Shaw -- who has been on Water Street since the 1970s -- said the space formerly occupied by Spellbound has not had a successful business since it was a pawn shop in 1986.
"There hasn't been a steady business in there for years," he said.
Mike Hein tipped me off to Bill Cripe's commentary on the issue. One point he makes is a bit of a head-scratcher, given the disavowal of Hein et al. of what happened:
First, people of decencyÂpeople with a Biblical faithÂbegan to pray. It was prayer (my opinion) that set the second set of events in motion. It seems the raunchier Ms. Stockford became in her marketing creativity, the more wickedness that percolated to the surface. The model, who was the contest prize, apparently received horrific, vile sexually filled threats from someone who was quite close to the model according to the news reports. That combined with other pressures that came to bear caused Ms. Stockford to throw in the towel.
First of all, if I'm reading Bill correctly, he is positing a cause-and-effect relationship between the prayer of Hein and his coterie, and the threats against the model and the slashing of her tires. I don't think I'm misreading this, because the Christian Civic League also claimed credit when the models were removed from the store window. The only way they can claim credit is if their prayer somehow caused or influenced these actions. I'm not a theist, but even if I were, I'd be hard-pressed to subscribe to belief in a god who answered such prayers.
Second of all, congratulations, Bill. Mike Hein chastised me via email for blogging about the issue of Spellbound in the first place, since it was a "community standards" issue, and "Liberty, Hope, and other backwoods locales are about as much of the greater Augusta area as Lewiston or Waterville are, which is to say that they aren't." He seems to have overlooked this objection in commending your Watervillian commentary to me. I can only assume that he now recognizes the legitimacy of my commenting on the goings-on in Augusta.
Now, a brief coda: Bill Cripe and I agree totally on the issue of Patrick Stewart, which commentary he posted on the very same day as the above concerning Spellbound. I hadn't heard of the issue before, and found this write-up in Stars & Stripes. Thanks for the heads-up, Bill.
Tagged as: Maine Christian Civic League Mike Hein Pastor Bill Cripe