PORTLAND, Maine — In its January issue, “Down East” magazine looks at The Way Things Were, a fitting theme as Maine kicks off its 200th anniversary as a state. Among the features tied in to the bicentennial year is a series of oral histories with Mainers who’ve been lived through exactly half of Maine’s statehood. (“Down East” collaborated with Maine Public on the story.) These centenarians “remember the Maine that was—and offer some thoughts about the future.”

What’s striking about their observations is their optimism and their willingness to accept what life throws at them. Probably that’s not surprising; people mired in gloom are, one supposes, much less likely to live for one hundred years.

Alfreda Dumond, who grew up in Fort Kent, nicely captures the upbeat outlook of these remarkable people. “I enjoy my life, and I enjoy my memories,” she says. “But I don’t keep at it. I’m looking at the future.”

If you’re looking for advice, consider these thoughts from Ruth Endicott of Ogunquit, who was both a pilot and a family doctor. “The future? It’s going to come anyway,” she muses, “no matter what we do. Worrying doesn’t do any good.”

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