Saturday, September 29, 2007

Section 3 / Northern Maine Adventures / The Movie

{This is Section 3 of a 4-part document that is read from the top of this 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! }

I know that Fin and Marty Clarke have declared that my stories are full of lies. Somehow, their ignorant bullshit has made its way down here to my father’s side of the family, and I am pissed off about that.

Hows’ comes’ big bad, considerably wealthy and well armed—lead based and legally—Uncle Finley did not head on down the road to Maryland and get right up here in my face about it?

Why is it that they have not taken any defensive action against me?


They must know that their near-impoverished nephew does not have the funds needed to properly defend himself in court, or to bring a lawsuit against them up in Maine. They must know, because they hear stuff about me the same as I hear stuff about them.

I can’t even afford to go to Maine for any fun and enjoyable reasons—and it is killing me to miss out on every beautiful fall foliage display, every Deer and Moose and Bear and bird season (no matter if I get to harvest any wild game or not, it's always well worth going hunting just for the time spent out in the woods that I love), all that fishing, them deee-lightfully attractive Maine Mommas, the snowmobile riding, the hiking, the camping, visiting with any local Mainers and fellow travelers as well, or just relaxing on the front porch of a lakeside cabin, loving life.

How about a lawsuit against my editors in Maine who publish those supposedly falsified, libelous stories on the World Wide Web?

Why have there never been any lawsuits instigated in my direction, by Fin and Marty?

My stories are true, that’s why.

Every other single individual who is featured in any of these stories and who has read them knows that they are true. And they tell some of their family and friends that this is so. Some of those individuals have emailed me and a few have spoken to me on the phone, and they tell me that the stories are as true as they can be.

Finley K. Clarke died on Thursday, April 27, 2006. There was no mention in his obituary of his side of the family—my side of the family. No mention at all. That's Marty for ya'.

If Marty were not a driving force behind the separation of Fin from his family, then she would have written about us in his obituary. Whenever Finley wasn't around, she usually did what she wanted to. That's why, in 1979, she took in far more than the twenty bear hunters per week that Fin had told her to, because Fin was not in the Lodge's office when she was taking the hunter's reservations, for week long bear hunts. And it was why, one day while Fin and I were driving out of the Lodge's driveway, Finley had stopped the truck, had turned to me, looked me straight in my eyes and said, "David, I've gotten myself into something that I can't get out of."

The obit included:

Besides his wife, Martie of Shin Pond, Finley is survived by two sisters-in-law, Mary Jane Thomas and Bette Thornton, both of Maryland; many nieces and nephews; and close friends, the Birmingham family, Chuck and Karen Chanadet, Jack Swartz, Wayne and Linda Melvin, Bob and Jeanne Smallwood, Vic Drew, The "Italians," Diane Lane with her special care and many, many more, too numerous to list. Finley loved his "Maine Family."

Reading that obituary, and not seeing Finley's natural family mentioned in it, in anyway at all, makes me feel like I have been shot at and missed, but shit at and hit.

The following sentence belongs in Finley's obituary: Finley is survived by his brother Nelson Clarke, of Maryland, and is predeceased by his sister Doris Mae Crews.

And some obituaries include info about the deceased person's parents, but not always, especially when the deceased is as old as Finley was when he passed away.

By leaving out the info about Fin's sister, brother and parents, and by strategically placing many nieces and nephews after Finley is survived by two sisters-in-law, Mary Jane Thomas and Bette Thornton, both of Maryland, then stating Finley loved his "Maine Family," it is clear to me that Martha is neither including me, my sisters or cousins in the many nieces and nephews part of this obit. She is outright implying that Finley had no love for his blood relatives at all.

I do not believe that. Because at one time, he was too close to his natural family to not always feel some love for us, for his entire life. Finley's loving feelings for his family were all messed up by his anger. My Uncle Finley was a victim of PTSD aggravated anger—extrememly intense anger that is very difficult for its bearer to control or to understand, without Veteran's Administration PTSD counseling. The VA is very good at PTSD counseling now, so if you know any vets who need that kind of help, it is available to them.

