Willie Knows Who Done It, by Hans Krichels

Hans Krichels came to Maine almost fifty years ago. He once asked an oldtimer if he’d lived here all his life. “Not yet,” the oldtimer had drawled. When Hans asked him if his own kids, born in Bangor, Maine, might be considered real Mainers, the oldtimer pointed out, “Iff’n my cat has kittens in the oven, that don’t make them muffins, now, do it?”

Up there in Maine (and elsewhere, no doubt), a distinct outback way of life persists, a certain do-it-yourself approach, a certain caginess around the code enforcers from town. Over the years, Hans has scribbled down random notes – glimpses and snatches of that life as he has witnessed it.

In this book, Hans has gathered together a small collection of stories, many of them tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at himself and his neighbors. In later chapters, he shares more serious material, some tributes to the folks out back, even some story-poems, as he likes to call them, written from the vantage point of a little hideaway he’s built for himself, looking out over the rivers and valleys of Maine – and the people with their neverending stories.

A conservationist and holder of advanced degrees in literature and linguistics, Hans Krichels is a former journalist and field worker for The Dictionary of American Regional English. He currently lives with his partner Nancy in Bucksport, Maine.

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