Saturday, September 29, 2007

Section 2 / Northern Maine Adventures / The Movie

{This is Section 2 of a 4-part document that is read from the top of the blog 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! }

The main character in this movie left Katahdin Lodge in November of 1969, to enter the US Army. He was glad to go. He went back to visit them once, while he was home on leave during May 1970 and they treated him like they always had. Not like a soldier home on leave—on vacation from the Army. Then he went to Okinawa for a year and a half. While he was serving on Okinawa, all of that abuse that Fin and Marty had put him through finally sunk in. Consequently, he did not have anything to do with them two rude relatives of his for the next seven years.

In early summer of 1977, the nephew called his aunt and uncle and suggested that it was time that they tried to mend the broken family ties. He had heard that they needed help up there. So he made a deal with Fin and Marty that he would go up to the Lodge, stay for two weeks, help out, and if it worked out then he would stay and work for them. He told his aunt and uncle that if it did not work out as a business relationship, then they could consider that two weeks of work to be a vacation for him. Then he would amicably leave, and the rest of their family would be relieved to know that he and his aunt and uncle were on friendly terms again. He ended up staying and working for several months, but they still did not pay him a salary. Nor did they change their attitudes towards him. He stuck it out until it was time for the fall college semester and went down to the University of Maine at Farmington. He had set it up to start classes and go there by using his GI Bill benefits. But those GI Bill monthly checks don't start coming in until about two months after classes begin. He had expected to receive a fair lump sum payment, from Fin and Marty, at the end of his summer of working for them. He got $150.00 from them. The friggin' grass and weed cutting, alone, that he did that summer was worth more than that.

So he never got to take those classes at UMF. Instead, he worked down there in Farmington for a while, took some Veteran’s Educational Enrichment Program classes—sort of high school refresher classes—and went back up to stay at the Lodge for Thanksgiving, and then also for Christmas.

Fin and Marty went down to Maryland together to see their families for that Christmas. That was great for them. Because ever since they had moved to Maine in 1965, they had only been able to leave and go to Maryland separately—one of them always had to stay and watch the Lodge. Then after they returned from Maryland, their nephew went back to Farmington, gathered up his belongings and moved back to Maryland.

He was so pissed off at his aunt and uncle for not paying him what he had earned, that he did not tell them that he had left Maine. He needed his salary from that summer to pay for college expenses, until the GI Bill checks came. But he was determined to mend family ties and not start a fight over the money. It would have been a fruitless effort to try and get that money, so he just moved on.

In early summer of 1979, he was living back in Dundalk, Maryland. Marty had called him by telephone to ask if he would come back up and work for them again. He agreed, but only because she made all kinds of promises of fair wages and full benefits. She did pay him a full salary, and he got to use one of the Lodge's trucks to go out socializing on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, but the promised medical and several other earned benefits were never going to be given to him.

When Marty had contacted him, that summer, Finley had two hunting guides working for him, and he needed one or two more. One guide was a native Maine man, Richard Libby, a top-notch woodsman—all the way. The other was a jerky, nineteen-year-old kid from Pennsylvania who was a wana’bee a real Maine guide. In the whole of Northern Maine, no one else was willing to put up with Fin and Marty's bullcrap.

It is important for me to say here that on the up side of all of this is that working with top-notch Maine Guides like Gary, Richard and Finley was a privilege to the main character in this movie. It was a great honor. A good way to put this in its proper perspective is to say that if the nephew were given the choice of being able to say that he had worked alongside of those professional woodsmen or that he had traveled the world with The Rolling Stones on tour and as their personal photographer, he'd take the time spent up in Maine. Those outdoorsmen are that high caliber in their profession.

That summer, Finley—the number one bear hunting guide in Maine—had told Marty that he and his other two guides could only handle twenty bear hunters per week. But greedy ol' Marty was taking in all of the hunters that she could get. The first week that their nephew went back to work at the Lodge, there were thirty-six hunters there. That is a lot for four guides to handle, and too much for three.

During bear season, the guides were never given any time off on weekdays, or Saturday mornings and afternoons. If any bears were shot on a Saturday evening, then Sunday morning was bear skinning time. The Sunday skinning chores went with the territory, the nephew fully accepted that, but Marty was loath to allow the guides any time off on Sundays, because the new batch of hunters comes in on Sunday. And hunters like to meet their guides as soon as possible, to start asking them bear hunting questions; and they like to go across the road to the Lodge’s rifle range and do some target practice—to sight their guns in. It is best to have a guide over there being a range safety officer for them, unless the hunters are already known to be competent with firearms. The main character of this movie understands what the hunters want and need, but the guides all need some time off.

His aunt and uncle could have given each of their three guides separate half-days off during the middle of the week. That half-day off could compensate for any Sunday bear skinning time, and it would have worked out OK if each guide was assigned to hang around the Lodge on one Sunday afternoon per every three weeks. Then that guide would have a half-day off in the middle of the week.

Neither the nephew nor the other guides would ever be so damned dumb as to suggest that to Fin and Marty though. Fin might go along with it, even though he was a workaholic who didn’t ever want much time off for himself, he might have been willing to give his guides a break. Marty, though, greedy, brutally greedy Marty would have gotten disgustingly nasty about it.

In 1979, the twenty-nine-year-old nephew greatly desired to finally have that chance to live and work up in Maine again, but only because he was going to be paid fair wages and benefits. He wasn’t working for nearly nothing, besides room and board again, like in 1968-69 and ‘77. But due to circumstances beyond his control, that 1979 attempt at family reconciliation, and having more wild and wonderful adventures in Maine, ends quickly—
in a near murderous situation. He nearly explodes when his uncle does him wrong one time too many.

His uncle and aunt blame it all on him.

Fin and Marty and their nephew never have anything to do with each other again.

