Saturday, September 29, 2007

Section 1 / Northern Maine Adventures / The Movie

[This is the beginning of a 4 part document about a movie that is centered on my Northern Maine adventures. I have spent hundreds of hours thinking and planning this movie out--during the past 38 years. I also must explain on here just what my life has been like ever since living through those Maine adventures and what my life is like today. This 4-part document is read from the top of this blog on down--from the latest Northern Maine Adventures / The Movie blog post, down through the older ones; just the opposite from how blogs are normally read. I guarantee that this well written document is full of interesting, entertaining and even shocking snippets---all the way through. I do believe that you'll enjoy this. Read on! }

During 1968-69, when I was an 18 to 19 year old kid, I moved from the Dundalk suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland up to my Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley Clarke's hunting lodge, Katahdin Lodge and Camps, in Patten, Maine. While at Katahdin Lodge, I became a successful bear hunting guide, and a very happy country girl's delight. I was also horrendously, emotionally abused. I lived and worked at the Lodge for about a year, until the day that I entered the Army, and then went to Ft. Monmouth's US Army Photo Lab Tech School.

While I was living and working at the Lodge, I learned more than I could have during four years of college. And then my experiences in the Army were just about equal to four years of graduate school.

Ever since about three-quarters of the way through those 1968-69 experiences at the Lodge, I have known for certain that the story about my life and adventures up in Northern Maine will make a good movie.

Click here to see a
1969 aerial view of Katahdin Lodge.

Click here to see the
2007 Katahdin Lodge web site.

Please allow me to say here that my writing and photography talents and skills, along with some of my other well-matured, valuable natural and learned talents and skills, will greatly add to the success of this project. My written and photographic work, which is on the Internet, unequivocally displays my current talent and skill at entertaining people and communicating with them. Links to most of my World Wide Web published works will be provided throughout this document, where they each support or enhance particular portions of this movie synopsis.

The basis for everything that you need to create a movie in your own head is contained within this synopsis. Fortunately, I am aware that, in order to please today's demanding movie audiences, the proposed film needs some superbly humorous or perilous plot line or sub plots thrown in. Even though the true story, that spawned the basic idea for this film, is a good and relevant one, it needs some fictionalization and also a solid dose of completely fictional help. Through the years, I have come up with plenty of ideas for using completely made up characters and plot lines or sub plots in this film, and adapting real life events into the story that had nothing to do with me. The final film version requires some creative enrichment, which may come from me or from someone other than myself—like you. So I am offering out, far and wide, an open invitation to all who are film industry pros or anyone who is struggling to be part of the film industry, like me, to join in on this project. Whether you are or are not a film industry person, this synopsis will guide you through an interesting and entertaining experience.

Unfortunately though, I have no idea of how to properly communicate my movie idea to potential producers, directors, or writers. I am a rather reclusive, disabled military veteran barely surviving on a tiny veterans disability pension. There is no one to help me write this any other way than what I am going to. Consequently, if you are a member of the film industry and you are looking for, or are open to, a fantastic new project, then nix all of that bullcrap about how this should be and accept it for what it is—a very well written explanation of a good movie that will be made. I simply prefer to still be alive when it is made.

This movie will be centered on my, wild and woolly, 1968-69 experiences in Northern Maine. I must, though, put into this synopsis enough information about my experiences as a US Army photographer, and a little bit about what my life has been like since 1969, then also add what my life is like today in order for people to understand the full ramifications of my Maine experiences. It is also pertinent that I explain why I am so devastatingly limited in my abilities to market this movie. Therefore, everything within this synopsis is all tied together and is necessary for telling this story and for explaining to you why it is that this film project is still in its infancy. All portions of this document contain some down right interesting and entertaining information. It is one hell of a story. And its time has come.

I guarantee that a well-made movie about my
Northern Maine Adventures will be: very entertaining for a wide audience; it will be of some considerable historic value; it will insert a different and interesting slant into the current body of various copyrighted works available about my generation; it will teach people something; it will provide a new voice to help explain the everyday lives of people who grew up in small town USA during the 1960s; the cinematography will be visually stunning at times, visually relaxing at others, beautiful when it should be, anything it needs to be when it needs to be; the writing will be—as some of my old 1960s generation used to say—“right on time”; the plot will be fun filled, dramatic to a necessary degree, emotionally wrenching the few times it has to be, and as action filled as it actually was for me when I lived the story.