But that was a fair enough mention of his closest, long-time friends. That is good and right. The statement, his "Maine Family", is fair enough with me. They were all very close. I have no problem with some of those folks getting parts of Finley's estate—some of his guns and other things and maybe some money or some of the land holdings that he and Marty had together in their names.

John Birmingham, a member of the Birmingham family who are mentioned in the obit, is the son whom Finley never had but always wanted. John worked at the Lodge, until Martha refused to give him a raise in salary that Finley had told her to. I heard this from friends in Maine and from my parents too. John was worth every penny of what he had been paid at the Lodge, and more, but Marty would not pay him that "more." John Birmingham is about as good a woodsman as has ever lived; he is the best shot with a rifle or shotgun that anyone, whom I knew in Maine, had ever seen shoot. John was home on leave from the Army, one time, and he volunteered his guide services at the Lodge. John worked with me, and we had great times putting out bear baits together. John was a lot of fun to work with. Before that, when John was on leave a different time, while Fin and Marty were visiting family down in Maryland, and I was watching the Lodge, John and I hung out at the Lodge a lot, and we did some wild snowmobile riding together. Had John come back to work at the Lodge after his first hitch in the Regular Army was up and he had remained Fin's number one guide until Fin retired, as Fin had so desired, and Fin and Marty had paid me what I had earned, including the respect, then I would say that John should get the most out of Finley's estate. John still does deserve a nice chunk of it, but that amount has to be balanced against what is rightfully mine.

After it was clear to Fin that John was never coming back to work for him, he had hoped that I would take over the business after he had retired. He had let me know this, but I could never trust Marty in there handling the Lodge's business paperwork. She always cheated me. And Finley had, at one time, written me up in his will to receive 2/3's of his estate. But he later rewrote his will and cut me out of it, after he had committed that one final, grievous wrong against me, in 1979, when he had accidentally cut me while we were skinning a bear together, and I would not allow him to blame me for what he himself had done wrong.

But that crap about, Finley is survived by two sisters-in-law, Mary Jane Thomas and Bette Thornton, both of Maryland; many nieces and nephews, is all part of a well planned out design to exclude myself and my side of the family from getting anything of Finley's. We won't get old photos, some of which will be thrown away after Marty dies, or maybe some have already been thrown away. We won't get his war medals or any other personal mementoes. We won't get a small selection of his firearms, hunting knives or any other hunting gear. He had plenty of tools, but none are going to be set-aside for us down here in Maryland to go up and retrieve. We sure won't be given any money, land or motor vehicles, and Fin and Marty had plenty of it all. Marty has it now.

Marty's sisters, and the rest of her family, did not ever have much to do with Finley, at all. Shit! Most of those many nieces and nephews have no real idea who Finley is, or was. They'd probably have never even recognized him if he had knocked on their front door. Not only that, during the past five years or so, there was a long stretch of time when Marty and her family weren't even on speaking terms with each other, because of Finley. Someone in her family had died, and Finley had not allowed Marty to come down here, to Maryland, for the funeral. Some of Marty's family members live in my neighborhood, and I heard this directly from them.

A member of the Thomas family informed me that Mary Jane Thomas, Marty's sister Janie, is a proud lesbian who married another woman.

That's all fine with me; I accept that. I am strictly heterosexual, but that's me, not everybody.

Finley, though, oh lordy-lordy, Finley, though, had no tolerance for the homosexual lifestyle. Marty didn't used to either; she sure hated gay men, and I'd bet that she still does. She should be fully accepting of her sister Janie's sexual preference, but Janie and her wife(?)/husband(?) sure as hell were never going to visit Martha, at least not as an openly gay couple, while Finley was still alive. I don't know for certain, but it is doubtful that Janie ever was up there while Fin was alive. Janie can feel free to contact me and set me straight on whether she has ever gone to Maine to visit her sister Marty. I do not hold any animosity towards the Thomas family, but they have to understand that Marty committed grievous wrongs against me.

It is outright hogwash to imply in that obituary that Janie and Bette and the rest of the Thomas family will miss Finley. They certainly may very well be sorry for Martha's loss. No one has ever doubted that Martha and Finley truly did love one another. But most of the Thomas family members sure-as-flyin'-flip ain't gonna' be missing ol' Finley Kenneth Clarke. Not one bit.