His experiences in 1977 and '79 add more fuel to that 1969 instilled soul and psyche eroding explosive mixture and it continues to ferment inside of the nephew.

Many emotionally excruciating times, when the nephew is casually conversing with some other person or a small group of people, and he is telling some of his entertaining and informative oral histories about his adventures in Maine there often comes a time during the warm conversation when his happy, attentive listeners ask him why the hell it is that he isn't still up there in the Maine woods and having some more of those great adventures. That hurts. Then he has no reasonable choice but to inform his listeners about the demoralizing and depressing facts concerning how he was miserably mistreated and cheated by his aunt and uncle. What a bummer.

And then, here and there, now and then, someone will ask him why it is that neither his parents nor grandparents never told Fin and Marty to set things right with him.

The answer has several layers to it:

His maternal grandparents had raised their son Finley to believe that he was better than everyone else.

Finley, in fact, actually was better than most others at anything he did.

Before Finley moved up to Maine, when he worked as a bricklayer down at the Bethlehem Steel Mill in
Sparrows Point, Maryland, he would often work double shifts while outlaying any man there. Most of the time, he definitely laid more brick and block than any of the other guys on a job site; and those rows of brick and block that he laid were straight and level, always.

The men who worked with Finley "Down The Point" had nicknamed him "Loud Mouthed Finley Clarke." Finley's young nephew heard that from a guy who had worked Down The Point as a bricklayer too, but that guy also jovially informed the nephew that no man down there would ever so much as utter that nickname anywhere near where Finley could here it. As the Beth Steel bricklayers all worked there together in the heat, or the cold, and always in the ever-present iron ore based mill dust and dirt, Loud Mouthed Finley Clarke would sometimes tell anyone and everyone around him just exactly what he thought of them.

Finley was a rather large man, well fed and possessing well-hardened-working-man's muscles; and there was very little fat on him. To the best of the nephew's knowledge, his Uncle Finley had never actually threatened or outright went about to intimidate anyone, but no one ever dared test him.

There were times, though, when ol' Fin was right on key when he was singin' one of his improvised on the spot, bombastic songs at certain unreasonably uppity individuals or groups of people who had fully deserved to be put back in their place. Fin certainly would run his mouth more than was ever necessary, though. It was one way—an unhealthy way—that he dealt with stress. That is now known as a clear-cut symptom of PTSD. Korean War induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

When Finley K. Clarke got pissed off at something or someone, he was no one to be around. He would yell and swear and cuss and throw things all about. It did not matter to him whether it was a coworker, his wife Martha, his young nephew, another hunting guide working at Katahdin Lodge, a paying hunter or anyone else at all. Finley Clarke said what he felt like saying to, and blew his top in front of, anyone and everyone. He often lost his grip. That is also a clear-cut symptom of PTSD.

Finley used to go down to the state house in Augusta, Maine to fight for sensible hunting laws and also for infrastructure improvements to the state owned roads up around Patten. He did some real good things down there. Including getting the laws on the books for a one bear per hunter, per season ruling and also the law that established the hunting rule that finally made it illegal to kill bear cubs.

Naturally, Finley's way of doing things and speaking in front of the state house assembly there had earned him some antagonists and enemies.

Finley despised, absolutely despised, setting there in the state house, while waiting for his turn to go up to the podium to speak. And he especially hated having to listen to the Native Maine Indian leaders fighting for their tribe's treaty rights. The well deserving Indians finally did win part of their battle to begin receiving some of what they had been promised for generations. And that historically fair turn of events had riled Finley to no end. He and his wife Martha were one locked-tight pair of completely prejudiced persons. They outright hated any non-white people. They had no respect at all for the God given equal rights of African Americans. Their shared and stated opinion was that, "when a white woman is walking down the street, and she walks past a colored man, he should tip his hat to the white lady, and step down off of the curb, until the white lady passes by."

Throughout the entire course of human kind, whenever human beings deny other human beings their God given rights, it has never, ever worked out well in the long run.

Well now, one day down at the state house a lot of people—politicians, news reporters, citizens, lobbyists—were waiting in the lobby for the doors to open and allow them to go in to do a session of political wrangling, on each other. All of a sudden, from somewhere in there amongst that crowd, one of Finley's antagonists boldly blurts out, "Well Finley, what are you down here for this time?"

I can never remember exactly how the whole story goes. I had heard my uncle tell it twice, but can't recall it all. What I do recall is this:

Finley stood there in that crowded state house lobby and loudly replied to his bold antagonist, "Well, let me tell you now. I'm tired of the Indians, and the niggers, and…", and I sure wish that I could remember the rest of what he had replied. But he always ended the story with a big wide grin spread out all over his ugly white mug, and deep throated, devious chuckles spouting out from between his lips, when he added, "And you shoulda seen 'um all moving away from me. Heh, heh, heh."

He had been that way all his life, and my family was resigned to accept him as he was.

At the opposite end of Finley's, oft shocking, personality's spectrum, he could be a lot of laughs and told entertaining stories. When he was in a good mood, he was tremendously enjoyable to be around. This movie's main character's family, and many other folks, loved Finley's sense of humor and the great stories that he often told. At family gatherings, Finley was a wonderful man to sit near and listen to—especially for his young nephew. Fin was generous and would help anyone in his family with anything he could. You could rely on that. His friends could always rely on him too.

Though the nephew understands that his family has always accepted Finley the way that he is, the young man feels deeply hurt by, and angry at, his parents and grandparents. Had the nephew confronted his aunt and uncle and demanded his full rights and benefits, they would have gone nuts on him. That was obvious. He had seen plenty enough to know that. But he has his own life to live, and he needs some of his older family members to tell Fin and Marty to get their heads out of their asses and to pay that young man all of the money that he had earned, along with the full respect that he had earned.