This film will frankly, honestly, and, hopefully, helpfully deal with some personal, family, social, etc. issues of the characters in the movie that which numerous audience members will be dealing with in their own lives. Fortunately, most of those characters will also have a lot of fun and
adventure throughout the film.

This film has that oft used, usually very effective for audiences, plot thread weaving throughout the movie of an outsider who moves to a very different kind of a place from where he has spent most of his life, and he successfully creates his own personal niche there.

Moviegoers love seeing previously unfilmed locations used as backdrops for, and also as intricate parts of the beautiful fabric of, a new movie. No movie has ever been made about living in the tiny towns up there amongst the vast forests, and the ever-present potato fields, of Northern Maine. And there will be plenty of film footage shot outside of any towns, out on sparsely populated rural roads. Along with lots of deep down in the woods footage, including some scenes of tracking wounded bears at night without any firearms and only having one of those cheap old two D-cell flashlights to see with. Some hunting footage is needed, in order to tell the story effectively. No kills need be portrayed. Just enough bear hunting, and, possibly, it all depends on how everyone working on the project feels about this, a tad bit of gutting and skinning time on film. These bear hunting parts and any normal, everyday hunting guide work doing the gutting and skinning must be directed and photographed tactfully and artfully—some film industry professionals love that kind of a challenge.

An outstanding benefit towards the potential blockbuster success of this film is the fact that there has never been any
great snowmobile riding shown in any movie before, and this one has to have it. That cool cinematic action will be far and above the sum total combination of all of the snowsledding scenes you could have possibly ever seen in all of the TV shows and movies that may have already been made with any motorized sled riding in them. Not even the professional snowmobile racing shows on TV go where my well planned out sleddin’ action does. These snowmobile scenes will be something that will thrill and please a very wide audience. Those audience members who have never ridden snowmobiles and/or those who have never seen the kind of hard riding that will be portrayed in the movie will love it. And those audience members who have ridden or ride sleds themselves will love it too—not only because they will be seeing some of their kind of lifestyle on film, they will be lovin’ the restored vintage sleds that we will have to use for the movie. But the snowmobile scenes are, well, frig it, I just must phrase it this way, only the icing on the cake.

This film has real-life, wild and crazy, highly skilled country and backwoods roads driving in it. No Hollywood stuntmen will be able to do most of it; only some lifelong local Mainers up there will be able to do it their way, in their Rockin’ and Rollin’ style, with their right in the groove, safe and smooth, normal for Northern Mainers, daily driving abilities. For reference, see my well-read, and also well liked, stories
Driving Northern Mainer Style and Bananastein—these have the wild and crazy, but extremely highly skilled aspects of the stunt driving that will be in the movie. For the comical driving scenes, see My VW Bug Trip To Maine.”

I did own and ride a 1969 Triumph 250 motorcycle, while up in Maine. And there was a guy working at the Lodge with me who had a Triumph 650, but that motorcycle riding is a small part of my experiences up there. The snowmobile riding is the most important, because it is thrilling and new to audiences. Then comes the true life, very crazy country road and woods road driving, and then a little bit of vintage 1969 Triumph motorcycle footage can be in there too.

In 1973-75, while living in Maryland, I owned a Yamaha 650 and became known as a "trick rider". I would stand up on the seat and do other motorcycle riding tricks. I also sometimes rode hard and fast, but safely—and those better than average motorcycle handling skills of mine could be added to the movie. I did not ride so well yet when I was living in Maine, during 1969, but that is just an example of how I envision the creative potential of this movie.

This is a movie with other challenging creative potential too; I am only telling the facts of the true story here, in this synopsis, but all movies based on true experiences are embellished upon. So any creative offerings from scriptwriters, directors, or actors are fine with me, as long as they only benignly embellish and emphasize the facts of the story or the individual personalities of the movie’s characters.

