Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Say My Stories About My Maine Adventures Are Full Of Lies

Here is a Mainer man named Thurlow Harper's comment on the blog posting "I Need Legal Advice and A Lawyer For A Probate Situation In Penobscot County Maine" on my blog site Northern Maine Adventures:

I know Marty and Finley Clark. I also know about your past history with them. Finley Clark was a hard man, and if you worked hard, you would be rewarded, however if you did not work hard then you were also rewarded in a different way, like not earning the respect of Finley. You got paid what you were worth. I am from Maine, and I am the Son in Law of Richard Libby who was a Master Maine Guide for Finley for years back in the 70's at Katahdin Lodge in Mount Chase Maine. You may want to think about making your own life from your articles, and not focusing on a lost cause like the one you are trying to pursue. The reason I say that is this. When you were up here in Maine working for them, you were taken care of. You were fed, and had a place to sleep etc. You had no bills to pay while you were here, and you were not told that you would be getting paid for what you did for work. You assumed that you were owed something for what you did. That was a long time ago. We are talking in excess of 30 years. Grow up and get over it. You need to move on with your life. If Marty and Finley Clark owed you, then you would have gotten paid in full!

You need to move on with your life and not live in the past. It will eat you alive.

Sincerely, Thurlow Harper

My blunt and reasonable response to this comment could be:

Fuck you!

Your comment is chock-full of some of the worst stinkin bullshit that I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing.

But I am working and fighting for my life here. So I must fully defend myself. And you, Thurlow Harper, are far from being alone in believing that bullcrap, in your comment, to be true. That same stream of bullcrap had mucked up the minds of some of my family members and neighbors down here in Maryland years ago. My Aunt Martha created this family wrecking mess, and I am determined to set the record straight about it. I refuse to allow her, and also my Uncle Finley's, continuing lies to go unchallenged. Lies that have continued on after Finley's and then Martha's death, and are the reason why a few people like you conjure up grave misconceptions about me and my times living and working at my Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha's Katahdin Lodge and Camps of Patten, Maine.

Martha grew up next door to Finley and my mother, who was Fin’s sister, in the small town of Sparrows Point, Maryland, which was a tight-knit community. My father grew up in that small, tight-knit American town too. Then my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my parents, two sisters and I all lived within 5 miles of each other. And up until 1965, when Fin and Marty moved to Maine, when I was 15-years-old, I grew up seeing Fin and Marty at every one of our loving, heart warming and wonderful American holiday family celebrations; they all also came to my and my two sisters’ and my parents birthday parties; and my parents, sisters and I and Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha visited each others homes quite often on anydays. Martha and my mother were like sisters, and Fin and my father were best friends, until Martha’s personal greed came between my closest family members and I and our beloved Finley and Martha.

It is an ancient, well-known fact that family often wants other family members to work for them for nearly nothing. That doesn’t make it right. I fully deserve every cent that I intend to collect from Martha’s estate. All that I am after is what my rightful portion of Martha’s estate is.

Thurlow Harper, your comment wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that both Richard and Barbara Libby are to each receive three percent of Martha Clarke’s estate would it? It is an estate that is worth multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars. You said that Richard is your father-in-law, and I think that Barbara is your mother-in-law, right?

I do remember that Richard Libby had married a very good Maine woman, and he loved and adored his wife and daughter dearly. I only remember Richard and his wife having one child, in 1977-79. I also recall the painful knowledge that Richard’s sweet and beautiful young daughter was going deaf, and how the family was preparing for it. When you work with a man as closely as I had with Dick Libby, you get to know pretty well how he feels about his family. I can tell you that he has a mighty good, loving wife and daughter, and they have an equally good, loving husband and father. But you already know that.

You never wrote anything in your comment to the effect that your father-in-law, Richard Libby, said I did not work hard enough for Finley. Your father-in-law Richard knows full well what I did at Katahdin Lodge. So where’s a quote from him?