If Fin and Marty had finally been convinced/forced to pay their debts to our main character here, and to admit to anyone and everyone that their nephew had done an excellent job for them, whilst working at Katahdin Lodge as a Registered Maine Hunting Guide, it would have made everyone's lives much easier. And because of the hard, cold fact that Fin and Marty would never admit to anyone at all that their nephew had become such an accomplished young outdoorsman, they would never, ever give him an employment reference, so that he could go work somewhere else. He had not planned on working at Katahdin Lodge for the rest of his life, after his military service obligations had been satisfied, but his Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley had.

When he was working in Maine, in 1969, and then when he was in the Army, in 1969-71, he had actually planned on doing a lot of traveling and working all around the world, after he was going to be discharged from the Army. He wanted to be an outdoors adventures guide who catered to the needs and wants of the types of paying clients who were into eating his, made from scratch, fresh baked goods and delicious, healthy meals that he had prepared over an open fire. It would not have mattered to him if his clients were hunters, fishers, photographers, hikers, campers, snowmobilers, artists, meditaters, primal screamers or whatever, as long as they enjoyed leaving the confines of any lodge that he might work for and to go out and rough it up some in the wilderness.

But for the young nephew to be able to work someplace else, besides Katahdin Lodge, at the same high level of responsibility at being an outdoors adventure guide, the level that he had successfully risen to at Katahdin Lodge, then he needed an honest employment reference from his uncle and aunt. If them two ignorant relatives of his had not actually been ignorant, he would have somehow included working at Katahdin Lodge and helping them out now and then into his traveling outdoorsman's life. But whether they were good to him or not, he was planning on experiencing living and working in many more parts of the world than just Maryland, Northern Maine and Okinawa.

As far as Fin and Marty were concerned, though, their nephew was to either work for them forever, while being thoroughly abused and grossly underpaid, or he could go to Hell.

After the nephew was discharged from the Army, he had wanted to have had the opportunity to work at Katahdin Lodge during some hunting seasons. And maybe would have helped out at the Lodge during some winter times to be able to enjoy the fun and adventure of the snowmobiling, snow shoeing and cross country skiing opportunities up there. It would have been a fair deal for Fin and Marty, because they needed lots of snow shoveled and plowed, plus other outside and inside maintenance work and also upgrades done for the Lodge.

While working and living at the Lodge, the young nephew is very limited in his possibilities for having all types of various outdoors fun and adventure. This is due to the sad fact that Fin and Marty are too crude and rude to be providing other types of lodging and guiding services for potential paying clientele besides for men in a hunting trip frame of mind.

Many a time, throughout his post Katahdin Lodge life, the nephew feels stung by the fact that his aunt and uncle in Maine would never have allowed him to begin providing guide and lodging services for non-hunting clientele. He knows that it would be good for the Lodge's business.

He wants to take tourists on photography tours, and out mountain biking, or on off road four wheeler and motorcycling trips. He plans, in his head, to build hiking trails all back through the 500 acres or so of woods that the Lodge owned, which lay behind it. And those woods are the beginning of 90 miles of vast forestland that stretches all the way to Canada. He makes mental plans for putting in primitive campsites back there. And outhouses. Then, from that campground and trail system, he could cut all kinds of trails all back through those woods. And, of course, there is always plenty of room back there for bushwhacking through the woods without the benefits of cut and/or marked trails.

He is an all around good swimmer, due to the fact that by the time that he was fourteen-years-old, he had completed four levels of Red Cross swimming courses. He had passed his Junior Lifesaving course, which only differed slightly from Senior Lifesaving. In Senior Lifesaving the students swam more laps during training, and in order for them to pass the final test they had to swim out three times as far, as Junior Lifesavers did, to rescue a lifeguard who was pretending to drown. But the pollution in the water where he lived at in Maryland closed the local beaches to swimmers, before he could take Senior Lifesaving classes there. He is very comfortable and competent in and around deep water, so any canoeing, boating or swimming trips that he may have guided clients on would have been considerably safer, because he was there. And {Man O' Day!} there's a lot of naturally clean water up there to swim in.

He desires to become a top-notch Fly Fisherman and to guide other folks who want to Fly Fish, Ice Fish or enjoy the outdoors pleasures of doing any other kind of fishing that their hearts desire. He doesn't mind cleaning fish at all and loves cooking them.

He wants to build Star Huts. Star huts? Gazebo style huts set up so that people can take telescopes out into the woods and view the heavens through minimally polluted skies, and in relative comfort. And during biting-insect seasons, the huts would have bug proof netting hung across all of the openings in them. There would be Velcro zippers in the netting where the amateur astronomers can stick the ends of the telescopes out of, then tuck the zippers tight and keep the bugs out. The Star Huts would have nice little wood heaters in the center of them.

He thinks up plans for a goodly number of other possible additions to the Lodge's business and property. Including: a small movie theater, a radio station, and maybe a dance hall—with a spring mounted dance floor. But will the heavy boozers and other troublemakers cause too many problems and ruin the business of a peaceful-fun oriented dance hall? Yeah, probably, but it might work. Would rowdy drunks and other troublemakers shut down the movie theater? Not if it was small and mostly for guests who were staying at the Lodge. The radio station would play a variety of musical styles, and there would be both recorded and live music broadcasts. Most of those live music playing musicians would be as local to Northern Maine as possible. There would definitely have to be Maine humorists telling jokes and stories, for both live and recorded shows. Maybe the movie theater could double as a venue for live broadcasts of homegrown Northern Maine entertainment—musicians, comedians, story tellers, and comedy skits put on by little theater groups. The folks up there woulda' certainly enjoyed listening to, and participating in, those live broadcast radio shows.