The movie sound track will include rarely heard, but superb, album cuts from the musical choices of The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Spencer Davis Group, Them, The Yardbirds, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, The Chambers Brothers (but there is no way that we will use one split second of “Time Has Come Today”, this is not about the same ol’, same ol’), Moby Grape, we will probably use something off of one of John Mayall and the Blues Breakers first three albums, Paul Butterfield’s first two releases, the first two Country Joe and the Fish’s Frisco based and influenced Rock ‘n Roll + R+B albums are good for something to use, and maybe a little West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band thrown into the mix. I also had some of the Doors, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, etc, recordings with me at Katahdin Lodge, in 1969, but 98.7% of what is to used on this soundtrack must be rarely heard, ‘cept by music collectors like me, really good album cuts only.

That one or two percent of non-rare album cut music will be one or two 1969 era Top 40 songs for the drug store lunch counter jukebox, when the main character in this movie looks out onto the everyday life of a small Maine town, from a stool at the lunch counter, on one pleasant summer afternoon, and realizes that the town has so much natural Rock and Roll Soul that every time a good song plays on the jukebox someone walking by outside walks to the beat of the music, which the pedestrians out there could not hear.

When I was living the story, I loved listening to all of the songs that will be used in this movie. And I still listen that music; I have a large collection of it.

The soundtrack will be fantastic.

At the end of this paragraph there is a link to a great set of photographs of my Maine adventures. These photos will greatly aid you in visualizing this movie. Just remember, I know that we are going to be aiming this movie towards a wide audience, so we do not need scenes in it like the photo with the other guide and I (I'm in the green hat) with four dead bears. Freshly killed animals are normal for hunters to see, and for slaughter house workers too, but fast food hambu'ger devouring Americans usually don't wanna' see how their meat gets processed. It is OK with audiences if you shoot people and blow people all to hell in one of your movies, just don't shoot an animal on film. Or maybe we can. This is a decision for members of the film production team to handle.
This is the link.

The main character in this movie is an 18 to 19 year old kid from the Dundalk suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. And during one year of working as a bear hunting guide, at his Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha's Katahdin Lodge and Camps in Patten, Maine, that young man learns more than he could have during four years of college.

The nephew's original plans though, for that part of his life, were to join the Merchant Marines, and have fun, excitement and adventure while sailing all around the world. That way neither the US Army nor them jarheaded, Bulldog brained, ground poundin’ US Marines could draft him and send him to Vietnam—a war he would have willingly volunteered to go fight in if he could have seen his potential service there, and possible death, physical and/or emotional injuries, and/or capture by the enemy, as providing any real protection and positive contribution to his country, his family and the Free World.

He never did get to join the Merchant Marines. Nope, he was more or less drafted into service to work for his Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha, better known as
Fin and Marty at their hunting lodge in Maine. Fin and Marty desperately needed his help to operate their hunting lodge. He was pressed into working for them, as their virtual slave, until his US Military draft notice came in the mail. So, after about a year of living and working at the Lodge, and being taken full advantage of by his emotionally abusive uncle and thoroughly selfish aunt, he ‘motivated’ on down to the US Army Recruiter’s Office in Bangor and gladly signed up to be an Army photographer. And was sent to Okinawa, thank God not Vietnam.

After about the first three or four months of living and working at the Lodge, he would have left and joined the Merchant Marines, but he had no money to go anywhere. His aunt and uncle never gave him more than ten or fifteen bucks a week for spending cash. The longer that he worked for them, and consequently the more that they owed him in salary, the less willing that he was to piss them off by leaving, because then he knew that they would not pay him what he had earned. Another thing is, if he left before them two wanted him to go, then it would cause a rift in their family, and he was willing to sacrifice anything for the good of his family.

Finley and Martha never had any children, but their nephew believes that they are securely in love, and that they make love often. But he doesn’t know if they had ever discovered what the unfortunate, medical reason was that had prevented them from conceiving a child. And he feels sad for them about it.

The main character becomes very close friends with various peoples of all ages, all along the way. He has close relationships with pretty teenage girls. His teenage adventures are
wild and wonderful. He has his share of teenage trials and tribulations, too. He quite comfortably fits right in with the small town social life. He has plenty of friggin’ fun with the older local Mainers and paying bear hunters alike. He enjoys jokes and laughter quite a bit. He learns to play, and thoroughly enjoys playing, a lot of Cribbage. He listens to many expertly spun tall tales told by old Maine woodsmen, likes that better than watching television, and becomes a fairly entertaining storyteller himself.

He loves the great outdoors—in any kind of weather—whether at work and play.