I believe that Fin's friends deserve about a third of his and Martha's estate, and Martha's family gets a third, and my side of the family gets a third.

But I say that until all that I am owed, by Finley K. and Martha Clarke, is dispersed to me, nobody gets a thing.

And fuck anybody who views things differently.

If I had ever possessed the funds necessary to take my Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley to court, I would have done so a long time ago. Now the stakes are much higher. If there is ever anyway for me to afford to bring a lawsuit against Martha Clarke, alive or dead, I will.

Unfortunately for the main character in this proposed movie, as he ages up and past 50 years old, his disabilities gradually worsen. Consequently, he cannot get a photography business going. He remains unemployable and has no money coming in from his photographic or written work. He has to accept his fate, so he applied for and now receives a small, monthly, non-service connected disability check from the Veterans Administration. To receive such a regular disbursement, a veteran must be totally and permanently disabled for life.

He is fully, painfully aware though, that his screwed up military experiences warrant him a 70 to 100% service connected disability rating. He applies for it several times, is given the royal run around by Veterans Administration doctors, and is denied his benefits. But he is determined to continue fighting for those completely well deserved benefits, that which are immediately due.

Based upon his own VA Hospital inpatient experiences, during 90 days worth of alcohol and drug
rehab stays plus a total of 5 1/2 months in VA Hospitals due to his degenerative back disease, he writes three, very well-done articles about how more than eighteen of our country’s Veterans Administration Medical Center properties are immorally being leased out to private developers and being turned into condominium complexes (for vets and non-vets alike), and/or turned into anything else but better veteran’s health care facilities. State of the art medical facilities that we veterans and our families desperately need. Those three articles inform the veteran’s rights protection world about what is happening, and many of the individual peoples and veteran’s groups who are active in that world take action to try to save their local VAMCs for veteran’s health care only. His articles are either republished on or linked to from every kind of veteran’s issues oriented web site imaginable. From far right wing, old hard charging veteran's web sites, to a Department of Defense web site, and all the way over to the far left—where the anti-US Guv’ment ranters and ravers dwell.

The combined successes of all of his published written works gave him what he had, for a very long time, needed to be able to write
important letters to the local newspaper editor. And those writings were published in that newspaper.

He currently lives a rather dismal, reclusive life. Can’t afford a motor vehicle. He rarely ever goes anywhere farther than a half mile from his home. Never got married or had children. Hardly has contact with any of his family, except for his very young grandnephew. And his primary means of communication with the rest of the world is through the Internet.

His work receives very little, to no, attention or respect from his family. He has tried and tried to convince most of his family members to read, view and enjoy his World Wide Web published works, but most of them simply ignore him.

Most of his old friends are all either dead, burnt out on alcohol and/or other drugs, or are off somewhere successfully living their own lives. He sees a few of them now and then, is relieved to be able to tell those old friends about his success on the Internet, but they hardly ever go look at his well published work.

There are many people whom he has never met in person who have emailed him and told him how much they enjoy and appreciate his work, but that's about it for any complimentary, positive feedback he receives.

Even though he has achieved significant portions of his life's goals, he does not actually fee like anybody or anything. He has reached his goals of having some of his short stories nearly all the way written out,
published, and then read by thousands of people; he has achieved some of his goals of having his photography published, viewed and greatly appreciated by thousands of people; he has always needed to have his true explanations of just what really did happen up there in Maine and over in Okinawa published where all the world could see them; another goal that, for many years, he so desired to achieve and has finally achieved is to be able to write comprehensive and effective articles about veterans affairs and also community issues. Of all of those thousands of people who have read and/or viewed his published works, only a very few are his family members or his friends. He himself has no real idea who writes his stories or produces those wonderful photographs or who it is that builds his blogs. He very rarely connects in any way to that part of his personality. When he receives any, of the numerous enough, positive comments from strangers about his work, any resulting self-satisfaction or any pride that he ever feels, well, unfortunately for all, those good healthy inner feelings are fleeting, to say the least. Generally speaking, he has no idea that he even walks around in that prolific and proficient writer, photographer and blogger's skin.