In the summer of 1973, the 23-year-old nephew’s back is injured. It happened when a car ran a red light and hit the nephew, while the young man was riding on his 1973 Yamaha 650 motorcycle. As a result of the red light runner’s negligence, the young nephew suffers from a degenerative back injury—for the rest of his life. That injury gradually, steadily increases in levels of pain and disability.

During the first few years of his degenerative back injury, the nephew realizes that he may, someday, become permanently dependent on a wheelchair for personal mobility. Consequently, the resourceful young man begins to plan out how to hunt and/or to take wildlife photographs from a motor vehicle, which is set up for the maximum convenience of people in wheelchairs. He ponders how to work it so that he can guide wheelchair-dependent clientele on hunts and photo safaris. He knows that some people need time in the woods alone, so he thinks through ideas on how to coordinate safe, soul-satisfying time out there alone for anyone in a wheelchair. Nobody wants to sit out there in the peaceful woods with a two-way radio crackin' and hissin’ all the time. Guides for people in wheelchairs must stay close enough to their clientele to be there incase of emergency, but the guides must stay far enough away from their clientele to allow for the wheelchair-dependent folks to live great, pleasantly memorable, personal adventures out in the woods alone. That all, of course, could only be worked out safely and correctly by the nephew while living up in the Maine woods and testing wheelchair lift equipped vans, small trucks and busses and trying out various types of radio equipment, and then the new cell phone services.

During the mid 1970s, the nephew taught himself how to bake homemade deserts, from scratch only, using whole-wheat floor, honey, and other all-natural ingredients. His Aunt Martha once told him that he should use Vanillin, instead of real Vanilla Extract, because Vanillin's cheaper. The last thing that he would skimp on is the price of a measly little ol' teaspoon of Vanilla flavoring. Marty was very serious about that, and she would be very upset if he had tried to do it any other way in her kitchen. So ya' know that he would have never been able to get into the Lodge's kitchen and comfortably bring some delicious all natural recipes into use there. He also likes to prepare big, wholesome, meals made from fresh ingredients. He makes, what an old friend of his once called, a super salad. He loves to fix huge bowls of garden salad. But Marty did a lot of her food prep work by opening those large, commercial sized, Number 10 cans. And she hired a local woman to do most of the Lodge’s baking. The nephew really woulda' loved to have gotten in that kitchen and learned a lot from that countrywoman who did the fresh baking. That pleasant and plump old country gal mighta' used white flour and sugar in her baked goods, but she knew how to really do it right. And she would have enjoyed his company in the kitchen, because he adored her—like a grandson would have.

The nephew knows that there are old, abandoned, fallen down, overgrown hunting lodges, hunting camps, and logging camps scattered throughout the woods of Maine. Some of those lodges catered to wealthy clientele, who came on hunting and fishing trips to Maine. And they came with the best bottles of booze that money could buy, back then in the early 1900s or late 1800s. Those old booze bottles were some kind of fancy, and are now worth a lot of money to bottle collectors. Those lodges and camps all had their own dumps, somewhere near by. Those old dumps, along with the lodge and camp areas, possess great possibilities for a person who wants to search for old bottles and other buried treasures. Had the main character in this movie been able to spend more time hanging out with his older Mainer friends and acquaintances, he could have found out from some of those old timers where some of the abandoned lodges and camps used to be; and he could have explored those locations for treasure hunting purposes. Plus he could have stumbled onto to a few of those old places, while performing his everyday outdoors adventure guide duties, or during his personal hiking and exploring adventures. He could have had his own prized collection of old bottles and artifacts, plus added to his monetary wealth by selling some of those antiques. After Fin and Marty got their cut of the take, of course.

He wants to buy and sell old barn wood. Weathered old wood from barns is used for arts and crafts, interior decorating, paneling club basements, and picture frames. There is a lot of it up in Maine. The nephew and his aunt and uncle would all profit from this, and so would many local Maine folks who owned property with old barns, sheds, or other old worn out and falling down buildings on it. But there are two reasons why this would never happen. One is that it was the nephew’s idea, not his aunt and uncle’s, and they could not have him completely under their control if they listened to his good ideas. Two is that if they did listen, and had allowed their entrepreneurial, young nephew to buy and sell barn wood, they would have taken most of the profit for themselves. Because as long as their nephew worked for them, his time was all theirs, and they wanted to control all of his work time—anything that he did was to be done for their profit.

During his 1977 experiences at Katahdin Lodge, the nephew learns that there is a thriving Asian market for bear parts. In certain Asian countries, Black Bear's gallbladders are used in natural medications, and they are worth a lot of money. Bear paw soup is a prized delicacy in Asia. Sometime in the early 1970s, Finley had begun collecting the gallbladders from all bears killed at the Lodge, and Fin sold them wholesale to a Chinese guy in New York City.

After the nephew had been stationed on Okinawa, as a US Army photographer, he had wanted to go back to travel all over Asia. He could have financed at least one really good yearly trip to Asia with the sales of legally harvested bear parts. He'd have shot his own one bear per year, ate the meat, had the hide made into a coat or something, made jewelry out of the teeth and claws, and he'd have frozen the gallbladder and paws then taken his frozen bear parts and the frozen gallbladders from the bears killed by the Lodge's paying hunters and he'd have done alright in Asia with them bear parts for sale. He'd have never gone in for poaching, illegally killing, bears for their body parts, though, because that is not his way of doing things. Neither was it Fin and Marty's. If the nephew had been able to work for them two and take the parts to Asia himself, Fin and Marty would have made a much larger profit off of their bear part sales. But to Fin and Marty, that time in Asia would have been time that they wanted their nephew to be slaving away for them at the Lodge. And the idea of them loosing complete control over the bear parts business transactions would have broiled their very own gizzards.