I would be sorely disappointed in Richard if he did say anything to the contrary of anything I have written and published about the times that he and I worked together at the Lodge. Richard was one of the best work partners I ever had. We had a lotta good laughs together, as we got the job done right and on fairly equal terms. Even though he was much, much more qualified than I as a woodsman; in fact there are no better Maine woodsmen than he is. But I never laid back at all and expected him, or any other Maine guide who I worked with, to carry any of my fair share of the work weight; not even when tracking wounded bears at night without any firearms. I sometimes tracked wounded bears and found dead bears at night by myself. I did my share of all of the work at Katahdin Lodge. Whenever I was at the Lodge, I did all of the lawn mowing and trimming of the Lodge’s very large yard -- work which Richard, and all the other guides I worked with, fully appreciated. They all hated mowing it. In balance, at the end of a hard day’s work, your father-in-law Dick Libby would often do something like taking the bait bucket out of my hand to go in to check that last bear bait of the day by himself. I sure as hell did my equal share of the work whenever we were using shovels, hammers or any other tools on a job together. I defy anyone to look me in my eye and say otherwise.

If Richard is concerned that I may take some of what is his and Barbara’s rightful share of Martha Clarke’s estate, he may be inclined to sit in the witness box of a court of law and declare that what your comment says is true, and what I write about my times in Maine is not true, but he will never be able to look me in my eye as he does so. Richard Libby worked too long, hard and honestly for the good life up in the Great North Woods that he has today, that and knowing him as personally as I do influences me to seriously doubt that he would perjure himself in court or be able to stand seeing it reflected back at him from another person’s eyes -- most especially the eyes of his wife and your wife, Richard’s daughter.

Thurlow, I don’t know who-the-hell you think you are, but you are full of foul fecal matter, i.e. Fin and Marty's bullshit. And it is the ever-expanding pressure from that flow of offensive crap that has continuously pressed me on to make certain that my true articles/stories about my times living with and working for my Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha Clarke are not mucked up with, and smothered by, a bunch of other people’s lousy lies -- like the ones that you have written out in your comment.

I cannot allow the lies in your comment to go unopposed. I cannot counter them with a mere bit of angry language against you. Your comment represents the foul essence of the evil misinformation that Finley and Martha Clarke wished the world to believe about me for eternity. It has caused me far too much pain and grief during my lifetime. I refuse to allow it to be part of my heritage to my younger relatives. This is not about “grow up and get over it.” This is no more a case of me living in the past than they are at the Patten Lumberman’s Museum. The Lumberman’s Museum tells of the history that was good and bad for Maine lumberjacks. It also educates people on how the Maine workers had to fight large wood harvesting companies for reasonable employees’ rights, honest wages and benefits. But in my case, it is not all in the past. Your comment full of screwed-up bullshit proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is with me today and will live on after me, unless I put a stop to it.

This thing ate up a good part of me a long time ago, when I lost a substantial part of my belief in what it means to be family, when I lost my Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha to their greed, arrogance and ignorance, and when I could never be given Fin and Marty’s honest job reference for me to work elsewhere as a professional outdoorsman. I used to think that it was caused by greed for cash, but in the end it turned out that Martha had always wanted Finley from his family for herself. She would not even allow my mother, Finley’s sister, to see and speak to Finley one last time before my mother died.

This is not about what happened “in excess of 30 years” ago. This is about a lifetime of family ties, years of painfully broken family ties, and family members being brutally selfish and cruel to my closest family members and to myself, and the effect it all had on my family and I and is still having on my family and I today and what people will think about me after I have gone over to the other side -- to my death. It is also about a real debt still owed to me, and a person's debt usually remains in effect after they die.

If anyone believes, or says, anything any different from what I have declared to be absolutely true and factual, then I challenge them to come onto the Internet and lay their version out for the entire world to see.

I may not be able to sue my dead Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha for libel or slander, but I sure-as-flyin-fuk can sue a live person for it. But don’t you worry about me suing you, Thurlow me-laddy, you’re under the protection of an old friendship between me and your wife’s daddy.

When Finley and Martha accepted moneys from their paying bear hunters, for a week long hunt at the Lodge, and then Fin sent those bear hunters out into the woods with me as their hunting guide -- quite often I was the only guide leading bear hunters after a wounded bear, and it was usually after dark, and we guides rarely ever carried any firearms with us -- that was complete verification of Finley’s respect for the job I did for him.

