During Thanksgiving Day Week of 1968, at Katahdin Lodge, there was a nice covering of snow on the ground. The food was good and plentiful at the Lodge, the paying deer hunters were always in a good mood and my aunt and uncle were too. Each day and evening at the Lodge was ripe with interesting conversation, a lot of friendly joking around, and some good, non-gambling, card games and games of Yatzee. My father never even got to see a deer; he was a tad bit disappointed that he didn't get some venison for our freezer back home, but he loved being out in the woods hunting and being with the other hunters and the Maine Guides.
I was somewhat more successful on my dear hunt though. I was out and about with some fun loving local country kids almost every evening.
At the end of my week long immersion into the warm and wonderful social life of Northern Maine, my dad and I were packed up and ready to get in the car and go back to Maryland. We were saying our final good-byes to my Uncle Finley (Fin) and his wife Martha (Marty) when they suddenly started asking and then darn near begging me to stay at the Lodge and work for them.
I kept sayin’ to my aunt and uncle, "Nah, I’m gonna' go join the Merchant Marines, and sail around the world."
I was figuring that I had between six months and a year before the Draft Board would send me a notice to report to Ft. Holabird, Maryland for my Army induction physical, and if I served a couple of years in the Merchant Marines I couldn’t be drafted.
In an attempt to change my mind, Fin and Marty promised that I would have a great time in the snowy outdoors riding the snowmobiles that they owned, have the use of one of their trucks to go to town in, and be well provided with warm winter work clothes if I stayed.
That convinced me to stay for a while to work and play at the Lodge.
Photography by David Robert Crews