Otisfield storyteller shares his international travels in latest book

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OTISFIELD — Henry H. Hamilton III, a retired international aid and development professional, has worked in some of the most dispossessed and war-torn countries in the world.

He shares his life stories in his latest book, “Footloose and Curious.”

Hamilton, former president of the Otisfield Historical Society and hobby farmer, is a storyteller and poet. He wrote “Night Full Frightful,” a collection of creepy tales and original poetry with illustration by Maine artist Patricia Chandler.

Many of his engaging and entertaining narratives in “Footloose and Curious” he read during a five-year stint on the NPR program “Sundial.”

He said his desire to travel developed from his childhood access to a closet of National Geographic magazines. In a synopsis written about his book, he said the magazines excited his imagination to seek a career that would enable him to experience exotic lands around the world.

His work for international organizations in war-torn countries such as Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, included the Peace Corps; GTZ, a German equivalent to USAID; the International Rescue Committee; the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe; and the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

Hamilton traveled to more than 50 countries, across North Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia and Europe. Many of the stories in the book tell of his experiences during that time, but he also writes of his years in the Oxford Hills and more specifically his family home on Bell Hill in Otisfield.

Readers will learn about Hamilton’s first auction where for 27 cents he bought a Victorian sideboard that sat on his grandmother’s piazza on Bell Hill for many years and the lifelong effect of his first deer kill at the age of 12 in the Flat Iron section of Otisfield Gore.

They will also learn about the night he and his wife, Shirley, experienced the overthrow of the president of Niger and their flight on the last plane out of Freetown in Sierra Leone before the Revolutionary United Front rebels overran the airport and later killed some 5,000 people.

Hamilton’s latest book, published by PRGOTT Books Publishing, is available on Amazon and in The Tribune on Main Street in Norway.

He dedicates the book to his wife, who was alongside of him as an international humanitarian relief and development worker and at home on their Otisfield hobby farm. He calls her “life’s greatest gift to me.”

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“Footloose and Curious”

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