His job at the Lodge requires him to work hard for a minimum of nine hours a day, six days a week; he once worked for two weeks straight all day and into the night; he works as hard as he can, and that is somewhere above the average for most young men his age at the time. He not only
works as a bear hunting guide, which requires him to learn and master certain woodsmen’s skills, and where he makes damned good use of his natural born people skills, he also works at the Lodge as a carpenter’s helper, mechanic’s helper, electrician’s helper, plumber’s helper, he splits many cords of firewood, learns how to properly care for a burning wood stove, he shovels a lot of snow and becomes quite proficient at plowing tons of it with a farm tractor, shovels his fair share of dirt, mows acres of lawn, he takes care of the needs of seven hound dogs, one ornery horse and two caged Bobcats; he even makes good friends with one of the Bobcats. He loves the animals, fondly pets and plays with the playful ones and respects the rights of the others who only want to be fed, watered, cleaned up after, and then to be left alone. Those critters never want for anything while he is responsible for them, except to be let loose to run free; but, unfortunately, they would not survive for very long while roaming around where they felt like. He cleans up a lot of dog and cat scat—scrubs the cat crap out of the Bobcat cage while crawling around in there down on his hands and knees. On many a day, he handles tons of stinky, maggot covered bear bait—55 gallon drums full of slaughterhouse leftovers (mostly cow guts and heads) and rotting Beaver carcasses.

A requirement of that profession dictates that a hunting guide must regularly go into the woods at night and—heh-heh-heh—go in unarmed. It is against the law to be in possession of a firearm in the woods after dark, because that would be illegal night hunting. But a wounded bear must be tracked as soon as possible; that task can’t often wait till morning.

The trick is, though, that 99.99% of the time, Wild Maine Black Bears, even wounded ones, always avoid human contact. There are no poisonous snakes up in that section of Maine. No ticks or Chiggers. Only them pesky darn Black Flies, Mosquitoes and No-See-Ums (Midges), and they are only there during their own regular seasons. The most dangerous critter in the North Maine Woods is a cow Moose with a calf. And those are all natural facts that he lived by.

While tracking wounded bears at night, sometimes by himself, he begins to thoroughly enjoy being in the woods after dark. He feels secure in there. It is quiet. Peaceful. Comfortable. With the softness of darkness caressing him. Somehow protecting him. His night vision is a tad bit better than most humans, and this is often evident to all whom he tracks wounded bears at night with. And throughout the rest of his life, he never looses those warm, fuzzy feelings for spending time out in the woods at night.

Believe it or not, it was Fin and Marty’s requisite fast driving over those wild and woolly country roads way up there in sparsely populated Northern Maine that was the most dangerous duty assignment while working for them at Katahdin Lodge. That self serving pair of hunting lodge operators required all of their guides to travel at an average speed of 10 to 20 miles over the speed limit at all times when driving on public roads, so that the guides could get more work done for them. The 18-year-old nephew was taught, and also learned by experience, how to very safely and comfortably drive those crazy country roads up there. Like he was born to do it. And he was.

He also had to master driving four-wheel drive vehicles way back in on old woods roads, where you were on your own for quite awhile if you got stuck or if the truck broke down. His daily driving routes sometimes went through mucky quagmires and even down one skinny little old woods road that was flooded over by a Beaver Pond. He was just tickled pink every time that he got to dangle his arm out the driver’s side window and dip his fingertips into that cool, clear Beaver Pond water while he was casually moseying on through it. No matter what lay ahead of him in the road, he had to finish all of his assigned daily driving routes because he was out bear baiting and/or taking hunters to their bear stands. His highly skilled smooth driving technique on them rough old woods roads provided about as comfortable a ride for him and his passengers as any other motor vehicle operators up there could. Them paying bear hunters were mighty pleased about that. And he himself was deeply satisfied with, and proud of, his rapidly developing driving skills. Yup, yup, he sure enough ‘dug’ it. Dig it?

Various daily combinations of those hard, dirty, often dangerous, and sometimes downright stinkin’ assigned tasks never really bother him very much at all. He never complains about any of it. And enjoys the many physical and mental challenges, which are involved in his work. He is well aware that he is learning and growing. His self-assurance steadily increases with each accomplished task, each job done right. He feels stronger everyday. He rarely fails in anyway to do all that he is told to and in the way that he is instructed to do it. His Uncle Finley knows a lot about on the job safety, and the most efficient ways of doing things, the easiest ways to do a difficult job, and the nephew pays close attention to it all.

