Ham recites The Wood
Box, by Joseph C. Lincoln. Watch
(QuickTime video 2:21)
Ham recites The Passing
of the Backhouse, often attributed to James Whitcomb
(QuickTime video 3:53)
Ham explains his philosophy
of humor and recites A Hand Upon Your Shoulder.
Ham tells the "big
story" of how he came to own a game warden's hat.
Ferry was the subject of this March 6, 2000 profile jointly
produced for radio by Traditional Arts in Upstate New York
and North Country Public Radio. Listen
Ham Ferry lived where his ancestors
settled in 1852 and it is in this place that he earned the
reputation of being an authentic Adirondacker and a consummate
storyteller. Ham's Inn, a small bar located at Sevey's Corners
near Childwold, was Ferry's natural setting and the spot where
he held listeners rapt for hours on end. Much of the material
for Ham Ferry's stories came from his life as a woodsman,
lumberman, and a wilderness guide. He never hesitated to elaborate
on reality, having mastered traditional tall tales and invented
many of his own. In the tradition of community entertainers
of the last century, he also recited from memory long narrative
poems by such poets as Robert Service and James Whitcomb Riley.
While known best to the local or visiting hunters, fishermen,
or campers, Ham was featured in a variety of publications,
festivals, and television and radio productions.
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