John Ford’s new book is a keeper

The cider may taste funny, but John Ford’s book is even funnier!

Retired game warden John Ford is at it again. Perhaps he is astonished at the success of his first book, Suddenly, the Cider Didn’t Taste So Good! Maybe he’s enjoying his new assignment, traveling the state telling his tales to eager audiences.

For sure, he’s got a lot more stories to tell, so his sequel, This Cider Still Tastes Funny!, will delight all who loved his first book. I’m wondering now how many more stories he’s got!

As John got out into book stores and other places to talk about and sell his first book, he really caught fire, emerging today as a notable public speaker, irregardless of whether or not he has a book to sell.

But this column is about his new book. Published by Islandport Press in Yarmouth, you get 40 more stories from the diary John compiled as a Maine game warden. They range from the ridiculous to the sublime, with a bit of danger and a lot of humor thrown in.

Many of these stories are about poachers, primarily night hunters, the worst of the worst. John rounded up a lot of them, some of them more than once. Typically, he’d get a call like this one: “I just had a car go down past my residence, John. It has two shady-acting duffers in it. I know one of these individuals to be a poacher from way back. I think they’ve just shot a deer down in my back field, and I bet they’re down there gutting it right now.”

The many clever ways John and his warden partners caught duffers like these will amuse and amaze you.  I especially loved the story about the wife who called John to report that her husband was poaching deer. “I’m sick and tired of it!” she shouted over the phone. She reported that her kitchen was full of blood, her husband and his buddy having just cut up a deer there, and they were both passed out cold in the living room.

After encouraging her to pack a bag and leave the house, John arrived, woke the guys up, and carted them off to jail.

As the husband was coming too, he looked up at John and said, “Uh-oh… you’re that gawd-damned game warden, aren’t you? That damned old bitch – she really did turn us in, didn’t she?”

He knew it. But then he surprised John by saying, “Oh well, I knew it was only a matter of time. I love that woman, you know. I really do! So Mr. Warden, how much is this going to cost me?”

Apparently, it did not cost him his marriage or his wife. A few days after the incident, John drove by their house and the two were on the porch, giving him a friendly wave!

I don’t want to give away any more of these great stories, so you’ll have to pick up a copy of the book, available in paperback. I promise it will brighten up your summer.

And now I’m really wondering just how many more stories John Ford has to tell us!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.