Finley was in the Regular Army, the Reserves, then the National Guard, until he retired from military service. His nephew was a US Army trained photographer. So you would think that Fin and Marty would respect their nephew's photography training and work and that they would endorse it. You would think that they would have helped him do some of his photography in Maine. But they could not control it if they let him do that. They could not make most of the profit from it.

It would have helped their business to have some of his great photos of the everyday goings at Katahdin Lodge floating around to advertise the place. Paying hunters would have bought many of his photographs then taken them home and showed them around, and would have given some away to their family and friends. The nephew would have had wonderful photos of the Maine countryside and of Mainers at work and play. That sells. The Maine folks there would have loved his work too. And he wanted to build custom photo frames out of old barn wood for those finest kind of Maine photographs of his. But Fin and Marty completely dismissed and disrespected his photography. Everybody lost out on that one.

Another substantial loss to the nephew is that he never had the opportunity to live with, love and nurture a nice little family of his own up in Northern Maine. He had thought this through, and at one time it was something that he had hoped to do, but it would have turned out badly. Because if he had gotten married and he and his wife had conceived or adopted children, and he had gone back to working, and maybe even living, at the Lodge, his aunt and uncle would have mistreated both him and his little family.

Fin and Marty never would have allowed him to live or work at the Lodge if he was cohabitating up there with a woman whom he wasn't married to. That wasn't going to happen. They were not religious, just a bit old fashioned in their view of the world.

During the summer of 1968, on his very first teenage,
social excursion into the Town of Patten, he had become enamored with those attractive, young women up in Northern Maine. He loved those country girls, and they loved him. Well, 'ah mean now, there weren't a bunch of 'um fightin' over 'im, but he never had much of a problem gettin' good girlfriends, back then. Up there, or anywhere, he did all right for himself with the young ladies. He has never lost his desire to marry a woman from up in that part of the world. He simply finds country girls to be far more attractive than any other type of fine female.

Whether it had been a little darlin' from up there in Maine, or from anywhere else, if he had gotten married and taken his sweet, young bride up to Katahdin Lodge, for any reason or amount of time, it would have been a bad situation for that young couple. The young husband's aunt and uncle would hardly have had any respect at all for the feelings of that young nephew of theirs and his young wife. Fin and Marty would have reinstated their self-serving, selfish, rude, mean and ignorant daily dumping of their crap on him. His wife would have been mercilessly spattered with that crap. The husband would have been humiliated by how Fin and Marty treated him in front of his wife; and his wife would have been appalled and humiliated by the way that her young husband was taking that crap from those two dungheads. That crap could have ruined, probably would have ruined, any married life that the nephew may have had, if he had indeed tried to resume working, and maybe even living, up there at Katahdin Lodge.

Oh yeah, now. As long as the young husband was willing to work for them again, Fin and Marty would have given him and his wife a place to live. In fact, Fin and Marty would have done their self-serving best (with too many false promises involved) to invite, entice, influence, persuade, and cajole their young nephew, and their niece—by marriage, to move in at the Lodge. That would be so that Fin and Marty could regain maximum control over their hard working nephew and to try and bring his new wife onboard, as their semi-slave too.

Had the nephew been married, his young wife may have had a good career going for herself that she was working in up in Maine. Or she might have worked at the Lodge in a paid cooking or housekeeping staff position.

Or maybe she would not have worked at any of those occupations, and she was a busy housewife raising a small child, or two, or more. Let's say that she was always busy with her housewife chores. Say that she was darn good at: taking tender-loving care of the kids, preparing wholesome-homemade meals, keeping the home tidy, and nurturing family love with her husband and their children. Let's also say that the married couple had bought a trailer home and parked it on the Lodge's property. It is quite normal up in Maine to see someone's trailer home parked on one of their relative's property. But no matter what the young wife had to do during the day, if she was living on the Lodge's property, whenever she was on the Lodge's property, Fin and Marty would have expected her to find some time to do some work for them; even if the nephew had negotiated full compensation for the trailer's ground rent to be deducted from his weekly wages.

Had the trailer occupant wife been a hard working, successful, personal career oriented young woman, who may have preferred to only cook and clean for herself, her husband and their children, she'd of still been expected to help Marty do the Lodge's cooking and cleaning work. No matter how many hunters and others were there to cook for, if the wife was there at meal preparation times, she would have been expected in the kitchen. Consequently, any healthy, married life strengthening mealtime privacy for the young couple would have found no place at the Lodge.

If the young couple had not been able to afford to buy a trailer, the amount of love making privacy that the newlyweds would have enjoyed would have all depended on where Fin and Marty made them sleep. It would have either been out in one of the Lodge's uninsulated, unsheetrocked or paneled, cabins that did not have a full bathroom or a full kitchen, or it would have been in the main building of the Lodge. In the main building, the walls of the bedrooms are not very soundproof, and the paying guests and the Lodge staff are often plentiful in that building. The paying guests were mostly men—groups of strangers who were there a week at a time. You damned well know that in amongst that many men there were going to be a few jerks who were gonna' try some sexual advances on that young wife or make other rude insults to her. Especially if she and her husband had been making a lot of noisy love the night before. Ain't no doubt about it.

If that young married couple had tried to raise children all knee-deep in Fin and Marty's crap, it most definitely would have caused them kids to loose respect for their hard working father and mother. And, while growing up, as witnesses to that crap they would never have gained very much self-respect for themselves. With Finley and Martha Clarke, it was all about keeping their nephew emotionally hobbled, under their complete control and in semi-slave-like-servitude for life.

That is a soul scrunching loss to the nephew. He would have loved to have been able to settle down some day and raise a family up in Patten, Maine; after he had done a heap of traveling and working all around the world as a professional outdoorsman.

