Nonfiction | March 01, 2008
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Winner of the 2007 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize for Essay.
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In the summer of 1955, the year my father quit his job with the Bankers Trust Company in New York City and bought Big Jim Pond Camps-the year, that is, when my father took a flier and did what he had always wanted to do, which was own and run a hunting and fishing camp in Maine-he discovered after just a couple of months at Big Jim that substantial as the place may have looked to the casual eye, it was tender and vulnerable as a newborn baby, in need of constant coddling and attention if it were not to succumb to the heat, humidity, rot, rust and decay of Maine summers, the crushing weight of winter snows, the rank growth of alders that kept marching, marching against this tiny beachhead of cleared land, threatening to engulf it if they were not constantly beaten back.
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