He becomes enamored with Wild Northern Maine Black Bears. He relates to them in many ways. He understands them quite well.

He is fascinated by: how intelligent and crafty that Black Bears are; the way that they skillfully, usually silently, move through the forest; the dazzling way that the sunlight glistens off of the tips of their fur as they bolt at the sight of his fast approaching pickup truck—as they quickly get up from sitting there in the middle of a backwoods road, up off of their wide, muscular haunches, and bolt away on all fours, on into the woods—on a beautiful summer day. And he adores the sparkle of life in their eyes. The mere, fleeting glimpse of any bears, and also of any of the other wild animals in Maine, especially them big ol’ Moosies, thrills him to no end.

But he realizes that the hunting business is far better for a natural environment than the likes of
the steel mill near where he grew up at in Maryland. That mill had thoroughly polluted the backwaters of the Chesapeake Bay that lay right down the street from his boyhood home. He had swum and fished down the street there till the water became too polluted, cancerous to swim in, and the Snapping Turtles that he loved to catch and release, the fish, crabs, and other aquatic life were mostly either dead or diseased. To his way of seeing the world, the people who lived in Maine had to make a living and a well regulated hunting industry is fair to Mother Nature.

The young guide shows many of the paying hunters at the Lodge great, memorable times in Maine. He has plenty of great experiences and becomes
good buddies with most of the hunters.

He does have some serious problems with a few idiots who could afford the cost of a bear hunt, though—the worst problem being when
a Washington DC rocket scientist nearly shoots his head off with a hunting rifle.

Somewhere along the line, whilst passing these tests of his young manhood, he comes to understand a truism that sticks with him for the rest of his life. Something quite profound. He realizes that as long as he does his job right and no one whom he is responsible for gets lost in the woods, badly injured or killed, then no doctor, lawyer, gas station owner, factory worker, refuse collection worker or rocket scientist is any better of a person or is more important and worthy than he is. He also realizes that as long as you do what you do to the best of your abilities, then you are as important and worthy as anyone else is, too. In an honest, hard working society, where we are all concerned about each other’s well being—our combined safety, security, health and happiness—we all have the same basic equal rights and responsibilities.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

The newly minted young Registered Maine Hunting and Fishing Guide (but he only guided bear hunters) becomes very close friends with another hunting guide, whom his uncle has hired to work at the Lodge.
That guide becomes his mentor. His mentor does get him into a bit of bad situation now and then, but he still stays friends with him. They have wonderful times while driving around together all over the fantastic Maine countryside, God’s Country, when they are out bear baiting and taking care of the hunters. They enjoy each other’s company, immensely so.

That guide’s wife works on the housekeeping staff at the Lodge, and the main character also becomes good friends with her. That guide and his wife,
Gary and Cathy Glidden, are each around 28 years old. They are both a little tall, slender in the most healthy of ways, and better than average looking. The guide is a nice enough fellow, but his wife actually is about as nice a person as can be. She is the kind of person who never hurts anyone, in any way. Her constant, sweet smile and the sound of her often lightly laughing, feminine voice sooths and puts the world around her at ease. The guide had been a beer drinkin’ wild man, when he had met his wife. When the couple had met, the husband had instinctively known that the young woman whom he had just met was well worth settling down for, and settling down with. He knew that she was a rare bird, and that he would never find another so fine. In order for him to be able to settle down for her, so that he could settle down with her, and spend the rest of his life with her, he stopped drinking alcohol completely. He never again touched a drop of it. It definitely was one those great love affairs of all times—that we all wish for, for ourselves and for all whom we care about.

The first time that the main character in this movie saw the beautiful, expansive countryside of the
Katahdin Valley his very soul expanded, nearly burst with natural joy and felt like it had finally arrived home.

