It was the summer of '92 and Papa and I were bringing Aaron up to Rockland, Maine to go on a 28 day high adventure sailing course with Outward Bound. Our son Zach and Rebecca, Aaron's girlfriend at the time, also accompanied us on this journey. Rockland is a good five hour drive from our home so we decided to go up two days early and stay in a hotel, the Windjammer, in Rockland and do some hiking and mountain climbing on Mt. Megunticook, a fairly easy mountain seven miles up the road from Rockland in Camden, Maine.
When we arrived at the Windjammer, we were surprised to learn most of the hotel had been taken over by a filming company and that Mel Gibson was staying there. Now you have to realize, at the time I hadn't a clue who Mel Gibson was! I am not a fan of movies and especially not violent ones and except for a few actors and actresses of the 40's and 50's, I haven't a clue who is a star. I don't think I've ever watched the Emmy Awards….in fact, I really don't watch television at all, not even the news. We have to this day one television in our house and it's in the sound-proof basement so I don't hear the cries and hoots of Mr. Evans and Will when they watch football.
Though I knew naught the name Rebecca was so excited…."Mel Gibson is staying HERE? Oh my God, Aaron did you hear that, Mel Gibson is STAYING HERE!", she shrieked and started doing this crazy little dance.
Aaron looked from Rebecca to me and started laughing. "Mum, Mel Gibson is an actor…."Lethal Weapon", have you ever heard of that? It's a movie. No you probably wouldn't know…but anyhow he's a big name….."
"Oh Mrs. Evans, you've never heard of Mel Gibson…oh, he's just beautiful…he has the most georgeous blue eyes ….incredible built…if we run into him, I will just die.! Just think "A" when we get back to Falmouth Academy and tell Sarah and Rob and Rusty and Phil we saw Mel Gibson…."
"Becky, we probably won't see him…"
"Let's go down to the desk Aaron and see if anyone knows his schedule. I just HAVE TO MEET HIM!"
" …thought we were going to climb Mt. Megunticook? You said you never climbed a mountain before. Hell, you've never even hiked before. Mum, are we going?"
Bypassing the front desk of the Weathervane we made our way out to the van and headed north on Route 1 seven miles to Camden, a seaside village nestled on the Maine coast with a beautiful harbour. Camden is noted for it's old inns, century old homes, and historic lighthouses. From the harbour one can see fir clad islands and granite promontories. It's a beautiful village with tree shaded greens and windjammers of the past tied up at the dock. Papa and I have stopped often in Camden on our way to Flye Point, our vacation spot, to have lunch at the corner chowder house. Further up from Camden, maybe a mile is the carpark for Mt. Megunticook.
But that day when we reached Camden, Route 1 was blocked and we couldn't pass through. Huge crowds were on the street in front of the library. After parking the car, we inquired of some passerbys what was going on.
"Mel Gibson is in the old library. He's filming a new movie."
"Oh, Mrs. Evans, can we go. We'll eat later…come Aaron, I just can't believe it…Mel Gibson. I'm so excited. Aaron here's my camera."
With that we followed the young people up the street to the library. The area surrounding the library as well as Route 1 was filled with people all gawking at the century old building. A policeman was trying to move all the people, but with little success. A young Asian boy, who was obviously with the filming company came over to the crowd with a bull horn and asked if we could disperse. I casually caught his eye, and as he walked over to me, I said, "You know this crowd is going no where until they get what they want. They want to see Mel Gibson….once they see him, they'll disperse. If I was you, I would go into that library and tell him that."
Ten minutes later a very relaxed and natural, strikingly handsome, blue-eyed guy came out of the library with the young man at his side. Once within earshot, he said his good days to the crowd and with that smile reminded them a movie was being made. Then he walked over to me, standing behind a yellow rope and smiled, "I think your one smart lady!" With that, he took the bullhorn from the young man and laughingly said in the voice of Porky Pig, "Th-th-th-that's all folks!" The crowd cheered, Becky wet her pants, Aaron took some pictures and Papa just shook his head! But I smiled and thought to myself, "Well someone thinks I'm one smart lady!"
"Th-th-th-that's all folks", stuttered Mel Gibson in the voice of Porky Pig, an animated character in Warner Brothers Looney Tunes series.
Aaron standing on the shores of Camden Harbour.
That summer Mel Gibson was filming the movie "Man Without a Face", a drama about a troubled adolescent boy, intent on passing an entrance exam to a military school. Mel played the reclusive, disfigured mentor who tutored the young man. Filming was done on location in Camden, Rockland and Deel Isle.