He is far too deeply humiliated by his living conditions, his poverty and lack of professional success as a photographer and writer to be going out in public very often.

But he is fairly well known, somewhat popular, and much appreciated on the World Wide Web.

Though the main character has no children of his own, when his grandnephew lost his father in a road accident, the little boy's great-uncle (the main character) took over as the male authority figure in the life of the fully deserving young child. The child has no uncles, and the grandfathers are irresponsible, flaming assholes who refuse to have anything to do with the child, so the next in natural line of family responsibility is the child’s great-uncle. The great-uncle has never regretted a moment of shouldering that responsibility. He loves all that it entails.

The boy is a lot like his great-uncle. And those two guys are the best of friends who enjoy the outdoors together at every chance they can get. They teach each other plenty about how to live good lives. They love each other dearly. The great-uncle sacrifices anything he has to in order to help raise the child. The child adores his uncle. So much so that his uncle lovingly gives the little boy the Indian style nickname, "Little Shadow".

One thing that I have often thought about is, what angle do we tell this movie's story from?

Should it simply be a “period piece” that starts at the beginning, stays in the 1969 era, and goes to where ever it ends?

The main character did go back to try and work at the Lodge in 1977 and ’79, so it could be told from that more matured view of the main character. He could be there for that two and a half weeks in ’79 and seeing things around him and talking to people and all of that can trigger specific memories of 1969, and then the film pans back to that time. It was in 1979 when his uncle blamed him that one final time for something Finley himself had done wrong to him; then, the nephew being steeped in his resulting, exploding, justifiable anger, he saw strange things floating through the air, and he walked off down the road to keep from throwing the chair that he was sitting in through the window and beating the crap out of that sum-beechie uncle of his. Which was better than his first thoughts of cramming a loaded shotgun up under Finley’s chin. This part is already written out in my story, “
Then They Own You

I was in two different Veterans Administration alcohol/drug rehabs. Though my problem is mainly the booze, I had to put up with a bunch of jive-ass junkies in the first rehab. It damn near ended as a running battle between them and me, and I won.

While there in those rehabs, I thought about how the main character in this movie could begin to tell his story to a councilor, a group meeting, or to a good buddy in there. Maybe he could tell part of his story to someone else, then just be shown thinking through his memories of Maine as the film moves into the flashback stage.

He could very effectively be shown in a depressed state of mind going over his past in his head, while in any number of different locations.

The plot could be written from when he has no warm place to stay and is sleeping in his best friend’s unheated garage loft, nearly freezing to death and wondering how his life had gone that way.

What about having him telling his grandnephew stories about the photographs of his Northern Maine Adventures that are hung up on the main character's living room wall? Or talking to the child about the same ones that are on his blog?

Yeah, that is good, a totally 21st Century way of telling the story. Have him telling his grandnephew some of the story while they are looking at the blog together. Then, after his grandnephew goes to bed, or gets bored with looking at photos and hearing old stories told, like kids do, and goes back to playing with the toys on the floor, have the main character begin going over certain parts of the story in his own head, pan to flashback. Make it a full weekend with them two together and spread the parts of the Maine story out between brief, gentle scenes of his life today. This is an excellent way to have that nice ending that American moviegoers always want to see.

Yes, America loves a winner—a nice ending to every story. How else can that come about? By showing the main character as part the movie making process? By showing how he is living after he gets paid some of his money for his story? Ayy?

Will he narrate the story? Narrate from what age and from where?

Or just have him begin telling it to someone, anyone, then let the flashbacks take over.

His story could be told from that courtroom where he has always wanted to confront his Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha on even ground. That could work out well. More ways for the filmmakers to portray drama and emotion, comedy and errors, that’s for sure.

These are all excellent ideas for the scriptwriters to work with. Or, one or more of the writers or someone else may come up with a different and more effective angle to tell the story from.

After I was worked over all mean and nasty by Fin and Marty, and I enlisted into the United States Army and was sent to Okinawa, I ended up in an even more screwed up situation over there—that is all completely laid out, for the entire world to see, on my two blogs, “
30th Artillery Brigade Okinawa 1970-71” and “An American GI On Okinawa 1970-71.” The Fin and Marty experiences caused me to loose faith in my family, and then the 30th Arty Bgde experiences caused me to loose belief in my country. Consequently, by the time that I was 21 years old, I had pretty well lost any sense of family and country. The deeply painful combination of those two separate sets of fucked up experiences hit me with a one-two punch that damn near knocked me out of myself completely, and the rug was pulled right out from under my feet. I fell hard.