He discovers and covets the absolute most dramatic, stunning view of Mount Katahdin that he ever wants to see—a view he has never found in any of the many, many published professional photographs of the mountain that he has ever seen. He spends the rest of his life wanting to take a superb series of photographs from that spot, at every conceivable time of day, during all four seasons, in any kind of weather when the mountain is visible, with any kind of light shining down upon and bouncing back off of it that the good Lord may provide for our viewing pleasure. But his aunt and uncle have no use for that, so it never happens. Because it was all about, “David, here at Katahdin Lodge we don’t have time for that, we have work to do.” Work that only enriches those two hard headed, self-serving relatives of his.

Every single day, his uncle yells and curses at him. Finley sometimes does that to blame the nephew for what his uncle had done wrong himself. This humiliates the younger man in front of anyone and everyone who may be in the vicinity at the time. He feels like punching a few of his uncle’s teeth out, but
he stands there and numbly takes the unreasonable abuse. His aunt and uncle cold-heartedly nickname him, “nummer.”

One time, his uncle gets mad at him and does not speak to him for three days straight, during a busy week when the Lodge is full of paying bear hunters. And it was not the nephew's fought that the incident that had so unjustifiably angered his uncle had happened.

Finley suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, after fighting for a year up on the front lines of the Korean War. He had earned several prestigious combat medals in that war. But he never would have accepted that he had PTSD and deal with it through veterans counseling. PTSD had a lot to do with the way that Finley often became unreasonably angry. This realization comes to the main character nearly twenty years after he had first seen his uncle display the symptoms of the terrible emotional disorder.

The main character is a Vietnam Era Veteran who never went to Vietnam, but who has seen the same type of intense anger, which Finley displays, coming out of his Vietnam combat veteran friends. And that PTSD induced anger has its very own distinct "flavor", ya' might say. A taste of the horrors of war that combat veterans do not consciously choose to share with others, it simply comes out of them that way.

His Uncle Finley worked harder than any man he has ever known. His uncle always adhered to the maxim, “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

The nephew had developed that same philosophy on his own, when he was growing up—always mowing lawns, shoveling snow off sidewalks, cleaning his bedroom, and even building model cars in accordance with that philosophy. Consequently, the young man was proud to have worked with such a person as his
Uncle Finley.

When he and his uncle part ways for good, it is a great, decades long loss for the nephew. To have to not ever again be close to his uncle, whom he had loved, admired, and respected in many ways, was devastating to that very soul of the young man.

His aunt’s abuse is much more subtle than his uncle’s is, but, nonetheless, it is also very devastating to him. The more she and her husband treated him terribly, the worse the emotional pain in his maturing young man’s mind becomes, due to resulting, increasing confusion about what family means.

His Aunt Marty is sly, devious and completely selfish. She cheats him out of his well-earned salary. She too works very hard at times. He respects that. He laughs at most of her humor, even when it is at his expense—though he does that to cover up the painful injuries it inflicts upon his psyche and soul. But he never gets a kick out of her famous propensity for telling dirty jokes; if she had been good to him though, he would have gotten a kick out of that well known aspect of her personality. His Aunt Martha had grown up in the home next to the home where his Uncle Finley and mother had lived for most of their youth. She was like a sister to his mother.
His uncle had married the girl next door.

The longer that the nephew works at the Lodge, the worse that the abuses from his aunt and uncle become. But he still wants to leave there with his many months worth of full pay in his pocket, and he does not want to feel responsible for creating a big rift in the family. Had he told Fin and Marty that he was leaving, they would have gone ballistic on him, declared him to be an ungrateful S.O.B. or L.B., and would have told him to get on down the road on his own, that he was not getting paid anything and that he owed them for the food that he had eaten there and the gas that he used while runnin' round with them country girls. So he stays on, and suffers through it all.

The main character had grown up in a tightly knit, extended family. And when he was growing up both of his parent’s families had lived close by, and they all knew each other well. For the first fifteen years of his life, his Uncle Fin and Aunt Marty had lived close to him. Then they moved up to Maine and bought the hunting lodge. And during those first fifteen years, Fin and Marty were together with the rest of the family for every American holiday, most birthday parties and many times in between. The extremely intense circumstances involved in the eventual loss of his close, lifelong relationship with his aunt and uncle caused him to loose most of his faith in family. That nearly destroys who he is.

Due to the fact that the young nephew had been so familiar to his aunt and uncle, they knew his natural born personal strengths and weaknesses. We all have our own. Fin and Marty instinctively knew how to either help him to mature and to grow into a stronger, healthier and happier young man, or how they could use their intimate knowledge of the strong and the weak parts of his personality to take full, self serving advantage of him. They selfishly chose the latter.