Either that or you are saying that Finley cheated those paying hunters out of their money by sending me out with the hunters as their unqualified bear-hunting guide.

And if you wanna say that Finley ever cheated any paying hunters then you are saying that the three top-notch, life-long professional Maine Woodsmen who I worked with at the Lodge, John Birmingham, Gary Glidden, and your father-in-law Dick Libby, are the type of Maine Woodsmen who have also cheated paying hunters out of their money. Are you that ignorant?

You are saying that those three put up with a lot of lazy, inept working attitude, abilities and efforts on my part, because they would have had to take up the slack in my work that you are outright accusing me of. You and a few others have been accusing me of this for far too long. You know frigin-aye-well that none of those three finest kind of Maine Woodsmen would have worked for Finley if he was cheating hunters out of having outstandingly great outdoors adventures in Maine.

Finley needed those three lifelong professional Maine Woodsmen far more than they needed him; they would have quit working at Katahdin Lodge anytime they were expected to 'carry me' in any way, or to cover up for any lack of professional standards in me that you unjustifiably and ignorantly accuse me of having -- professional standards when it comes to hunting safety, hunting successes, and good, fun times up in the Maine Woods. You are also accusing top-notch Maine Guides John, Gary, and Dick of helping Finley to run a shoddy and dangerous outfit in their part of the Maine Woods. Ain’t no way fukin that was ever going to happen.

If I was not qualified to do my assigned tasks out in the woods, then I was a danger to all. You are implying in your comment that I was a danger to all and that Richard Libby was a damned fool for working with me. Ask your father-in-law, my old friend, OK let’s say former friend, Richard, if this is not all as I say it is.

You gotta a lotta nerve there, Thurlow, in saying that you know what went on between Finley and Martha Clarke and I. You weren’t even born yet when most of it happened. You are some nervy ignoramus for saying that as long as I was fed, given a place to sleep, etc then it’s alright with you that I was not paid a salary, and so it should be alright with me too. Is that how you are making it in this world today? Do you work for room and board only?

I had no bills when I worked at the Lodge because I had no money for a down payment on a good motor vehicle; or to fix up into a residence and live in the really cool old one room school house over in Batesville that I was once offered for a measly fifty bucks; fifty dollars which I never had while at the Lodge, in 1968-69. And it was within my right to take my well-earned salary and use it anyway I wanted to.

But Fin and Marty were determined to control everything about my life at Katahdin Lodge. They fully felt that I should “do everything what, when, where and how” they told me to. They also frequently belittled me in front of our paying hunters. Then I was sent out into the woods with a group of our hunters, and I successfully lead those paying hunters on bear hunts -- each and every time. I never lost a hunter, none got hurt, a goodly number got their bear and most had a whole lotta wild and woolly fun with me.

I always follow rules of safety and common sense, and I was a willing learner up in Maine, but I didn’t need to ask or be told by Fin and Marty how to “do everything what, when, where and how” they told me to -- especially with my own money. Good advice from older family is important to follow, but it is not good to have them completely control you.

As Fin once said, in a conversation about the down side of living with a long term dictator in control of your nation as opposed to a democratically elected president controlling a nation in preset, limited numbers of years, “Absolute power corrupts.” But, unfortunately, Fin and Marty wanted absolute power over my life at their lodge; they wanted me to be their lifelong, subservient puppet with their taught rope wrapped around my neck.

When I first worked at the Lodge, in 1968, honest people would have begun to pay me after I had been there for longer than a nice long visit with relatives to help them out some. Then when Fin had a game warden, Ted Hanson, come up and give me a Registered Maine Hunting and Fishing Guide’s License, it was definitely time for a pro-woodsman’s pay to begin coming my way.

When I left the Lodge to enter the Army, in November 1969, Fin and Marty gave me a lump sum of cash that they said would equal what they figured I would have saved up if they had been paying me all along. But it fell quite short of the full pay I had earned. Pay I had not asked for due to me not wanting to create a big rift in our family, because I knew Fin and Marty were not going to peacefully give my full, weekly pay to me. At the time, they were my lifelong close relatives, and I was living with and working for them, so I knew them in ways that you, Thurlow Harper, could not possibly know them. But for some odd reason, you sure enough think you do.

