contents

1. Books  2. Stories  3. Articles  4. Family 5. Miscellaneous

1. Books

The following books are now, or eventually will be, found at this site complete and unabridged.  Those to be added soon are so marked.

Babie Nayms by David A. Woodbury — Thousands of suggested first names for whitish babies who don’t have strong ethnic or pseudo-ethnic roots — an entirely new, and irreverent, look at the phenomenon of naming babies with sections on contrived names, palindromes, surnames as given names, and, for the first time, no attempt to separate girls’ names from boys’ names.

The Practice of the Presence of God by and about Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection — Conversations and letters from the 1660s to the 1690s conveying Brother Lawrence’s method for practicing being continually in the presence of God; this is transcribed from a 1941 booklet of 48 pages printed at that time by Forward Movement Publications.

Kate Gardner’s 1884 Diary by Kate J. Gardner — In 1884, the year she turned 20, Kate Gardner, (great-grandmother of David Woodbury), committed herself to keep a diary.  She did so faithfully, and it happens to be the year she met her husband-to-be, Dan Miller.  It is still in the family and is shared here publicly because it has much to recommend it historically as well as for her descendants.

The Clover Street News, a novel of youth, conceived and created by David A. Woodbury — A 13-year-old girl earns a night in jail, the unexpected consequence of good intentions.  She couldn’t have done it though, without help from a little brother, a computer, and a grouchy neighbor.  And she wouldn’t have a lot to look forward to afterward without the support of an elderly neighbor with famous connections.

ONE MORE BOOK WILL BE ADDED SOON

Fire, Wind & Yesterday by David A. Woodbury — A 9th-century Russian peasant, fancying himself a physician, crosses the steppe together with a fugitive woman and two Greek holy men in pursuit of an elusive rendezvous. While the physician awakens to the Greeks’ advanced culture, the holy men discover the rudiments of what is now the Cyrillic alphabet.

2. Stories

The short stories of David A. Woodbury are now being added to this site.

Camping — Teenage cousins Danny and David attempt an overnight in the Maine woods.

Off Course — No one suspected how an elderly couple first met in their younger days.

The remaining stories at this site are taken from Tales to Harm Your Mind by David A. Woodbury,  (dedicated to those who have seen the extraordinary and have remained silent about it), a collection of whimsically morbid short stories: A train leaves the station and is never seen again, a boy falls in love with a face from 60 years before, an old woman trudges into her past, a child crawls into a place that is not suspected to exist and the entrance has disappeared behind him, and more.  Those to be added soon are so marked.

The Dentist’s Proffered Testimony — The Dentist’s proffered testimony, locked against public discovery for 87 years, until discovered in 1999, explains the disappearance of an entire railroad train in April, 1912.

How Miss Plover Handled Boxer Poop — without using gloves

In School Days — He lives to learn, In life’s hard school, How few who pass above him, Lament their triumph and his loss, Like her — because they love him.

Racing the Light at Dershem’s Corner — A line of elms stood sentry on each side of the road just before the new, improved ramp approach to the state highway intersection.  As we came upon the elms, which up to now had obscured any view of the traffic light itself, I saw a glint of red through the branches.

Unjust Desserts — a fable

Weary — Memories were pleasant when they showed up, but they were like chipmunks or like hummingbirds: they came and went of their own accord, not to be captured and held for later examination and enjoyment.

That Face — When we pedaled our bikes back toward Kenny’s house, taking turns with the sloshing pot, we discovered what happens when a black, cricket-sized catfish hits blacktop that has been bubbling under the noonday sun.

The Resting Place — cool, dark, and too well hidden

Tales to Warm Your Mind — the song by the Irish Rovers that inspired the title of the short story collection, Tales to Harm Your Mind

3. Articles

Here are the collected and future (as they become written) editorials, ideas, diatribes, screeds, rants, laments, didacticisms, ipsedixitisms, tirades, ponderings, &c., of the author.  This is not fiction.  More will be added over time.

And Now for the Maine Attraction — You might think that a guide just gets paid to go fishing.  There is that; but let me tell you about a few incidents from my last few years in the woods.

Eddie — I still don’t know how to tell whether a life is at stake when someone asks: Can I talk to you?  I do know that is why I now stop and try to hear the message most of the time when someone speaks to me.

Message in a Bottle — You might have seen me driving around Lincoln on Monday and Tuesday, window rolled down, slowly slurping from that half-gallon bottle.  I held it so the label could easily be visible: Del Monte Prune Juice.