When he was working and living at the Lodge, his aunt and uncle attempted to control his dating life. They somewhat slyly, but quite obviously to him at the time, pushed their choice for his girlfriend on him. She was a nice girl, just not the right one for him. Then when he was dating a different nice young lady, those two manipulative, quasi-bullies made his life as miserable as they could. His new girlfriend was his uncle’s best friend’s daughter, and Fin and Marty feared that he would get her pregnant and ruin their friendship with her parents.

His girlfriend’s parents treated him fine. They still treated him fine after her bush pilot dad flew over a potato farmer’s backfield, in a little ol’ bush plane, at treetop level, while flying around looking to spot wild game coming out to eat at dusk, and her father spotted her and Fin and Marty’s nephew parked back there in a pickup truck, making out.

Had the young nephew offended and angered any of the local population in any way, his aunt and uncle would have had to, in the least, send him away from there for good. Had he committed a serious enough offense, and maybe they would have also had to leave.

Had he screwed up badly while guiding the bear hunters, it could have cost his aunt and uncle their business.

The fact that he fully lived up to his responsibilities as a local ambassador for their business and a professional hunting guide never meant anything at all to his two completely unappreciative relatives. Fin and Marty never say one good word to anyone at all about what their nephew has accomplished as a kid from the suburbs who moved way up into the woods and successfully fit right in. He gets along nicely in the, typically more or less closed to outsiders, American small town society there. He risks his life nearly everyday for Fin and Marty, while learning to master numerous woodsmen’s skills; and as I have already said twice before, but is worth repeating, that included tracking wounded bears at night and unarmed, and even by himself at times—without hardly any fear at all. The young man never screws up badly in anyway. He makes his aunt and uncle a lot of money while helping them get their business going good. Their business becomes the number-one-top bear hunting lodge in the Great State of Maine—partly due to the fact that the young nephew does things the right way, and very well, I must add.

His two completely unappreciative relatives never thank him in any way. Ever.

One thing that really bothered him severely, about the situation in Maine, was that he could never allow his paternal grandparents to come visit him at the Lodge.

For the main character, not having the pleasure of showing his sport fisherman granddad some fantastic fishing, and other fine times in the Great Outdoors of Maine is a loss that he can’t seem to get past. His granddad was an old West Virginia mountain boy, and Granddad was the quintessential, natural born strong as an Ox member of the young guide's family. Granddad had worked for most of his life in the blast furnaces of the steel mill that Finley had worked in, as a bricklayer, before moving to Maine. The old man had retired as the foreman of the two largest blast furnaces there. Those blast furnace foremen were good bosses, they were good with a handling a shovel, and were experts at running the overhead cranes that were in each furnace—in an extremely hot, terribly dirty and very dangerous place. Back in those days, blast furnace foremen were all around about the hardest working men that the grandson ever knew of. Granddad was just the kinda’ down to earth fellow that his grandson's older friends in Maine would have enjoyed getting to know. Both the men and the women Mainers would have like meeting Granddad. Granddad was a self taught car mechanic, and if he had gone up to stay there at the Lodge for a week or so, he would have definitely tried to get into working on the Lodge’s trucks, or something. Granddad came from the old school, where you pitched in and helped without being asked to. The young guide's paternal grandfather was as good a man as ever lived.

The young guide's paternal grandmother was a Welshwoman who had come to America as a US Army Captain’s children’s nanny, during World War One. Grandmom was about as good as they get at home cooking and other homemaking skills. She would have fit right in with the countrywomen who worked for Marty, at the Lodge. Grandmom would have pitched in and helped around the Lodge too, without being asked. If her professional woodsman grandson could have invited his grandparents up for a visit, Grandmom woulda’ definitely had to get into that kitchen and cook something for the crowd there. It was a matter of pride in her skills. And not being able to sit still with a great big, well equipped, well stocked kitchen right there where she could get to it. She could cook and bake as well as any grandmother ever could. And clean too. She’d have been right up there beside the other women and helping them to make beds and all. She loved good conversation, and the women working at the Lodge did too. It would have been a wonderful experience for all involved. If Fin and Marty could have controlled themselves, while their nephew's grandparents were there.

