If You Lived In Maine In The 90’s, You’ll Probably Remember These 11 Things
Do you remember any of these things that were part of Maine life back in the 90's?
We always like to bunch our memories into decades as we get older. The movies, the music, and big life changing events. But sometimes it's just as much fun to reminisce about what happened in your neighborhood. A new store that popped up or an old one that closed down. Where you spent your weekend nights or what new channel you have a chance to watch. Growing up in Maine in the 90's was interesting, because it was the decade when Maine began to get things that the rest of country seemed to already have. Where were you when...
PORTLAND PIRATES WON THE CALDER CUP
People in Maine were upset at the loss of the Maine Mariners in the early 90's, but the creation of the Portland Pirates in 1993 filled that void. The Pirates initial logo was created by a local student and the Pirates initial season in Portland was their finest, winning the Calder Cup in 1994. Olaf Kolzig still remains the biggest star to ever play for the Pirates.
ICE STORM '98
The ice storm of 1998 was a rude awakening for so many longtime Mainers that when mother nature wants to, she can have a powerful fist. Generators flew off shelves, people with wood stoves suddenly had houseguests and some kids missed 2-3 weeks of school as the state tried to come back to life. It was something people who lived through it will never forget.
DEBUT OF UPN-35
Bunny ears. That's how a lot of Maine people watched their television sets through the 90's so when it was announced that there would be a new over-the-air network debuting in 1997, people were rather ecstatic. What made it more interesting was the UPN network would be making its debut in Maine. As it turned out, neither the signal nor the network was as satisfying as the hype that came along with it. But still, a new channel for FREE!
SERVICE MERCHANDISE, KAYBEE TOYS AND CHILD WORLD
Those were just some of the stores that adults and kids visited to grab the hottest new items. But there's a good chance if you're say...21 or younger, that you've never heard of any of these stores before. Get this: Service Merchandise allowed you to order from a catalog and then they would deliver the item to your closest store. Almost Amazon.
WALMART OPENS ITS FIRST STORE IN MAINE
Zayres, Ames, Bradlees and the stores list above...the list goes on and on for department stores that happened in Maine prior to Walmart's arrival. There's little doubt that Walmart changed the landscape of how Mainers shopped. Since its 1991 debut in Scarborough, Walmart's have spread like wildfire across the state. The jury is still out on whether that was a good or bad thing.
THE END OF ARCADES IN MAINE
It wasn't a complete end in the 90's but it was close. Most kids that grew up in the 90's in Southern Maine remember the Dream Machine. Locations in the Maine Mall, Auburn Mall and right next to the Pier in Old Orchard Beach quenched every video gamers thirst. But as home consoles got more advanced, and the price of new arcade games skyrocketed, we all had to say goodbye to the best way to spend a Friday night at the mall.
BIRTH OF THE PORTLAND SEA DOGS
Portland was awarded an expansion franchise in 1992 by the Eastern League, and after a renovation of Hadlock Field, became the AA affiliate of the Florida Marlins. The Portland Sea Dogs have grown a lot since their first season in 1994 but one thing remains exactly the same, their world famous logo. Rock those hats and jerseys with pride Mainers.
In the 90's, Rafferty began his ascent to being one of the most trusted news personalities in the state of Maine. Combining with Kim Block, WGME had momentum to dethrone WCSH-6 as Maine's news leader. But health problems, including a stroke, derailed Rafferty's career. An eventual lawsuit led to an ugly departure from WGME as well.
BEACH TO BEACON WAS CREATED
Joan Benoit Samuelson had a vision to create this race but she probably didn't think it would become what it has. It's a ritual in Portland to battle your fellow Mainers (and outsiders) for a chance to race in the Beach to Beacon. The race will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018.
HAPPY WHEELS IN SCARBOROUGH
What used to be the mecca of teenage dates in the Portland area is now a VIP auto center. For many tweens and teens that grew up the 90's, skating around Happy Wheels like listening to the hottest new R&B tracks (no joke) was THE thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night. The other cool thing to do, hold either end of a scrunchie if you were a couple instead of holding hands. Gross, right?
EVERY VARIETY STORE SEEMED TO RENT MOVIES/GAMES
That's right kids, Red Box hadn't been invented yet and there were only so many Blockbuster Video stores hanging around. But if you wanted the latest VCR release or new Super Nintendo game, you could probably find it at your local convenience store. You could get a pizza, beer and Super Metroid all in one stop. Boom.
Now it's your turn. What did we miss? What restaurants, shops, memories do you have from the 90's that you think we should add to our list? Let us know.