Rediscovering Houlton

by Christian Putnam

“Back in 1981 I was anxious to move away and start my life. I kicked the potato dirt off my boots and was SURE I would not be coming back after graduating from high school. Little did I know the roads my life would take me down. After travelling through Europe with a band in the summer of 1981, I proceeded to college. I cam back to Houlton in the summers and worked construction 70+ hours a week the first two years and then began my career in broadcasting in New Hampshire with an internship at a radio station down there. I stayed there for about 10 years, working in several positions at various radio and TV stations throughout New England.  I returned to Houlton in 1991 and continued with broadcasting at a station in Presque Isle, eventually landing at WHOU where I am now.


Life back in Houlton consisted of work and spending time with my parents. Eventually, I started doing some of the things I had enjoyed as a kid around here like spending time in the woods and waters fishing, hunting and hiking. To say it was a drastic change from the previous 10 or 12 years is an understatement. From totally and completely dedicated to career goals to slowing down to a pace that seemed like a crawl from the dead run I was on before moving back. There is a stark difference between the concrete jungle and the woods of Maine. I rediscovered myself and the joy that I once had as a child. It was eye opening to say the least. 


For the first year or so I was still convinced that, in time, I would go back down south and pick up my career basically where I left off. At some point… and I am not sure exactly where, I began to just feel really good, really healthy, really fulfilled.  Between hanging out with family and friends and going hunting and fishing, I had settled into a new lifestyle and was appreciating it more and more everyday. I had many years with my aging parents that I would not have had if I had continued to pursue my career goals away from here. I had forgotten the sense of community there was here, forgotten the beautiful vistas, the mountains, the rivers and streams, and the endless woods and fields. I found the quality of my life had increased exponentially every day I spent here. Eventually, any idea of moving anywhere else faded away. Life here in Houlton is and always will be the highest quality of life that there is anywhere that I have experienced.”

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