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ELLSWORTH — Donnie Dow of Ellsworth was suitably attired in his Red Sox shirt and Sea Dogs cap Sunday afternoon as he waited in the Ferris wheel line with his family at the Bangor State Fair.
The guy behind him, also a Sox fan, struck up a conversation about their mutual obsession.
“We’re standing there,” said Angie Dow, Donnie’s wife, “my kids are in front of me and my husband’s behind me chatting about the Red Sox.”
Angie turned to see who her husband was talking to.
“Oh my God,” she thought, “that’s Stephen King.”
Others in the jostling line were taking cell phone pictures of Bangor’s favorite son and asking for his autograph. But Angie’s daughters didn’t know what the big deal was.
“My kids have no idea who it is,” Angie said of their daughters Maddie, 12, and Delaney, 9. Neither is a reader of Stephen King fiction.
So Maddie asked him: “Why are you famous?”
“I write books,” said he.
“My daughter is totally against scary things,” Angie said.
The line moved forward and King asked his new friends if anyone had a cell phone.
“I have to call my wife,” he explained. “I’ve got to make sure she knows I’m still alive.”
The Dows produced a phone, King made his connection and then explained what he was doing in the Ferris wheel line.
“I’m just trying to see if I can see my house,” he told the Dows.
They finally were at the head of the line and a car opened up. Angie turned to the world famous author.
“Stephen? You with us?”
“I’m with you,” he replied.
The Dow girls and their two friends, Rebeckah Trowbridge, 12, and Whitney Pierson, 8, took a shine to the author of “The Shining.”
“The girls took him in and before we knew it he was part of our group. They instantly befriended him,” Angie said.
“Where’s your house?” the girls asked as the wheel was at its highest. “I can’t see it from here,” King said.
“They talked about how scary it would be to get stuck on the Ferris wheel, or to get struck by lightning while we were up there.”
Ride over, Angie expressed her appreciation to King for accompanying them.
“I thanked him. He thanked me for letting him borrow my family and cell phone,” Angie said. “Stephen kindly autographed the kids’ wristbands and took a picture with us. My daughter, Maddie, who does not enjoy anything scary, left him with this advice: “Stop writing scary stories. Write about fairies or ponies.”
“He had a good chuckle,” Angie said. “A truly nice man.”