The Matteseunk Lake fishing trip started our enjoyable but quickly shifted to a tragedy.
The 576 acre lake in Aroostook County with an average depth of 21 feet in the Molunkus area is known as a popular spot for anglers. The serious kind that live, are passionate about wetting the line.
But the pair of Maine fishermen climbed into a John boat, and out on the open water the vessel upset.
Flipped over and suddenly everything going so well turned 180 degrees. Went from bad to worse. When the drowned fisherman’s body was discovered, recovered it showed he had gotten one wader leg off. As it filled, sunk. Lead weighted like a cinder block with the eight plus pounds per gallon of H2O dragged him down. But only the one leg removed but not in time to replenish the oxygen to his lungs.
The dead fisherman was a veteran truck driver. And his widow said he would want his ten wheel Kenworth maroon and white tractor trailer truck to lead the way. On the course, bee line from the funeral to the Portland Maine grave yard. The nephew tapped for the job of driving the lead escort said traffic was busy. As he with lights on, blinker lights flashing in a four way succession heading to the final resting place. On the last ride for the uncle who loved, lived to fish and drove truck.
Heading, weeding, threading the needle with vehicles like a Pied Piper.
Carefully, slowly, respectfully through the city streets in this solemn moment prossesional in the early 1980’s. When suddenly a police cruiser in two tone basic black and plain white with sirens and lights of his own flashing, blaring cuts off, stops the lead lone truck. The one all polished, dead heading without a box to the cemetery in Maine’s largest city. Driven by a nephew surprised by the cruiser’s sight and sound.
Jumping, stepping up on the aluminum diesel fuel driver’s side saddle tank and proceeding to bark instructions to the stunned driver. The over dressed for the purpose he is ten and two behind the wheel of the big, over the road rig for today. Not wearing the standard chain drive wallet. No George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Red Sovine playing on the boom box.
“You’re holding up traffic, pull over and get out your log book, registration and license” said curtly. The annoyed dark uniformed Portland cop with the gun and badge, cocked to the side hat was upset, clearly annoyed. Did not candy coat it, pull any kidney punches on how he really felt as the driver rolled down the driver’s side tinted window.
“What are you doing, holding up all these cars and trucks in heavy traffic man?” “Look at all the cars behind you that are being held up by you!”
But his demeanor, mood reversed to a somber, dejected one. When his boss appeared, a Captain in the force that took the traffic stopper officer to task. Explaining the truck driver was the lead reindeer in the funeral for the actual truck owner who died. The deceased driver being honored who was a passenger, riding in the black, shiny hearse with high beam lights on behind the Kenworth. In front of all the other cars with head lamps on too. Filled with dark dressed, clothed family members, friends of the truck’s deceased owner. Things in life are not as they first appear.