Directions to the Allagash Locomotives — A pair of abandoned, standard-gauge steam locomotives of the Eagle Lake & West Branch Railroad stand in a small clearing deep in the north woods of Maine.  Canoeists on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway go ashore and see them.  This is a guide to finding them if you don’t intend to canoe the entire Allagash River.

WWJD About Terrorism — I wrote this article in 2005.  George W. Bush’s second term as President had just begun and Barack H. Obama’s two terms had not yet been dreamed of, except by himself.  In 2005 I stated: “A long war has only just begun…  I am persuaded that we are in it for a very long, long time.”  The eleven years that have passed since this was first published have only borne that out.  As for what-would-Jesus-do, I stand by what I originally wrote in 2005.

The Fall of Great Northern Paper Company — Perhaps unique among American employers because it was so remote from notice and completely surrounded by the natural resources that provided both raw material and power, Great Northern Paper Company in 1977 was the product of a century of American industrial Zeitgeist.  Its 4,200 workers offered living proof that capitalism works and that both the employer and its people need merely to be left alone and they will indeed get it right.  But, within a decade, the impulse of government to protect everything by regulating it to death had injected a lethal dose of too much caring.  This is a memoir of those days.

Fading Photographs — People of my generation have a responsibility that our parents let slip, to identify the people in the oldest photographs in our possession before those old pictures become completely useless.  If everyone of my parents’ generation had done that diligently, then the oldest photos in existence, in everyone’s families, could mostly have been labeled for future generations.  I am working on it with the photographs in my possession, but here is an example of the challenges I face.

Fly Rod Crosby — The first person licensed as a Maine Guide (in 1897), Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby was a cousin on my father’s side.

Albert Jay Nock — The wisdom and wit of America’s fiercest social critic and denunciator of the State — you will find it on a separate site which I maintain here at WordPress.

Johnny Monroe’s Junkyard — In the summer of 1970 I was still looking for a 1939 Chrysler straight-eight motor.  An issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram that summer brought me to the most ethereal, enchanting place I’ve ever been.  The newspaper reported on a man from away who was searching for his ancestors’ graves in South Thomaston.  He had found the Thorndike cemetery, but the article played on his complaint that the graveyard was surrounded by an immense junkyard of pre-war cars.

The Execution of Terri Schiavo — Terri Schiavo, age 41, died March 31, 2005, seven years after a judge in the Florida ordered her put to death in a most horrible manner.  She was charged with no crime, had no defense attorney, was given no trial, and had no recourse in the courts.  And the rest of the country paid little or no attention.

4. Family

Here will be added bits of history regarding ancestors of David A. Woodbury.  A few pieces have already been written and need to be formatted for this site.  Kate Gardner’s Diary is re-listed in this section as well as under books.

Kate Gardner’s 1884 Diary by Kate J. Gardner — In 1884, the year she turned 20, Kate Gardner, (great-grandmother of David Woodbury), committed herself to keep a diary.  She did so faithfully, and it happens to be the year she met her husband-to-be, Dan Miller.  It is still in the family and is shared here publicly because it has much to recommend it historically as well as for her descendants.

Everett Hugh Woodbury and the Minute Man Express — In 1945, Hugh (as he was called) drove his coal truck into the path of the speeding Minute Man Express at a railroad crossing in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Some questions that a descendant might ask can no longer be answered.

Mary Jane, Mary Jane — She gazes into the present across what to her would be the featureless plain of the next 160 years.  Vilenda Gay could not know, in 1855, how many years would pass before her spectral, oval-cut image would tumble from a pile of heirloom family photos in 2015 that had arrived in my care perhaps twenty years earlier.  I had never heard of her, but after a little research I was able to tie her indirectly to my great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane (Knowlton) Sweet, and directly her cousin and best friend, Mary Jane (Gay) Ranger.

Fading Photographs — People of my generation have a responsibility that our parents let slip, to identify the people in the oldest photographs in our possession before those old pictures become completely useless.  If everyone of my parents’ generation had done that diligently, then the oldest photos in existence, in everyone’s families, could mostly have been labeled for future generations.  I am working on it with the photographs in my possession.  Here, using a couple of Dershem family photos, is an example of the challenges I face.

5. Miscellaneous

Here are miscellaneous items I’ve written that don’t fit the categories above.

Dead End Road — A song I composed in 1992 while driving.  I passed the turnoff to a side road that had a sign post with the name of the road (I forget what it was) and also had a Dead End sign.  The chorus of the song came to me immediately, and by the time I reached home I had one verse, part of another, and a tune to go with it all.