Whether he was married or not, if the nephew had come back to work at the Lodge but had chosen to live in his own home, like in a great big, comfortable, inexpensive fixer upper country house, or a snug and comfortable little lakeside cabin, then Fin and Marty would have had to pay him more than just room and board plus a little bit of pocket cash. They did not like the idea of paying their nephew a full salary.

If the nephew had lived in his own home while working at the Lodge, then Fin and Marty would have continuously been real-low-key-type-always-a-bit-extra-mean-and-nasty to him. They'd have done all that they could to make him miserable. Anytime that he was late for work, the nasty shit would fly—furiously so. When it was fair times for him to be let off work to be able go home, maybe to his wife and kids, Fin and Marty would have found more work for him to do.

I'm telling ya' now, them two friggin relatives of his were somethin' else!

While he was in the Army, the nephew had plenty of time to think through the slave-like limitations of what his future at Katahdin Lodge could be like. He knew that his aunt and uncle wanted him to come back there to work, after he was discharged from the Army. He was also sure that, some time in the distant future from 1971, the Lodge would one day be his, if he did go back there to work. But the reason that he had not gone back to the Lodge for six years after he received his military discharge was because of some of the easily foreseeable problems already written about on here and then one more.

The final decision not to go back to Maine, after the Army, was made when the young soldier realized that he would never be able to invite his Puerto Rican and African American GI buddies and their families up to the Lodge. He figured that if they were all there serving and defending their country together, while helping each other through that crappy time in United States history when many Americans were very disrespectful to their armed services personnel—both active military and recently discharged Vietnam Era Veterans—then his non-white friends were all good enough people to visit each other in each other's homes. He was a natural born guide, so he wanted to show a few of his GI buddies and their families great times up in the woods. One of the best friends that he ever had was a Puerto Rican GI from New York City. Showing a bunch of New Yorkers, or anyone from anywhere else, some good, memorable times in the wild woods of Maine was something that the nephew always enjoyed, while guiding bear hunters. He'd have really gotten a kick out of showing his Army buddy's Puerto Rican family the finest kind of a family vacation time in Maine. His Puerto Rican friend had never even seen a live moocow till he was 12 years old. You can imagine how cool, fun, adventurous and rewarding it would have been for the nephew to have had the NYC friend bring his growing family up to Maine to spend time with the nephew's growing family. Then the nephew and his family would get to go visit NYC and see the real New York with lifelong residents of that, fantastic and wondrous, city as thier guides.

But Fin and Marty were not about to allow any non-white folks to stay at their Lodge. They did not want them as paying guests or any other kind of guests. If a black man called the Lodge to ask about going there on a hunting trip and whoever answered the phone, Fin or Marty, could tell that it was a black guy's voice, then they always said that they had no openings for whatever week that the black man wanted to go hunting. Uncle Finley K. and Aunt Martha Clarke were 100% prejudiced against all non-honky peoples.

Fin and Marty also hated Hippies. They outright despised it when any white men grew their hair long. Whether they were Hippies or not, no longhaired man could work there for them. And in 1969, no longhaired men came on a hunting trip to the Lodge; very few came in the later years, but when they did, Fin and Marty did not like it at all.

In 1969, when either Life or Look Magazine published a special-extra-insert for the Woodstock Music Festival, and that magazine was delivered to the Lodge, Fin and Marty launched off into quiverin' conniptions. They were truly pissed off at the world because Woodstock had happened.

If you think back on the music that I have written about for use in the sound track to this movie, you will easily figure that I would possibly have been at Woodstock myself, if I had not been way up in Maine where the young people did not yet know of those types of events to be happening.

The main character in this movie had wanted to grow his hair longer, but even if his aunt and uncle had allowed him to live at the Lodge with his hair grown long, he would have had a hard time fitting in with the teenagers up there if he had worn it long. He would have gotten into fights at dances and parties, for sure. In the summer of 1969, there were Hippies and other longhaired men living in other parts of Maine, but not up around Patten. It is a fact that the nephew only saw three or four longhaired guys up around Patten, Maine, during that entire first time that he was working and living there.

There were never gonna be any Hippies welcomed at Fin and Marty Clarke's Katahdin Lodge. And you must realize, now, that during the late 1960s and the early 1970s a large majority of the world’s youth were more or less what many people considered to be Hippies.

Due to all of the afore mentioned, serious prejudices of Finley and Martha’s, there was no way for their nephew to build up the Lodge's business with a campground back in the woods behind the Lodge, with star huts, or to provide lodging and guide services for hikers, photo tourists, mountain bikers, motorcyclists, etcetera, etcetera, because Fin and Marty could not stand to be around most of the people who would come to the Lodge for those outdoors activities. So the nephew had to live his life knowing what was very possible for great times at Katahdin Lodge, but never achieving his entrepreneurial dreams of what he deeply desired to accomplish there.

You cannot imagine what a stinging, lifelong loss it is for the seriously frustrated nephew to know that some parts of his well thought out plans and dreams for a good life in Maine, after he had done a few post-Army years of traveling the world as a pro-outdoorsman, could have been successful—if it hadn't been for his aunt and uncle's bullshit. The stingin', stinkin' emotional ramifications of these frustrating losses has pretty well run that nephew through a bit of a living hell.

This info about how the main character in the film is sometimes planning these dreams out, in his head, has a place in this movie somewhere. But from what angle does it come in? Do we make some of these dreams come true on film, and add some of these ideas into the Lodge's business? Or does the nephew talk about them to someone? A talk that takes place years after 1979.

The last time that he worked at the Lodge or ever saw his, once much loved, Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley was during the summer of 1979—on a bad day at Katahdin Lodge.

