Media Archive

Milo writer recaptures father's stories, special spirit, and 'beauty of language'

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 18, May 01, 2002

By Sarah MacIlroy
Staff Writer

Seventeen Dud Dean stories published in new compilation

MILO – The same Dud Dean who tramped through the pages of "Field & Stream" over six decades ago is tramping through imaginations again with Walter MacDougall's new book, "Remembering Dud Dean," recently published by Countrysport Press of Camden.

MacDougall, of Milo, author of several Maine-based books, collected the stories his father, Arthur MacDougall, published in the 1920s and 30s. Dud Dean, the fictional Maine guide, is based on the experiences of his creator, an outdoorsman and minister in Bingham.

"These stories aren't just about catching fish," said Walter MacDougall. "They're about how to be a human being. They're about living a simpler kind of life." The 53 Dud Dean stories that Arthur MacDougall wrote were published in a series of books after their initial publication in "Field & Stream." The books, which went out of print several years ago, are collector's items now, MacDougall said, and paring the collection down to 17 stories wasn't easy.

"I just took the stories and asked myself which ones told the stories about Dud Dean÷who he was and the kind of life he lived," he said. "I did try to pick those that were typical of Dud Dean and the people I'd grown up with because they all have a real-life basis to them."

MacDougall, who has written most of his adult life, said he enjoyed this chance to work with the stories his father had written.

"It was a chance for me to go fishing with my father again in spirit, which has been a wonderful experience," he said.

The Dud Dean stories, written in the Maine dialect, are short stories that MacDougall believes are "gems." He said there are two elements of the stories that make them worth reading.

"One is the beauty of the language, and second is that they are true stories about down home he explained. "I do think that with all of the modern world and the pace we're living at... we've forgotten the wonder of being human and the passion that involves. That is what makes more than just a bunch of fishing stories. I'm glad I've gotten them out into the public domain again."

"Remembering Dud Dean" is available at Mr. Paperback in Dover-Foxcroft. It can also be ordered through Countrysport Press by calling (800) 766-1670 or by visiting www.countrysportpress.com.


NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.