While I was in the Army, in 1969-71, the fresh memories of Fin and Marty’s abuse, along with my maturing as a young soldier, caused me to consider it a great loss of family when I painfully came to the harsh realization that my aunt and uncle had mistreated and cheated me so thoroughly that I could not see ever having anything to do with them again. I did not have any contact with them from the time I was stationed on Okinawa in 1971, until I wrote them a letter in 1977.

Before I went back to work at the Lodge in 1977, when I first worked with my good work partner Dick Libby, I had previously sent Fin and Marty a letter stating that I should come up there for two weeks to help them out, as I and my parents and my maternal grandmother (Fin’s mother) knew they needed me to; that way we could at least mend broken family ties. The deal was if I stayed at the Lodge for longer than two weeks then I was a full time employee entitled to all regular pay and benefits.

After the two weeks was up, I stayed on, worked long, hard hours for Fin and Marty, and those two ungrateful relatives of mine mistreated and cheated me again. And once again I quietly suffered their abuses of me, in order to keep the family together. Plus I never had plane fare outa there.

I left Katahdin Lodge in the fall of 1977 to attend college in southern Maine and eventually left the state after Fin and Marty cheated me out of pay that would have gotten me into college. I was never able to attend college classes that I had signed up for, because of my aunt and uncle not paying me for several months of work at their lodge, as I had expected them to do when I left for college. I did not speak to Fin and Marty again, until they telephoned me in the spring of 1979.

I went back to work at the Lodge in the early summer of 1979, at Fin and Marty’s telephoned request. They promised me many things, including a full salary and benefits. I did receive paychecks, but the benefits never came or were ever coming. That full story is at this link:

And it has quite a nice set of writings about Richard Libby in it.

I never again spoke to my Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha after I left Katahdin Lodge in 1979. And by the end of the 1980s, Fin and Marty had cut off all communications and relations with Fin’s side of our family. I have never known why.

If anyone anywhere knows why my Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha severed all contact with Fin's side of our family, I'd like to know why. Please email me at ursusdave {@} hotmail {.} com

Finley was a very favorite uncle of ours; Martha was far more family than just our uncle’s wife to us. Being cut off from contact with them for so many years and then not being allowed to get together to grieve their deaths along with some of the other folks who also loved Finley and Martha Clarke is not something that a person ever quite gets all the way past.

Thurlow, what do you mean by this? “You may want to think about making your own life from your articles, and not focusing on a lost cause like you are trying to pursue.”

Why do you declare my quest to be paid what is owed to me from Martha’s estate to be a lost cause? What do you know about the legalities of it all? You need to reinforce that statement with some hard facts.

And are you making a heart-felt suggestion that I make something out of my articles, like a book or movie, that is very financially and personally rewarding?

That is exactly what I am trying to do. I would like to make it into a book, but I need some help from a good editor to get my punctuation and some other technical aspects slightly corrected. I also need to spruce up my writings a little and put more of my personal humor and some more descriptive and exciting wording into it; but I suffer from severe depression and I am never quite all there in anything I do. Depression that would sure enough have been relieved quite a bit if Finley and Martha had faced the facts and admitted the truth about what I did for them. They began to receive printed copies of my articles/stories at least 5 years before Fin died, and they had to have known about my Internet publishings of those stories for several years before my Uncle Finley passed on to the other side. They had plenty of time to face the facts and admit to the truth in my writings.

Read my postings on my Livejournal blog, and you will see how the basis for an entire movie about my Maine adventures is all laid out. It has as much info and as many ideas for plot and script inclusion as I could think of, so it would have to be edited down and shored up by other members of a movie production team for it to be the superb final product that I have dreamed of ever since I first worked at Katahdin Lodge.

But, if you and others continue to believe and spread Finley and Martha’s vicious lies about me, then who will the rest of the world trust, you or me?

It takes a lot of trust for any financiers to back a movie project.

Or are you saying that I am making my own life up in my articles/stories by weaving my own lies all throughout them?

If so, then, fuk-off, jackass.

