Before you go . . . Sky dive. Finish camp repairs. Two-step. Nude beaching. Time's precious: Readers check off their bucket lists

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

"I want it to all be about me!" joked Stephanie Gelinas as she was on stage at Community Little Theater in Auburn. One of the items on Gelinas' bucket list is to perform in a play at the theater where she is on the board.

At 51, Lori D'Amico is going to learn how to drive. Next summer, at 73, Bob Gauthier is going to throw himself out of a plane. Again.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Lori D'Amico, 51, shares a photo of the family she wants to see in Las Vegas, having not seen her father in 20 years.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

One item on Robert Gauthier's bucket list is to jump out of an airplane with his grandson Adam Poulin when he turns 18 years old on November 20, 2014.

On the move

Lori D'Amico, Lewiston

1. Learn to drive/get a car: I can't believe I've reached the age of 51 and never have had my driver's license or owned even a used car!

2. See my dad and his wife. (My dad relocated some years ago from N.J. to Las Vegas, Nevada. I've not seen him in 20 years.)

3. Lose weight. I'm not there yet, but at least I've taken some first steps!

Book it, build it

Wendy Newmeyer, West Paris

1. Write a best-selling autobiographical book.

2. Travel to some more exotic locations, including Peru to see Machu Picchu and the South Pacific to Australia, New Zealand and Bali.

3. Build a duplex rental home on property I already own for retirement income.

Off and running

Stephanie Gelinas, Lewiston

1. Competing in a triathlon — crazy enough yes . . . but hopeful I will be chosen to participate in the Tri for a Cure event next July.

2. Never having any experience as a thespian, the idea of performing in some upcoming theatrical production at CLT is something I really want to do and then check off that list!

3. Have always dreamed of taking a cruise with my husband, Gerry. However, given our high level of ADHD, the cruise would have to be some place like Alaska, with day excursions like kayaking or zip lining, given our inability to relax for more than 20 minutes. Heck, perhaps we should just submit an audition tape for "Amazing Race" — we’d love that too!

Come on down!

Robert Gauthier, Turner

1. Jump out of a plane.

2. Go to the Sturgis Bike Rally.

3. Get on the television show "Price is Right."

3, 2, 1 . . .

Stacie Kunas, Auburn

1. Complete a triathlon (signed up for one September 9th.)

2. Learn a second language.

3. Go to Times Square for New Year's Eve.

Travel all over

Pamela Poisson, Farmington

1. Visit all the 48 continental states in the great U.S.A. and all of the provinces in our northern neighbors (seven states and four provinces left to go).

2. A trip to England, my roots, is in the plans in the future.

Little bit country, little bit under water

Rich Haslip, Poland Spring

1. Learn some basic two-step country dances. I like country music but never learned how to dance. It looks like it would be really fun.

2. I took snorkeling lessons and would like to go diving. It isn't practical for me to do it now, but I often thought about it.

3. I like 18-wheel trucks. I always wanted to take the courses to get an OTR (truck driving licenses). I have never taken a trip in a big-rig truck.

And they're off

Anonymous, South Paris

1. Tattoo (checked off, at age 70)

2. Spend a week as a participant at a nude beach.

3. Passenger in a jet fighter airplane.

Big adventure, party of one

Cassie Gauthier, Auburn

1. Backpack across a glacier.

2. Hike to the top of a volcano.

3. Night sky diving under the aurora borealis.

Vacation, vacation, vacation

Carol Snow, Mechanic Falls

1. Take a trip to Alaska.

2. Visit Yellowstone National Park.

3. Vacation at a dude ranch.

Play and dance

Cindy Larock, Lewiston

1. Establish a multi-generational community folk orchestra that will give talented young musicians — including those involved in Lewiston's public school string program — the chance to play alongside and learn from those few remaining local elders who still remember the old-time “jigs & reels” tunes brought down from French Canada years ago.

2. Launch a community folk dance program where young folks (and interested adults as well) can learn the dances traditional to not only the local Franco heritage, but the many other ethnic groups that call Lewiston-Auburn home, eventually forming a dance ensemble that would then visit area nursing homes, schools, etc., to perform these dances to live music played by their peers in the folk orchestra.

3. Be a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune."

Maine, again

Paulette McNally, formerly Lewiston, now Atlantic Beach, Fla.

1. To spend one full year in Maine to experience all four seasons again.

2. If not above, at least spend an old-fashioned Christmas with snow in Maine.

3. Have all my family join me for the above Christmas!

Making strides

Ann St. Hilaire, Auburn

(Before turning 50 bucket list)

1. Lose 100 pounds (started weight-loss program).

2. Get a college degree (I will graduate from college in 2013).

3. Buy or build my own small business.

Out to camp

Charleen Chase, Bethel

1. Finish the construction project on the Cupsuptic Stream camp with Pinky, Sharon, Carlie and family. All hands on deck!

