I am the author, David A. Woodbury. I grew up in Allen County, Ohio, and Franklin County, Maine. Since 1977 my wife and I have made our home in Penobscot County, Maine, north of the 45th parallel. Our children and grandchildren are not far away. With diplomas in Russian language and wildlife management, I began my working life with military service as a cryptanalyst in Russian, went on to salaried careers in the paper industry and health care administration, and now I enjoy limited self-employment as a Registered Maine Guide in fishing, hunting, and recreation. I am a volunteer hunter safety instructor in firearms for the state of Maine, I am a member of the American Legion, and I am a volunteer driver for local veterans needing transportation for medical services at the state Veterans Administration hospital. That keeps me busy, and other than that I’m not much of a joiner.
I have been writing fiction and non-fiction since my days in junior high school. In Lima, Ohio, where I lived from the age of two until I was 16, I was preparing for a career as a concert pianist. I must have been pretty good at it. When I was 16 my parents moved the family, which included six children of whom I am the oldest, to Farmington, Maine, where most of my father’s ancestors came from. When I was 18 and a senior at Farmington High School, I had a part-time job at Peter Webber’s Ski Shop, where I slipped with a large knife and nearly severed my right index finger at the base knuckle. That effectively terminated my career aspirations in music, although after graduating high school in 1969 I was admitted to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for the following academic year — they were already acquainted with me and accepted me without a piano audition!
After that freshman year at Cincinnati it was clear I would be pursuing other career ideas but I knew not what. Nor could I afford to return to college. Since the military draft had been resurrected in 1969 and I drew #196, it was easy to predict that I would soon be taking a free trip to some distant part of the world. That summer after Cincinnati, while employed with a crew building a house, I visited an Army recruiter. The draft was calling up #194 about that time. With a public school background that included two years each of Spanish, Latin, and French, and with a year of college Russian behind me (as an elective alongside the music education), the recruiter suggested I take the military Language Aptitude Test. A few weeks later I did — and I aced it. No one had ever aced that test. They made me come back (to Portland) and take it again, this time with a monitor standing over me. The second time I nearly aced it again (missed one question). The test was based on a contrived language, contrived differently for each edition of the test, and consisted of questions about the language’s grammar, sentence construction, and so on.
With that test result and a four-year commitment I wrote my own ticket in the Army — a year at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where in a little over a month the intensive Russian course covered everything I learned during a year of college — cryptanalysis school at Fort Devens, Massachusetts — and service in Germany at Army Security Agency Field Station Augsburg.
With that one tour of duty behind me I returned to college, this time at the University of Maine, Orono, where I was admitted as a student in languages in 1974. But I immediately changed my major to wildlife ecology (the science of ecology, not the politics) in the College of Forest Resources, because just before enrolling it dawned on me clearly that I wasn’t going to college for job training. College was for my own edification, and I was woefully uneducated in the sciences. I had always been intrigued by biology and mathematics, I had enjoyed exploring the sedate forests of southern Germany (Volksmarsch is the way to do it), and I figured I could always dabble in languages without a degree.
In 1975 Beth Noyes of Millinocket, another U of M student, and I were married, and in 1976 our first child arrived. In 1977 I graduated Orono with a B.S. in wildlife management and went to work immediately at Great Northern Paper Company in Millinocket. By then I had completed one novel, which remains unpublished, as it should be until I can substantially revise it. But it was good practice.
In 1989 I began writing the story that became Fire, Wind & Yesterday, a tale of Ukraine and Khazaria. By 1996 I had finished a draft. I arranged to have a couple of copies printed, one of which I then carried with me on a two-week solo trip to Ukraine and Russia that year, where I was able to confirm much of what I had assumed about the flora, fauna, landscape, and other features of that part of the world.
The novel underwent further revision and then lay dormant for the next two decades, although I did offer an ebook edition of it as early as 1999 on a web site that I had developed specifically for publishing my work. It remained otherwise unpublished because I never attracted an author’s agent to consider it. After prostrating myself before agents once again during the summer of 2017, without receiving even so much as a request from an agent to see the manuscript, I finally accepted the publishing opportunities at Amazon.com. And that’s where you can find it, along with my other works, Babie Nayms, Tales to Warm Your Mind, and The Clover Street News.
I have continued to write. As I described it once elsewhere, I have been writing “editorials, newspaper columns, magazine articles, information, inflammation, commentary, ideas, advice, diatribes, screeds, rants, principles, laments, didacticisms, ipsedixitisms, tirades, ponderings, hopes — the thoughts of one man: a raconteur, provocateur, curmudgeon, and anachronism, in despair over a world where humans nearly achieved sanity and purpose but now flee from the responsibility of fulfillment.”
This site, DamnYankee.us, and the pages linked with it, present most of my work as an author and instigator.
Maine Yankee — Things I have written: excerpts from the above books, stories, tirades — fiction, non-fiction, opinion, lyrics, (but no poetry).
Albert Jay Nock — Keeping alive the memory of this brilliant thinker, candid observer of social behavior, and fierce critic of the State.
Registered Maine Guide — Things I’ve thought and done under the guise of a Maine Guide.
Eyescape — Photos I have posted to share with those who may not have accounts on Google+, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Sometimes I have photos that I want to post just to illustrate something or to share with a limited audience; images that wouldn’t interest most people. The photos in the first post, Blow-down at Camp, are an example. For a long time I’ve contemplated starting a site where I could hang some photos and invite people to come see them, no membership required — something easier than e-mailing strings of photos to separate recipients. Whereas some people share such images on Facebook or Instagram, which non-members can’t see, I’ve felt the need for a way to make them available without that restriction. So here they will be. Until something changes…