My World Wide Web published articles/stories are a realistic portrayal of my adventurous life in Maine. If they are so far from realistic, as you, Finley and Martha and some others declare, then why is it that Fin and Marty Clarke never did one single thing to stop my work from being published?

Nor did they ever write out their own versions.

Nor has anyone else whom I have written about in those World Wide Web published Maine adventures of mine ever written out and published or commented, on the Internet, anything negative about my work.

Fin and Marty were considerably intelligent, worldly, wealthy and powerful individuals. They had what it takes to publicly defend themselves against what you insinuate are articles/stories full of lies about my times in Maine.

They did nothing in their defense due to the fact that they did not have truth on their side to defend them. I tell the basic truth, they did not. They died owing me far more than they could ever repay, and deep down inside themselves they knew it.

Unfortunately, my Uncle Finley Kenneth Clarke never admitted he was wrong or apologized to anyone. My Aunt Martha Louise Clarke was simply a self-serving and deeply devious individual who would never face up to or admit the grievous wrongs that she has committed against our family and me.

Martha did not even mention Finley’s side of the family at all in his obituary. Martha never even let us know that Finley had passed away. No one on Finley’s side of the family received any recognition in Martha’s last will and testament. And she got everything that was Finley’s. That proves it was Martha who manipulated things to turn out as they have, because, after Finley passed away, she was free to do what she felt to be right.

I have these great stories to tell and write, and they are quite well read, received and enjoyed all across the World Wide Web. I had told my stories person to person for around three decades before I finally got to write any out, and then publish some of them on the Internet. Telling them in person has made for some fun times with family, friends, acquaintances and people I have just met, who enjoy listening to my Maine stories. It also gets me many interesting and entertaining personal stories of lives lived by some of those listeners of mine. I love swapping stories, especially around campfires.

Sadly, when I have told enough of the great, adventurous and comical aspects of my experiences in Maine, there often comes a moment when I am asked, “If you like it up in Maine so much, why aren’t you there now?” Then I have to tell of the bad aspects of my times at Finley and Martha Clarke’s Katahdin Lodge.

I tell the whole story because there are other people in this world who need to learn about the abuse I received from Finley and Martha, and how it has affected me for my entire life. Those other people may also have their own personal history of suffering abuses to deal with. Or maybe they are abusers, or potential abusers, and need to know what it is like when someone suffers under their type of maltreatment. I tell what it is like to believe wholeheartedly in your family, to the point of being willing to sacrifice your life for them, and then they mistreat you and cheat you terribly.

Fin verbally and emotionally abused so many people that very few Maine men ever would work for him. This is a true historical fact. It is why the job was open for me in the first place. Then I kept the job because I was good at it and got things done right.

If you wish to see current proof of my life long work ethic, and my natural and learned talents and abilities, then go to -- start with reading some of that site then follow my links on that site to all of my other Internet published works and see for yourself. Just keep in mind that I am a 58-year-old man who has been using computers and the Internet for less than 10 years. My only income is a small, monthly check from the Department of Veterans Affairs, because I am not able to work full time. I could just sit around the house and make no efforts to do any kind of work at all. But, instead, I work as hard as I can by using scrapped together, old computers and learning to use them and the Internet, mostly by trial and error, to post my photos, articles and stories all over the World Wide Web. I show my hometown of Dundalk, Maryland at its best, and Northern Maine too.

I must say here, Thurlow Harper, screw you and anyone else who believes that ignorant bullshit in your comment.

An Email Telling Me To "Let It Go"

I received the following email on July 20, 2008, from Jon Cameron, who I have never heard of before. My emailed reply to it shall follow on this blog posting.

Dave, it seems to often these days that we hear someone trying to grab onto a fist-full of money that isn't theirs. You need to drop the whole "they owe me" crap and get on with your life. Maybe you did do a lot of work/help for them but that does not entitle you to their fortune. Remember, they are the ones that started and owned those camps, not you, so I think they should give the rights/profits to whom ever they wish. My Aunt and Uncle owned a very lucrative buisness and I helped them for years. I would not expect a dime from them after their passing because it was their buisness not mine. If I did recieve something from their estate after they pass-on, I would be greatful for it, but if I didn't, it would not bother me. Nor would I go after anything because it wasn't mine! I don't want to sound mean here, but you should let it go.