2. Spend an entire week at camp. It's been a long, long time.

3. Return to public service in Oxford County and travel around this beautiful place in Maine. Each town is deliciously unique!

The great outdoors

Bill Webster, Lewiston

1. Backpack the 100-mile wilderness from Moosehead Lake to Baxter State Park. This is the most isolated section of the entire stretch of the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trial and includes a breathtaking collection of streams, rivers, ponds, old-growth forest and mountains.

2. Canoe or kayak the 90-mile Allagash Wilderness Waterway and experience Maine’s great North Woods.

3. Visit by boat Malaga Island off Phippsburg and contemplate the 1912 eviction of a small mixed-race community by the state of Maine. I am a Maine native and yet never knew about this story until two years ago.

A good view, up close

John Gauthier, Newry

1. Go to the Statue of Liberty; see it inside and out.

2. See a glacier and walk on it.

3. See an active volcano and get as close as I can.

Good paints, good dog

Linda Hoar, Guilford

1. Learn to master painting in oils.

2. Have a (mellow-tempered) yellow Lab and be able to afford everything it would need in its lifetime.

3. To die sooner than later, as aging is quite a bit much.

Cassie Gauthier (not related) is going to backpack across a glacier. Soon.

"I'm working on going somewhere cold right now, probably the end of next year," said Cassie Gauthier, 26, of Auburn. Think Alaska or Greenland.

All three events top their bucket lists, things to do before the personal credits roll.

Around in concept since at least 2006 — Miriam-Webster says the phrase derives from "kick the bucket" — the listing got popular after the 2007 movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Bob Gauthier, in Turner, used the flick as inspiration.

"Ever since I saw that movie, 'The Bucket List,' I fell in love with that," he said. "I said, 'I'm going to do that, too.'"

Next year he plans to sky-dive again, this time with his grandson Adam when Adam turns 18. Also on his list: visiting biker-heaven Sturgis, South Dakota, during rally week and getting in the audience on "The Price is Right."

The Sun Journal asked readers to share the top three items on their bucket lists; we heard from more than a dozen. Lots of people named travel. Wendy Newmeyer in West Paris wants to see Machu Picchu. Pamela Poisson in Farmington wants to see all of the lower 48 and all 10 Canadian provinces (only seven states and four provinces to go).

A 70-something gent who shall remain nameless wants to spend a week at a nude beach. He lives in South Paris — let the guessing begin!

Meanwhile, "Hitting that mid-century point myself came with a realization that my bucket list was now on the front burner," said Stephanie Gelinas, 50, of Lewiston. "What are the things I really want to do? And feel OK about sharing it, too?"

Gelinas sits on the board of the Community Little Theatre in Auburn, which has her seeing more plays, which got her thinking . . .

"Before I die, there's got to be some little role for me somewhere on stage, don't you think?" she said. "I can just imagine being adrenaline-filled before getting on stage for the first time. I think it would be really exciting."

D'Amico, of Lewiston, had her driving permit years ago. She failed the road test to get her license. Because she was able to walk to work, and couldn't afford a car and insurance, she didn't bother rescheduling the test. Flash forward a few decades.

"As I get older it's harder lugging groceries on city buses," D'Amico said.

Now she has a bachelor's degree and wants a new job helping people, but that's hard to get without wheels. So she recently picked up a Department of Motor Vehicle study book. A friend is ready to help with driving lessons.

Rich Haslip's list is deceptively simple: Learn to do a country western two-step. Scuba dive. Take a trip in a big rig. Those are the big ones. He has others he knocks off every day. Volunteer. Read a new author.

The Poland Spring man recently learned that his bladder cancer is back.

"It is the real side of 'my bucket list.' It is serious to me," said Haslip. "I have been trying to live my life for the past two years in the moment. Take care of things now, be independent, do what I want (within reason), have fun and generally experience life."

Haslip, 64, retired from running sleep disorder labs. He wakes up every morning and reminds himself chores can wait. The good things can't.

"I choose to be on the bright side," he said. "Every day is today."

Diving might not be physically possible. He's not sure about the truck travel. But it seems there will be two-stepping.

He found an adult ed country dance class being held in November . . . and Haslip has about convinced his wife, a non-country western fan, to join him.

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Larry Turbide's picture

At the top of my bucket list:

At the top of my bucket list: being able to marry my partner in the state of Maine and having it legally recognized by the state.


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