The Downeast Lakes Land Trust was pleased to welcome retired Maine Game Warden and sheriff John Ford for an evening discussing his newest book, This Cider Still Tastes Funny. Recounting how he came to be a Maine Warden, John talked about the origin of his second career as a writer. “My step-father, Vernon Walker told me when I started work as a game warden in 1970 to keep a journal. He said twenty years would go like the blink of an eye and I would want to remember all the things I would experience.”
“I was assigned to an area which had the reputation as being the top deer-poaching area of central Maine. The area was noted for its violence against the local warden. In fact, I was hired on because I was a single man at the time. Local thugs had shot out the windows of the warden’s camp where my predecessor and his family had been living. The warden’s wife and infant daughter lay huddled together on the floor during the shooting.”
Couched in tales of coyote pups that grew up to be foxes, and fish-filled hubcaps, John recounted two decades of the misadventure, humility and humor, showing himself to be a principled but flexible member of law enforcement. “My step-father told me not to ever take things personally, people might have a problem with the job, but if you let yourself take it personally, this job will eat you up.” Yet, John’s love of the work, people and animals shines through his tales.
John’s warm spirit and community connections extend into the heart of Grand Lake Stream through his abiding friendship with the late Harry Bailey and his wife Sandra. “Harry and Sandy cleverly introduced me to their neighbor Judy, on a blind date in 1972.” John told the group. “Within a few months, Judy and I were married, and Harry served as my best man.”
When asked by a mesmerized member of the audience if there would be a third book, John assured his listeners that his journals still had a book or two in them.
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust regularly hosts speakers such as John, as well as sponsors workshops, and leads outdoor adventures that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Maine woods and waters. These programs support the DLLT’s commitment to protecting both the environmental and economic health of the Downeast Lakes region. Visit our website to discover what is happening next!