The story of Howard Middaugh.
It was 1979, my son Vincent was three and I owned a 100-acre lot on the Island, bought from Jim McQuarrie circa 1974.
I went to Howard for advice and help.
The first thing Howard said was, ‘you are from off-Island.’ I asked him how can you tell? He said off-Islander’s put up ‘keep out’ signs on their property. (Ha ha) boy was he right about that.
I still smile when I see property (for sale, sold and keep out) signs along the road.
Well, one day Howard took me and my son up to Mud Lake along the Barrs River (flows south out of Mud Lake-technically out of the Badgerow Creek). We had to slide the boat over at least four beaver dams and on the second dam there was a great blue heron—he just stood there as we closed in on the dam, then he lunged at us; scared us silly. But then we realized his foot was caught in a leg hold trap put there to catch river rats.
Well, after the big bird realized we meant him no harm he turned away from us, laid his wings on the water and Howard opened the trap which only had the big bird by a single toe. Once released he flopped to the shore, turned and looked at us and let us pass on our way.
Howard, Vincent and I had a nice fish dinner. He was fun to be with.