National Geographic : 1955 Jun
We circled Pierce Pond, set the Piper down in a brief flurry of spray, and taxied over past Perry's Camp to a beach where three other Air Warden Service planes were moored. A tank truck had pulled out of the woods, and the wardens, in blue dark-striped pants, scarlet Mackinaws, and ski caps, were ladling buckets of fingerlings from the truck to some tanks rigged in their planes. We loaded up and took off. "Good day for stocking," George declared. "You go up on a rough day, with lots of bumps and air pockets, and the first thing you know the fish all get airsick; then you hit a downdraft and half the tank sloshes down the back of your neck." Over the Kennebago River's Long Pond we went into a shallow glide. Despite its name, the pond was too short to land on; we came in at about 50 feet, and I reached back and pulled the plug. Swirling out of the tank and down through an elbow length of stove pipe went 3,000 fish in a fine mist. Half a dozen caught in a crack didn't make the exit till we were over the woods again. "They'll just have to walk back," said George. Fish Rain on Maine Lakes For hours we ferried the fish from the State hatchery's truck to their new homes in the scores of lakes that dot this north woods area of Maine. By 3 o'clock some 48,000 (including many 6- to 8-inch mature trout) had begun life anew, and we felt justified in trying to hook some of their elder cousins. Flying back to Rangeley, we drove up to a little-frequented stretch of the Kennebago River. A brawling, deafening stream walled in by grave, silvery spruce and slim birch trees, it contained plenty of pools, well known to George, from which salmon rose with a rush to our lures and trout, less demonstra tive, struck and dug in with a quick tautening of the line. We fished that day and the next. Sports men I had met that summer had complained that New England's fish were becoming too well educated. Fortunately, however, I was in the company of a professor who knew most of the students' puerile tricks. When I drove from Rangeley to Cam bridge, the first apprehensive Harvard fresh men were unpacking trunks. So were several thousand similar youths in New England's 600 other colleges, universities, and preparatory schools. Harvard is older and richer than any of her sister academies, larger than most, but perhaps typical of them all. For, as her song proclaims, she was and is a ... relic and type of our ancestors' worth, That has long kept their memory warm, First flow'r of their wilderness! Star of their night! Calm rising thro' change and thro' storm. Not that our ancestors always appreciated her, you understand. Ben Franklin remarked testily that at Harvard young men learned hardly more than to "enter a Room genteely"