My emailed reply:

I appreciate the email and you trying to help me see things from your point of view, but you are not taking all of the facts into full consideration.

I have never written or said anything to the effect that I am entitled to, or "out to grab", my Uncle Finley and Aunt Martha Clarke's entire fortune. I have publicly acknowledged, on the Internet, that others are most certainly entitled to parts of Martha's estate too. I worked for my Uncle Fin and Aunt Marty as a professional outdoorsman and am entitled to fair monetary compensation for doing so. And since at least 5 years before Finley died, I had been doing my best to make contact with Fin and Marty; first to mend broken family ties, and then to collect the debt they owe to me. They refused to speak to me on the phone, they never replied to my numerous direct mailings to them or ever in any way, shape or form acknowledged anything I had done for them as a professional outdoorsman and bear hunting guide at their Katahdin Lodge. During their lives, they neither thanked me, complimented me nor ever spoke positively about the hard work that I did for them. They had, though, in fact, declared that my written works about my times at Katahdin Lodge are full of lies. But, they never took any legal or personal actions to stop me from publishing my stories on the World Wide Web or sending printed copies of the stories to them and also to many other Patten area Maine residents. They took no actions to stop me because my stories accurately depict my life and adventures at Katahdin Lodge, and Fin and Marty had no real ground to stand on if they had taken legal actions against me. They never called me on the phone or sent me any written correspondence concerning my well written and distributed stories about my life and adventures at Katahdin Lodge. They never wrote out, distributed or published their own versions or rebuttals of the stories either. They were fairly wealthy and powerful, but I am a low income disabled veteran living on a meager, monthly veterans disability pension check and also without any real wealth or power -- except for 'the power of the pen,' and the wealth of my true life stories and Internet abilities. Frankly, I am no match for anyone who has any legitimate reason to stop me from doing anything. I barely survive and maintain a roof over my head from month to month, or day to day at times, and have no monies for paying legal fees or traveling to Maine.

I don't know what you have done for your aunt and uncle's lucrative business, but I performed many days of physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, dangerous, sometimes death defying, oft filthy and stinky, long hours of hard work for my aunt and uncle's lucrative business.

Your email is from a camp "in on the Oxbow" -- as we at Katahdin Lodge used to say -- so you probably know that Maine bear hunting guides routinely track wounded bears at night without a firearm. Did you ever do anything as out of the ordinary as that for your aunt and uncle, as I have done for my Aunt Martha and Uncle Finley?

As a resident of Oxbow, Maine, you must know the rough and tumble road of the section of Rt. 11 that lays between Moro Plantation and Masardis quite well and are able to safely drive it at high speeds. Read my story Driving Northern Mainer Style and you will see that on several occasions I was forced by Fin and Marty to drive it while doing between 70 and 100 MPH the entire way. I drove it at absolute top -- right on the very sharp edge of disaster -- speed for the vehicle I was driving. Did you ever risk your life like that for nothing? I challenge you, or anyone else, to go out early some morning and drive from Katahdin Lodge to Caribou in just under an hour, as I was forced to do several times. The exact route and how I drove it is all laid out in my Driving Northern Mainer Style story. Do that and then see if you want to come back and again tell me it's not something I should be paid for. Have you ever risked your life in such a way for your aunt and uncle? Somehow, Fin and Marty profited from me completing those runs on time. It was good for their business. How have you ever, outright, risked your life for the sole financial benefit of others?

The bottom line is that I was a competent, professional outdoorsman who worked for Fin and Marty, and they did not pay me very much of what I earned from them. I am determined to collect what is an honest debt owed to me.

Something that I find very odd today is that though, many times, I drove up and down Rt 11 past the road which leads in to the Oxbow, I never turned off Rt. 11 and went in there to see what was there. Not even on one of my adventurous and exploratory Sunday drives up that way. A few years ago, I found web sites for some very nice and interesting businesses that are located "in on the Oxbow" and saw that I truly missed out on something good. I wish I had gone in there to see the area and to meet some of the people there. What is your history and life like in on the Oxbow?

(end of my email)

Jon has not replied to my email.

David Robert Crews Copyright 2008