Once he had become that young woodsman up in Maine, it is simply a major part of who he is. Loosing verification of that level of achievement in the outdoors adventure world, due to his own beloved aunt and uncle's selfish ignorance, was too much for him to stomach. It rendered him emotional ill. The real gut kicker in this case is the hard, cold fact that he had risked his life, on a daily basis, for his aunt and uncle. That disturbing knowledge added some unbearable emotional weight upon the matter. And that terrible, soul crushing weight rendered him down into being a thoroughly disenchanted young man.

After living with and working for his aunt and uncle, the myriad of painful, emotional injuries inflicted upon him, by them, greatly contribute to him having a lifetime of family and other problems.

He suffers from severe depression, for his entire adult life.

He drinks way too much booze. Smokes a little weed.

He is more of a disappointment than not, to himself, his family, his friends, his employers and coworkers.

Has a lousy, nearly empty life.

His parents eventually die without ever seeing their only son become the full version of the good person, talented photographer and writer, loving family member, and professional outdoors adventure guide whom they knew he has the full potential to be. This hurts.

Fin died, after not speaking to anyone on his side of their family for many, many years. Marty has refused contact with Fin's side of the family too. But their nephew doesn’t know why that they had estranged themselves that way.

It isn't because of the nephew. About a year after Fin and his nephew had that near murderous encounter in '79, and parted ways for good, Finley had visited his sister, the nephew’s mother, at her house.

The estrangement has something to do with the way that the nephew's mother had handled the sale of her and Fin’s mother’s house. But Fin got his full 1/3 share of the sale (there is another brother in that family, and he and Fin never got along too well, Fin was rude and cruel to his younger brother for their entire lives). Finley definitely received his regular monthly share of the mortgage payments from the people who were buying his mother's house. The nephew's mother received the large mortgage checks from those people, and then she wrote personal checks to her two brothers. Fin's nephew even saw checks that had been made out and sent to Finley, had been deposited into Finley’s bank account in Maine, then cleared by his mother's bank, and returned to her. But Martha had endorsed the last year or so’s worth of them. The nephew's mother knew Marty's handwriting, because they had often done some of their school homework together as kids. Finley had gotten pissed off about something to do with the sale of the house. Maybe the price was not high enough to suit him and Marty, but Fin had definitely said, "the hell with it," and refused to sign any more checks. That's how he was. But Marty wasn't going to let that money slip by her. This info is not in here to say that this is an example of Marty's greed, she and Fin were the rightful recipients of the funds, but it shows how Fin was when he got angry and said, "the hell with it."

After Finley had gotten so overly angry that he had stopped signing the checks, Marty could easily have found opportunities to call her old friend, Fin’s sister, and talk to her now and then. Marty also could have talked to Fin about how he should calm down and take a less monetary based view of the family situation. Marty could have made those efforts, in order to try and smooth things out for the sake of the family. But money-more-money is more important to Marty, than Finley’s family is. The whole deal with the anger about the house sale has Marty’s signature all over it—not just on some of the checks. She was quite possibly even angrier than Finley was about it. She most likely had to have been prodding Fin, all along, about him supposedly not getting enough money from the sale of his mother’s house. That’s how she was with him. When the nephew had lived at the Lodge, he had seen plenty enough of that type of marital interaction between his aunt and uncle to know what it was all about. And the young guide’s mother had known it for a long time before her teenaged son had first witnessed it. Most likely, after Fin had had enough of hearing Marty tell him that he had gotten ripped off, he had said, “the hell with it,” and that he didn’t, “want any of the gahdamned money anyway, she (his sister) can shove it up her ass, as far as I’m concerned.”

After that, Finley never spoke to, or ever saw, his sister again.

It is a shame that Martha and Finley had to be so self-serving, greedy and hardheaded that they destroyed all relationships with Fin's entire family.

Marty has maintained some contact with her family. Not a lot of contact though, because they were either afraid of Finley or just can’t deal with the way that he was. That has, though, still worked out well for her, because the greedy bit-ah-whoa-uh-witch has always wanted the whole-entire substantial Fin and Marty estate to go to her family. Why? I don't know. And Fin and Marty’s family had lived next door to each other for years, in the tight-little, mill town community of Sparrows Point, Maryland. The young guide's father’s family had lived there for years too. They all knew each other well. Martha is greedy, and she has an evil streak runnin' right down through the center of her. The witch.

In 1994, this movie's main character gets sober. Stabilizes his life. Then applies for and begins to receive an SSI disability check each month. His serious and legally compressible disabilities are a combination of a bad back and a good dose of depression.

In 1998, he begins attending classes at Dundalk Community College, which just happens to have an excellent photography program. While attending that local school, he works hard to get off disability. Thanks in part to the top-notch photography instructors and photo lab aids, he begins to become the photographer whom he and most of his family and friends have known he was all along. He produces a large portfolio of his work. He learns how to use a computer. Learns how to go on the Internet. Finds out all about some of the great web sites that are from Maine, and he researches for all kinds info about the Patten, Maine area that is on the World Wide Web. He makes darn good use of the Internet. He begins to write out his stories about his experiences up at Katahdin Lodge in Patten, Maine. And then he writes some about his life as an American GI on Okinawa. The kind and generous staff at the community college writing lab coach him well.

He begins to send printed copies of the autobiographical short stories about his life in Maine to his aunt and uncle, and to various other Patten Mainers. Fin and Marty refuse to acknowledge those stories. Fortunately for their now 50 year old nephew, he is well aware of the fact that even though his aunt and uncle would most likely, angrily throw the copies that he sent to them into the trash, they would definitely hear about his stories from some of the others who had gotten copies of them too.

