Over four seasons, he describes Maine half a century ago – smelting and rescuing ice houses, moose encounters and indoor ermine, raising mischievous rabbits and conversing with pigs, hunting a legendary “football-sized emerald” and learning from legendary World War II vets.
He takes readers down through thin ice, and up spires of one-match fires. He lollygags Dead River and confronts hair-raising disorientation out on the open sea. He rolls from distance running to downhill skiing, comedy to calamity, whimsy to courage with a fluid pen. Gratitude pervades this volume. Light shines from each essay. Along the way, bits of illumination, encouragement, humor and reflection paint a bigger picture. Like a pointillist, he dabs the canvas gently, turning discrete dots into a cogent, uplifting whole. The impression left is redeeming, the celebration of self-reliance and interdependence, together the essence of all Maine towns. He reminds readers of timeless contentment in nature and human connectivity, both ultimately restorative. At heart, his vignettes celebrate freedom, and honor those who risked their lives to preserve it. The author credits good neighbors, good fortune, and thoughtfully taught good humor for his later doings.
From Maine’s woods and lakes, Charles found his way to Dartmouth, Oxford and Columbia Law School. From there, he clerked, entered law practice, spent time in two White Houses, conducted oversight for Congress and taught. Along the way, he became a Navy Intelligence Officer, and served as Assistant Secretary of State to Colin Powell. He and his wife have two children. Living “away,” he has stayed close to the town he still calls “home.”