John Ford Sr. will sign copies of his new book, Suddenly, The Cider Didn't Taste So Good at
the Dorothy Webb Quimby Library at Unity College this evening from 6 to 7. We hope you can make it, John is a wonderful storyteller. In the meantime, John answered a few questions for us, which hopefully will help you get to know him a little better. One question that has come to us since the book's release is: "Where did the title of the book come from?" It is from a story in the book. That is all we are allowed to tell you by law.
Q: What is the most memorable experience of your career as a warden?
A: It's hard to pick out any one incident. I guess probably the most dramatic and life-changing experience for me was recovering the drowning victim from Bowler Pond, in the town of Palermo, only to end up in the hospital afterwards diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. ("One man's tragedy saved another man's life—mine.") The irony of that situation was an event that changed my life forever. In most cases I felt as if I somewhat had control of those events that I found myself in, but suddenly I found myself facing a life-threatening incident whereby my own destiny and future was in the hands of medical professionals and my own Christian faith. In other words, I had no control of the future or what the outcome might be, other than placing my trust in their hands. The final outcome was realizing that this life that most of us are so accustomed to can change in a heartbeat. Those things we take for granted suddenly are placed into a different light. The end results being that in this situation I was determined to enjoy each day as it came, knowing that tomorrow I may not be here.
Q: What is your favorite story in the book?
A: I think my favorite story was the hunting camp incident that brought about the title of this book, "Suddenly, the Cider Didn't Taste So Good." For me those were the best days, when even those who occasionally strayed across the line managed to show appreciation and a sense of friendship and respect with their local game warden. They knew the rules of the game, and they also realized if they were to violate those rules they'd be treated no differently than anyone else in the same position. There was no hostility or form of retaliation with these folks. They were what I consider good old hell-raising sportsmen, coming into the area for a good time and willing to share it with their local game warden. We always laughed and joked with each other, which early in my career I felt was the way life as a warden really should be. It was a case of true sportsmanship all the way around, and it was one of the perks that made my job so enjoyable. We still have maintained that friendship to this very day, although some of them have passed away. Nothing but great memories and a whole hell of a lot of laughs and good times.