For a long time after that, I wasn't much good for anything useful.

After my honorable discharge from the US Army, in November of 1971, all that I have ever wanted to work as is a professional outdoorsman, photographer and writer. Not only had I had earned the right to do so, there has always been plenty of room within these combined professions for me to have worked hard and been successful at them, in every possible way. When I became an accomplished professional outdoorsman, then when I also became a US Army trained photographer,
a very good photographer with a natural eye for capturing great images in photographs—no one can teach a person that natural quality of a good photographer, because it must come from within you—once I had become that outdoorsman and photographer, I was never able to be anyone else.

After my military discharge, in order for me to remain being that person meant that I must continue doing most of the exact same things that had more or less cost me my family and my country. You may not understand this, but for the following 28 years, I was rarely ever able to work at what I was best at, within the chosen professions that I had fully earned the rights to work in, because I could not find anything much left to work for. Though that was an unhealthy reaction, which made an extremely bad situation much worse, very rarely does a person ever want to walk right back up a trail where they had just been viciously mauled by two Tasmanian Devils, then robbed by bandits.

Severe depression caused by that set of experiences still dogs me to this day.

I do have to take responsibly, though, for the fact that when I more or less crawled off of that trail and on into the underbrush, to try and figure out how to recover from those deep wounds caused by my devastating losses of family and country, I drank too much booze. I must take responsibility for any bad effects that I, and others around me, suffered through when I was heavily abusing alcohol.

My spending so much time getting drunk and emotionally numb was no way to solve any of my problems. I apologize for doing that, and for all that I did that was wrong.

Up until my last gulp of ethyl alcohol, in 1994, I had gotten sober a number of times. Then relapsed.

Whenever I got sober, one remaining problem always was, though, each time that I got the soul and psyche anesthetizing booze flushed out of me real good and clean, and the low hanging clouds of fog cleared out from in front of my eyes, about all that I could see and feel was that I still had no returning sense of family and country.

But when I was a growing American boy, family, country, American style freedom and the higher power of yours or my choice was all that I had ever believed in. Family, country and freedom—including our God given freedom of religion—have always been and always will be our most valuable treasures. I have always been and always will be most willing to love, nurture, defend and to work, sacrifice, fight, kill and die
for those principles. The sum total of my work that is now published on the World Wide Web provides full testament to this.

Telling the world about the personal frailties and vulnerabilities that allowed me to become so severely depressed by what had happened to me while in Maine and then on Okinawa, to have to inform you here that most of my adult life has been lived all down and out and out of touch with the rest of society then barely back on my feet again, is excruciating for me. But telling about these things is only fair for your well-balanced consideration of who I am and for you to be able to decide if you are willing to work with me on this movie project.

Now I am back on my feet again. Barely so. But fighting back with all of the inner strength I can muster. Fighting fair but hard, by continuously working for long hours on my Internet projects and struggling to survive on a day-to-day basis. It is a decidedly dismal life I am living through today, but you could never know that this is so by looking at my photographic and written works that are published in numerous places on the World Wide Web.

All of what has been written about on here will provide a lot of challenging and rewarding work for screenwriters, directors, a casting agency, set designers, set builders, cinematographers, various technicians, costume designers, makeup artists, caterers, security personnel and everyone else who is needed for the movie, which includes me.