The first three stories he sent to them were
The House Fire, The Day I Fell In Love With Patten Maine and The Rocket Scientist. Go look those writings over and you will see three very nice stories with some serious surprises contained within them. In those stories there are no criticisms, no complaints or any explanations about how he had been mistreated by Fin and Marty. He had hoped that by having his aunt and uncle read his stories that they would finally realize what he had truly been like as their nephew and employee. "The Rocket Scientist" tells of a deadly dangerous, near out of control situation that he had instinctively taken control of and safely lived through, but that he had never told anyone up in Maine about before.

When those benign, true tales failed to elicit any response at all from his aunt and uncle, he called them on the telephone. Marty answered the phone, and as soon as he identified himself to her she hung right up on him. It was time to take the kid gloves off. No more mercy. They had shown him none. Nor his parents. Not only was Finley his mother's younger brother, and Martha had been like a sister to her, his father had, for a long time, been Finley's best friend.

He begins sending hand written postcards to his aunt and uncle. He knows that they probably threw out the envelopes containing his short stories, but they can't escape seeing the words written on a postcard. After they had received his first postcard, upon receiving the next postcards they may have immediately looked away, before the written words on them could transfer from the paper and up into their heads, but it was worth a try. Among other truthful things that he writes on those 40 to 50 postcards he sends them, he tells them that they are liars and thieves. One time he went on the Internet, found a web page where he could calculate what 1969, '77, and '79 dollars equal in year 2002 money, and using that web site, he added up what he is owed by Fin and Marty; then he sent them 24 postcards with the same message written on it, more or less saying==You Owe Me, and the amount, pay me. That was 24 sent at one time, so that they would get the message for sure.

Back in the year 2000 or 2001, when he first began sending his Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley copies of his short stories about his life at Katahdin Lodge, all that those two hard heads had to do was to acknowledge the reality of what their nephew had done for them and to pay him. Then he would have moved on, while still writing his stories, but he would not have contacted them again. He was open to potential full family reconciliation, but has no real hopes for it as long as Marty is alive. She always keeps a boiling, bubbling and steaming cauldron full of anti-Finley's family feelings all stirred up and witchy-working to her advantage.

That unjustifiably withheld full acknowledgement of reality could greatly relieve the nephew of his depression. And he would use that money to put together a photography and writing office, where he can finally become his full self again. He needs a reliable motor vehicle, professional grade computer and photography equipment and an office that is furnished and set up to aid a person with degenerative back decease. Had his aunt and uncle responded to those first three true stories with true family love and concern, then their nephew could have gone on with his life and lived it well. Instead, their refusal to face the facts has plunged him even deeper into depression and despair then he already was. His life is damn near a living nightmare. It is dismal. He does write and publish stories and photographs, but he rarely ever goes anywhere or spends time with other people. He never gets paid for anything that is published, nor ever sells any photographs.

The nephew begins to submit his stories to numerous publications in Maine. After the requisite rejections, one Internet newspaper begins to publish his stories. That web site,
Magic City News out of Millinocket, is the closest newspaper web site to Patten. A fair number of people up in that part of Maine, or from that part of God's Country, read his stories on Magic City News; thousands of other people from around the USA and a few from around the globe read his stories too. They enjoy reading them, and a goodly number of those kind folks send him emails telling him so.

After, the now 50-some-year-old, main character in the movie gets a few of his Maine adventures short stories pretty well completed and published, he begins to write about his US Army adventures. When the US Army had sent him to Okinawa, or as the GIs called it—The Rock—he was assigned as the 'official' photographer for the 30th Artillery Brigade. That was a missile unit with Hawk and also Nike Hercules Missiles. And some of the Nikes had nuclear warheads on them. His experiences as an Army photographer on Okinawa, during 1970-71, were in many ways typical for most American GIs over there. They were serving non-combat tours of duty, during the Vietnam War. He writes wild and crazy tales telling about spending lots of time in
the bar and red light districts. His stories are historically informative about that wild nightlife scene. And then also about the way that GIs lived in their barracks, what their music listening pleasures were, their solid friendships, and how they loved being in a foreign land and getting along well with the local Asian population. He tells some very strange and funny stories about their leaders—their sergeants and officers. He also tells of exactly what it was like having the big fat Book of US Army Rules and Regulations brutally smashed down hard upon, and broken right across, his head, by the 30th Artillery Brigade on Okinawa. His assignment as a photographer to the 30th Arty Bgde, and also the photo lab that he was forced to work in while he was assigned there, broke more rules and regulations than you could ever imagine—it was 100% illegal and militarily immoral. That was devastating to the dedicated young soldier. Still is, to some degree, today.

Eventually, the biggest and best outdoors adventure web site in the State of Maine,
Maine Outdoors Today, publishes some of his stories too, and also some of his photographs. His work is well received by visitors to that web site. The editor of Maine Outdoors Today convinces him to start blogging.

With only the rudimentary computer and Internet skills of a Computer 101 community college course to go on, he begins to blog, and blog, and blog. He desperately needs his own full sized, commercial grade web site, but he is stuck with teaching himself how to turn free blogs into poor man's web sites. And it works well for him.

He blogs about Maine, and that receives great responses; he blogs about his time as a United States Army
photographer on Okinawa, and that garners him a lot of emails from other Okinawa veterans; he blogs about his hometown of Dundalk, Maryland and puts many of his mighty fine photographs of that much misunderstood community on the blog; he photo blogs about the Eastern Baltimore City and County areas near where he lives at now; those Baltimore area photo blogs receive good responses; then he has another blog about dumpster diving—he is very successful at doing safe and sanitary dumpster diving.

Why is it that Finley and Martha Clarke did not take legal action against me, in order to try to stop me from sending those stories around, all over Maine, to anyone and everyone, and also for sending those postcards to them two hard heads?



{End of Section 2 of this 4-part document. Please continue on to Section 3 / Northern Maine Adventures / The Movie, 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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