Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Adventures of Bill Geagan

Leading the simple life isn't so simple as you might know. Shortcuts often complicate things. Recently I've been making the time to read Bill Geagan's book Nature I Loved which was printed in the 50s and reprinted in the 70s. My parent in-laws and brother in law highly recommended this book to me when they gave it to me while I was studying for my Maine guide exam earlier this year. Unfortunately I haven't made the time to read it until now.

It seems Bill was unsure about what he wanted to be when he grew up. He paid $50 for a cabin on the edge of a pond in the North Maine Woods and proceeded to make a life there. Along the way he has described how he came to befriend a skunk and a crow. He goes into great detail about his piscatorial adventures as well as his interactions with reynard. Imagine being free to live the good life being eaten alive by black flies as you cook wizened trout for breakfast beside the brook where you camped under your canoe the night before. Mr. Geagan has done a great job so far and I can't wait to hear about more of his misadventures with his canvas canoe and the shelf ice as I head into Winter and the last half of his book.

Has anyone else read this book? I haven't seen this referenced in anyone else's recommended book list. Did you read it and like it? Would you recommend something else? Drop me a line....

10 comments:

ned senderoff said...

I would recommend the book. both my sons read it and loved it. do you know if mr geagan is still alive and does he live in maine? thanks

Shawn said...

This is the closest thing I could find to a biography of Bill Geagan and it was from the author card in a library:
"William H. Geagan was born in 1903 in Bangor, the son of William and Anne Geagan. Even as a youngster he drew and wrote about nature and the outdoors. After graduation from Bangor High School, he spent two years at his cabin in the woods writing articles and short stories about the outdoors and submitting them to national publications. This led to a long career in outdoor and sports writing involving hundreds of nature articles, a nationally syndicated outdoor column, and positions on the sports staff at the Bangor Daily Commercial and the Bangor Daily News. He was also the author of three books: Nature I Loved, The Good Trail, and Seed on the Wind, all published by Coward-McCann in the 1950's. Bill Geagan died in 1974."

Anonymous said...

I have read and annually re-read his books and have followed his paths. Bill was a member of the Salmon club I belong too and was a great individual. However he died before I personally had the chance to meet him. Alot of people around here were close friends of Bill. I have made it a point to follow his traveled paths in Maine. I do not do computers well and may not find any response to this message but my email for direct contact is dambuster123@aol.com. That email addresss waas inspired by Bill's first book..."Nature I loved"

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

“Tender, golden brown and swimming in juice . . . baked beans are a favorite food of most men who live in the woods, whether baked in a camp stove, in the ground nearby, or forked from a can. Beans are inexpensive and they stick to your ribs.” - “Nature I Loved” by Bill Geagan

Funny I just added this quote to a post in my blog yesterday . . . see more at: http://www.themaineoutdoorsman.com/2008/06/grandmas-baked-beans-enjoyed-outdoors.html

Book is a fantastic read that I would highly recommend.

ned senderoff said...

I am back again. I bid and won a wonderful tape set of the book on e-bay. I didn't realize he wrote the book when he was about fifty. He died in 1979. 1 thousand of the six cassette copys where made and if you find a copy get it. Thanks for the post on the internet. Ned

Anonymous said...

We borrowed a copy of the cassette tapes of "Nature I loved", from the children's section of Bangor, Maine's library. We have loved the 4 tapes we have heard so far and would recommend it to anyone interested in the Maine outdoors. I am wondering if anyone knows if Bill Geagan ever settled done with a wife and children or if he stayed forever a bachelor without any "nagging responsibilities"? :)

nathaniel said...

I believe he married Alice? not sure.

Anonymous said...

Nature I Loved was given to me and I could not stop listening! I really hope he married Alice. The best I got out of it was that when you are alone and confused, the One to turn to is God just as Bill did; that is where he found all his strength and safety - from Him. I highly recommend this book in any form.

HistoryChef said...

Perhaps my most treasured book is Bill Geagan's "Nature I Loved." I usually re-read it about once every year, or two. I quickly "identified" with this wonderful person-author as both another one with "bad nerves," and a great love and deep respect for the Maine woods. Oddly, I "discovered" this jewel when living in the deep-south, my Mother picked up my copy at a local yard sale. She thought the title sounded like something I'd like. It is a signed copy; "To Francis, on Father's day, 1952." And, the little illustration of the rabbit. (!) I absolutely treasure this book. For many years prior to the internet, I longed for more information about Mr. Geagan, if he was still living, etc. I wonder every time I re-read it, "Who is Francis?"

HistoryChef said...

Bill Geagan's "Nature I Loved" signed edition found at a local yard-sale near Middle Valley, Tennessee. Photos available at: http://mainerecluse.com/