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.
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.