ELLSWORTH — Johnny Remick likes to joke that it took “about 55 years” to write his first book, “Here, There, and All Over the Place.”
“It’s an accumulation over the years,” says Remick, who describes the project as “like hanging out on your front porch” with an array of wise and witty characters.
The slim volume is a collection of original “quips, quotes and ‘quosters,’” (a combination of “quote” and “poster”) that have been inspired by characters from Socrates to Mr. Rogers.
“It’s a broad narrative,” says Remick. “All these quotes in here have something to do with the human condition one way or another. It’s one of these books that you can pick up and read a little, put it down and think a lot.”
Remick spent his childhood summers at a family home in Oak Point area of Trenton. His father was raised and retired here, and Johnny recently moved into his brother’s home on the site of the former family cottage, which was eventually torn down.
Remick, who lived and worked as a stand-up comedian for decades in Michigan and Los Angeles, returned to Maine this year to be near family while he undergoes treatment for cancer. He credits family and writing with helping him survive, despite a poor prognosis.
“I’m sitting in my kitchen looking across the bay and I notice there’s no snow,” says Remick. “I realize I made it, I made it to this side of winter. I know for sure it was the book.”
Remick also credits his brother Mark and sister-in-law Nancy Hunt-Remick for the book and for bringing him back to Maine.
“He saved my life,” says Remick, referring to Mark. “He made sure that his little brother was safe.”
Other friends and family members have also offered support. His brother Paul drove 15 hours from Cleveland to see him on his birthday, says Remick, and his friend Susan Dietz visits weekly.
One of his favorite quotes in the book is on the second page. Overlaid on a photo of an iron bridge over a calm river, the quote reads:
“Time is never a barrier between true friends but a bridge of memories that connects the soul, as the river of familiarity runs oh-so very deep.”
Remick says the overall message he wants to convey is simple: “Peace, love, understanding, compassion and humor.”
“We really don’t know when our time is up,” Remick adds. “But I’ve got to get through next winter. I’ve got another book to write.”
More information on the book and how to purchase can be found at www.johnnyremick.com. The volume is also available for sale at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Bar Harbor.