A storekeeper who carries on the traditions of the Greatest Generation

Thomaston Parade’s Grand Marshal is John Vigue

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 1:00pm

  John Vigue will lead the 2015 Thomaston Fourth of July parade as the grand marshal with his daughter, Sophie. He grew up in Waterville and came to the Midcoast in the early 1980s as a radio sportscaster. He has been a resident of Thomaston for 28 years. In 1992, he purchased the former Jameson’s Market on Main Street.

“My grandfather, Charles B. Vigue, ran a small grocery store in Waterville back in the 1930s,” said Vigue.

John never set foot in that store, as his grandfather passed away before he was born.

“However, I heard many stories and anecdotes about the place while growing up,” he said. “Maybe I just had a latent desire to be in the business.”

John’s father, Harold, worked in the Waterville store as a teenager and nearly 60 years later travelled twice a week from Waterville to Thomaston to work with his son.

“My Dad was an awesome guy and it was a real pleasure watching him work alongside his good friend, Phil Crabtree, two throwbacks from the greatest generation,” he said. “They were often both attired in baseball caps and ties. It was a special time for me.”

The grocery store and John have been solid cornerstones on Main Street for years. Beside the meat counter, in the back of the store, are rows and rows of thank-you cards from schools, sports teams, churches, nonprofits, girl scouts and several more organizations. Each card shows how much Vigue has given back to the community. His generosity has been outstanding.

For many years, Vigue could be found at the local ball field or gymnasium, not far from the back of the store, where he coached the junior high baseball and basketball teams. A lot of his former players frequent the store with many visiting from afar when they are back in town.

“Many of them are parents now with their own kids playing sports,” he said. “I like to keep up with how they are doing.”

Vigue celebrated his 23rd anniversary at the local market June 22.

The Thomaston Fourth of July Committee said in a news release that it is proud and pleased to have John Vigue represent Thomaston as the parade’s Grand Marshal for 2015. According to committee chair, Julie Brooks: "We are so lucky in Thomaston to have a wonderful selection of people from whom to choose as our grand marshal.  Yet even with a long list of excellent candidates, John was the committee's unanimous choice!"

The 2015 Thomaston Fourth of July parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 4.  The parade will travel from north to south on Main Street in Thomaston, beginning at Erin Street and ending on Booker Street.

The parade will be followed by a full day of activities in Thomaston, including a road race, craft tent, chicken barbeque, live music, free bouncy houses, a hot dog-eating contest, food vendors, and the traditional fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.  Rain/fog date for the fireworks is July 5.