Besides working with and advising the scriptwriters, location scouts, director and cinematographers, one job that I shall be performing myself is, I will be taking candid photos of the film production team and anyone else who happens to be on the movie sets. And there will be copies of my photos given out amongst them all, for them to keep for themselves or to give to their family or friends. This is the one type of photography that I do about as well as has ever been done, or ever will be done. I love capturing complimentary photographic images of people being themselves, whether hard at work or hard at play, or just taking a relaxing break from their hard work or play and socializing with others. Like a big ol' Owl studying the forest floor for the most opportune moment to swoop down upon its intended prey, I have a keen eye for determining the exact instant when all of my intended photographic subjects are looking good for a photograph. During those, rather thrilling, times, a photographer has to sorta' blend into their surroundings, to clandestinely disappear from the conciseness of their intended subjects; the photographer must to stay alert, and also already be agile, swift and skilled at using their camera gear, in order to be able to capture a great photographic image of all of the individuals, in any given group of people, looking good at the same exact moment. I was well known for fully mastering that photographic technique, in 1970, when I was performing my military photographer duties at US Army social events.

This movie definitely should be made somewhere in Northern Maine. The Patten area itself may not be the right place for filming it, and that is to be decided later. There are far to many unknown and fully expected variables when choosing the best locations for filming in. All filmmakers will know this.

During the times when some of the cast and crew will be working on movie sets somewhere up in Maine, those individuals will be spending a lot of time with the local Maine population there. That interaction will greatly add to any ideas that they have for the film. There will be some local Maine folks working in various capacities on the movie sets, hanging out behind the scenes, and sitting around eating the catered food. At times, non-Mainer members of the cast and crew will be eating in the small restaurants up there, shopping in the stores, carousing in the pubs, and going hiking, fishing, hunting, snowmobile riding, off road four wheeler riding, mountain biking, road biking, motorcycling, taking scenic auto tours through the countryside, canoeing, boating, dating and 'you name it', the film crew will be doing it with local Mainers as their trusty companions. The entire time that those social interactions are taking place, there will be optimum opportunity for the cast and crew to learn more about those wonderful folks in Maine—and to be able to portray them Mainers much more realistically on film. Ya' simply can't be around a bunch of 'um for very long without hearing some really cool stories, told well. Some Mainers' conversation casually overheard by a cast member or a scriptwriter could become the basis for a great scene in the movie.

We could hold an informal competition to see which Mainers can tell the most entertaining and outlandish tall tales for use in the movie; for like when the young nephew is hanging out with some local folks. The Mainers who get their tales written into the script get paid for their stories. Every entry would win something, like having some of our most famous movie stars there for a casual, pleasant autograph signing and photograph taking session. The Maine folks can bring their own little personal cameras. I can take lots of digital, pro quality informal shots of the whole get together. Then we could either print up mighty fine photos right then and there, or give out digital copies on inexpensive CD disks, or email them to the recipient of the Mainer's choice. I'd, friggin' aye right, enjoy that immensely.

If any of this movie is filmed in the Patten, Maine area, then that will bring in good monies to good folks living there. No matter where the movie is filmed, for years to come Patten will be more popular with money spending tourists. This movie will provide a considerable boost to the ailing local economy of Patten, Maine.

Fin and Marty sold Katahdin Lodge years ago. I have had some contact with the new owners. They may very well be willing to allow the Lodge to be used during the filming of this movie. And that place has plenty of room for a large film crew to stay there in comfort. And that crew's free time outdoors activates potentials are simply awesome there. Yeah!!

I will not compromise on the quality of anything that this movie needs for it to be well written, beautifully filmed, entertaining, exciting, memorable, popular with audiences for generations to come, financially successful and a credit to the good folks up in Maine. If you are not interested in working in accordance to those standards, do not contact me.

This story equates to my life's savings. I need the money that I will earn from it as soon as possible. If you are not prepared to aid me in gaining immediate financial wealth and security and if you do not expect me to earn every penny of it as a member of the film production team, then I do hope that when this film is released you will enjoy going to see it even more because you read this today.

You have no idea how pleased and grateful I will be if this film project leads to me getting off of disability pension. I may never be able to work on any more movies after this one, but the money that I will make off of this one will save my life and change it for the better. I will then possess the funds that I desperately need to properly furnish, equip and adapt a photography and writing office so that everything about it prevents and relieves my constant spinal discomfort. I can make regular visits to physical therapists. I can finally go to a Chiropractor and also to afford therapeutic massages. I can hire helpers and personal aides. And I do believe that my depression will subside and quit dog'n me so severely, after all of these positive changes come into my life.

{End of Section 3 of this 4-part document. Please continue on to Section 3, of 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! }

No comments: