to Maine. We talked plants, politics, current events and everything else over dinner. Ed had a great love of classical music and sang in his church choir. He liked to blast his homemade speakers with soft music (a hobby I share) They had a great dog called Nubbles and another called Heather. Always cheery and there to listen was Marge. Always! She and my mom had alot in common (Marge and Ed were also from NJ before they moved to Maine.)
Marge and my mom spoke on the phone a few times. They went to the same school in Elizabeth NJ, Battin High, when they were teenagers. They were a few years apart so never knew each other. Lost my mom 5 years ago, lost Ed before that.
I’ve kept in touch with Marge and visit as often as I can. Miss ya Ed …love ya Marge.
Marge Walbrecht, Dec 17, 2014 on her 95th birthday
Sadly, Marge died in June of 2015