Unfortunately, had the young guide's father's parents come to visit at the Lodge, when Fin had started in on his daily verbal abuse of the young man, the paternal grandparents would have gotten thoroughly upset about it. After a few of those stomach turning scenes, the grandparents would have informed, in no uncertain terms, you can believe me that his loving grandparents would have informed Fin and Marty just how lousy of a pair of relatives that they were. The young guide’s paternal grandparents were not going to start a big argument, because they were too level headed for that kind of an embarrassing confrontation. They would have looked Fin and Marty straight in their faces and let them know eggzzactely how they felt. Then when the grandparents drove on back down to Sparrows Point, Maryland, their grandson would have left out of there with them.

Fin and Marty had known their nephew's paternal grandparents quite well—the tight, extended family that I already told you about. And because the grandfather had held a blue-collar man's very respectable position in the steel mill, Finley may have laid off on the emotional abuse, against his nephew, for a while. But that's doubtful. So for the nephew, it wasn't worth the risk of asking his paternal grandparents up for a visit.

Had the nephew's paternal grandparents come up to visit and Fin and Marty had not calmed down a little and respected their nephew's grandparents, then when those grandparents had witnessed enough of Fin and Marty's abuse, the situation would have gone real bad, real fast. And that young hunting guide might have had to kick his uncle's ass all over the place. His paternal grandparents had always been his favorite family members. He might have silently suffered that abuse against himself, but if one itty-bitty bit of that crap had splattered onto his paternal grandparents then he would have put a stop to it, immediately.

Fin was much larger and stronger than his nephew, but Uncle Finley had no idea how good of a kick that his nineteen-year-old nephew had. The kid had a bit of a good punch too; his father had taught him the basics of boxing; the kid had taken a few months of Karate classes, and knew just a little about tight-fisted-double-knuckle, and also heel of the hand type punches; but the one thing that he had gotten down pat was a good Karate kick. Just the most basic, simple, forward kick, but he had a real good feel for it.

Had Uncle Fin disrespected the kid's grandparents, welp, now, Fin never would have expected what came next. That young man would have kicked his bombastic, belligerent, disrespectful, foul-mouthed uncle's legs right out from under him. The element of surprise. Yeah! And the young man would have never allowed his larger opponent to get back up again. Not until foul-mouthed Finley was subdued, and he apologized.

This is not wishful hindsight. Recall the workload that I carried everyday.
Look at the photo taken of me when I was nearly finished up with splitting the better part of nineteen cords of hardwood. I averaged ten, hard laboring hours a day at working on that wood pile. I did that for each of the five weekdays during a two-week period of time—about ninety hours worth of splittin' and stackin' time in two weeks. Now add in the justifiable anger, followed by the subsequent surge of adrenalin. I would have, friggin' aye right, kicked Finley's gahdamned ass—good and proper, too.

Ten years later, in 1979,
Finley had tried to strangle and then punch me, but I easily handled him by using my limited knowledge of defensive moves.

The main character in this movie's maternal grandparents had visited the Lodge while he was there. They had witnessed what their young grandson was being put through up there. But Finley was their pride and joy; he could do no wrong. They did not care about the abuses. At all. And mother and father and son, all three, were an argumentative lot, for sure. After more than one of their arguments, Finley and his father did not speak to each other for a long time. And the young guide’s maternal grandparents often quarreled with each other. Some nasty quarrels too.

For years, the main character in this movie holds it all deep down inside of himself…the abuses and the losses, his anger at his Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley for not paying him all of the money and respect that he had earned at Katahdin Lodge. He lost family. He lost the fully deserved privileges of spending time with his friends in Maine. He lost the pleasures of showing his other family members and his other friends, who did not live in Maine, a very good time up in the vast North Woods. He lost the many natural benefits, the character building responsibilities and the personal satisfactions, of being able to work as a professional outdoors adventure guide. And he holds in his own ensuing loss of self-respect. The swirling, confusing combination of all of those awful feelings churns around inside of him, like the fuel components of liquid explosives mixing together—while corroding his psyche and soul.

{End of Section 1 of this 4-part document. Please continue on to Section 2 / Northern Maine Adventures / The Movie, in the blog post below this one, the previous post. It'll be well worth your time--I swear to it! READ ON! }

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