Friends, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), Mitchell Institute, Secretary of State appointment (1980)
Sanford “Sonny” Miller was born in Bangor, Maine, on January 18, 1927, to Myer and Rena Miller. He grew up in Bangor and completed a commercial course of study at Bangor High School, graduating in 1944. He enlisted in the Navy V-6 program at the age of seventeen and served in the Pacific theater of World War II, working as a storekeeper in the Philippines. He was discharged in 1946 and spent a year studying at Bentley University in Boston, and he was a bookkeeper for Hammond Motors for two years. He worked in the jukebox and pinball machine business for a time, eventually returning to Bangor to enter the restaurant business with his family. For many years he owned Miller’s Restaurant in Bangor; he died November 26, 2009.
Interview includes discussion of: family and educational background; his father’s prediction of developments in international relations; the Jewish community in Bangor; an anecdote about how Miller started school too early; Miller’s experience in the Navy; stories about how the storekeeper in the Philippines got better food supplies; how Miller’s mother got him into college; attending Bentley University on the GI Bill; the jukebox and pinball business; opening Miller’s Luncheonette; opening the newer Miller’s Restaurant locations; meeting John Glenn; Marshall Stern; an anecdote about delivering milk for George Mitchell and joking about drinking milk in their shorts in the Blaine House if Mitchell won the governor’s race; going to Augusta for Mitchell’s swearing-in as a federal judge; traveling to Washington, D.C. to see Muskie’s swearing-in as secretary of state and going to the White House; Mitchell’s saying he’d prefer to spend time with Miller than go to the White House for dinner; keeping his word not to bother Mitchell with political favors; Miller’s involvement in the University of Maine; and talking with Mitchell about establishing scholarships.
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