Here are the collected and future (as they become written) editorials, ideas, diatribes, screeds, rants, laments, didacticisms, ipsedixitisms, tirades, ponderings, &c., of the author. This is not fiction. My short stories are collected under the title Tales to Warm Your Mind. More will be added over time.
And Now for the Maine Attraction — You might think that a guide just gets paid to go fishing. There is that; but let me tell you about a few incidents from my last few years in the woods.
Eddie — I still don’t know how to tell whether a life is at stake when someone asks: Can I talk to you? I do know that is why I now stop and try to hear the message most of the time when someone speaks to me.
Message in a Bottle — You might have seen me driving around Lincoln on Monday and Tuesday, window rolled down, slowly slurping from that half-gallon bottle. I held it so the label could easily be visible: Del Monte Prune Juice.
Directions to the Allagash Locomotives — A pair of abandoned, standard-gauge steam locomotives of the Eagle Lake & West Branch Railroad stand in a small clearing deep in the north woods of Maine. Canoeists on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway go ashore and see them. This is a guide to finding them if you don’t intend to canoe the entire Allagash River.
WWJD About Terrorism — I wrote this article in 2005. George W. Bush’s second term as President had just begun and Barack H. Obama’s two terms had not yet been dreamed of, except by himself. In 2005 I stated: “A long war has only just begun… I am persuaded that we are in it for a very long, long time.” The eleven years that have passed since this was first published have only borne that out. As for what-would-Jesus-do, I stand by what I originally wrote in 2005.
The Fall of Great Northern Paper Company — Perhaps unique among American employers because it was so remote from notice and completely surrounded by the natural resources that provided both raw material and power, Great Northern Paper Company in 1977 was the product of a century of American industrial Zeitgeist. Its 4,200 workers offered living proof that capitalism works and that both the employer and its people need merely to be left alone and they will indeed get it right. But, within a decade, the impulse of government to protect everything by regulating it to death had injected a lethal dose of too much caring. This is a memoir of those days.
Fading Photographs — People of my generation have a responsibility that our parents let slip, to identify the people in the oldest photographs in our possession before those old pictures become completely useless. If everyone of my parents’ generation had done that diligently, then the oldest photos in existence, in everyone’s families, could mostly have been labeled for future generations. I am working on it with the photographs in my possession, but here is an example of the challenges I face.
Fly Rod Crosby — The first person licensed as a Maine Guide (in 1897), Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby was a cousin on my father’s side.
Johnny Monroe’s Junkyard — In the summer of 1970 I was still looking for a 1939 Chrysler straight-eight motor. An issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram that summer brought me to the most ethereal, enchanting place I’ve ever been. The newspaper reported on a man from away who was searching for his ancestors’ graves in South Thomaston. He had found the Thorndike cemetery, but the article played on his complaint that the graveyard was surrounded by an immense junkyard of pre-war cars.
The Execution of Terri Schiavo — Terri Schiavo, age 41, died March 31, 2005, seven years after a judge in the Florida ordered her put to death in a most horrible manner. She was charged with no crime, had no defense attorney, was given no trial, and had no recourse in the courts. And the rest of the country paid little or no attention.
Dead End Road — A song I composed in 1992 while driving. I passed the turnoff to a side road that had a sign post with the name of the road (I forget what it was) and also had a Dead End sign. The chorus of the song came to me immediately, and by the time I reached home I had one verse, part of another, and a tune to go with it all.
A Card — I own a large number of historical documents, from books to personal letters, which deserve to be shared, for instance, this “card.” In 1864 a Civil War veteran in Farmington, Maine, distributed a peculiar little note to (one assumes) his friends and business associates, accusing the local newspaper of publishing an article full of false and libelous statements about himself. Here are images of the original document and some research into who this veteran was and what may have caused his anger.
My 80 Favorite Books — Actually more than 80, for I keep adding to it.
*One Man — One wee small voice…
What Is a Yankee? — It depends.
Chariots and Global Warming — The fly wants the credit.